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By Ashley Heeley

Terpene or not terpene?

Terpene or not terpene?

Ever wondered what gives lavender its sweet, floral, calming aroma? Or why mint smells so fresh and invigorating? The answer is terpenes. These bioactive compounds give plants and herbs their distinctive smells and have been used for centuries as perfume, medicine and seasoning. Terpenes do not only determine a plant’s scent, they play a critical role in its survival by repelling insects, attracting pollinators and helping to recover from damage. Essentially, terpenes form part of a plant's immune system. 

Terpenes in cannabis oil

There are over 400 different compounds found in hemp. One of these is cannabidiol (CBD) which is well known for its numerous health benefits, but hemp’s terpenes, until recently, have often been overlooked. Due to its recognizable fragrance, it’s not surprising that cannabis contains high concentrations of terpenes. Different strains are in fact characterised by their predominant terpenoids. This makes sense if you consider the citrusy smell of Lemon Haze and compare it to that of Blue Cheese. However, many of the extraction methods used in creating CBD oils can damage or remove the terpenes that are naturally present.

Known as the entourage effect, the medicinal impact of a whole plant is greater than its isolated components. Much like the way when cannabis buds are smoked the CBD reduces the psychoactive potentness of THC - the two work together to balance out each other - similarly, it has been shown that terpenes play a role in enhancing the health benefits of CBD. Research suggests full (or broad) spectrum CBD products have greater therapeutic benefits when compared to their isolated counterparts. 

Hippie Turtle Herbal Co’s “RAW” CBD oils are made using cold-press extraction methods, resulting in no damage to the terpenes naturally present in cannabis. Likewise, their broad-spectrum “ZERO” oils are infused with different combinations of the following terpenes: 

  • Myrcene
  • The most common terpene to be found in cannabis. Also found in mangoes and cardamon, myrcene is earthy and has relaxing qualities, making it good for sleep aid and muscle pain relief. 

  • Citral
  • Citral, unsurprisingly, is found in citrus fruits and smells strongly of lemon. Citral has been used for many years in aromatherapy for stress and anxiety; antifungal treatments and anti-inflammatory pain relief. 

  • Limonene
  • Also found in citrus fruits and known for its fresh, zesty scent, limonene can provide stress relief without inducing drowsiness. It is known to help with both anxiety and depression. Limonene (and citral) can be used to add a pleasant boost to the flavour of CBD oil.

  • Linalool 
  • A regular in many holistic oil blends, linalool is naturally found in lavender. It is characterised by a delicate floral aroma and known for its pain-relieving and sedative effects, hence pillow sprays and night-time lotions are often fragranced with lavender.

  • Beta carotene 
  • The terpenoid beta carotene is an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A which is necessary for the maintenance of healthy skin, vision and age-related health decline. 

    In sum 

    Terpenes are aromatic compounds naturally present in plants. They have been used for centuries holistically in aromatherapy and herbal medicines, as well as commercially for cosmetics, cleaning products, food and drink. 

    The entourage effect, a phenomenon whereby several different compounds of the same plant achieve greater health benefits when they work together, refers to the fact that when CBD is combined with terpenes it can enhance its positive health impacts. 

    Both Hippie Turtle Herbal Co’s “RAW and “ZERO” CBD oils contain terpenes naturally present in cannabis that work together to enrich the benefits of CBD.