The Ultimate Guide to Terpenes: Why YOU Should Be Using Them Daily
Terpenes are responsible for about 95% of the natural scents produced by life on Earth.Terpenes are also responsible for nearly all of the differences between various strains of cannabis.Terpenes and their derivatives comprise one of the largest classes of chemical compounds. They are produced by members across four different kingdoms: animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi all produce some type of terpene to carry out some biological function. These functions can range from attracting mates to repelling pests to acting as intermediaries in the formation of more complicated compounds, like the cannabinoids; more on that below.Humans have used terpenes, unknowingly, for thousands of years. All natural food flavorings are some type of terpene, and many health and beauty products contain terpenes for their aroma and effects. In addition to scenting the world we live in, terpenes are the primary active ingredients in plant essential oils, providing the various subtle effects that each essential oil is known for.
What is the definition of ‘terpenes’?
Terpenes include all organic compounds consisting of one or more units of isoprene. Isoprene – a basic building block of life – is a hydrocarbon with the formula C5H8. Its unique shape enables it to polymerize, forming chains that consist of multiple isoprene units, and these are what we call terpenes.For the most part, terpenes are classified by the number of isoprene units they contain. Terpenes that contain one isoprene unit are called hemiterpenes, and in reality, myrcene is the only true hemiterpene because it’s the only one that contains just a single unit of isoprene; all other terpenes contain at least two isoprenes. On the upper end, natural rubber consists of isoprene chains with more than 5,000 individual units.Terpenes that contain two isoprene units are known as monoterpenes (because they consist of an isoprene base unit plus one additional unit of isoprene). When other functional groups are attached to the isoprene chain, the resulting compounds are called terpenoids instead of terpenes. About 98% of known “terpenes” are actually terpenoids, and their additional functional groups produce their unique and beneficial effects as well as the odors we perceive from them.In plants, terpenes evolved as a defense mechanism against certain predators, and as a recruitment tool used by flowering plants. Because the same compounds may have different effects on different species, what may be repugnant to some animals can be quite attractive and pleasant to others. In the case of humans, terpenes are able to interact with many different kinds of receptors, influencing mood and immune activity among other things.
So why should I take terpenes every day?
We are able to smell terpenes because tiny hairs located between our nasal cavity and our brain respond to the chemicals we inhale. If terpenes activate these proteins to produce a specific scent, then they are able to act on other proteins found throughout the rest of our body, too. The benefits of terpenes are due to these interactions.
Terpenes benefits for mental health
When terpenes are present in our bodies, they can have an antianxiety effect that is similar to the effects of pharmaceuticals prescribed for that purpose. Terpenes are produced by life, so they’re better prepared to interact with living things than chemicals made in a laboratory. They’re also less likely to have negative side-effects because they’re made from the same stuff as we are.For example, the terpene linalool blocks cannabinoid receptors in certain areas of the brain, helping to curb some of the negative effects of THC. Myrcene has the opposite effect, potentiating cannabinoid receptors as well as others in the brain, resulting in a generally sedative effect; myrcene is responsible for the “couch lock” of some indica strains. Terpenes are believed to affect many aspects of how the brain responds to THC or CBD, while offering various therapeutic benefits of their own.
Benefits of terpenes for general wellness
Terpenes are also antioxidants, meaning they are able to control the damage done by highly-reactive byproducts of our metabolism that can have a detrimental effect on our health and well-being. Free radicals and other reactive compounds produced by cellular activities can destroy delicate structures like DNA. Antioxidants like terpenes attract free radicals and neutralize them before they’re able to do any damage.Cannabis, unlike most modern day medicine, contains a wide range of chemical compounds. Scientists have identified over 113 unique molecules in cannabis known as cannabinoids, which include THC and CBD. The plant also produces terpenes…a LOT of terpenes.In fact, cannabis produces more individual terpenes than any other known plant, which explains its penetrating odor. It also explains the variation between different strains, which can have completely different terpene profiles. The terpene profile of a particular strain of cannabis is the combination of all the terpenes, including their ratios relative to one another. So a strain that’s high in linalool, low in pinene, and absent of myrcene, can have an entirely different effect than a strain with high pinene, low linalool, and still no myrcene. Even though they technically have the same terpenes, differences in the amounts are equally important when considering the effects of a given strain.In fact, while THC has gotten most of the attention over the last half-century, more recent studies suggest other compounds present in marijuana have a synergistic effect on one another. This accounts for the extreme differences between different strains, especially when considering that all 113 cannabinoids are also terpenoid compounds, with much interaction taking place between cannabinoids, terpenes, and our body’s collection of receptors.The synergistic interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids is known as the entourage effect.
CBD, terpenes, and the entourage effect
Synergy occurs when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In terms of cannabinoids, it refers to the observation that the combined effect of several cannabinoids/terpenes is different than the simple sum of their individual effects, whatever those may be. This is known as the ‘entourage effect,’ because the effect of an “entourage” of cannabinoids is greater – or at least different – than the effect of a single cannabinoid by itself. The interaction of various compounds in marijuana is known as the ‘entourage effect.’ Simply put, the presence of one cannabinoid or terpene can alter the effect of another cannabinoid or terpene. This can occur in several ways: By acting on the same receptor (pharmacodynamic interaction), by altering the levels of one another (pharmacokinetic interaction), or by acting on different receptors and producing compounding effects.CBD binds to a different spot on cannabinoid receptors than THC binds to, and when CBD is present, the receptors are less responsive to the effect of THC. In this manner, the presence of CBD causes the effect of THC to be different than if THC were present by itself. This is a pharmacodynamic interaction. Myrcene also binds to a different spot, but it has the opposite effect of CBD, so the effect of THC is increased instead of decreased.On the other hand, many terpenes act on enzymes instead of receptors. If receptors are the target or the finish line for chemicals in our body, then enzymes are the starting point. Enzymes are like chemical factories, and they produce every chemical that our body creates. Enzymes also degrade chemicals after they’ve been used, acting as the starting point for a new chemical compound. The majority of the effects of terpenes are due to their inhibition or potentiation of enzymes that are involved in other processes of life. By mildly altering the way that enzymes function, terpenes are able to
CBD Terpene oils
Terpene oils infused with CBD are commonly known as CBD terpene oils or CBD terps.According to various sources, terpenes have been on a long evolutionary journey. These compounds are produced by all living things (not just cannabis), as a natural product of many cellular processes. Terpenes also are responsible for various classes of odors including citrus, berry, mint, and pine.Terpenes are not just smell-good compounds. As mentioned before, the combination of terpenes with other cannabinoids, such as CBD, may enhance the therapeutic effects of the cannabinoids. They interact with synergy, meaning that the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids produces a different or greater effect than just one compound alone.If you’re looking for a way to enhance your CBD regimen without adding psychoactivity, then you’re looking for Terpenes!Another way in which terpenes may affect cannabinoid action is their effect on CBD passage through the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). The blood brain barrier is a thin tissue made mostly out of epithelial cells and tight junction proteins. This “barrier” is what separates the central nervous system from the rest of the body. That allows for the central nervous system to control what sort of compounds/cells/foreign bodies can enter it.By doing this, certain terpenes can modulate membrane permeability (how much of a compound passes through a membrane) and dictate whether more or less of a compound goes through. Additionally, based on their structure, terpenes may calm or stimulate a person’s mood or alertness.Other terpenes, such as caryophyllene, have been thought to possess gastroprotective properties. As you can see, each terpene has their own characteristic effect and each terpene will therefore enhance CBD’s effects on the body in a different manner. For this reason, when picking a CBD terpene oil, you should be aware of the CBD dosage used, what type of terpene is being infused, as well as the desired benefits you seek.
CBD Terpenes for Sale
So where can you find some quality CBD terpenes for sale? What about if you want to buy terpenes online?Although you can find hundreds of companies selling CBD products online, some of the best quality CBD terps can be found at Green Roads World. Green Roads supplies bottles of CBD terps with 100 mg of CBD and a wide array of terpenes (1 ml contains approximately 7.5 mg of CBD and 4mg of terpenes).Green Roads CBD is always extracted using supercritical CO2, the safest way known, and formulated by a licensed compounding pharmacist with more than 20 years of experience. From pineapple to strawberry, you can choose from various aromas and flavors that will suit your needs and cater to your specific health goals!Terpenes are natural chemicals found in every plant on Earth. You can find terpenes in anything that has a distinct smell! They include the smells we associate with foods, perfumes, and more. Terpenes work with cannabinoids in CBD to deliver a fuller experience by producing what is called The Entourage Effect.
The Entourage Effect
We have two cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid systems, therefore, these different compounds are able to reach both simultaneously. When added, Terpenes and CBD may create a stronger effect compared to when CBD is used alone.Terpenes, naturally found in cannabis, are built similarly to cannabinoids. Which means they also contribute to the entourage effect. Just picture a team of cannabis and hemp oil compounds working together as an all-star team.
Why do terpenes work?
The rich aroma and flavor of terpenes is what triggers your receptors response to the compounds. They are the building blocks of any plant essential oils. Terpenes from various strain may have positive effects on:Anti-inflammationStrengthen the immune systemAntibiotic/Anti-fungalPainHeadachesStressDepressionFatigueInsomniaWhen cannabinoids and terpenes work together, they produce an effect much greater than they ever could independently!