Terpenes play a huge role in the effects of CBD and THC through the entourage effect, and there are many ways we can integrate terpenes’ benefits into our lives.
Have you ever had a massage with scented oils, walked through a dense pine forest, or taken a bubble bath with aromatic soap? Did any of those experiences affect your mood by making you feel more relaxed, calm, or happy? If so, then you may have been reveling in the effects of aromatherapy, and that therapy was brought to you in part by terpenes.
what are terpenes?
Terpenes are the compounds that make certain plants smell so incredible. Plants – the ancient geniuses that they are – developed terpenes to help attract pollinators and fight diseases. When we consume plants’ terpenes, our bodies benefit from their wide scope of therapeutic properties. Depending on the terpene, they may be anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, pain blocking, antiviral, antifungal, and the list goes on.
In recent years, most cannabis research has focused on CBD and THC, but as scientists dig deeper, they’re uncovering just how important cannabis terpenes are as well. It turns out that CBD, THC, and terpenes all work together to make each other stronger and more efficient. This synergy is known as the “entourage effect” and it’s why full-spectrum CBD products that contain a wide variety of plant components—including the terpenes—are more effective than isolates. (As the name implies, isolates contain just individual, isolated compounds.) Think of it like your friend group—together you can solve more problems and kick more ass than any of you could alone.
If you’ve ever visited a cannabis dispensary, then you’ve probably already noticed that smelling the buds is a big part of the decision-making process. Like wafting a fine wine, you’re given the opportunity to smell the different cultivars and choose the one you’re most drawn to. That entire process is basically a dance with terpenes.
Beyond finding a cultivar with a nice smell and taste, the scents you’re most attracted to may offer clues about which terpenes your body needs most. For example, if you’re smitten with a cultivar that smells like a pine tree, then you’re likely drawn to the terpene named pinene, which is thought to help relieve pain, inflammation, and anxiety. On the other hand, if you love the fruity, citrusy scent of a cultivar like ‘Wedding Cake’ then you’re picking up on the terpene named limonene that’s associated with an elevated mood and potential anti-depressant effects. The most popular terpene found throughout all cannabis strains is named myrcene, and it’s proven to relieve pain and calm the nerves.
Our Calm & Clarity Inhalers uses the powerful benefits of Terpenes to relax, chill, and restore.
why should you care?
Terpenes directly affect your high, and because of the “entourage effect” their presence helps make your CBD and THC more potent. They also affect the flavor and smell of your buds and the health benefits that each strain lends. As we collectively share information about which strains are highest in which terpenes, doctors, cannabis producers, and consumers can more confidently work with the strains that best suit their needs.
When it comes to skincare and cannabis aromatherapy, we already know that essential oils are loaded with terpenes. Our Soulshine Candle and Cannabis Inhalers are both created with lab-tested cannabis essential oils, and they’re two of our favorite ways to enjoy the benefits of cannabis terpenes without getting high.
Find out more about Terpenes via our Terpenes Page. We list a few that are common and their benefits.