Have you ever wondered why lavender bath salts help your muscles relax, and all-natural lemon cleaners kill germs so well? Why does adding chamomile to skincare products make your pores look smaller?
In a word: terpenes.
Every plant, flower, and herb on the planet contains terpenes, the essential oils that protect them from predators and give them intoxicating aromas and tastes. But beyond flavor and smell, humans discovered that terpenes also offer a bounty of human health benefits, from fighting bacteria to reducing swelling to helping us sleep.
Until recently, no one paid much attention to terpenes. Instead, the all-stars of the cannabis plant thought to give it any medicinal value were its cannabinoids, particularly THC and CBD. But we now know that terpenes play a critical role in what gives cannabis its therapeutic properties. Just like adding lemon essential oils to cleaning products enhances their effectiveness, combining terpenes with cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBN improves hemp's healing potential.
This concept is known as the "entourage effect." But all you need to know is that terpenes blended with full-spectrum CBD oils deliver enhanced flavors, scents, and wellness benefits.
Let's look at a few popular terpenes found in hemp plants and what they bring to your CBD oil experience.
Key Hemp Terpenes:
Beta-caryophyllene, or b-caryophyllene, caryophyllene, or just BCP for short, is a common terpene found abundantly in hemp and cannabis. The FDA has also approved it for use as a food additive. You'll recognize beta-caryophyllene's distinctive peppery flavor as the reason why black pepper tastes spicy. You'll taste it in spices and plants such as cloves, hops, cinnamon, and rosemary.
This terpene binds to your body's CB2 receptors, the parts of your endocannabinoid system that regulate inflammation and pain responses. As a result, beta-caryophyllene is most well-known for its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to help control pain. Attaching to CB2 receptors also gives it the potential to protect you from diseases, most notably Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, in which brain inflammation plays a significant role.
If you like hoppy beers, you can thank alpha-humulene. This terpene is a significant part of hops and hemp plants, and its earthy, woody notes give both beer and cannabis their distinct flavor and smell. You'll also taste alpha-humulene's sharp bite in plants like cloves, pepper, ginger, and ginseng.
Research studies on alpha-humulene plants revealed anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial effects, especially against B. fragilis, which causes inflammatory bowel disease, and Staphylococcus aureus, or staph–a nasty germ that causes harmful infections.
Most terpenes are oil-based, but this one, pronounced "gweye-all," is a liquid. You'll find it in the hard, oily timber of the evergreen guaiacum plant that grows in the Caribbean and in cypress pines, which explains its piney scent with undertones of wood and rose reminiscent of a coniferous forest.
The guaiacum plant has a history of therapeutic benefits and has been used to treat arthritis, gout, and sore throat. In addition, a recent study backed up the terpene's medical record, showing it to be effective against inflammation.
When you sniff chamomile tea, the inviting floral fragrance with a sweet hint of spice and citrus comes from alpha-bisabolol. Scientists first isolated this terpene in the 1950s and discovered it helps the skin better absorb other molecules. Unsurprisingly, this terpene found a home immediately in the cosmetics industry, which praises alpha-bisabolol as a youth source, adding it to everything from makeup to shaving cream.
Besides helping your pores, alpha-bisabolol has several therapeutic properties as an antioxidant with the ability to treat kidney disease. It's also known as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce cytokine production and alleviate skin irritations.
Best Terpenes for sleep
Limonene is one of the most common terpenes, and humans have been extracting it from the peels of oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits for centuries. It's a popular additive to give sodas, desserts, and candies a lemony flavor, and you'll also find it in cosmetics, cleaning products, and natural insect repellents.
Beyond its fresh aroma and citrus flavor, limonene is a natural treatment for various health issues, including bronchitis, heartburn, gallstones, and pain. Moreover, limonene is known as a mood booster. Studies have shown this energizing terpene helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Linalool is such a common terpene that the average person ingests about 2 grams every year without realizing it. Yet, it's the key component that gives lavender plants their calming scent and occurs naturally in more than 200 flowers and spices, including jasmine, thyme, and rosewood.
One of the world's oldest sedatives, linalool is known for its relaxing effects, and today you can find it in a variety of personal care items, from candles to face cream. A study on the pharmacological effects of linalool showed promise for helping with pain relief and sleep and for anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antibacterial uses.
Terpenes in Medical Mike's Full-Spectrum CBD, CBG, and CBN Oils
Each terpene brings unique characteristics to the table, from a woody aroma or citrus flavor to pain relief and calming effects. But when you combine terpenes with therapeutic cannabinoids in hemp and CBD products, they work together to enhance the effects, flavor, and fragrance. Let's look at how the entourage effect works in Medical Mike's selection of full-spectrum CBD, CBG, and CBN oils.
Key Terpenes: Beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene
Key Cannabinoid: CBD
Alpha-humulene is an isomer of beta-caryophyllene, which means they have the same molecular formula, but a different chemical structure. It also means they have similar medicinal properties. Their interaction can boost the anti-inflammatory effects that make this potent CBD oil a practical choice for addressing joint pain and stiffness. The combination of anti-inflammatory CBD with alpha-humulene and beta-caryophyllene can also provide an energizing buzz that's ideal for treating headaches and pain.
Key Terpenes: Beta-caryophyllene, guaiol, and alpha-bisabolol
Key Cannabinoid: CBG
CBG is different from CBD because it affects both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system, impacting the central nervous and immune systems. When CBG binds to these receptors, it's believed to strengthen a neurotransmitter called anandamide, which plays a role in enhancing motivation, alleviating pain, and regulating appetite and sleep. The combination of beta-caryophyllene, guaiol, and alpha-bisabolol's topical therapeutic effects in this full-spectrum CBG oil amps up their anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties. The result is uplifting yet soothing.
Key Terpenes: Beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene
Key Cannabinoids: CBN and CBD
CBN is considered the sleepiest of the cannabis compounds, and it works with CBD to provide an overall relaxing feeling of mind and body tranquility. The beta-caryophyllene terpene in this combination CBN:CBD oil can assist with relaxation, working with the cannabinoids to boost the calming effect, with the potential to enhance sleep and combat insomnia. The combo of alpha-humulene and beta-caryophyllene in this full spectrum formula can increase their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties for a long-lasting, relaxing remedy that can help ease pain and stress.
The entourage effect says that the sum of the cannabis plant is greater than its parts. That means, when you buy a full-spectrum hemp product such as Medical Mike's CBD oils, you get to enjoy the total package of terpenes and cannabinoids in the form of lab-verified organic hemp extracts. You can think of terpenes and cannabinoids as the accessories to an outfit. While accessories mix and match in numerous ways, the perfect combination can make your look truly stand out. In the case of full-spectrum CBD oils, the right blend of healing compounds can deliver the special effects you seek.