CBD Jargon Busting: What are Terpenes?!

It’s no surprise that CBD is becoming widely used around the globe. In the UK alone, between 4 and 6 million people have tried CBD. There are many CBD products on the market but they all differ in quality and CBD extraction methods. For example, not all CBD products are made with terpenes.

Terpenes are aromatic molecules derived from the essential oils of botanical organisms. We all sense terpenes and don’t even realize it; for example, we can smell ripe fruit and know it’s ready to eat. What are CBD terpenes and what do they contribute to CBD products?

Terpenes 101

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in different botanicals, such as fruit and plants. The cannabis plant has over 150 terpenes and they contribute to cannabis’s unique scent and taste. Terpenes also protect cannabis plants from consumption and bacteria.

Terpenes are extracted from the plant's trichomes and are added to the final CBD product, often labelled as either "full spectrum" or "broad spectrum." Full and broad spectrum CBD products are becoming widely used and more consumers are starting to look for more CBD products made with terpenes.

Terpenes work by either enhancing or decreasing the effects of cannabinoids. In addition, certain terpenes can alter the smell or taste of CBD products. We will go over this in one of the later sections.

Terpenes vs. terpenoids

When researching terpenes, you will likely come across the term “terpenoids.” They do have similarities; both words are rooted in turpentine, a fluid formed by the distillation of resin from live trees. But they have a major difference — terpenes are naturally occurring organic hydrocarbons while terpenoids are denatured through oxidation.

What if you notice your CBD products contain terpenoids? Don’t worry — oxidising terpenes is all part of the process of harvesting hemp. Your CBD oil can still be of the highest quality.

Terpene Production in Hemp

If you choose a CBD product that contains terpenes, the terpenes will be synthesised from the glandular trichomes of a female hemp plant.

Trichomes are small hair-like growths but look like crystalline protrusions. Their function is to protect the plant from herbivores by producing a bitter taste and strong aroma. They also protect the plant from environmental factors, such as harsh wind.

Trichomes are necessary when creating CBD oil. That’s because trichomes contain flavonoids and cannabinoids. Trichomes are necessary when distinguishing the cannabinoid content in marijuana plants; growers can identify the balance of THC and CBD based on the plant’s scent.

In addition, many growers use terpene-rich hemp plants specifically for the cultivation of terpenes themselves. They may opt for plants that are dominant in one type of terpene or have a complex terpene profile.

The Entourage Effect

When choosing CBD products, you’ll likely see something called the “entourage effect”. The entourage effect means all factors of cannabis are working together rather than in isolation. When your made products are made with the entourage effect, the results are amplified.

Terpenes are a significant part of that entourage effect, other than producing a specific taste and smell.

Common terpenes found in hemp

Hemp plants contain a particularly high percentage of terpenes compared to other plants, and different breeds of hemp contain similar terpenes. Here are the terpenes that you’re most likely to find when you buy CBD.

Limonene

Limonene is responsible for the citrus smell found in fruit, but it’s also prevalent in the hemp plant. It's a chemical that derives from citrus fruit peels and is also used as a flavouring agent for many different products.

Myrcene

Myrcene is one of the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis and there are high levels of myrcene in most hemp plants. Myrcene gives marijuana and hemp its earthy and musky scent. 

Linalool

Linalool is featured in many CBD products. Linalool is not famous for being a component in hemp but is actually most abundant in the lavender plant. 

Pinene

There are two types of pinene: alpha and beta. Alpha-pinene is abundant in the hemp plant and gives hemp a classic pine scent. Beta-pinene is also a component in hemp and other plants. It's commonly used in essential oils and is important for its role as a plant metabolite.  

Humulene

Humulene is found abundantly in hemp but is actually most famous for its presence in another plant: Humulus Lupulus (better known as hops). Hops are used in beer production and this terpene gives off a bitter taste and smell.

Hemp plants with larger concentrations of humulene have a signature floral yet spicy aroma. Humulene is also important for plant defence; the strong and bitter scent and taste wards off herbivores.

How to choose CBD products with terpenes

CBD products with terpenes are available in many forms, but the best way to take them are CBD oils such as:

All you have to do is drop or spray the recommended dose of CBD under your tongue, and hold it for at least 90 seconds until the CBD oil has soaked in. All of our CBD products are broad spectrum, meaning you’ll get plenty of terpenes accompanying your CBD. 

Use our CBD products

CBD is becoming more popular for many reasons. While there are many CBD products available, not all of them feature terpenes. Make sure you buy CBD from a supplier that prioritises natural extracts.

Are terpenes the only indicator of high-quality CBD products? You’ll also want to find a trustworthy CBD brand that only uses the highest-quality CBD in an easy-to-use product. That’s exactly what we offer. Take a look at our CBD products as well as the other women’s wellness products we offer.

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