What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are organic compounds that give off stimulating scents. They can be found in most plants and their promise of a delightful smell and a pleasant taste makes them very useful in a variety of industries and products. This, however, is just one of the multiple benefits that come from terpenes. They are very beneficial in aromatherapy and can be a health inspiring constituent in many essential oils. Although they are often associated with being a differentiating factor between different cannabis strains and effects – they are found widespread in nature and do not inherently have any psychoactive effect.
Benefits of Terpenes
Let’s discuss the benefits of terpenes and how they can be beneficial without inducing a “high”. Terpenes are organically found throughout plants in nature, including in the cannabis plant. The different terpenes found in a particular plant (or strain of cannabis) can determine how that plant will make you feel when consuming it. This does not mean terpenes possess any psychoactive elements themselves, but they can naturally affect how you feel. As an example, additional terpenes can be added to dried cannabis to increase the terpene content and boost your experience while consuming it. Similarly, liquid terpenes can be used on their own and can also affect how you feel, by adding a few drops to your oil diffuser before use. Terpenes are actually the main constituent of essential oils, that typically provide the health benefits we associate with aromatherapy – essentially, they are purified essential oils of the plant.
Terpenes alone do not induce a “high” and are safe for consumption at any time. They generally contain different types of compounds, ranging in concentration. Every bit of terpene holds a benefit and the fact that some have a higher concentration of one constituent than the other, does not indicate that it will make you feel “high”.
The advantages of infusing terpenes into cannabis are endless and you can get terpenes for sale from multiple sources online these days. Limonene, alpha-pinene, linalool, myrcene, beta-caryophyllene are examples of popular terpenes derived from plants and are commonly listed for sale.
Terpenes are not psychoactive, unlike THC, which is why they don’t make you feel “high”. They are already present in the cannabis plant, but different terpenes can be added to enhance your overall cannabis experience, depending on the smell, taste, and effects you desire. Some studies have shown research around the health benefits that terpenes may provide, they are numerous, and findings continue to expand with scientific research. By using terpenes in aromatherapy, you can benefit from some of the health benefits the cannabis plant provides, without actually consuming it or getting high.
Terpenes are better viewed from the perspective of potential effects and health advantages, similar to essential oils, instead of a substance that makes you feel “high”. Below is a list of the primary terpenes that are associated with health benefits from the cannabis plant.
What are the Different Terpenes?
Pinene is a very popular terpene, it can be found in pine needles, orange peel, various herbs (basil, dill, sage, rosemary, etc.) and has a piney, herbaceous scent. Some users have found it to contain effective anti-inflammatory properties. It can also improve memory retention, alertness and can help to boost energy.
Myrcene has a citrus and earthy aroma and can be found in bay leaves, hops, verbena, and mangoes, among other things. Users have experienced that this terpene can offer comfort, relaxation, and sedation. Some new scientific research has suggested this terpene can even be helpful in inhibiting cancerous cells!
Limonene has a sweet citrus scent, it is found in the rind of many citrus fruits and can help to boost focus, provide an energizing, uplifting feeling, as well as relieve stress. Users have also experienced anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Some new scientific research has even suggested that due to the anti-inflammatory properties, it can help with ulcers.
3. LinaloolLinalool can be found in many places such as flowers (lavender), spices (coriander and cinnamon), herbs (mint), rosewood and birch trees, it gives off a pleasurable floral and spicy scent. Users have experienced that linalool is very effective in delivering calming, sedative effects as well as boosting their mood. Some users may also experience anti-inflammatory effects and even a boosted immune system.
There are as many as 20,000 terpenes already discovered in nature and the research is ongoing to uncover the full benefits of using terpenes. So far, some studies have shown terpenes to be extremely beneficial to various systems in the body, by providing pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. As the knowledge about terpenes expands, continued scientific research can help us understand exactly why they have beneficial impacts, but do not make us feel “high”.