Is CBD With Terpenes Superior to CBD Without Them?
Posted on April 21st, 2021
The expression CBD with terpenes basically references terpenes that are common in hemp plants. Full-spectrum CBD oils include a range of natural phyto compounds of hemp, which includes many terpenes present in specific genetic strains.
The Chemical Components Of Cannabis
Cannabinoids are compounds present in the Cannabis Sativa plant. There are three main cannabinoid types. Phytocannabinoids occur naturally in plants, endocannabinoids are naturally present in humans and animals, and synthetic cannabinoids.
The flowering tops and leaves of a cannabis plant produce over 70 active ingredients which are classified as phytocannabinoids. The two main and most active herbal compounds include CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC plays an important role when it comes to the majority of the “pharmacological actions” of cannabis. For instance, it has psychoactive effects, which means it affects the mental processes. CBD is a less psychoactive component in cannabis plants.
Cannabinoids are mainly present in an acidic form in cannabis plants and convert to CBD and THC through a process called decarboxylation. There are also other compounds present in cannabis such as terpenes, flavonoids, and trichomes. These compounds produce broad spectrums of actions such as anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-oxidant, anti-neoplastic, and more.
Important Compounds in Cannabis
Cannabis plants are complex and unique, with literally hundreds of different strains and cultivars across the world. These plants are also dramatically diverse from one strain to the next. A study in 2012 found that there are over 400 distinctive chemical compounds in medical marijuana and cannabis. These include cannabinoids like CBD with terpenes, lipids, flavonoids, trichomes, and plant materials like chlorophyll.
If the cannabinoids are the potatoes and meat of cannabis plants, then the terpenes could be the “special sauce”. The terpene profiles hold the responsibility for the flavor and aroma of every plant, including cannabis.
Similar to terpenes, flavonoids also play a vital role when it comes to the taste and odor of a plant. However, flavonoids also provide color pigmentation along with protecting the plant from common elements such as sun, wind, and rain. Science has already identified many cannabis-specific flavonoids. These are known as cannaflavins and are said to play a role in the entourage effect.
The trichomes are a source of cannabinoids and resin in cannabis plants. They look like tiny spheres that coat the buds, branches, and leaves of the cannabis plant. This gives these parts a white and frosty appearance. Cannabis trichomes are the resin glands that allow for the production of different cannabis concentrates including hash, wax, cannabis oil, wax, etc. There are also many different categories or classes of trichomes and each has its own shape, size, and biochemical function.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is present in highest concentrations in hemp plants. Marijuana also contains CBD, but in lower concentrations. Hemp is specifically a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. These cannabinoids come from the Glandular Trichomes (the resin glands of the plant), which are mainly present in female plants.
The Effects Of CBD With Terpenes
CBD oil and similar products are beneficial when it comes to treating several ailments. The endocannabinoid system works with CBD to help the body maintain homeostasis. The result of this balance is the potential prevention of some problematic ailments. CBD is also non-toxic and non-addictive. Some of the more common uses of CBD products include:
Depression and anxiety
Withdrawal or addiction symptoms
Repair and recovery
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Endocannabinoids along with their receptors exist throughout the human body. For example, immune cells, glands, the brain, connective tissues, and organs all contain cannabinoid receptors. The ECS will perform a different task in every tissue, but the main goal remains the same which is to reach homeostasis. Homeostasis involves maintaining an “internal” environment that is stable despite the fluctuations that occur from the “external” environment. Cannabinoids promote and encourage homeostasis on all levels of biological life.
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are also present at intersections of the different systems in the body. This allows for coordination and communication between different types of cells. For example, at an injury site, cannabinoids will decrease the sensitizers and activators from injured tissues. This calms the immune cells, and stabilizes nerve cells to stop excessive firing, which prevents the release of different inflammatory substances. This results in three actions on three cell types with the main goal of minimizing the damage and pain caused by an injury.
Hemp vs Marijuana
Even though marijuana and hemp belong to the same genus of species of plants, there are a few ways that they differ. In the U.S., marijuana is a Cannabis Sativa plant that contains more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is the main psychoactive compound present in cannabis. The more THC that a person consumes, the more changes they will notice in how they feel and their cognition. In essence, THC will produce a “high”.
Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain 0.3% or less THC. Even plants with 0.4% THC qualify as marijuana plants, even though 0.4%, won’t usually have any noticeable psychoactive effects.
Extracting CBD is a process that involves isolating chemical compounds from plant materials and then distilling these compounds in their highest concentrations. When it comes to the most potent results and large-scale manufacturing processes, there are currently 2 primary methods to extract CBD efficiently. Every method presents distinctive benefits when it comes to creating highly potent, high-quality CBD products.
CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Extraction Method
The CO2 method utilizes gas in both a normal state and a supercritical-liquid form. With the use of a closed-loop extractor (pressurized chamber), the CO2 gas undergoes compression until it turns into a liquid. This liquid then passes over the plant material where it quickly strips away the cannabinoids such as CBD with terpenes. The solution then returns to pressures and temperatures where the CO2 changes back into a gas. The gas evaporates which leaves behind CBD from the plant materials.
Solvent Extraction Method
This technique is very similar to using carbon dioxide but is much faster and cheaper. Butane is one of the solvents that is common for cannabis extraction, while propane and ethanol are also popular. This technique also involves a closed-loop system where the liquid ethanol, propane, or butane is washed over the plant material, releasing cannabinoids, terpenes, and CBD.
CBD oil is currently available in 3 types. Here is a description and overview of each type:
– Full Spectrum CBD Oil
This form of CBD contains all the naturally occurring compounds present in cannabis plants, which include the flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids.
– Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
This is a form of CBD oil containing the entire range of compounds in cannabis minus THC.
– CBD Isolate Oil
These oils only contain CBD without any of the other compounds.
Every chemovar (the botanically correct terminology used for cannabis strains) has different terpene profiles that influence its overall effects. Here is a list of the most common terpenes present in CBD oil:
Most of the terpenes are considered bioactive. This means that they will have an impact or effect on the body once consumed. The terpenes also bind to receptors in the brain once inside the body. For this reason, they produce several physiological responses, which include releasing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. They are also common in aromatherapy due to their positive effects on stress levels and mood.
CBD With Terpenes
CBD products that contain terpenes are said to assist with creating the “entourage effect”. This is a theory that suggests that substances in cannabis such as THC, CBD, and terpenes have a synergistic effect that makes the product more effective. For example, terpenes and cannabinoids might work well together to offer pain relief, lower inflammation, and alleviate different types of mental health problems.
CBD with Terpenes is Better
CBD with terpenes increases the ability of the body to effectively absorb cannabinoids, which enhances their effectiveness. The terpene-CBD combination also helps the body to absorb certain chemicals through what is known as the “blood-brain barrier”, and assists with overcoming bacterial-defense mechanisms. These are mechanisms that can block CBD products from effectively working. This is why it makes sense that CBD with terpenes is much more effective as opposed to CBD alone. There is evidence to support the effectiveness of terpenes with cannabinoids. If you want to experience this for yourself, seek out full spectrum CBD products. But before you do, ask your doctor if there’s any medication you take that could interact negatively with the CBD.