Updated: Jan 7
Terpenes, it's the word that seems to be on everyone's lips within the CBD and Hemp industry. The question is.. are these compounds really the next natural healing phenomenon that can deliver improvement to quality of life for those dealing with anxiety, insomnia and depression?
In this article we break down the technical jargon and answer the questions you need to ask.
We also take a deep dive into the major terpenes gaining attention from scientists due to great promise as a natural answer to anxiety, insomnia and depression, especially when paired with CBD.
For many the basic question still remains, what are Terpenes and how can they help me?
Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds, they're entirely organic. Plants produce them, and in fact by the time you've read this you've already encountered hundreds of them without even knowing it.
They're all around us and they're responsible for some of the scents we know and love. The luscious aroma of a ripe mango or the delicate herbal and floral notes of lavender are made possible through the unique combination of over 50,000 terpenes.
Plants produce these compounds to repel pests and attract pollinators, they're also responsible for what scientists now believe is "the language of plants" an intricate communication modality used by plants to "speak" with each other (more about that here).
What can Terpenes offer humans?
These diverse compounds are more than just a pretty smell, they have the potential to interact with and alter our bodily functions in a significantly beneficial way.
Terpenes in Cannabis
The richest source of terpenes found in nature? Cannabis.
That's right both Marijuana and Hemp flowers contain a massive array of these beneficial compounds.
Each unique combination of these terpenes found in cannabis creates what we know as a "strain". This varying terpene content across cannabis strains is what makes the effects of each strain entirely unique to it.
To make this easier to understand let's use an example. We all know the famous "Pineapple Express" strain of cannabis thanks to James Franco and Seth Rogen, this strain has a uniquely tropical aroma due to it's high limonene content. Limonene is a terpene which can cause feelings of elevation, energy and creativity, a reason why scientists are looking to Limonene as a potential treatment for depression.
On the flip side exists "Blueberry Kush" a strain well known for it's deep relaxation and sleep inducing effects. Blueberry Kush contains large amounts of a terpene called Myrcene, a compound that has proven to help with sleep and cause central nervous system relaxation.
When combined with CBD these powerful terpenes work even more effectively to deliver their unique benefits, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect (something we cover later in this article)
By taking this science and piggy-backing on the efficacy of the "entourage effect" we created a two CBD Oil's which contain specific terpenes ideal for relieving insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Our night time blend Relax & Relieve 1500mg contains linalool, myrcene and b-caryophyllene whilst our daytime blend Pineapple Express 1500mg contains the same terpene profile as the famous strain, making it ideal for those looking for a mood boost.
Major Terpenes and Their Benefits
Linalool: The Sleepy Head
Having trouble sleeping? This is the terpene is for you.
We’ve known for centuries that inhaling the scent of fresh lavender has a uniquely calming effect. That’s one reason it’s been used in herb blends, scented pillows, salves, and even foods. This effect isn’t just limited to humans, either. A rodent-based study found that even rats can benefit from linalool’s stress-reducing qualities.
This terpene is responsible for the scent of lavender, and is also found in spices like cinnamon and coriander. It has sedative and relaxing properties making it an ideal terpene used in the afternoon and evening to assist with relieving insomnia and ensuring a long and restful nights sleep.
We use Linalool in our Relax & Relieve 1500mg CBD Oil due to it's anti-anxiety and sleep inducing effects, especially in conjunction with CBD.
Many specialists also use linalool for it’s anti-anxiety effects. The claims for anti-anxiety effects are supported by research, such as this study on mice which looked at the effect of linalool regarding aggression, anxiety and social interaction. The mice exposed to linalool showed less aggression and less anxiety, allowing easier social interaction.
The anti-stress properties of linalool have been confirmed with studies on rats. One of the most appreciated properties of linalool is the fast, relaxing, stress-busting effect.
Myrcene: The Relaxant
Much like linalool Myrcene has a sedative effect and is sometimes referred to as the “mother of all terpenes” for its wide-ranging health benefits. It’s found in most cannabis strains, as well as hops, mangoes, lemongrass, and basil.
Many people report Myrcene as being an essential sleep aid due to it's muscle relaxant properties. This claim was put to the test in this study where the research group studied Mice and found Myrcene acted as a muscle relaxant and sedative. Myrcene also affected sleep, it didn’t cause sleep onset any earlier than usual, but it did increase sleep duration.
Not only as a potent sedative but Myrcene also carries properties making it an effective anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
Beta-caryophyllene: The Anxiety Reducer
Beta caryophyllene is one of natures more abundant terpenes. Caryophyllene is found in Basil, Oregano, Lavender, Rosemary, Black Caraway, Cinnamon and of course cannabis.
Two recent scientific studies into beta caryophyllene effects and uses are shown below. In both cases, researches found positive effects of beta caryophyllene in pain relief (analgesia) as well as benefits from reductions in stress/anxiety.
The unique scent of black pepper comes from this terpene, which is also present in most cannabis plant varieties. It was recently shown to interact in the body with cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), suggesting it can reduce pain and inflammation. A study, published in an October 2020 issue of Neuropsychopharmacology, found that beta-caryophyllene reduced addictive behavior in mice.
Beta-Carophyllene is the final terpene included in both our 3000mg Ultra Strength and Relax & Relieve 1500mg CBD Oil to further compound the anxiety reducing properties of CBD. It can also be found in our Pineapple Express 1500mg CBD, an oil which includes the terpene profile of the Pineapple Express strain of cannabis.
Limonene: The Mood Lifter
With a delicious zesty citrus aroma this terpene is found in cannabis and citrus plants, especially in the rind (skin) of the fruit. Oranges, lemons and limes contain limonene in the rind. Limonene is also found in peppermint, rosemary and juniper.
In addition to that squeaky-clean scent, a number of studies now support what our noses are already telling us about the mood-boosting effect: That limonene’s delightful citrus aroma may have the ability to help mitigate stress. Other studies suggest that limonene may help increase our production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
Limonene’s gifts don’t end there. Many scientists are coming to the conclusion that our gut functions something like a “second brain,” playing an outsized role in how we regulate our emotions. And one line of research suggests that limonene may help maintain healthy gut function and digestion. Since many scientists believe that supporting proper digestion may lead to better moods, we certainly feel happier knowing the limonene may contribute to this cascading effect on positivity.
This terpene is the star of our Pineapple Express 1500mg CBD, an oil which is specifically designed to elevate mood and set you up for a focused day of good feelings.
The Enterouge Effect: How CBD and Terpenes work together
As a CBD consumer, what do you need to know about the entourage effect? Is this scientific theory something that you need to consider when picking the next CBD product to add to your daily wellness routine? The entourage effect is often shrouded in mystery and we’ve been noticing that there is a general lack of understanding around what this theory is and why it’s important.
The entourage effect is a theory that could completely change how you decide to consume CBD going forward. The theory proposes the idea that CBD is more effective when it is ingested with other cannabinoids or terpenes at the same time.
When you purchase a CBD oil that is made using CBD Isolate it contains no other cannabinoids or terpenes attached. Using a CBD Oil that is Broad or Full Spectrum will contain all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, adding terpenes to this will further amplify the benefits experienced.
The entourage effect is the mechanism in which cannabinoids act synergistically with other compounds within the plant, such as terpenes. The entourage effect was coined in the late 1990s by the famous Rafael Mechuolam, Shimon Ben-Shabat and their group of Israeli researchers.
The discovery of cannabinoids’ ability to enhance and compliment each other has led to huge advances in extraction and formulation strategies. While the term ‘entourage effect’ is primarily used in the cannabis industry, this phenomenon is thought to occur in a wide range of botanical medicines.
Wrapping it Up
We hope that this article has proven to be a useful educational resource as you endeavor to learn more about the incredible world of CBD. Understanding the content of the entourage effect and terpenes is vital to be able to choose a CBD product that is a perfect match for your needs. If you know exactly what you’re buying, you will inevitably make stronger buying decisions that are going to provide you with greater levels of benefit.
Visit our online store and explore a range of terpene infused CBD Products now available on afterpay!