What are terpenes?
Terpenes are natural compounds found in plants, trees, fruits and flowers (including cannabis) that are responsible for their different flavours and aromas. Think about the smell of pine needles when you’re decorating a real Christmas tree. That smell is down to the tree’s terpenes.
There are hundreds of different terpenes out there, but we’re going to hone in on some of the most relevant terpenes in CBD:
Limonene - commonly found in citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. This terpene contributes to the flavour and scent of some CBD vape e-liquids.
Myrcene - a rich, earthy aroma usually associated with cannabis, although this terpene is totally separate from THC (the compound that gets you high).
Pinene - the same terpene that helps give pine needles that staple Chrismassy scent is also found in many types of hemp plant.
Caryophyllene - a kind of spicy terpene found in herbs and spices, cannabis and broccoli. Brings a unique flavour element when added to CBD.
What are terpenes used for?
Terpenes give each plant its unique smell and taste. In the natural world, this helps them produce resin and keep predators at bay.
In the CBD world, naturally-occurring terpenes help deliver an authentic experience. One that vapers in particular enjoy. These little compounds are also thought to influence the way we process cannabinoids, enhance the effects of CBD and even bring about more wellness benefits.
What do terpenes do to the body?
So we know terpenes provide flavour and aroma, but what happens in the body? Terpenes are thought to support other cannabinoids to produce the desired effects.
A 2011 study suggests a sort of synergy that happens when terpenes and phytocannabinoids interact. So much so that terpenes could play a part in bumping up their therapeutic value. While each terpene is celebrated for its own qualities, the overall result could be a boosted mood and feelings of relaxation.
Do terpenes get you high?
Terpenes don’t get you high in the traditional sense. If they did, you’d get a buzz whenever you walked past a pine tree, peeled an orange or cleaned your kitchen with lemon-scented products.
Terpenes don’t contain any THC. They won’t trigger any psychoactive effects, but might deliver therapeutic benefits. Some users report terpenes to enhance the impact of THC and CBD.
What are the benefits of terpenes?
Scientists are uncovering more health benefits of terpenes all the time, and it’s believed that different terpenes offer unique advantages to health and daily lifestyle.
Some potential benefits of terpenes in general include:
Aid with sleep and relaxation
Improve the taste of food, drink and vape juice
Boost energy levels
Assist with managing mental issues, such as depression, stress and anxiety
Potential to treat some illnesses
Could relieve the side effects of medicines