Overview of Terpenes:
Terpenes originate from the same parts of a cannabis plant that produce CBD. There are different smells that different terpenes produce ranging from refreshing smells to spice-like aromas. In addition, they also make up the largest part of a plant. Different terpenes have different effects on the body. While terpenes are present in significant amounts in a cannabis plant, there are other compounds available including alcohols, oxides, phenols, and much more.
Types of Terpenes:
There are well over a hundred types of terpenes produced in Cannabis plants, but only a handful are available in decent amounts in a strain. The rest of which we will cover in this article. Let’s get started.
This terpene is known for almost a woody-like aroma and it is frequently used as medicine in Asian culture because it acts as a pain reliever. Borneol is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Herbalists in Asian culture also use this herb to help treat coughs and colds (Rae, 2021). Borneol oils are known for their pain-relieving properties when they are applied in small amounts to the affected amounts. Borneol can also help prevent any clotting that might occur, essentially acting as an anticoagulant. There is ongoing research on the potential treatment of cancer with Borneol.
This is an interesting terpene because out of the hundreds of terpenes that are known, only this one straps itself to endocannabinoid receptors. This terpene gives off a spicy, almost groovy-like aroma because it is present in black pepper, cinnamon, rosemary, etc. The potential benefits of Caryophyllene are significant because of its uniqueness. Though it is known for its pain-relieving properties and helping with anti-anxiety properties, it can also help with alcohol addiction and tobacco. While there is more research needed into the ability of Caryophyllene and how it helps with alcohol addiction, there is potential in that area (Bennett, 2019). Caryophyllene has been shown to increase sleep time and might be able to assist people with sleeping disorders.
Eucalyptol is known for its refreshing and almost minty smell because it is found in basil, sage, tea tree, mint, and several other plants. It is found in significant amounts in the Eucalyptus tree (hence the derived name) the reason for the refreshing feeling is because of this terpene’s effect on our breathing system. It helps open up the airways helping us breathe. Apart from the common anti-inflammatory properties, Eucalyptol helps with asthma and Alzheimer’s disease (2020). There is much more research required for eucalyptol beneficial properties but there is definite potential.
This terpene is usually used as a flavoring agent in various cosmetic products and sweets. There are several different profiles of aroma that this terpene provides because it is found in lemons, tobacco, roses, blueberries, and so on. This shows the diversity of the origin of this terpene. With being anti-inflammatory, the benefits of this terpene are also unique because it also provides neuroprotection. This means that it helps maintain the function of nerve cells, as they tend to deteriorate because of different diseases such as diabetes (Royal Queen Seeds, 2021). Another unique property of Geraniol is that it appears to help weaken cancer tumors ‘ability to fight anticancer medicine (Royal Queen Seeds, 2021).
Hops plants contain the most amount of Humulene (almost 50% in terms of terpene) making it one of the most abundant forms of terpenes in a cannabis plant. Apart from Hops plants, Humuleneis found in clove, sage, coriander, and so on. Apart from the common anti-inflammatory properties, Humulene also contains cancer-suppressing and appetite-suppressing benefits (Bennett, 2018).
Limonene is also one of the most profuse terpenes available in hemp plants, even more than Humulene. In short, it is the second most plentiful terpene of all (just behind myrcene). It is found in, you guessed it, lemons mostly resulting in a citrusy scent, but also in rosemary and peppermint. Limonene is used in essential oils such as for massaging because of its anti-inflammatory effects and providing an uplifting mood. There are several benefits associated with Limonene such as anti-anxiety, antioxidant, and anticancer. However, the research on this is scarce so we cannot come to any definite conclusions (Ray, 2020).
This is the most abundant terpene in a cannabis plant making up more than half of the terpene portfolio. The scent of Myrcene varies from source to source because this terpene is found in cardamom, bay, thyme, mangoes, parsley, and so on. Insufficient quantities, Myrcene is also used as a relaxant or a sedative. Apart from the common anti-inflammatory benefits, Myrcene is also known for possibly helping to block cancer-causing issues (Jikomes, 2019).
Terpinolene is found in tea tree oil, nutmeg, rosemary, apples, and many more ingredients. In tea tree oil, it is one of the main terpenes found although in small amounts. The scent factor, like some other terpenes, is very diverse because of the different origins of the terpene. Sometimes it smells like pine, sometimes floral or even citrusy (Adlin, 2018). This Terpene has shown to have a sedative effect in preliminary research and shown to weaken brain tumors. But there is still time to come to any definitive conclusions.
The aroma this terpene produces is mainly citrusy because it is mainly found in Valencia oranges (hence the name). Valencene helps with elevating mood, helps in being alert, all of this results in being attentive (2020). Valencenes are infused with essential oils sometimes for flavoring in some foods. This terpene is unique in the way that it helps in the protection of the skin from radiation damage. Apart from that, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and can possibly be an anti-allergy agent.
All of the knowledge about these terpenes might be a lot to digest, but it is important to know at least some of them because each one comes with its own set of unique benefits. One of the few things common between all of these terpenes is that they all have anti-inflammatory properties.
Knowing what terpenes are available in a specific CBD oil permits us to appraise what the impact profile of that oil is probably going to have. You can check outsider lab tests to see the breakdown of terpenes contained in a given hemp sample.