Terpenes. What are terpenes?

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Terpenes. What are terpenes? Terpenes are actually all around us and part of our every day lives. Think about your morning cup of coffee, the smell of flowers in the garden, dinner on the stove, or even your perfume/cologne.

Terpenes , also known as “terps”, are pungent compounds that plants produce to repel pests and attract pollinators. Terpenes are also considered antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. One of the most well known and richest of terpenes is Cannabis sativa; the plant that includes both marijuana  and hemp. Each cannabis strain has a different terpene profile that influences tgr effects says Bonni Goldstein, MD, medical director and owner of Cannacenters and author of Cannabis is Medicine: How Medical Cannabis and CBD are Healing Everything from Anxiety to Chronic Pain (The Healthy). The response to terpenes will vary from person to person. It is important to know the terpene profile of the CBD oil or CBD edible you are using to know which effects to expect. In addition, there is a difference between terpenes and terpenoids. Terpenes are the natural compounds in the flower or bud of the cannabis plant. Whereas, terpenoids are terpenes that have been chemically altered. The process of drying and curing a cannabis flower leads to the formation of terpenoids.

Did you know that terpenes do not produce the “high” that is commonly associated with delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)? Although some do have sedative and anxiety-reducing properties. CBD oil that is full- spectrum or broad-spectrum will contain terpenoids. CBD isolate does not, but “some cbd product makers will add terpenes back in to allegedly enhance the effects of CBD” (The Healthy).

CBD products with these types of terpenes are considered to be part of the “entourage effect“. This theory states that substances in cannabis, such as CBD and THC, have “effects that make the overall CBD product more effective. For example, cannabinoids and terpenoids may work together to provide pain relief, reduce inflammation, and alleviate mental health issues like anxiety, and even bacterial infections, according to Project CBD” (The Healthy).

If you are interested in finding out more about terpenes in your CBD products make sure the product has been tested by a third-party lab and has a valid certificate of analysis, or COA. This allows users to get a better understanding if their products do contain terpenes and which ones.


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