In order to fully understand the interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids (i.e., the entourage effect), we first need to know just what exactly “terps” are. Technically speaking, terpenes are a large and very diverse class of organic compounds (hydrocarbons, to be exact) that are produced by a wide variety of plants, including cannabis.
What Are Terpenes?
A much simpler way to look at terpenes is that they are a plant’s “essential oils,” or the primary building blocks of any plant resin, and they are largely responsible for the scents, flavors and colors of plants. There are over 200 known terpenes in cannabis and, by comparison, just over half as many known plant cannabinoids, which are 21-carbon-atom molecules found only in cannabis and are completely odorless. And while research strongly suggests that terpenes can contribute to the overall effects of cannabis, either singularly or via the total compounded effects of all cannabinoids and terpenes, there are no known psychoactive effects from individual terpenes.
The truth is, terpenes can have a powerful impact on receptors throughout your body. This effect increases when terpenes work synergistically with CBD. Like CBD, terpenes work with the endocannabinoid system, traveling throughout your body’s systems and organs to ensure overall balance.
Additionally, cannabis-derived terpenes also cater one’s experience with CBD. Different terpenes profiles can provide users with different effects. While some terpenes promote relaxation, others may help to boost focus or inspire creativity. Currently, over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, which means that the potential benefits of many terpenes are yet to be discovered.
Because terpenes have gained such big notoriety in the cannabis industry, and cannabis-derived terpenes are harder to come by, companies are turning to alternative terpene sources outside of cannabis. Since they can be derived from many different plants, there are plenty of options to choose from. But what are differences between cannabis-derived terpenes and terpenes from other plants?
Plant vs. Cannabis-Derived Terpenes
Terpenes are derived from extracting the essential oil from a plant. Depending on the way the cannabis is harvested, terpene properties can vary. But similar terpene profiles and aromatic properties extracted from cannabis can also be found in different plants, herbs and fruits. (They play a pretty essential role in protecting plants and deterring insect or environmental stress.)
Generally, we’re familiar with any plant terpene for their aromatic qualities and herbal remedies. Think essential oils: Tea tree oil, which has a very distinct aroma and features volatile terpenes like terpinolene, is used as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. The cannabis plant, however, produces different results and affects us a bit differently. The makeup of chemicals in cannabis and synergistic qualities work with your body’s CB2 receptors and can create health benefits if combined with the right compounds.
Why might a company favor one over the other? For one, cannabis terpenes are much pricier to extract since the process is a bit more complicated. It’s an economical benefit to reintroduce plant-based terpenes after the product goes through a high-heat distillation process (when essential oils and terpenes are removed). Plus, you can buy natural terpenes in bulk versus a smaller yield from a cannabis plant.
One benefit of using cannabis-based terpenes, though, is that a terpene extracted from a cannabis plant will provide a more natural entourage effect in most cases. Cannabis terpenes also provide the consumer with the maximum therapeutic and medicinal value of the individual terpene and plant.
Think of terpenes as a guide, nudging you along your journey with CBD and helping to enhance and supplement many of CBD’s amazing benefits.
The Purity and Safety of Terpenes
Much has been made lately over the purity, quality and safety of terpenes and terpene-extraction processes. We know that many vape-pen cartridges are adulterated with synthetic terpenes and artificial flavors. But are these terpenes safe to ingest and, more specifically, smoke? I decided to seek out the best CBD company I could find that used cannabis derived terpenes. After some research and recommendations from my CBD connoisseur friends, I fell in love with Urth CBD.
Urth CBD products have unique makeup of terpenes, and therefore elevate your overall CBD experience. Using terpenes in our products, users benefit the most due to the entourage effect. In offering products that can come in a variety of terpene profiles, we ensure that our customers can cater their CBD experience, and use a product that best fits their needs.
Terpenes are not just a what gives your CBD experience a unique flavor. Rather, they play an essential role in guiding your CBD experience. Urth CBD believes in providing you with the purest CBD that includes many terpene profiles in order to provide you with the most beneficial CBD dosage possible. I reached out to them about this post and they are happy to give new customers 20% off their first order! Hooray!
Follow this link to subscribe and receive the discount: I want 20% off my first Urth order!
Try them out now to taste and experience the difference. Once you do, you will never go back to the other brands.