When you buy CBD oil, chances are you are getting more than just the oil itself. There is a good chance that the oil contains other ingredients, terpenes being among them. You could say that terpenes are the foundation of the retail CBD industry.
What exactly are terpenes? More importantly, why do manufacturers add them to CBD oil? This post will not get into all the details of what terpenes are. A previously written blog post here on our site offers that detailed information. However, a basic explanation is in order.
Terpenes are volatile compounds found in all sorts of plant life. They are that which give plants and trees their unique aromas. There are literally hundreds of terpenes found in nature. Yet only a small number of them are found in high enough volumes to make harvesting them worthwhile.
Cannabinoids in Terpenes
Cannabis plants contain both cannabinoids and terpenes. There are over a hundred cannabinoids in a typical plant, along with a dozen or so terpenes. A broad-spectrum CBD oil contains all the natural chemicals extracted from plant material with the exception of THC. That particular cannabinoid is removed.
Other CBD products not sold as broad- or full-spectrum CBD oil have more specific profiles. For example, a manufacturer might make a product consisting mainly of CBD and two of the most popular terpenes in our industry: limonene and myrcene. It is these terpene profiles that differentiate CBD products.
Terpene Health Benefits
As to why CBD manufacturers add terpenes, they do so for a variety of reasons. Different terpene profiles can give CBD products unique flavors and aromas. But the more important reason is to take advantage of certain health benefits.
Myrcene is a terpene found in cannabis, lemongrass, hops, peppercorn, and a variety of other plants. It is known to have a relaxing effect on most people. Myrcene is also believed to possess antibacterial and pain relief properties.
There are health benefits derived from all sorts of terpenes. Limonene, pinene, linalool; they all have something to offer. By the way, terpenes' health benefits are not limited just to CBD oil. They are the foundation of aromatherapy as well.
Terpenes and the Entourage Effect
Most major terpenes offer health benefits all by themselves. But there is an added benefit of including them in CBD products. That benefit is realized by something known as the 'entourage effect'. What is this effect?
In the simplest possible terms, the entourage effect describes the combined benefits of all the active ingredients in a medication or health supplement. In the CBD space, the entourage effect dictates that the combined effects of a particular cannabinoid and terpene profile are more beneficial than that which each ingredient offers by itself.
This suggests that certain terpenes can enhance certain aspects of CBD as a health and wellness supplement. If you use a CBD tincture to help you relax so that you can get a good night's sleep, one infused with myrcene could be even better.
A Better CBD Oil
Adding terpenes to CBD oil is all about creating a better product. CBD itself is a powerful cannabinoid that can do a lot for health and well-being. But combine CBD with certain terpenes and you up the game considerably. That is exactly the point.
If you are new to CBD, we would encourage you to learn as much as you can about terpenes. They are the primary factor that differentiates one CBD product from another. The more you know about terpenes and their health benefits, the better you will be at making good product choices.