I don’t blame you if you haven’t heard of what a terpene is before. Prior to the booming growth in both the cannabis and nutrition industry, terpenes were highly overlooked.
Maybe this was because there wasn’t too much knowledge about them due to strict laws or possibly because they were just considered a flavor and scent enhancer with no real benefit.
Due to the extensive research and less scrutinization, we now know so much more about terpenes. In this article, I will go over everything you need to know to understand where they come from, what they do for you, and why.
I will also touch upon 10 of the most popular terpenes out there and what makes them so useful.
So What Even Is A Terpene?
Terpenes are organic fragrant oils that are found in the wide variety of plants, fruits, and herbs. In nature, they are used as a defense mechanism to ensure that the plant they are part of doesn’t get eaten or destroyed by insects and animals. They are also used as a form of communication from the plants to other living things such as pollinators (think of bees and flowers).
Terpenes are most commonly known for being in the cannabis plant. These oils are secreted in the trichome glands, which are the same glands that THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are produced in.
Not only are they made in the same place as cannabinoids, but they also have synergistic properties. When consumed by humans, they work hand-in-hand with each other to produce different interactions in the endocannabinoid system and have different effects on the body. This is known as the entourage effect.
For example, some terpenes have been found to help other chemicals pass through the blood to the brain barrier more easily. This allows for quicker absorption rates and a higher bioavailability of compounds such as CBD.
There are over a hundred known terpenes, some having significantly greater effects than others. We will go over some of the most potent and popular terpenes below.
Top 10 Terpenes
β-Myrcene is known to be anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and used as a treatment for spasms, insomnia, and pain. This terpene also has some special properties that allow it to lower resistance across the blood to brain barrier. This allows itself and other cannabinoids to cross the barrier more easily and quickly. For instance, if you eat a fresh mango prior to ingesting CBD, you will have a greater effect more quickly.
Limonene is used primarily nowadays as the main active ingredient in citrus cleaner because of its pungent citrus odor. Prior to this, it was used in medicine, food, and perfume because of its properties.
Limonene is known to treat gastric reflux and is anti-fungal. Like β-Myrcene, Limonene assists in the absorption of other terpenoids and chemicals but instead of through the blood to brain barrier it is through the skin and mucous membranes. Limonene has also been used to treat anxiety and depression.
Linalool has a floral scent that is most recognized in the lavender plant but also found in citrus, laurels, birch, coriander, and rosewood. This terpene has a sedative effect making it a great sleeping aid as well as anti-anxiety and anti-epileptic agent. Linalool has also been found to be effective at repelling fruit flies, fleas, and cockroaches.
Terpinolene has a sedative effect when ingested which makes it perfect for aiding insomniacs. Besides the relaxing effects, it is also an anti-oxidant and anti-biological. Terpinolene is found in oregano, cumin, lilac, some citrus rind as well as conifers.
Phytol is found largely in green tea. Like a nice cup of tea, it has relaxing effects and acts as an anti-oxidant. Phytol has been shown to inhibit certain enzymes that break down neurotransmitters in the body.
Citronellol has been used as a natural insect repellent for thousands of years. Our modern-day pest defense (citronella candles) are named after Citronellol. It is anti-biological (known to be a particularly aggressive anti-tumor terpene), anti-inflammatory, and immuno-regulating. Citronellol is found in geraniums, rose, and some citrus rind.
α-Pinene is one of the most common naturally occurring terpenes. It has been used for years as a bronchodilator in the treatment of asthma. It is largely found in conifer trees so when you go for hikes in the woods and take seemingly deeper, more full breaths, it is α-Pinene that is expanding your lung intake.
Humulene is found in hops (it’s actually what gives beer its hoppy smell), cannabis sativa, and Vietnamese coriander, as well as others. It has anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, and strong anti-inflammatory properties. Humulene is also known to be an appetite suppressor.
Ocimene is found in a wide variety of fruits and plants such as mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, and cannabis. It has sweet, fragrant and woodsy aromas that are popular in perfumes. In nature, this terpene helps plants defend themselves from their environment. Ocimene is found to have anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and many other benefits.
β Caryophyllene is a terpene that directly interacts with the endocannabinoid system. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. β Caryophyllene is found in black pepper, spicy, cloves, wood.
Where To Go From Here
Now you know that terpenes are fragrant oils that contribute to smell and taste as well as having massive health benefits, so it will be no surprise to see them become part of mainstream society.
Terpenes are found in nature residing in plants, fruits, vegetation and other forms of herbs. They can be used as supplements or additives in order to optimize living or help reduce some health issues.
Deep Roots CBD Oil has β Caryophyllene, Humulene, α-Pinene, Phytol, Linalool, Limonene, and β-Myrcene in it. As more research and trials are conducted, there are going to be more terpenes discovered and more benefits realized in particular to how they interact with CBD.
I encourage you to safely try out different terpenes, see which ones work best for your own needs, and to incorporate them into your daily wellness routine.