Terpenes are one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant that may enhance your CBD experience. But you may be wondering, “What are cannabis terpenes?” “What do they do?” We brought you the basics on understanding what a terpene is and why it matters.
What’s a Terpene?
Terpenes are organic compounds found in all plants, not just cannabis. They provide plants with both aroma and flavor. The reason you probably never heard about them until you started learning about CBD is because the cannabis plant has a higher concentration of terpenes than most other plants.
Because terpenes are volatile and moderate temperatures can cause the terpene to quickly evaporate, extracting terpenes from a plant can be difficult. It’s not simple work to preserve the distinctive flavor profiles and bioactive attributes of each terpene, but cultivators work hard to perfect this process.
What do terpenes do?
Terpenes are what give a sweet scent to the flowers in your garden, the bark of a tree, or the peel on your orange. In fact, the scent we smell in most plants is created by the unique combination of terpenes inside each plant. However, creating a sweet scent isn’t all a terpene is good for.
Many terpenes, like myrcene or linalool, are bioactive. This means a terpene may have an effect on the body after it’s ingested. Myrcene is associated with therapeutic effects that may help you fall asleep, while linalool is commonly used for relaxation. These effects are determined by the concentration level of the terpene and the way it’s ingested.
Some believe that terpenes can even enhance the effect of CBD or THC inside your body through something called the “entourage effect”, the theory that all of the compounds in cannabis work together, and when ingested together, produce a better effect than when ingested alone.
To put it simply – Terpenes are small but mighty aromatic compounds that may provide powerful health benefits when taken with CBD.