What Are Terpenes?

What are Terpenes? Marijuana plants are rich in medicinal compounds. Among the most popular are cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol that produce therapeutic and psychoactive effects. They are now present in almost every CBD product you can buy in the weed market. But the scent and taste of most formulations are not produced by either CBD or THC but by another set of compounds known as Terpenes. You might have come across this term yet don’t learn much about them.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that create the characteristic scent of many plant extracts. They may also offer some health benefits as an additional ingredient to CBD products. Since terpenes have something to do with your overall weed experience, it’s essential to delve deeper into their properties. This article presents all the vital facts you need to know about terpenes. It will help you understand why they are crucial to most CBD brand formulations. 

Origin and Properties of Terpenes

Terpenes are chemical compounds that naturally occur in cannabis and non-cannabis plants, such as aromatic herbs, citrus fruits, and animals. They are extracted to formulate products intended for medical and other purposes. Primarily, they play a crucial role in the scent, flavours, and even colours of the products. When it comes to cannabis strains, terpenes distinguish the smell or taste of one variety from another.

As researchers claim, the terpene profile of a cannabis product works in tandem with the CBD and THC contents to produce the effects associated with different cannabis strains. This compound might explain why two different strains with similar levels of CBD or THC offer unique experiences. You should necessarily check the label of a CBD product, like our THCO (THC-O-ACETATE), regarding the terpene content and see whether it suits your expectations.

Do Terpenes Produce Psychoactive Effects? 

From a traditional perspective, terpenes derived from cannabis won’t make you feel high. But some of its variants are considered psychoactive because they affect cognitive functioning. That means even if they are not intoxicating on their own, and some sources claim that terpenes may impact the effects of THC, which is primarily a psychoactive compound.

It might be more beneficial to focus on specific terpene profiles of CBD products, as some cannabis connoisseurs and budtenders recommend. This is contrary to the common habit of emphasizing THC content when choosing a cannabis strain. Preliminary research suggests that some terpenes could have potential benefits for various mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. 

Terpenes versus Cannabinoids: What’s the Difference? 

When we talk about marijuana extracts, cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol are two significant compounds that come to mind. They can activate receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and produce therapeutic and psychoactive effects. But what’s not often emphasized is the role of terpenes in giving aroma and flavour to these products. Essentially, though, cannabinoids and terpenes are not the same, although they are all chemical compounds found in cannabis plants.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is popularly known for its medicinal properties without causing euphoric sensations. It can be formulated together with THC, a psychoactive compound, to achieve desired effects. They are just two of over 100 cannabinoids that the marijuana plant contains. Terpenes are another compound and one of the most abundant Cannabis Sativa plants. Compared with the two others, this one is responsible for the product’s scent and may also act on the ECS. The critical difference is that our body absorbs and uses these compounds differently.

Popular Types of Cannabis Terpenes 

As already mentioned, there are over 100 compounds in the marijuana plant. One of those is terpenes which also have more than a hundred varieties. Here, we will learn about the most popular types found in the cannabis plant and how each one functions. 

Myrcene 

This is the most abundant terpene in cannabis plants. It makes up as much as 65% of the total terpene profile in some marijuana strains. This terpene is characterized by its earthy and musky notes, with a fruity and red grape-like aroma in terms of aroma. Strains that contain 0.5% of this terpene are usually indicas with sedative effects. Based on scientific findings, myrcene effectively reduces inflammation and chronic pains, especially among people undergoing cancer treatments. The compound is also a powerful antioxidant that can protect the brain from oxidative damage following a stroke. 

Limonene 

Most people recognize this terpene by its scent, like lemons and oranges. It is commonly used for cosmetic and therapeutic effects to improve mood and reduce stress. Some researchers claim that it also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, potentially reducing tumour size. One study found that the compound has the following therapeutic properties: antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antidiabetic. Limonene also modulates how specific immune cells behave, which may protect the body from a range of disorders. It’s proven safe to be taken as a supplement. 

Caryophyllene

Interestingly, this terpene is the only one of its kind that binds to cannabinoid receptors. Several studies found promising analgesic and anti-anxiety properties and may be taken during alcoholism rehabilitation. This compound is even recommended for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. You can distinguish this terpene by its spicy and peppery note, generally formulated in many CBD topicals and creams. 

Linalool 

If you’re seeking strong sedative and relaxing properties, this terpene exactly suits that criteria. Many patients suffering from seizures, depression, arthritis, insomnia, and even cancer have experienced significant relief from using this compound. In terms of scent, you can recognize that it’s linalool because of the spicy and floral notes. This terpene is also popular in aromatherapy due to its calming effect. It has various medicinal properties, including antimicrobial, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant. 

Humulene

Another terpene that offers earthy and spicy notes is humulene. This compound is also popular for its medical properties, such as anti-proliferative, which can prevent cancer cells from growing. Many studies also found that it can suppress appetite, making it a potential weight-loss tool. You can also take this compound to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, treat bacterial infections, and prevent allergic reactions and asthma. A relevant study also claims that humulene may have a protective effect that could guard our cells against cancer.

Pinene

You can opt for pinene for a fresh and bright scent of cannabis terpenes. It is also a naturally abundant compound that has therapeutic effects. Studies found that it can act as a bronchodilator, allowing more air into the lungs, and as an anti-inflammatory agent, fighting against some infectious germs. There’s another evidence of its potential to reduce memory loss related to THC. Many asthmatic individuals have also experienced relief from consuming products containing this compound.

Medicinal Benefits of Cannabis Terpenes

Like CBD and THC, terpenes have their health benefits, too. They’ve been mentioned many times in each popular type discussed above. But in general terms, the compound has been proven in scientific studies to have these medical properties: 

Anticancer

Cancer is affecting millions of people globally. More scientific studies are undertaken on the anticancer properties of promising marijuana extracts to combat this disease. One of them is terpenes that exhibit anticancer agents, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. For example, limonene has been found to have anticancer and antitumor agents, along with other popular types of terpenes. The compound may also not affect healthy cells or cause adverse side effects when taken to prevent or treat cancer. 

Pain Relief 

An interesting scientific discovery about terpenes mimicking cannabinoids by producing a pain-relieving effect. When both compounds are combined, such analgesic properties are amplified without increasing adverse reactions. This is also called an entourage effect, where terpenes promote pain-relieving activity and activate the body’s CB1 receptors, part of the endocannabinoid system and influence pain perception.

Antimicrobial 

If you have any disease caused by bacteria and fungi, you might turn to over-the-counter drugs for treatment. Some worse conditions might require proper medical intervention by consulting a physician. Fortunately, you might find some relief by taking CBD products that contain terpenes with antimicrobial properties. Several types of cannabis and non-cannabis-derived terpenes are proven to stop harmful microorganisms on their track. 

Antidepressant 

Many people are going through depression and other kinds of mental disorders. Although psychiatric drugs are available and therapy, they are sometimes not preferred for specific conditions. Some patients are looking for a more organic and natural alternative to marijuana extracts. CBD has become popular for this purpose, but many people don’t know that terpenes are helpful for this health problem, too. The most prevalent terpenes used in antidepressant medication include linalool and beta-pinene. 

Antiviral 

Viral infections are also a common disease. Both children and adults may suffer from this health problem due to several causes. The most common remedy is taking prescription drugs upon consultation with a physician. But with the prevalence of CBD products, you may no longer do that. Some of these organic medications have terpene contents that help kill viruses. The most effective types of this compound include alpha- and beta-pinene, and caryophyllene. 

How to Maximize the Benefits of Terpenes

There are specific ways you can do to make the most of terpenes. Remember that taking the compound doesn’t guarantee all the expected results. In reality, the product you choose, how you consume it, and what you do afterwards have something to do with your overall experience. So, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Read the Product Label 

Since each CBD product contains different terpene profiles, you must check the label. It would be best if you necessarily looked for lab-tested brands that specify the ingredients and concentrations of the compound. The terpene content usually ranges around two percent, and the medical benefits may vary depending on its origin. 

  • Check for Freshness 

Keep in mind that terpene concentration can diminish over time. It’s why you have to choose the products that have a recent package date. If you’re going to buy a flower, you might want to give it a sniff because a fresh fragrance typically indicates high terpene content. 

  • Observe Caution with Cannabis Oil 

There are oil-based vaping products that may be added with synthetic terpenes. It would be best to be careful about it since synthetic terpenes are often used to create solvents and other household chemicals. Don’t assume that it’s safe because they have been approved for sale and consumption. That’s not always the case. 

  • Avoid Too Much Heat Exposure 

Some delivery methods for consuming CBD products involve high heat that could degrade synthetic terpenes, resulting in potentially harmful byproducts. Although it’s not yet clear how heat affects terpenes, it’s safe to stick with vaporizing weed flowers at a low temperature or consuming edibles instead.

  • Keep a Journal of Your Experience 

It’s okay to try different terpene profiles so that you can find the right product for you. But as you do this, it’s wise to take note of your ingestion method and how you feel afterwards. This way, you would know exactly which terpene profile suits your needs and expectations. 

Where to Buy Quality Cannabis Terpenes? 

There are many local cannabis shops across the United States, and hundreds of online stores also sell CBD products containing terpenes. So, it’s pretty easy to explore sellers of this compound. The challenging part is deciding which options would truly serve your interests. It would be best if you start by knowing the trusted brand in the industry.

One of the most popular and reputable cannabis providers today is Levit8ed.com. This is a go-to store for anyone who enjoys the best terpene profiles at affordable rates. We have been in this industry for years, and we continue to satisfy the needs of our valued customers. Our company maintains the highest quality standards when it comes to our products and customer service. Visit our shop today!