There are over 200,000 terpenes in various plant species around the world, as well as over 100 terpenes in the cannabis plant alone. Terpenes are to the cannabis plant what tasting notes are to wine. Terpenes are the metabolites that create aroma and flavour. In essence, terpenes give each individual plant its own unique smell and taste.
TERPENES AND TERPINOIDS
Terpenes are the metabolites in cannabis that create the smell and flavour of the plant. Terpinoids refers to the chemical switch in terpenes between raw cannabis and dried cannabis, with terpinoids being found on the later.
Glandular trichomes are produced on the female cannabis plant and contain compounds such as CBD, THC, flavonoids and terpenes. These trichomes appear as “crystals” on the surface of plant buds and leaves. Each cannabis plant has unique terpenes that determine the smell and taste of the dried buds.
Pinene (pine) is the most common terpene in the world and it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Penene is a common terpene in “Kush” strains of cannabis and lends itself to the trademark pine taste. This terpene can also be found in orange peels, pine needles, basil and parsley.
Limonene (citrus) is another common terpene found in most citrus fruits and several cannabis strains. Limonene is used for elevating mood and, relieving stress and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Terpinolene (smoky and woodsy) has slightly sedative, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. It is found in sage and rosemary and used in many spice blends around the world. Terpinolene is also found in many cannabis strains and is touted for its medicinal properties and earthy taste profile.
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The endocannabinoid system regulates important functions in the body such as appetite, mood, sex drive and sleep patterns. The system contains CB1 and CB2 receptors on which cannabinoids bind. Often times, the nervous and immunological systems become unbalanced, and cannabinoids are required to bring the systems back to homeostasis.
Terpenes act similarly to CBD in the body, binding specifically to CB2 receptors. This makes terpenes great for treating gastric inflammation, nausea and pain. It is important to find a full-spectrum CBD product to ensure that cannabinoids and terpenes are binding to all receptors in the endocannabinoid system in order to achieve homeostasis. Isolated compounds are more effective at treating specific symptoms.
THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT
Terpenes act as part of the entourage effect in CBD treatment by lowering the threshold for the blood to brain barrier and increasing absorption of cannabinoids. The entourage effect involves the synergistic functioning of a full-spectrum of compounds when acting on the endocannabinoid system. These compounds enter the endocannabinoid system and bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty-acids work in combination, acting on CB1 and CB2 receptors, to produce better effects.
Terpenes also have their own medicinal effects in the body and may be used to regulate the effect of other cannabinoids in the body. This is allowing retailers to create full-spectrum products that are focused on creating the best experience for the user.
CBD Living uses full-spectrum CBD, which contains trace amounts of other cannaboids, including CBC, CBN and CBG.