Including Terpenes in CBD Products Enhances the Entourage Effect
Posted on December 18th, 2020
Are you thinking about trying a CBD product for the first time? If so, then you might be confused by the different terms you stumble upon when doing your research. One word that almost always comes up is “terpenes.” But what are terpenes in CBD and why should you care about them?
For starters, it’s critical to educate yourself about the many components of CBD and how they affect the body. CBD products are getting more popular each day, which means more people consider trying them out. However, it’s unwise to use a new product just to follow the trend. This guide aims to clarify any confusion you may have regarding terpenes in CBD and their role in improving your overall health.
What Are Terpenes?
You may have come across the term terpenes only after researching CBD, but it pays to know that terpenes exist in nearly all plants. In fact, they’re responsible for giving plants their flavor and fragrance. At the same time, terpenes offer several health benefits, such as relieving pain and anxiety.
However, terpenes can also be toxic at high concentrations. Some plants have an unusually high concentration of terpenes, which help them in repelling herbivores and pathogens.
At the moment, scientists have found approximately 20,000 known terpenes. What’s interesting is that the cannabis plant produces 200 of these. This is part of why people use CBD when living with many health disorders. An important thing about terpenes is that no matter where you find them, they cannot get you “high” by themselves.
Exploring the Health Benefits of Terpenes
Numerous studies have been conducted to evaluate the potential health benefits of terpenes. In Dr. Russo’s study, he found that “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid preparation” helped treat anxiety, depression, and addiction. It also showed a positive impact on cognitive function.
Myrcene, the most common terpene created by cannabis and hemp, has also been found to boost the potency of cannabinoids in strengthening the blood-brain barrier. Caryophyllene and beta-caryophyllene compounds may benefit people with cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Alpha and Beta-Pinene, meanwhile, are known for their potential antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Clearly, terpenes hold a key to understanding the potential health benefits of CBD. This proves helpful for anyone looking to use new CBD products as they can accurately choose what product to buy depending on their existing health concerns. Below is a more comprehensive overview of the different terpenes in CBD.
Terpenes in CBD
If you suffer from stress and anxiety, then linalool is the terpene to look for. This terpene is commonly found in lavender and birch bark. Many users love it for its lavender scent. The good news is that linalool can be found in more than 200 types of plants, which means you shouldn’t have any problems finding it.
Linalool produces a sedative effect, which may prove useful in alleviating stress and anxiety. There’s also a study showing that linalool achieves this sedative effect by reducing sympathetic nerve activity while simultaneously boosting parasympathetic nerve activity.
While linalool is commonly recommended for people suffering from stress and anxiety, researchers have also found that it may help with Alzheimer’s disease. They’ve also found it to have neuroprotective, antioxidant, and anticholinergic properties. However, we need more research to establish these benefits conclusively.
Alpha humulene, or A-humulene, falls under the monocyclic sesquiterpene category. In simple terms, it’s a critical component of essential oils in hop plants. Cannabis and hemp also possess alpha humulene. In fact, their extracted oils can contain as much as 40 percent A-humulene. Early studies suggest that A-humulene has anti-inflammatory compounds, making it beneficial for treating allergies.
One study by ScienceDirect in 2007 involved lab rats being provided with two different sesquiterpenes: a-humulene and trans-caryophyllene. The group of lab rats that were provided with a-humulene showed a significant reduction in swelling. Still, we need more concrete evidence to prove that alpha humulene is an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
Beta-caryophyllene is the second most abundant terpene in cannabis. It acts as a cannabinoid since it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, more particularly the CB2 receptor. While very common in cannabis and hemp, this terpene is also present in common plants, such as cloves, rosemary, copaiba, and fungi.
Beta-Caryophyllene carries a distinct, spicy flavor, similar to that of black pepper. Out of all its potential health benefits, its ability to target inflammation, pain, osteoporosis, and atherosclerosis gets the most attention.
One study shows that Beta-Caryophyllene can offer pain relief. They injected lab rats with caryophyllene. They seemed to be in less pain than another group of mice in the same environment that were not injected.
Do Terpenes in CBD Enhance Effects?
By now, you should have a clear understanding of terpenes and their different potential health benefits. But it’s also critical to understand their role in working together with cannabinoids. Scientists refer to this cohesive function of terpenes and cannabinoids as the Entourage Effect
According to studies, cannabinoids heighten their effectiveness with the presence of terpenes. This effect is most commonly studied in CBD and THC. As noted earlier, terpenes play a role in altering the blood-brain barrier. This allows more cannabinoids to get through that barrier and reach the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Russo and McPartland explained the Entourage Effect in Greater than the Sum of Their Parts. They said that terpenes boost the effects of cannabinoids as they increase cerebral blood flow, destroy respiratory pathogens, improve cortical activity, and offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
They went on to discuss how terpenes change the pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids by manipulating the blood-brain barrier. This is the simplest explanation of why you product that include terpenes are better than ones that don’t.
How Do Terpenes in CBD Work?
In a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 2009, researchers found that the pharmacological or psychological aspect can hold the key to understanding the effects of terpenes and how exactly they work.
The pharmacological aspect showed that terpenes could provide their effects because of their direct interaction with the central nervous system and endocrine system. On the other hand, the psychological aspect revealed that terpenes function because their odors exert their effects through conscious perception, belief or expectations, and emotional learning.
Multiple studies have sought to understand terpenes and their relationship with the body. According to the pharmacological aspect, terpenes synergize with cannabinoids by remodeling G-proteins. They also increase bioavailability of cannabinoids, enhance norepinephrine activity, alter the pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids, increase dopamine activity, and stimulate GABA production.
Perhaps more interestingly, studies have sought to establish the link between the psychological process and the health benefits of terpenes. More precisely, researchers have found that these effects can be obtained through the sense of smell.
In one study conducted in 2003 involving 15 participants between 18 and 34 years old, scientists found that odors could alter the mood states of subjects. In turn, these can help with controlling pain intensity, mood swings, and anxiety. The study concluded that attention direction didn’t impact mood and anxiety, but it could change perceived pain intensity.
To provide an example, a person with a negative experience with CBD products might find the odor unpleasant. This could lead to anxiety as the person associates it with his past negative experience. On the other hand, a person who enjoys cannabis might find the odors pleasing, thus lessening his perceived pain intensity.
The researchers concluded that both the pharmacological and psychological processes greatly impacted the effectiveness of terpenes and how they influence the body. Plenty of evidence suggests that terpenes directly interact with the body. However, some studies also link the effects of terpenes to its smell and how it alters a person’s mood or state of mind.
Products Including Terpenes in CBD
Now that you’ve educated yourself about terpenes and why they matter, it’s time to learn how to choose CBD products that contain terpenes. Remember that those with only a small percentage of naturally derived terpenes may not be able to produce your desired effects. For this reason, you need to choose Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum CBD products. In general, CBD products with this label contain terpenes as well as other plant compounds, including flavonoids with additional medicinal properties.
However, you should know that not all Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum CBD products are the same. Some may only contain a small number of terpenes. Remember that the process of extracting CBD has a tremendous impact on keeping terpenes intact.
If you want to be sure that the CBD product you choose contains terpenes, then you should take time to look for third-party lab reports. Check the product’s terpene profile test and watch out for “NT,” which means Not Tested, as well as “ND,” which means Non-Detectable levels.
Tanasi proudly provides full spectrum hemp extracts that contain all of the terpenes and cannabinoids the hemp plant has to offer.
Summing Up Terpenes in CBD
Terpenes have gained popularity along with CBD, but nearly all plants contain them. Their main function is to provide plants with their distinctive smell, helping them repel bugs and insects. Terpenes also offer several health benefits, including stress relief, anti-inflammatory and mood enhancing properties.
Cannabis and hemp can contain 200 terpenes. However, the concentration of terpenes might decrease while extracting CBD as they are extremely sensitive. It’s crucial to check lab reports and analyze the terpene profile of the CBD product you plan on buying. This will ensure that you’re getting something with naturally-derived terpenes, thus increasing the chances of gaining the health benefits you expect. Once again, you don’t need to look any further than Tanasi’s line of full spectrum hemp products if you want every possible hemp terpene to be included.