What are terpenes and why should I care?
Posted on June 3rd, 2020 to Education
With the release of our Terpene Infused CBD Isolate we thought it would be a fantastic time to explain what terpenes are and why they make us feel great! Simply put, terpenes are a major component of all plant essential oils. These oils have been used throughout human history in various forms, most recognizably in the practices of Aromatherapy.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of plant essential oils and extracts for inhalation, massage or baths. Read on to learn about some specific terpenes as well as their benefits or effects.
How aromatherapy led to terpene research
Research on aromatherapy and essential oils suggest that simply inhaling plant essential oils can have real benefits for our wellness including relief from pain, sleep disorders and anxiety. For instance lavender essential oil has been found to be helpful for relaxation and sleep. Scientists has identified that the dominant terpene in lavender as linalool, this compound is thought to be responsible for sedative and anxiolytic effects of lavender oil.
The benefits of linalool
Linalool is also a terpene that is found in cannabis/hemp. If you know the benefits of the individual terpenes, you can also choose your ideal profile based on the potential benefits you are trying to achieve. For example, I would choose a profile high in linalool if I wanted to feel more relaxed, less anxious or sleep better. We now understand that only the bio-chemical composition (cannabinoids, terpene profile etc.) of a plant determines its effects. For example a plant considered “sativa dominant”, can have high linalool content, and therefore result in a more sedating user experience contrary to popular belief around sativa strains.
The benefits of d-limonene
Another common terpene that is found in hemp/cannabis as well as citrus, is d-limonene. Limonene has a bright orange/lemon uplifting aroma. This terpene is stimulating, boosts mood, and elevates the spirit. We offer our 250mg CBD Key Lime Nectar to take advantage of the powerful effects and delicious flavor of organic cold-pressed key lime oil combined with pure CBD isolate.
Understanding the effects of different terpenes
Different strains of cannabis and hemp each have their own unique terpene profiles, like an aromatic “fingerprint”. Native hemp terpenes play a vital role in the entourage effect of full spectrum hemp products because different terpenes will cause different effects. Terpenes can also be added to CBD, CBG or any other cannabinoid isolate for a more robust, complex, and pleasant flavor/effect.
There are many ways to source terpenes for use in hemp products. The main three are: synthetic, plant-based, and native hemp. Of these three options, we have determined here at RopaNa that native hemp terpenes are superior to both plant-based and synthetic terpenes in terms of quality and effects. It is not possible to accurately recreate the complex aromatics nature has taken millennia to perfect in each unique strain of cannabis/hemp. We have personally tried countless plant-based terpene brands and have decided to only offer the absolute best native hemp terpenes to our customers. After years of searching, all terpenes used in our products are certified organic, Vermont hemp derived, and made only with CO2.
Each Terpene has its own unique properties which are shown very nicely by this graphic courtesy of Leafly.com (zoom in a bit to see the terpene names):
(This is an example of prominent terpenes found in cannabis/hemp, but not a complete list)
Another common terpene that is found in hemp/cannabis as well as citrus, is d-limonene. Limonene has a bright orange/lemon uplifting aroma. This terpene is stimulating, boosts mood, and elevates the spirit. We offer our 250mg. CBD Key Lime Nectar to take advantage of the powerful effects and delicious flavor of organic cold-pressed key lime oil combined with pure CBD isolate.
Follow your intuition when picking out the right terpene profile for you. The best way to choose a product is to actually take in the aroma with a deep inhale in-person before you buy. If you are shopping online, you can look for terpene profiles in the lab test results or sometimes ‘tasting notes’ are provided. Tasting notes are a fun and relatable way to describe the terpene profile of different hemp strains using common foods or objects we all know. It is the same idea as tasting notes seen listed on chocolate or coffee. We provide both ‘tasting notes’ and terpene profile lab tests for all of our Terpene Infused CBD Isolates.
Here is an example of a terpene profile from our Hawaiian Haze Strain:
The tasting notes for the Hawaiian Haze strain are: “Pineapple, Cherry & Passionfruit”
Terpenes are changing the way we think about the effects of specific cannabis strains
All of this information about terpenes has shifted the debate over classifying cannabis and hemp as either indica or sativa. There has been recent discussion among cannabis and hemp professionals that the difference in subjective experiences of cannabis/hemp users is likely due to the terpene profiles of the plant. It was previously thought that sativa strains produce uplifting/energizing effects and indica strains more sedative and heavy. We are always learning and adapting our knowledge as new discoveries are made. It is an exciting time to be exploring the mysteries of cannabis and hemp, we are grateful to be a part of this industry and look forward to what is ahead!
Blessings and Health,