By now I’m sure you are familiar with what terpenes are, and possibly how they interact with other compounds in cannabis to create something called the entourage effect. The Cannabinoid + Terpenoid synergy.
What do these powerful organic compounds actually do in the body?
Terpenes, like cannabinoids, interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules that help regulate sleep, appetite, mood, motor control, immune function, reproduction, pleasure, pain, memory, and even temperature. Humans produce their own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids (endo meaning ‘within’) with help from fatty acids, particularly Omega-3’s.
Not only do terpenes help cannabinoids latch onto the brains CB1 receptors by enhancing the penetration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), they also help cannabinoids like CBD to bind to other receptors throughout our body. Different terpenes will affect us in different ways. While some might boost energy, focus and creativity others will help relaxation, anxiety and sleep.
This interaction is what interests the team at Synergy Extracts® the most, and it’s why manufacturers who have integrated terpenes into their single-compound products have an edge among those who still use “CBD-only” extracts.
We won’t go into detail on every terpene we use in our product formulations but let’s take a look at some of the most common terpenes that we use in our line of products. What they do.What they smell like and some of the effects you may feel from the CBD products which are dominant in these terpenes.
Limonene (The Orange terpene)
Natural Limonene on it’s own in 99% isolated form is easily one of the most pleasant smelling and familiar terpenes you will get your nose into. It has a super sweet orange aroma and flavour (rather than sharp and bitter like orange peel) . It is an uplifting & invigorating terpene, great for day-time use when a boost of energy is needed. Also known for it’s anti-anxiety effects, limonene is one of the most common terpenes found in nature, up there with alpha-pinene.
The benefits of inhaling or ingesting this uplifting terpene can include elevated mood & energy, stress relief, and increased mental focus. Limonene also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which is why it’s found in so many household cleaners.
Myrcene (The mango terpene)
Number 2 on our list of terpenes which taste & smell incredible in isolated form is the tropical fruit smelling and sedating terpene “Myrcene”
Myrcene is the most commonly found terpene in indica (sleepy) cannabis, sometimes composing up to 50 percent of a cannabis plant’s terpene volume. It produces a tropical or citrus aroma with an earthy, spicy undertone. (It’s also found in huge quantities in mangos.)
Myrcene is often referred to as the “couch-lock” terpene, for its slight sedative effects. This anti-oxidant, terpene is also good for brain function, stress, and insomnia.
There’s a bit of an urban legend you may have already heard about, but it holds some merit: Next time you plan to consume cannabis, eat a mango about 45 minutes ahead of time. Mangos are incredibly high in myrcene, which can help cannabinoid molecules reach specialised receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, enhancing the therapeutic effects considerably.
Alpha-pinene (The Pine tree terpene)
Pinene is the most commonly found terpene in the world, and is responsible for the smell you might associate with pine needles or rosemary. It actually has two isomers, alpha- and beta-pinene. Alpha-pinene is more common in cannabis. (Beta-pinene is more reminiscent of dill, basil, and hops.)
A-pinene promotes brain function and improved respiration. This terpene is unrivalled for focus & creativity.
Linalool (The Lavender terpene)
Commonly found in flowers and spices including lavender and coriander. Isolated Linalool has an extremely loud floral scent that is often found in aromatherapy products formulated for stress relief.
Linalool’s biggest draw is relief from stress, anxiety, and depression. Linalool can also serve as a sedative, and supports brain function.
Beta-Caryophyllene (The Black Pepper terpene)
Beta-Caryophyllene has a sweet biscuit/ spicy aroma. Which reminds many of xmas spices. It is found in smaller %’s in many green, leafy vegetables, herbs, and spices. Caryophylene contributes to black pepper’s spiciness.
A group of German and Swiss scientists, led by Andreas Zimmer, PhD and Ildiko Racz, PhD of the University of Bonn, discovered that Beta-caryophyllene is actually a cannabinoid.
And not just any cannabinoid, but one that acts specifically on the body’s CB2 cannabinoid pathways. On the other hand, the pathways responsible for the marijuana high, CB1 receptors, aren’t affected by caryophyllene.
Caryopyllene is so effective at treating anxiety we include it in all of our own custom terpene blends in varying quantities. It offers a lovely undertone of spicy/earthiness which compliments most, if not all of our terpene profiles.