ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR NOSE: HOW TERPENES INFLUENCE THE FLAVOUR AND EFFECT OF THC AND CBD

Terpenes are the secret scent designers of the hemp cosmos. The smell of exotic perfumes, reminiscent of fresh lemons, a hint of earthy pine forest and a sweet breeze of tropical mangoes, is not necessarily a sign that you have landed in a perfumery. Perhaps you are simply in the world of terpenes, the invisible artists that give CBD and cannabis plants their unmistakable scents and flavours. These little chemical wonders are the real stars behind the culinary highlights and aromatic flights of fancy that cannabis has to offer. Each strain has its very own olfactory signature and nobody and it’s time to get to know them better, these terpenes. What are they actually? And are they really necessary in hemp plants? We can say one thing in advance: It`s a yes.

 

WHAT ARE TERPENES AND WHAT ARE THEIR FUNCTIONS?

 

Terpenes are a natural component of many plants. They are aromatic hydrocarbon compounds that are found in the flowers and leaves, the roots, the resin and the fruits. They are responsible for the scent of a plant. Around 8,000 terpenes are known to date. They all share a similar basic structure. However, they differ in their appearance and above all in their aroma. Why do plants emit terpenes? Primarily as a defence against pests. However, it can also be a stress reaction on the part of the plant. Or they want to attract insects for pollination.

 

In addition to plants, terpenes can also be found in some animals. Insects use the scents to communicate with each other, for example. What is useful in the plant and animal world can also be beneficial in our everyday lives. As secondary plant substances, terpenes are increasingly being used in essential oils and toothpaste.

 

WHAT TERPENES OF THE HEMP PLANT ARE THERE?

As terpenes are secondary plant substances, they are therefore contained in cannabis plants and also in industrial hemp. Research has so far been able to identify over 150 terpenes. Most of them are found in the resin. But the flowers also contain the odorants. The terpene profile can vary depending on the hemp plant. The flavour and aroma of cannabis and CBD vary accordingly.

 

WHICH TERPENES ARE CONTAINED IN CANNABIS?

 

Here is an overview of the primary terpenes:

Beta-caryophyllene: The flavour is described as peppery and spicy. It is therefore not surprising that the terpene not only plays a major role in CBD. It is also found in black pepper, basil, rosemary, cloves, caraway and cinnamon.

Humulene: Similar to beta-caryophyllene, humulene has a spicy to earthy flavour. In addition to the hemp plant, the terpene can be found in basil, oregano and rosemary, black caraway, lavender and cinnamon.

Limonene: How could it be otherwise with this name? The terpene has a fruity flavour with a citrus note. Accordingly, it is found in citrus fruits such as lemon, orange and lime, but is also present in aniseed, coriander, celery, juniper and peppermint.

Linalool: This terpene is ideal for those who like floral scents. The sweet aroma is reminiscent of lavender or lily of the valley. Linalool is also found in roses, basil, nutmeg, cinnamon and coriander.

Mycrene: This terpene is found in large quantities in the hemp plant. Its flavour ranges from earthy to clove-like to a fine citrus note. Its occurrence in nature is just as broad. Mycrene can be found in mango, peppermint, sage and hops, among others.

Pinene: As the name of the terpene suggests, it is an earthy to spicy flavour with a fine pine note. The terpenes, alpha-pinene and beta-pinene are widespread in nature. In addition to conifers, they are also found in orange peel, dill, rosemary, parsley and basil.

Terpinolene: The terpene is known for its fruity, fresh flavour. Not only the hemp plant benefits from it. Vines, juniper, eucalyptus, celery and marjoram also benefit.

 

WHAT DO TERPENES DO?

 

Terpenes provide the unmistakable flavour of the hemp plant and therefore also of CBD. In addition to odour and taste, however, they can have other influences – and much more profound ones at that. What are they?

 

Curbing appetite: The terpene humelene in particular is said to be able to promote weight loss. Accordingly, it reduces the feeling of hunger and thus curbs your appetite.

Calming effect: If you feel stressed and energised, a little rest can do no harm. The terpenes myrcene, terpinolene and linalool have a relaxing and anxiolytic effect. Beta-caryophyllene also promotes peaceful sleep.

Inhibit inflammation: In general, CBD has an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effect. The terpenes pinene and beta-carophyllene are primarily responsible for this.

Euphoric effect: Do you finally need to put an end to the sagging? In this case, the terpene limonene can help. It has a mood-enhancing, euphoric effect and helps to reduce stress. So you can quickly find your inner balance again.

Increase concentration: limonene, a real all-rounder. The terpene has a positive influence on the ability to concentrate. Pinene also has a concentration-enhancing effect.

Boost the immune system: The terpenes linalool and terpinolene provide an immune boost. The latter in particular is said to have a positive effect on blood circulation.

 

HOW ARE FLAVOUR AND EFFECT RELATED?

 

Have you ever heard of full-spectrum and isolates? As soon as you deal with CBD, for example, you can’t avoid these two terms. What do they mean? It`s simple as that: While isolates are isolated pure CBD substances, full-spectrum extracts contain flavonoids and terpenes in addition to CBD. It is therefore a plant mixture with a number of advantages. It is assumed that full-spectrum extracts have a higher biological activity than pure isolates. The terpenes complement each other with the CBD and achieve a synergistic effect. In other words, they positively support the CBD effect.

 

The same applies to THC. Here too, terpenes are the aromatic compounds that not only determine the smell and flavour of a cannabis strain, but also interact synergistically with THC and other cannabinoids to modulate their effect. For example, certain terpenes such as myrcene or limonene can enhance calming or stimulating effects.

 

In technical jargon, this interaction is known as the entourage effect. Terpenes therefore not only determine the flavour, but also influence the effect. The flavour of cannabis and CBD flowers therefore provides direct indications of their effect profiles.

 

ARE SECONDARY PLANT SUBSTANCES HARMFUL TO HEALTH?

 

Humans consume terpenes daily through plant-based foods. They are therefore by no means harmful to health. However, they are not essential either.

 

The situation is quite different for cats. Cats have difficulty metabolising terpenes in their bodies. The chemical compounds in lavender, oregano, peppermint and cinnamon in particular pose a risk to the animal. Why is CBD oil still available for animals such as cats and dogs? The products usually do not contain terpenes.

 

SHORTCUT FAQ:

WHAT ARE TERPENES CONTAINED IN?

Terpenes are mainly found in plants. The fragrances serve as a natural defence. But insects also carry them and use them for communication.

 

WHICH TERPENES ARE FOUND IN CBD OIL?

To date, over 150 terpenes of the hemp plant are known. The primary terpenes include beta-caryophyllene, humulene, limonene, linalool, mycrene, pinene and terpinolene. These can be found in CBD oil in varying doses.

 

WHAT IS THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT?

When THC or CBD and terpenes form a symbiosis, this is known as the entourage effect. The CBD benefits from the presence of the fragrances by in

 

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