What Are Terpenes? Plus, How They Supercharge CBD

Palm leaves in water


Zara Kenyon

Scratch the surface of the CBD world, and the word ‘terpenes’ will come up. In fact, talk plants in general, and you’re bound to hear about these aromatic ‘do-gooders’. The question is, quite simply, what are they? And how do they turbo boost your go-to CBD oil or daily capsule?

Here’s everything you need to know about terpenes, and their relationship with CBD...

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What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in an array of plants and herbs, giving lavender, fir trees, oranges (and so many more) their distinctive scent. They’re often used in food, beauty products and perfumes to enhance their allure, but their role in CBD extends far beyond a pleasing scent.

What Are Terpenes in CBD?

We told you that terpenes are found in many plants, so it’s no surprise that more than 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis plants. These botanicals are the very source of CBD, but that doesn’t mean every CBD product you try will boast a host of terpenes. If you want to reap their benefits, you’ll need to check a brand’s ingredients list.

As for the benefits of terpenes in CBD; not only do they hold therapeutic properties of their own, but they’re also said to supercharge CBD in something called ‘the entourage effect’.

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What is the Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect is believed to happen when CBD combines with other components of a cannabis plant, reportedly producing a heightened effect versus when CBD is isolated (meaning extracted alone). A terpene is one of these components, and it brings with it a number of properties, creating a synergy with CBD. Think of it as a ‘dream team’ in plant form.

What Terpenes Are in CBD?

There are too many different types of terpenes to count, and they vary between different plants and CBD brands. While one might hold plenty of linalool, another may be abundant in myrcene.

Let’s break down the nine most common terpenes found in CBD, and their individual benefits…

1. Linalool

Lavender’s calming reputation comes down to Linalool; a terpene present in the flower (and our topicals), that’s famed for its stress relieving, unwinding properties.

2. Limonene

You’ll find a hearty dose of limonene in our CBD Muscle Balm. It’s believed to be ultra-relaxing and anti-inflammatory, with a citrusy quality.

3. Caryophyllene

Carophyllene is thought to provide anti-inflammatory effects. Studies indicate it’s also effective in the treatment of insomnia.

4. Humulene

Such culinary delights as ginger, ginseng and sage feature Humulene; a terpene that’s antifungal (perfect for topicals), as well as an effective sedative.

5. Pinene

A superior soother, Pinene tempers pain, inflammation and anxiety. It’s an all-rounder, often discovered in conifer trees – as well as cannabis, of course.

6. Myrcene

Also in lemongrass, basil and mangoes, Myrcene is a sedative. It’s one of the most commonly-found terpenes in commercial cannabis.

7. Bisabolol

Often spotted on ingredient lists for sensitive skincare products, Bisabolol is considered supremely comforting in the face of irritation.

8. Carene

Another anti-inflammatory, Carene is also an analgesic, described as having remarkable bone-healing qualities.

9. Terpinene

When we tell you that Terpinene is one of the active ingredients in tea tree oil, you can imagine the kind of antioxidant, antifungal benefits it offers in CBD.

What is the Endocannabinoid system?

So, What is CBG?

No, it’s not a typo. CBG is one of the latest trends in the wellness world, and we can’t talk about terpenes without mentioning this clever compound. While CBD stands for cannabidiol, CBG is short for cannabigerol; a similarly non-toxic cannabinoid that also interacts with your endocannabinoid system. In fact, it’s believed to work more directly with certain receptors than CBD – namely the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your brain.

So, how does it relate to terpenes? In much the same way that terpenes team up with CBD, they also form a kind of benefit-boosted bond with CBG. CBG can be difficult to produce because, as cannabis plants mature, it converts into other cannabinoids. That’s why it must be extracted early – and often with specialised equipment – to capture all the goodness. As a broad-spectrum CBD brand, we capture CBG in our products.

Looking for more health and wellness advice? Read about the relationship between CBD and anxiety or discover how fitness lovers use CBD oil.

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