Terpenes are an aromatic compound found in plants and even in some animals. They are what creates the strong smell emanating from your favorite flowers and foods. However, terpenes are also found in both the Cannabis and Hemp plant. In this guide, we help you better understand what terpenes are along with what therapeutic value they are said to have.
Benefits of Terpenes
Terpenes serve many purposes and they act in combination as there are many different kinds. Some attract pollinators and others protect plants from grazing animals and infectious germs Other terpenes can have a strongly therapeutic effect on the human body.
The science has long been in that aromatherapy can potentially serve in some aspects of therapeutic value in human health. Certain scents are said to be calming, energizing, and can even act as an aphrodisiac.
Are Terpenes Bad for You?
Terpenes are an all-natural chemical compound found in plants. Like any other plant or aspect of a plant, they can be dangerous when taken in high concentrations. Even broccoli has cyanide-like effects when eaten in large quantities! Especially when isolated and inhaled in large doses, terpenes can cause damage and irritation to your lungs. It can go on to cause greater damage once it hits your bloodstream in high concentrations.
Keep in mind that some plants can be toxic, so some terpenes can also be toxic. However, everyone tends to react differently and at varying levels to different types of chemicals such as THC, CBD, and to certain plants. It’s always a good idea to consult a doctor or naturopath if you have a negative reaction to any terpenes including cannabis terpenes.
Will Terpenes Get You High?
The terpenes in Cannabis/Hemp are not able to get you high. They serve more for an aromatic flavor to THC, and no amount or type of terpene will get you high. Also, it’s not able to replicate the euphoric feeling many people get from smoking, eating, or consuming THC on its own. Although you can get a natural high from terpenes; this means that you can feel more relaxed, at peace, and calm upon participating in aromatherapy. However, it’s not the same as THC or CBD.
Most Common Terpenes
Many terpenes exist among the millions of varieties of plant and animal life. The study of these aromatic compounds is relatively new, but scientists have only been able to provide research on a handful. The most common terpenes and what we know about them are summed up here.
The terpene most commonly recognized by its scent are the limon in limonene and gives reference to its existence in citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges. Another name for this terpene is d-limonene, and you can find this terpene in more Indica dominant strains that have a citrus flavor.
Pinene comes in two forms: a-pinene and b-pinene. Pinene is another that sounds like what it smells like – pine. You’ll find it in pine needles, rosemary, and basil, among other plants. The most commonly discussed therapy found with pinene is “forest bathing” as practiced in Japanese culture.
This terpene is most commonly found in lavender and is known for its rich scent. Also, this scent can produce a floral, spicy, and a wood type of aroma. You’ll find this scent in Indica heavy strains because of the relaxation it helps promote.
Another popular terpenes are Myrcene which is normally found in hops, lemongrass, and thyme. However, hemp flowers can also contain this terpene. Its aroma tends to be more Earthy yet fruity and clove scents. It’s important to note that myrcene is present in most types of Hemp products that have added terpenes.
The humulene has an earthy, wood, and spicy type of aroma. Also, this is what gives the distinct flavor in beer made with hops. You will find a combination of myrcene, pinene, and humulene in most strains of hemp.
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How Terpenes Are Used in Hemp
Whenever you purchase THC products such as cartridges, tinctures, or any type of vapable you’re getting some type of terpenes. These terpenes help expand the flavor profile of the product otherwise you’ll get raw-earthy flavors. The type of terpenes in the product depends on the flavor of the strain and the experience it’s trying to produce.
For Indica strains there tends to be a more relaxing type of terpenes, but with Sativa strains, it tends to focus more on the uplifting aspects. For example – a strain like Grand Daddy Purp will use grape flavor terpenes along with other terpenes that will complement its effects. This type of experience is known as an Entourage Effect, which means the THC will interact with a terpene in order to produce a unique experience.
Naturally Occurring Terpenes
As stated before, products such as vapables and edibles are extracts made from THC extracts. However, naturally occurring terpenes can be found in flowers. This is because flower is the raw form of THC or CBD where terpenes can be produced naturally. Also, this is the biggest advantage that flowers have over vape products.
When THC vape products are turned into distillate the THC is extracted from the raw flower. This means that terpenes have to be re-added in order to create an enjoyable experience. However, with raw flowers there is no need to reintroduce terpenes since it already has them naturally. While Delta 8 THC is added to hemp flowers in order to create Delta 8 flower, the terpenes are already naturally there.
The benefits of terpenes in THC products are that you are getting a great flavor to accompany the high. All terpenes must be taken in moderation in order to avoid any negative side effects. That’s why you never want to take any THC that appears to be tampered with or altered. Although terpenes on their own won’t get you high, when certain blends of terpenes are accompanied with THC or CBD it tends to produce what’s called the Entourage Effect.