What Are Terpenes & Their Roles In CBD Oils

Terpenes In CBD Oil

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What Are Terpenes?

A regular question many newcomers to the CBD scene ask is what makes ‘full spectrum CBD’ so bloody fantastic?

We make no qualms in saying that based on personal experience and second-hand anecdotes, these tend to be considerably more ‘effective’.

Quite why is still a topic for the boffins to research, but the indications are that it’s thanks to full spectrum varients being rich in all the cannabinoids that may otherwise be filtered out when producing CBD.

These include masses of terpenes (and no they aren’t a fancy kind of tadpole).

Just like any other plant or fruit, they add flavour and variety. Ever chopped an onion and cried a little? That’s actually a terpene at work!

In better news, it’s also what makes berries taste so good. They interact with our senses to just make things feel better or more interesting. Given that proper CBD extracts are non-psychoactive, why should that make a difference?

Hemp Is Packed Full Of Terpenes

Top quality organic hemp contains over 200 different variants of terpenes. Quite what they all actually do is still a matter of conjecture, but for our purposes, they are thought to help with making CBD extracts more effective.

At the moment, less than a third are being actively researched, but there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that these terpenes make CBD much more effective.

Why is this the case? Everyone has their own endocannabinoid system. Sometimes it’s great, and other times not so much. Just like any other aspect of our body, it’s about finding a suitable balance – something much easier to do with proper supplementation.

Terpenes are thought to be essential when it comes to helping CBD transit between the dozens of ‘receptors’ across the body. Think of them like a water carrier, an essential yet often overlooked part of any team.

Most scientific research has been focussed on CB1 receptors – those thought to have indigenous pain relieving properties. Terpenes are active there, but even more so in the neglected world of CB2 receptors.

Terpenes In CBD Oils

The Entourage Effect

Many people immediately find themselves looking for the purest CBD extract possible. Fair enough, and whether by oils, liquids, balms or capsules we will always agree that purity is essential. But what is purity?

There are plenty of top quality companies out there offering CBD with just trace elements of cannabinoids and terpenes. For some people, that’s great – but for others, they may prove ineffective regardless of strength.

The “entourage effect” is when your extract is also inclusive of the additional components. As mentioned above, this style of dosage is considered simply to be more efficient.

Think of it like eating a nice slice of cake. It’d be quite uninspiring, and possibly less tasty, without some berries, jam and a cherry on top. It’ll still fill you up, but for proper satisfaction, those extra ingredients make the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Terpenes In Cannabis Chart

Infographic: These are the most common terpenes found in the cannabis plant.

What Terpenes Should You Look Out For?

You’ll find it tricky to find a producer who lists specific terpenes included in their base product. That isn’t because they’re being tricky – it’s more to do with how they are actually labelled.

As a rule of thumb, full spectrum (terpene heavy) CBD tends to be more ‘hempy’. If you’re using it as an e-liquid or oil, it will look darker and taste a whole lot richer.

While it may not be to everyone’s taste (at times it can really be quite full on), capsules present a perfectly valid bypass. As does adding to a shake, smoothie or even your morning cereal.

The point is to always look for companies vending full spectrum CBD with terpenes who list their batch testing results. Ideally, these will include everything from natural extract – usually about 98% – and a whole list of others.

A recent trend has been adding those active terpenes back into the mix. It may not stem from the same batch of hemp, but if it improves the quality of the product then who are we to argue?

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a decent oil, we’d recommend steering very much towards those that are richer and jam-packed full of terpenes.

Ideally, they will be the most effective supplement going – and of course, they will not make you high.

So if you’re looking for a new CBD oil, consider this as a priority when choosing your next vendor. All the great ones will provide a total breakdown of the detected composition. It really can make a massive difference.

I’m Thomas Jones. I graduated from The University of Aberdeen in 2016 with an MSc in Industrial Biotechnology. I’m currently reading for a PhD at The University of Glasgow. I started using CBD in 2017 as a result of finding it in my local vape shop. My experiences in using these products inspired me to undertake my current doctoral research. You can find out more about me and this site here.