What the Hemp are Terpenes?

Citrus, fruity, peppery, pine, and herbal are some scents you might find when sniffing through CBD hemp flowers or oils. Those wonderful scents come from terpenes, which are the aromatic oils that are found in an abundance of plants and herbs. There are many factors that play into a plant’s development of terpenes, including weather, climate, fertilizers, soil type, age and maturation, and time of day. Terpenes play a significant role in plants. In some plants, they attract pollinators, while in other plants, they repel predators. Some terpenes have even been shown to aid the plant in recovery from injury.

How Terpenes Affect CBD
Terpenes also play a significant role in CBD products – some terpenes may help promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others may increase focus and acuity. However, terpenes are also used in a multitude of everyday products, not just CBD. In fact, manufacturers use isolated terpenes to create the scents and flavors of many products, such as perfume, body wash, and even food. Terpenes are everywhere, and their benefits and uses may surprise you. There are over 20,000 different terpenes that exist, and over 100 found within the cannabis plant alone. Some of the most common terpenes in hemp include myrcene, linalool, limonene, humulene, beta-caryophyllene, pinene, ocimene, and terpinolene.

Myrcene is a common terpene that can also be found in hops, thyme, lemongrass, and mangos. This terpene often produces a musky, earthy, and herbal aroma and is a powerful antioxidant. Myrcene has been used to promote relaxation and calming effects. Research has shown that other potential benefits of myrcene include treatment of insomnia, pain, and inflammation, but further studies must be done.

The linalool terpene is responsible for the rich scent found in the lavender plant. Linalool can also be found naturally in rosewood and sage and is characterized by a floral and sweet aroma with a hint of citrus. It is one of the most important compounds used for aromatherapy and can help with mood enhancement and relaxation. Some potential benefits of linalool include treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, and inflammation, but further studies must be done.

This terpene is most readily found in fruit rinds, mainly citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, and oranges. Limonene can also be found in rosemary and peppermint, giving these plants a strong citrus, sweet-tart, and fresh scent. The limonene terpene may provide mood-enhancing effects resulting in stress-relief and a feeling of elevated focus. Research has shown that additional benefits of limonene may include the treatment of anxiety, depression, inflammation, and pain, but further studies must be done.

This terpene is commonly found in the hops plant and can be found in cloves, ginger, ginseng, and basil. It produces an earthy, musky, and slightly spicy scent. Humulene has been demonstrated to provide anti-inflammatory benefits in some studies, but further research must be done.

Beta-caryophyllene, or β-Caryophyllene, is a complex terpene that can be found in herbs and spices, such as cloves, black pepper, and cinnamon, and is characterized by a peppery, spicy, woody aroma. The caryophyllene terpene has been used to promote stress relief and studies have shown that it may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Additional benefits of this terpene that have been identified in research studies may include the treatment of pain, anxiety, depression, and ulcers, but further studies must be done.

This terpene is the most common terpene found in nature. Pinene is found in two forms:
alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. Pinene produces a fresh, earthy, and woodsy scent and is most commonly found in pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill. Pinene promotes an energizing effect with a sense of calmness. Research has shown that pinene may provide additional benefits including enhanced alertness and memory retention, with potential uses as a treatment of asthma, pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

Ocimene is another common terpene found in many plants. Ocimene provides a sweet, woodsy, and herbal aroma, which is frequently used in perfume. This terpene can be found in fragrant herbs such as mint, parsley, basil, and orchids. This terpene supplies an uplifting and energizing effect. Additional benefits may include antioxidant action, and some studies have shown usefulness in cough suppression and decongestion, but further studies must be done.

This terpene is one of the least-abundant terpenes found in cannabis, but is nonetheless very important in providing a characteristic scent to the cannabis plant. It provides a floral, herbal, and piney scent. Outside of cannabis, this terpene is most commonly found in lilacs, nutmeg, cumin, apples, and tea tree oil. Terpinolene provides an uplifting effect and may also serve as an antioxidant, but further studies must be done.

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