Terpenes: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?


Whether you’re new to the world of CBD or a long-standing supporter of this natural substance, there’s always room for more knowledge, right?

Well, over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about some of the very important cannabinoids in hemp aside from CBD, like CBG and CBN. But we haven’t covered something else that’s super important: Terpenes!

Today, we’re going to fix that!

What are Terpenes?

Whether you’ve heard of terpenes before or not, we can pretty much guarantee you’ve encountered them. Many times in fact.

Terpenes are the natural compounds responsible for the earthy flavor, rich smell, and diverse colors of cannabis. But, they’re not only found in cannabis – they’re in every plant on earth.

That burst of fruity flavour from a strawberry? Yep. That spicy smell in your aftershave? That’s right. That bright red color of a bouquet of roses? Right again. You get all of those thanks to tiny little terpenes.

These essential oils are like the supporting cast in the Oscar winning film where CBD’s the star. But they’re wining awards too – and you wouldn’t want to watch the movie without them.

Terpenes are one of the reasons we love full spectrum hemp oil so much. Only with full spectrum can you get all those beneficial cannabinoids AND beneficial terpenes.

Here’s why…

Our Favorite Terpenes and Why They’re Important

There are over 20,000 terpenes, and at least 100 of these can be found in cannabis. We’re not going to go through all of them – that’d take all day, and let’s be honest, nobody has time for that.

We do have time for our star players though. These are our 4 favorite terpenes:

1. Myrcene

Myrcene is found in a ton of plants, including basil, hops, and lemongrass. It typically has an earthy, herbal small.

A Swiss study actually found that myrcene can make up as much as 50% of the terpene volume in a cannabis plant. What’s also very cool is that myrcene acts as a precursor to the production of other terpenes, kind of like how CBG-A is the precursor to CBD.

Research shows myrcene may be helpful as an anti-inflammatory with calming effects.

2. Limonene

You’ve probably already guessed that this terpene is found in lemons (and other citrus fruits) and that it has a lemony smell. And you’d be correct.

But that’s not all!

Research shows that it has major potential, but in humans specifically, more research is definitely needed. Many of the limonene studies to date used doses higher than what you’d get with CBD oil. That said, studies on limonene so far have shown it may be helpful with:

  • Relieving stress
  • As an antifungal and antibacterial agent
  • Improved absorption of other terpenes and chemicals through the skin, mucous membranes, and digestive tract

3. Pinene

Again, you’re probably thinking this terpene smells a lot like walking through a forest of pine tress. And again, you’d be correct. It’s what you’re smelling when you set up your Christmas tree…

Pinene is actually one of the most researched terpenes. In fact, it has been identified as a potent anti-inflammatory as well as a potential anti-infectious bronchitis virus agent.

4. Terpinolene

Terpinolene is characterized by a fresh, piney, floral, herbal aroma. It’s also found in nutmeg, apples, and cumin.

While not as much research has been done on terpinolene as, say, pinene, it still exists. And it’s pretty impressive.

One such study, done in 2013, found that terpinolene had both anticancer and antioxidant properties. Researchers noted, “Our findings clearly demonstrate that TPO is a potent antiproliferative agent for brain tumour cells and may have potential as an anticancer agent, which needs to be further studied.”

See, impressive!

Terpenes and the Entourage Effect

We’ve talked before about the entourage effect. This is a term that describes the way all these beneficial elements work together in your body. It’s when they work in synergy to create an effect that’s more powerful than what they can do on their own.

Terpenes are some of those beneficial elements. When combined with each other, as well as cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBN, the effects are much greater than if you were to get them on their own.

Again, that’s why we’re such big fans of full spectrum oil. That way, you’re getting everything working together!

Go forth and spread your newfound knowledge friends!