As more people use cannabis products and more in-depth research is done around the benefits of cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), we are learning that these aren’t the only important compounds found in the marijuana plant. In more recent years, another class of compounds called terpenes have been discovered and they seem to play another important role.
Terpenes are fragrant compounds found in the cannabis flower. They are responsible for the unique smell and taste of the flower. If you are anything like us, you know that the act of touching and smelling the cannabis flower is sacred. The aroma is what sets each plant apart and draws us in. Whether it is a pine like smell or a fruitier scent with hints of citrus, we all know the feeling that arrives when we smell a good bud. This, my friends, is what we can thank the terpenes for!
But we have begun to learn that the aroma is not all the terpenes are responsible for. In fact, cannabis terpenes have been associated with unique benefits and, most importantly, they help cannabinoids such as CBD enter the bloodstream faster and work their therapeutic magic.
So, what is the Difference Between CBD and Terpenes?
While we’ve already discussed what terpenes are, we will continue to unpack what they are used for and how they differ from CBD.
- Unlike CBD, terpenes are not unique to marijuana. In fact, the fragrant compounds are found in most vegetables and edible herbs.
- Unlike CBD, there are more than 200 different types of cannabis terpenes, all of which have unique smells and benefits.
- Terpenes have been found to enhance the effects of THC and CBD. So, although people can experience the therapeutic effects of CBD in its pure, isolated form, the effects are greatly amplified when they are full-spectrum and combined with terpenes.
Are Terpenes Better than Cannabinoids?
Neither is “better” than the other. They both have their own unique benefits…what we do know however, is that they work in sync with one another.
What are the Benefits of Terpenes?
There are over 200 terpenes found in cannabis, all of which have unique benefits and smells. Some of the most common terpenes and their benefits include:
- Linalool: this terpene is also found in the lavender plant and is known to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It has a strong lavender smell.
- Myrcene: this is one of the most common cannabis terpenes and is known to help ease muscle pain and inflammation. It has more of an earthy/musky smell.
- Limonene: this terpene has a distinct citrus smell and is known to improve mood and relieve heartburn.
- Beta-caryophyllene: this terpene is also found in common herbs such as pepper and oregano and can help reduce inflammation and treat ulcers.
- Alpha and beta-pinene: this has a more piney smell and has been linked to the improvement of memory and alertness.
While more research needs to be done to determine the full effects of terpenes, we already know that they enhance the effects of CBD and have many more benefits of their own. Just like CBD, these fragrant compounds are important parts of the cannabis plant that should not be overlooked!