What Are Hemp Terpenes?
Table of contents
- What are hemp terpenes?
- Phytocannabinoids & Terpenes
- Hemp Terpene Definitions
What are hemp terpenes?
What are hemp terpenes? Terpenes are organic compounds which help to determine the aromatic attributes of many different kinds of plants. Hemp plants are particularly known for having a higher concentration of terpenes, which can lead to distinct variances in the scent and flavor between different strains of hemp.
Terpenes can serve as a natural defense for plants by enabling them to give off an odor that may help to deter bugs, pests, parasites, and animals.
Phytocannabinoids and Terpenes
Hemp is a type of cannabis and its primary compounds are known as phytocannabinoids. The most prevalent phytocannabinoid in hemp is cannabidiol (CBD), while commercial cannabis is typically categorized by its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.
When ingested, these specialized compounds are specifically shaped to interact with cannabinoid (CB) receptors that function as part of the endocannabinoid system (ESC). The ECS is an internal regulatory system that works by modulating homeostatic imbalances within the body, and every vertebrate has one.
The glandular trichomes that produce the phytocannabinoids in hemp are also responsible for synthesizing terpenes, which is why researchers often use terpenes as markers for indicating the botanical identity of any particular strain of hemp. Once hemp plants are put through a curing process, the oxidized terpenes become known as terpenoids, although the two terms are often used interchangeably within the hemp industry.
Many researchers speculate that terpenes are an integral part of what is known as the “entourage effect”, which is a term that is used to describe the synergistic interplay between the various compounds within the hemp plant.
Hemp terpene Definitions
In addition to hemp, there are many different plants that contain terpenes. Currently, scientists have classified over 20,000 various kinds of terpenes, over 100 of which can be found in hemp.
We’ll list the terpenes and definitions of each based upon what is commonly found in our products below which might be helpful for not only our customers but potential readers to get a feel for what you might find in todays top leading tinctures.
Limonene is an extremely common terpene and it is responsible for the smell associated with citrus fruits. It is very popular for use in household cleaners and other citrus scented products.
Linalool is another common terpene that is found in over 200 different species of flowers and spices, including rosemary, mint, cinnamon, and rosewood.
Bisabolol is frequently associated with chamomile and is responsible for its light and floral scent.
Pinene is known for producing the popular fragrance that is associated with pine and fir trees.
Valencene is a terpene that is also known for being prevalent in citrus fruits, including valencia oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, nectarines, and mangoes. Valencene is thought to help repel insects which is why it’s a common ingredient in anti-mosquito spray.
Citral is another citrus terpene most known for being in lemongrass and is popular for use in cosmetic and lotion products.
Camphene is associated with a natural, wood smelling scent. It is found in camphor oil, which was commonly used for lamps prior to the civil war as it was cheap and added a nice smell.
Caryophyllene is prominent in pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. It is often used as a natural food additive.
Also called cineol, eucalyptol is known for its highly pleasing aroma. It derives its name from the eucalyptus tree and has a distinct minty scent that is commonly used in everything from toothpaste to analgesic balms.
Geraniol is a very floral terpene that is found in many different types of fruits and flowers. It is also the primary component in the scent-gland secretion of honeybees.
Hummulus is found in many different herbs including clove, basil, and most notably, hops.
Myrcene is another terpene that is found in hops and is known for its unique aroma. It’s also present in verbena, bay leaves, and mangoes.
Nerolidol has a musky, citrus scent and is prominent in ginger, lavender, and jasmine.
Cardamom is high in terpineol, as well as pine, and laurel. It causes a spicy, woody aroma.
Hemp Tinctures with Terpenes
Our ECODROPS™ tinctures incorporate a potent blend of our CBD-rich, full spectrum hemp extract with a specialized formulation of additional terpenes.
Relief contains a terpene blend of alpha-Pinene, beta-Caryophyllene, beta-Pinene, delta-3-Carene, Eucalyptol, Geraniol, Humulen, Limonene, Linalool, Myrcene, Nerolidol, and Terpineol.
Dream contains a terpene blend of Linalool and alpha-bisabolol.
Focus contains a terpene blend of D-Limonene, Valencene, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Citral, and Camphene.
Boost contains a terpene blend of Linalool, alpha-Bisabolol, D-Limonene, alpha-Pinene, and beta-Pinene.
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CONSISTENCY: We work very hard to ensure quality and consistency for each batch of hemp extract that is used to create our products; however, due to the nature of the organic components in our hemp extract, we cannot always ensure a visual consistency with each batch — this means that some batches will have a lighter or darker color than others. Hemp is a commodity, so even batches from the same crop will have variances from each other. This does not affect the quality of the hemp extract — it is normal for there to be visual differences from each batch to the next. Unlike many others, we don’t synthetically process our hemp extract; this means that we don’t use harsh, toxic chemicals that strip the essential compounds from the plant so that our extract is able to retain the majority of its raw, natural components.
What are hemp terpenes? They are organic compounds which help to determine the aromatic attributes of many different kinds of plants. Myrcene is very popular!
Terpenes: Are They The Most Important Ingredient In Your Hemp Oil?
When we talk about hemp (and literally everyone is talking about hemp) cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBG tend to get all the fame.
But they’re not the only superpower ingredients to keep our eyes on. In fact, a conversation with a true hemp expert will no doubt land on terpenes. But what are terpenes, actually? And why are they in our hemp oil? Read on for the full intel.
Terpenes: The essential oils of the hemp plant
Put simply, terpenes are the essential oils of the hemp plant. More technically, they’re the aromatic oils responsible for the different flavors of cannabis (you’ve probably heard of ones like mint, pine, and berry). Much like a lavender or peppermint essential oil, each has a specific set of health benefits attached to it. These oils account for as much as 3 to 5% of the total dry mass of the flowering portions of certain plants and have been used for years in traditional medical systems.
Talk to any hemp grower, researcher, or product developer and they’ll tell you the same thing: They loveeee terpenes. As it turns out, they’re one of the most important factors in a good hemp extract. Michael Ray, CEO of Bloom Farms CBD—a one-for-one company tackling food insecurity by donating a healthy meal for every product sold—has always been excited about the power of terpenes. “The terpenes are what give the 1000’s of cannabis strains different flavors, aromas, and effects. I look at terpenes as the spices in a well-designed recipe and have the ability to make the dish something special,” he explained.
The terpenes you should know about
Over 200 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant but only a select few have really sparked the curiosity of researchers. As a result, the health benefits of some terpenes are well-studied while others remain a total mystery.
So which terpenes are the ones to watch?
Myrcene is one we should all familiarize ourselves with. It’s been produced in a wide range of cannabis varieties and some rodent studies have shown it has sedative effects. It’s thought that myrcene, specifically, can help bolster the psychoactive effects of cannabis by working synergistically with THC. Fun fact: Myrcene is also found in high amounts in mangos and lemongrass as well.
The terpene β-caryophyllene—which is also found in hops, cloves, and black pepper as well as cannabis—is also gaining notoriety by the day, mostly for its ability to selectively bind to the body’s CB2 receptor. This is pretty major; as the author of a 2008 study put it: “Activation of the CB2 receptor is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.” Michael Ray is keeping his eye on this terpene in particular: “As someone who appreciates a deep night’s sleep, I’m excited about caryophyllene, which is known for having sedative effects.”
Some other promising terpenes include limonene, α-pinene, linalool, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol, and phytol.
The benefits of terpenes
Each terpene seems to do its own thing, but as a general rule, they work synergistically with cannabinoids to make hemp oil more effective as a whole, something called the entourage effect. These effects are so important that many experts consider the science of terpenes just as important—if not more important—than the cannabinoids themselves. As to Ashlae Warner, cannabis expert and founder of SUPERGOOD Hemp—a Colorado-grown, third-party lab tested hemp and CBD product company—put it, ”Cannabinoids are great but I’ve been saying it since day one: There is so much more to cannabis than cannabinoids. Just like cannabinoids, terpenes are exceedingly therapeutic and have been shown to promote a lot of the same benefits as their highly sought-after chemical cousins.”
This comes as a surprise to many, but when you delve into the science of terpenes, you start to understand why. An article published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry explained how numerous studies have been done on terpenes, which “show anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, anticancer, antitumor, neuroprotective, anti-mutagenic, anti-allergic, antibiotic and anti-diabetic attributes, among others.” Is that all?!
If you’re still trying to wrap your head around terpenes and the role they play, think about it like this: Cannabinoids (like CBD and THC) are the car and terpenes are the driver. Cannabinoids provide the brute force to get you moving but terpenes determine where you go and exactly how you get there. There’s still a lot to learn about these powerful, fragrant oils but rest assured, we’ll be hearing more about terpenes in the future.
What are terpenes, actually? And why are they in our hemp oil? Read on for the full intel.