It has long been known that terpenes, which are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the hemp plant, have health benefits. However, the study of terpenes and their therapeutic effects trace back longer than the recent focus on the hemp or marijuana plant.
Terpenes are derived from various plants, fruits, or vegetables and their wellness benefits have been well documented. In fact, it’s the Terpenes that produce the fragrance and taste of different plants and fruits.
FUN FACT: Terpenes originally developed in plants as a way to adapt and ward off predators.
For instance, Myrcene, which is found in hemp, is also found in the mango fruit and is credited with having a sedative effect as well as being a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Limonene, which is also found in citrus fruits, may benefit your metabolism and reduce stress. Pinene is also found in Pine needles and rosemary and may help clear your sinuses. Linalool in the lavender plant.
It’s been interesting to compare the fragrance of last year’s harvest and this year’s harvest. Limonene was definitely the dominant terpene profile last year, as our fields smelled like lemons, and this year Pinene (known as the fragrance of Pine Trees) was the distinctive scent.
What Exactly Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are naturally occurring organic compounds that are present in every plant species that is on the earth. From the tiny blades of grass on your lawn to the enormous giant sequoias that grow upwards of 200 feet tall, each botanical life form harbors its own array of terpenes that ward off pests, vitalize health, and bring strength to each and every cell of the plant.
The most prominent characteristic of terpenes is the scent that they exude. Each plant species has its own distinctive scent, and that scent puts them apart from other species. For example, if you sniff a rose flower, then sniff the flower of a lotus you will immediately be able to tell the difference.
It turns out that the scents of terpenes can actually produce a physiological effect on humans in various ways that can cause calmness, relaxation, and relief from discomfort. Since each plant has its own different terpenes, understanding them can seem a little complicated. However, if you take a moment to stop and smell the flowers, you may see things from a better perspective.
Terpenes and Hemp
As the popularity of CBD continues to skyrocket above many other favored commodities on the market, people are starting to ask questions. What exactly is CBD? Why is it so special? What do CBD and terpenes have to do with each other? These are all great questions, but in order to answer them, it is important to understand what the hemp plant has to do with the whole topic.
Hemp is a unique plant that is related to a long line of cannabinoid-producing plants in the cannabis family. The special thing about hemp is that throughout the centuries it has been crossbred in order to produce the highest amount of CBD while producing a low amount of THC. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids that are part of the hemp plant, but THC is known for its psychoactive traits, and CBD is known for its wellness properties. In short, CBD is a cannabinoid in the hemp plant that people all around the world love to use. Cannabinoids that are in the hemp plant are naturally occurring compounds that make up the essence of the plant.
The Purpose of Cannabinoids
There are other plants that produce cannabinoids other than cannabis. However, no other plant has as much of a concentration of cannabinoids as plants in the cannabis family. Although humans and other animals all have what is known as the endocannabinoid system that creates its own cannabinoid-like cells that help the body stay balanced, cannabinoids do not seem to have evolved specifically for humans. It appears that the cannabinoids that are present in a cannabis plant work together with the terpenes in order to ward off pests and provide antioxidant properties to fight off damaging free radicals that are produced by the sun.
Scientific studies also suggest that the cannabinoid THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, developed in ancient cannabis plants to keep insects and other life forms from eating them. Apparently, THC has a psychoactive effect on bugs and pests too. Imagine if something the size of an aphid consumed its own bodyweight in some good, strong, THC oil. It might not ever come back again. Or, on the other hand, it might come back the next day with a bunch of its friends. In any event, cannabinoids seem to be a crucial part of the survival mechanism that is embedded in plants that come from the cannabis genus.
Terpenes and Cannabinoids
Terpenes and cannabinoids work together in the hemp plant in order to maintain health, strength, and vitality in the plant as it grows and matures. As the hemp plant ages, cannabinoids become stronger and more prevalent in the plant. You may have noticed that although there are literally millions of different strains of the cannabis plant, there is always that underlying scent that makes it obvious that it is what it is. The scent is the presence of cannabis terpenes. Regardless of the strain, you can tell cannabis by its scent.
Terpenes and cannabinoids work together in a number of different ways. However, the entourage effect is what attracts most of the attention when it comes to this topic. It turns out that when the whole essence of the hemp plant is used by a human or an animal, all of the components that are present in the plant work together to enhance the effect of each other on the user. In simple terms, CBD produces more potential benefits with it being accompanied by THC along with the other cannabinoids and terpenes that are present in the extract. In essence, each compound is a musician on a different instrument in a symphony. When they all play together in harmony, the result is beautiful music. If each instrument plays on its own, it is merely one instrument without backup.
The full-spectrum extract is an extract that includes all of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that are present in the hemp plant. Full-spectrum simply means that the full spectrum of the hemp plant is there and nothing has been left out. There are also broad-spectrum extracts that include most of the cannabinoids and terpenes but leave out THC. There is also a CBD isolate extract, which means that the cannabinoid CBD has been extracted from the plant and isolated from the rest of the available compounds.
Full-spectrum extracts are the least processed, and most natural types of cannabis extract. When other components are removed, there have to be more steps involved in the process. The end result of a full-spectrum extract is a solution that is chock full of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavinoids.
Essential Hemp Oils
From peppermint to lavender there is a good chance that you have heard of essential oils. Much like the popular essential oils that are available in most wellness stores today, hemp extracts are the essential oil of hemp. The whole essence of the hemp plant is extracted from the flowers, or buds, and pulled into a nice little oil that has a heavenly scent. The truth is that when you buy full-spectrum CBD products you get the whole hemp plant in your purchase. This includes CBD, THC, and all of the other goodies that are in there.
When the hemp plant comes to the age of harvest the harvesters will cut the plant from the ground and hang it upside down in order to ensure the health and the quality of the extracts that they will pull from the plant.
At High Falls Hemp NY each and every plant that is grown from the earth as a seed gets the utmost care, love, and attention as it matures and becomes the essence of every extract that occurs in the facility.
Since there are literally billions of plant species around the world, it is safe to assume that there is still a lot that needs to be discovered about terpenes and the mysteries that surround them. However, there is a lot of evidence out there that supports the theory behind the therapeutic benefit of terpenes.
Although terpenes do have an effect on humans and animals, they do not directly make changes or cause the body to change in the same way that cannabinoids do. Although one terpene, beta-caryophyllene, does interact with the human endocannabinoid system, the rest of the terpenes that we know of today cause calming and relaxation in the same fashion that different colors and shapes can.
This means that, generally, the aromatic compounds of the terpenes can trigger feelings of comfort, joy, euphoria, and familiarity. These types of feelings and emotions have a direct effect on the human body. For instance, when a person takes a deep, slow breath and relaxes, the blood pressure lowers, and the heart rate slows. If a person is enjoying the fragrance of a lavender flower during this breath, the slowing heart rate is not a direct result of the lavender, but the relaxation is.
Common Terpenes Found in Full-Spectrum Hemp Extracts:
- Myrcene: Is believed to have a calming effect and help with relaxation.
- Beta-Caryophyllene: is believed to help with stress.
- Limonene: May elevate mood and provide stress relief.
- Ocimene: May have anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties.
- Alpha and Beta-Pinene: It is believed to help ease discomfort and can counteract some of the negative effects of a THC high.
- Linalool: May promote relaxation and restfulness.
- Humulene: Is believed to have some anti-inflammatory properties.
Terpenes are Everywhere
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, each and every plant has terpenes. People from ancient times have been using various terpenes for different reasons for a very long time. From the strong, robust smell and taste of black pepper to the crisp, sweet tingle of the limonene family these amazing compounds are part of our daily lives. Terpenes can repel insects and keep plants safe, but they can also attract bees to help plants reproduce and flourish the way they are supposed to. Terpenes are a part of nature, and it is incredible that everything that walks, crawls, creeps, and soars can benefit from them in different ways. Terpenes are just another way that a daily regimen of a full-spectrum CBD extract can add health and wellness to your life.