If you've ever used one of those trendy lavender sleep sprays on your pillow, or brewed yourself a cup of peppermint tea and felt oddly invigorated by its fragrance then you have already, perhaps without knowing it, experienced the effects of plant terpenes.
Terpenes are what give plants and flowers their flavour and aroma. They are present when you catch a whiff of a juicy orange as you peel it, or when you can smell 'freshness' in the air when you've just mowed the lawn.
Decoding the Effects of Terpenes
People have been utilizing the concept of terpenes in aromatherapy for centuries. It was once assumed that aromatherapy using plants and herbs was successful for some people because of the way the fragrance impacted the emotional centres of their brain. Which makes a lot of sense, but as researchers are discovering, there is more to terpenes than that.
While the terpenes they contain have no effect on the plants themselves, a growing body of research is finding that they do have an affect on other organisms - like humans. For example, one study conducted by a global team of researchers and published by the National Institutes of Health in the USA found that certain terpenes had noticeable anti-inflamatory properties. And this is just one of the many research projects ongoing right now as scientists seek to decode the effects of terpenes.
Terpenes and CBD
In the study we just cited the researchers note that, in their experiments, terpenes from cannabis were more effective than those in essential oils. Cannabis contains more than 100 terpenes that have been identified so far. These terpenes are found in other sources as well, but some are particularly abundant in certain strains.
What are some of these? Here's a quick look:
Limonene - This is the terpene that gives citrus fruits their refreshing smell. It's also what creates that pine aroma that fills the air around Christmas time and gives rosemary its unique scent.
Myrcene - Myrcene has a calming, clove like fragrance thats also a little musky. It's found in ginger, rosemary, cardamom and black pepper.
Linalool - Although you might not have known its name Linalool has a lavender citrus scent that you probably love. It's a terpene found in jasmine, lavender, basil and thyme as well as in the skins of citrus fruits like lemons and limes.
Pinene -As the name suggests, this terpene has a pine smell, but it's also found in juniper berries and frankincense.
Beta-Caryophyllene - Beta-Caryophyllene is commonly found in basil, black pepper, and oregano.
Mentha - A refreshing minty terpene
These are just a handful of the terpenes found in many strains of cannabis and you'll find them in Dr Watson CBD products. While we make no claims that these terpenes will help with any condition we do suggest you do a little research of your own to discover what they have to offer in conjunction with CBD.
Terpenes and CBD Together
You may have learned by now, and if not you will now, that hemp plant based cannabinoids mimic those naturally produced in your body and that they interact and influence the body wide endocannabinoid system. That system has a part to play in almost every bodily function.
Researchers have discovered that terpenes do the same thing. This means that when CBD and terpenes are combined they act synergistically. That, in more basic terms, means they enhance one another's properties to have a greater impact. It's called the Entourage Effect.
While that almost sounds like a sequel to a popular comedy series, it's actually serious stuff. These rather amazing compounds enhance each other and, for those who find benefit in taking CBD, may increase that benefit even further.