It’s hard to talk about cannabinoids – CBD, CBC, CBG, CBN, or many others – without talking about terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic chemicals produced that give flowers and plants their unique aroma. Think about the sweet, floral scent of lavender. Or the dark, bitter almost-smoky fragrance of pine. Each plant has a set of unique compounds emitted that produce those scents. The hemp plant alone contains hundreds of different terpenes and in various quantities! In nature, terpenes play a vital role in plants’ survival. They can lure pollinators and repel dangerous predators. These fragrant compounds also work in conjunction with a plant’s immune system to help them recover from damage or to fight away infectious germs. (Medical News Today). 

Great for plants, but what about people?

Oranges, peppers, bay leaves, lavender, chamomile, and basil – these are some of the most well-known terpenes found in fruits, vegetables, and spices. Ancient cultures used terpenes by infusing aromatic oils, creating creams, and other therapies to promote health and wellness. Today, it is also common to isolate natural terpenes to produce essential oils and create pleasant flavors and scents for products we use every day, from perfumes and body products to cleaners, and other therapy products. 

How do terpenes interact with the body?

Besides producing vibrant smells, how do our bodies interact with terpenes? Although research is ongoing, many scientists believe that terpenes and flavonoids may be beneficial to body and brain health. One reason is that these natural compounds have the same ability as cannabinoids to bind to receptors and influence neurotransmitters in the brain. Many believe that by inhaling or ingesting various concentrations of terpenes, we can activate certain receptors for specific effects (Healthline). 

Putting it all together – What is full-spectrum CBD?

So, you may be wondering – can cannabinoids and terpenes work together? The answer is a resounding, yes! Research is showing that certain flavonoids and terpenes may provide neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects and that these compounds can even improve CBD’s therapeutic potential (Healthline). 

Understanding the connection between terpenes and CBD is essential. For starters, it helps to explore what happens to cannabinoids through the process of extraction – turning the whole hemp plant into the actual CBD product. It’s produced in the form of CBD oil, topicals, tinctures, sprays, or more, and it falls in three primary categories. 

  • Full-spectrum CBD means that during processing most of the terpenes and cannabinoids available in the plant stay intact
  • Isolate CBD is just what it sounds like! CBD is isolated from the rest of the compounds in the cannabis plant
  • Broad-spectrum CBD refers to the middle ground option, where CBD starts as a full-spectrum, and it’s refined further to remove all THC compounds

What is the entourage effect?

In a nutshell, researchers have found that the therapeutic effects of hemp plants are most potent when using the whole plant. That’s because the beneficial compounds can work together synergistically! And, because full-spectrum CBD products contain the full profile of therapeutic compounds, the benefits multiply even further. Scientists call this the ‘entourage effect’ and theorize that cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce the best possible effects for the body.

This unique connection between terpenes and CBD is good news for people that are turning to natural products to improve health. Many scientists and individuals report using the right blends of CBD and terpenes can have tremendous benefits, including: 

  • Relieving pain
  • Lowering anxiety and stress
  • Promoting relaxation
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Increasing energy
  • Promoting sleep
  • Epilepsy
  • Fighting fungal infections

What terpenes do the most good?

Scientists continue to discover how various concentrations of terpenes interact with the body and influence cannabinoid functions. Let’s take a look at some of the most studied terpenes to investigate their aromas and understand how they can help our bodies be at their best. 

Terpene Fragrance  Found in  Benefits
Beta-caryophyllene  Peppery, ‘woodsy’ with spicy undertones Clove oil, basil, hops, cinnamon, oregano, and rosemary Treating anxiety and depression, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
Humulene  Hoppy or earthy aroma Hops, coriander, cloves, and basil Anti-inflammatory properties
Linalool Floral and spicy Lavender, coriander, laurel, mint, birch trees, and rosewood Calming effects – stress relieving, anti-inflammatory, and anti-depressant qualities
Limonene Lemons, citrusy  Oranges, limes lemons, juniper, rosemary, peppermint, pine Anti-bacterial
Myrcene Earthy, herbal, or musky Mangos, hops, thyme, bay leaves, citrus fruits Mellowing terapene, may improve sleep
Phellandrene Pepperminty, woody, mild citrus  Eucalyptus  Antibacterial
Pinene Fresh scent, pine, wood Parsley, sage, dill, basis, rosemary, some citrus fruits Anti-inflammatory, pain relieving 

The bottom line – What’s better, terpenes or CBD?

Today we understand that terpenes and cannabinoids are separate parts of the same hemp plant, but they work within the body in unique ways! It’s a fascinating discovery that using terpenes and cannabinoids together – in the right concentrations – can dramatically multiply the potential health benefits! Whether you need to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve your mood, lower anxiety, or you’d simply like to explore other super-charged effects, don’t overlook the synergistic power of CBD and terpenes. 

At CBD Health Collection, we genuinely believe that terpenes are a vital part of the success of CBD. That’s why we include custom terpene blends to our CBD products, depending on the intended use. Learn more here.