What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a set of non-psychoactive aromatic compounds that are produced naturally within a very wide array of plants and are responsible for the colour and smell of the flowers, spices, herbs and fruits we enjoy (hopefully) every day. Although Cannabis has a bad reputation, Terpenes can be found in some very ordinary items.
Terpenes are used during aromatherapy and can be found in some surprising places: you may already have them growing in your home or garden, sitting in your kitchen, hiding in your soap, aftershave/perfume or in your essential oil collection. Terpenes are the reason why Cannabis has such a distinctive smell, and have the ability to alter the effects of Cannabis and give identifiable characteristics to different strains.
Terpenes can also have an impact on the way the body uses cannabinoids (part of what is called the Entourage Effect), and actually have their own array of well-being benefits: there is lots of research going into the possible benefits of Terpenes which is exciting, to say the least! Trust us when we say there is a palpable difference between a whole plant CBD oil or paste with Terpenes, and one without it.
There are over 100 different Terpenes, but the ones that are most commonly found in nature (and Cannabis) are Myrcene, Caryophyllene, Limonene, Humulene, Ocimene, Caryophyllene and Terpinolene. So, what are terpenes, where can they be found and why are they relevant to CBD oils?
Just from reading the name you may be able to guess where Pinene gets its name? That’s right, from Pines. You may also find Pinene in rosemary, basil, dill, some citrus fruit peels & pine nuts. It’s aroma is famously woody, deep, rich and earthy. Grab a handful of Pines or Rosemary and rub the pines between your hands; that is the aromas you are looking for.
Myrcene is a terpene that is most commonly associated with the Indica strain of Cannabis, but it can be found in Bay leaves, Hops, Thyme, Mangos, Lemongrass and Cannabis. Its is identified by its musky, earthy and herbal aroma that is akin to that of Cardimans and Cinnamon.
Now, this one is for those who like the tang of citrus. As the name suggests, Limonene can be found in Lemon, Lime & Grapefruit Rinds (most citrus skins, actually), Peppermint, Rosemary, Juniper and Cannabis. It has a tangy citrusy aroma that is very identifiable. If you scrape a citrus fruit skin with a fork or take in the scents of a freshly peeled orange, then this is the aroma of Limonene. It is partly why adding Citrus rind to cooking or a Cocktail is so popular!
Although Linalool is considered as a minor Terepene in Hemp and Cannabis, it is certainly the one you are guaranteed to be one of your all-time favourite scents; Lavander. Linalool is found in over 200 plants including, Mint, Nettles, Sage, Oregano & Thyme, Citrus Rind, Cinnamon, Rosewood and Cannabis. The aroma is distinctly floral in character- get yourself some Lavander oil to put in the bath. Glorious!
Humulene is another minor Terepene that has a distinct aroma that IPA lovers will know well. It has a hoppy, woody and deeply earthy. This Terepene can be found in Corriander, Basil, Northern American, Asian and European Hop varieties, Gensing, Ginger, Cloves and Cannabis. Imagine a nice cold IPA on a summers day; Citrus bitterness and a floral punch.
Ocimene is most famous for its sweet, herbal and often woody aroma that is very similar to that of Myrcene. This Terepene can be found in a whole host of pungent plants such as Hops, Mangoes, Bergamot (a type of Citrus fruit commonly found in Northern Africa and the Gulf region), Basil, Lavender, Orchids, Pepper, Mint, Kumquats and Cannabis.
Caryophyllene is a very interesting compound as it is the only Terpene to act like a Cannabinoid and interact with our Endocannabinoid System. It’s aroma is peppery, spicey and woody- imagine a handful of cloves. Caryophyllene is found in Cloves (surprisingly), Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Hopes Oregano, Rosemary and Cannabis Sativa (Which includes Hemp).
Last, but certainly not least, Terpinolene is the really the key to making a Sativa CBD Oil different to an Indica Oil; Sativa CBD oils (like our Dina & Diablo) contain much higher levels of Terpinolene. The Terpene’s aroma is floral, piney and herbal, and it can be found in Apple Skins, Cardigans, Tea Tree Oil, Cumin, Lilacs and Cannabis.
Where Can I find Terpenes UK?
Other than in the natural spices, pines, fruits and whatnot that we have already mentioned in this blog post, you can actually purchase Terpene profiles from specific Cannabis strains online. Usually, they are found in tiny bottles and should be taken with caution- you will find that they are rather expensive.