As you walk through a pine forest, peel a fresh orange or stop to smell a flower, the enchanting fragrances entering your nasal passages are from natural compounds called terpenes. Pine trees, citrus, and lavender are just a few examples of common plants that are known for their terpenes, which can help arouse memories, calm your mind or even help your body relax.
But what exactly are terpenes, and what do they have to do with CBD?
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give certain plants and fruits their unique scents. Scientists believe that terpenes are essential to plants health in the following ways:
- protecting against predators – You might know someone who has a strong aversion to certain natural smells, like rosemary or ginger. This reaction may be the intended effect for some plants. Many plants use terpenes as a natural deterrent for unwanted foragers or herbivores.
- attracting pollinators – Terpenes lure pollinators to plants. Pollinators help plants turn flowers into fruits, continuing their genetic line.
You may be surprised at how many terpene-rich ingredients you have in your refrigerator and pantry. For example, sources of specific terpenes include:
- citrus fruit such as lemons and oranges.
- black pepper.
The above list covers just a handful of the common sources of terpenes. In fact, scientists have recorded at least 20,000 different terpenes in the natural world. Plants may use various combinations of terpenes to create a signature scent.
CBD oil retains the aromatic compound of the cannabis plant, much like a lavender essential oil retains the lavender plant’s signature aromatic terpenes.
Imagine each plant as its own perfume maker, combining different scent elements to create a unique aroma. Terpenes are the scent elements, and the different combinations create the unmistakable scents of garden basil or freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Many of these common terpene sources are used in essential oil.
But what are CBD terpenes?
What Are Terpenes in CBD?
To better understand terpenes in CBD, it may help to understand exactly what CBD is.
CBD, also called cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive chemical compound. Cannabidiol helps support the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate important functions of the body like sleep, mood, energy, appetite, stress management and more.
Cannabidiol is found in cannabis plants, which include hemp and marijuana.
Just like ginger roots or pine trees, cannabis plants have their own assortment of terpenes that give them their unique aroma. Cannabis contains more than 100 varieties of terpenes, which are present in CBD oil, CBD extract and all CBD products. CBD oil retains the aromatic compound of the cannabis plant, much like a lavender essential oil retains the lavender plant’s signature aromatic terpenes.
Do CBD Terpenes Make You Feel ‘High’?
Terpenes do not cause feelings of being “high” such as euphoria, increased appetite or drowsiness. However, certain terpenes have been known to promote health and wellness in various ways. Just take a stroll through the bath section of your local grocery store or pharmacy. You may see relaxing lavender bath bombs, focus-enhancing eucalyptus bath salts or a wake-up lemon face mask. These scents have been used in holistic medicine for years.
Scientists have theorized that CBD’s natural soothing effects may complement and help enhance the benefits of terpenes for the mind and body.
Specific Terpenes in CBD
Although tens of thousands of terpenes have been discovered, scientists have focused their research on just a fraction of those compounds. Of those, the most potent terpenes in CBD are:
- myrcene terpene – Thai food, beer, and herb-roasted Thanksgiving turkey — besides being delicious, what do these three foods have in common? Myrcene terpene. Common in lemongrass — a vital ingredient in Thai cuisine — hops and thyme, this terpene is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidant benefits can include support for healthy muscle recovery, improved skin health and overall well-being on a cellular level.
- limonene terpene – You may be able to guess a primary source of this terpene just in the name. Limonene is what gives oranges, limes and lemons that distinct citrusy scent.
- pinene terpene – A walk through an herb garden or pine forest is like walking through a cloud of pinene. This terpene is what makes plants like rosemary, basil and pine needles smell earthy yet bright. Plants rich in pinene have been thought to have therapeutic benefits for the mind. For example, the Japanese mental health practice of Shinrin-yoku, which means “forest bathing,” involves taking long walks in a forest, enjoying the greenery and the nourishing scent. One study even suggests that pinene allows more air into the lungs.
- linalool terpene – A bouquet of lavender flowers offers a heady dose of this floral terpene. Thanks to its linalool content, lavender is a keystone of aromatherapy practices. Lavender’s high linalool content is thought to promote relaxation of the body and mind by reducing stressed and anxious thoughts, promoting a sense of calm and encouraging a restful night’s sleep.
CBD and Terpenes: A Partnership For Enhanced Wellness
CBD’s unique composition of terpenes offers unique benefits. The soothing effects of cannabidiol and the innumerable benefits of terpenes can help support your path to enhanced wellness. But to get the most out of both cannabidiol and terpenes, you need the highest quality, hemp-sourced CBD. That’s where Zebra CBD comes in...
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