For example, a paper done by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2011detailed the many ways terpenes and cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with each other. Specifically, some terpenes, like caryophyllene mentioned above, actually bind to cannabinoid receptors and thus impact the way CBD interacts with your cannabinoid system. So, terpenes can actually turn up or turn down the volume, so to speak, on the CBD you take.
As I understand it, there are two main ways the entourage effect works with terpenes and CBD: either the terpenes alter the way CBD binds with your receptors, or the terpenes have an effect that in some way compliments the effect of the CBD.
In addition to aromatherapy, many terpenes have been found to have direct health benefits when used topically or ingested (for the record, never drink pure essential oils. That’s a recipe for a bad time). For example, studies showthat the terpene caryophyllene has anti-inflammatory properties, and the terpene linalool might actually reverse some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. How amazing is that?
Does all CBD contain terpenes?
First, terpenes might have health benefits in and of themselves. Have you ever had a massage with scented oils, taken a bubble bath with some lavender scented soap, or walked through a garden filled with divinely scented flowers? Did any of those experiences affect your mood or mental state by making you feel more relaxed, calm, or happy? If so, you might have been the beneficiary of something called “aromatherapy,” and that therapy was likely brought to you by the powers of terpenes.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of studies out there showing that terpenes themselves might have some awesome health benefits. I encourage you to look into the possible benefits of your favorite essential oil!
Nope, not all do. Hemp and cannabis naturally produce a number of terpenes, which is why so many strains smell so different from one another, so if your CBD is derived from hemp or cannabis, then it might contain terpenes as well. However, it all depends on whether your CBD oil has been isolated or if it is what is usually called broad or full-spectrum oil. These types of oil contain CBD that has been extracted from hemp along with everything else that’s in there, terpenes, THC, and everything else. CBD isolates, on the other hand, have stripped away everything that isn’t the pure CBD molecule. So, pay attention to whether your CBD has been isolated or not.
I hear you saying to yourself, “OK, cool, these things are like cologne for plants. What does this have to do with me?” If you don’t find plant biology interesting in its own right (and you really should, the world is an amazingly interesting place!), then there are two main reasons terpenes should be something you pay attention to.
3 Cluster of Research and Development of Pharmaceutical and Natural Products Innovation for Human or Animal, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand; [email protected] (C.C.); [email protected] (W.R.); [email protected] (P.J.)
Conceptualization, S.R.S.; Validation, S.R.S. and P.J.; Resources, S.R.S.; Data curation, S.R.S.; Writing—Original draft preparation, S.R.S.; Writing—Review and editing, C.C., W.R., and P.J., Visualization, S.R.S. and P.J.; Funding acquisition, S.R.S. and W.R. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
We would like to especially thank Katsuhisa Komiya for his extended knowledge in the topic. Michael D. Burgett is highly appreciated for his thoughtful language editing of the entire manuscript.
Among the cannabis strains analyzed by Shapira, Berman, Futoran, Guberman, and Meiri , five chemotype groups were elucidated according the predominant terpenes: (i) β-myrcene, (ii) α- and β-pinene, (iii) β-caryophyllene and limonene, (iv) β-caryophyllene, and (v) terpinolene. In the sensory perception of the terpene profile differences among cannabis strains, two distinct descriptive clustering groups were nominated . The first group included uniformly earthy, woody, and herbal, and the other group comprised the most frequent descriptors including citrus, lemon, sweet, and pungent. Table 2 shows the lists of cannabis strains available from the Dutch passion seed company (https://dutch-passion.com) classified by the chemotypes and descriptive ategories.
The energy required for plant growth and development derives from photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration with O2, CO2, nutrients, and water. The energy is restored in the form of primary chemical ingredients that plants later exploit. These primary metabolites include carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. However, during cycles of growth and reproduction, plants might be challenged by stresses including hard environmental conditions or pests and herbivores. Plants then produce different groups of compounds called secondary metabolites that are used as defenses to those challenges. For example, it can produce compounds that draw in pollinators including birds to help them in the fertilization process or seed dispersion . These compounds are produced in different forms and are exploited for their biological functionalities ; for example, alkaloids such as morphine and codeine in opium give psychoactive and pain relief activity to mammals. Phenolics and flavonoids found in the skins of fruits and berries possess antioxidant activity . Sulfur containing compounds such as allicin in garlic can be used to reduce lipoglycerides in the blood and also have the ability to stimulate appetite . Saponin glycoside in soap nuts can be used as a surfactant , and finally, the terpenoids, which are main ingredients found in plants containing essential oils , are used as food additives and some depict psychoactive ability and aroma characteristics such as those found in the cannabis. Terpenes are hydrocarbons with small isoprene units linked to one another to form chains, while terpenoids are oxygen-containing terpenes. Three types of terpenes/terpenoids are usually found in the cannabis plant which are (i) monoterpenes (10C) of two isoprene units; (ii) sesquiterpenes (15C) of three isoprenes; (iii) diterpenes (20C) of four isoprenes; and (iv) triterpenes (30C) of six isoprenes . To date, more than 200 volatiles have been reported from the different cannabis genotypes of which 58 monoterpenes and 38 sesquiterpenes have been characterized [50,51,52,53]. Figure 5 a illustrates a chromatogram of the terpene extract from the floral tissue of cannabis. Among others, the major monoterpene components are limonene, β-myrcene, α-pinene, and linalool with traces of α-terpinolene and tran-ocimene [54,55] ( Figure 5 b), while predominate sesquiterpenes are E-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, E-β-farnesene, and β-caryophyllene . The cannabinoids are biologically synthesized from diterpene structures to form phenol terpenoids, which account for almost a quarter of all metabolites . Thus, the combination of the terpenes provides the unique aromas to different strains.
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