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What are terpenes?

You have long heard about cannabis plants and their effects on the body. The same is true for CBD, which has many health benefits. What we forget to mention most of the time, however, is that there is another substance derived from hemp, called terpenes.

Terpenes are molecules that are found in the hemp plant and that can play an important role in the effects of every variety of cannabis you can find. They are what give cannabis all of its unique flavors and smells.

As a consumer of medical cannabis or CBD, it's important to know what terpenes are, as well as their role in the development process of products derived from the hemp plant. That's just what we're going to find out in the following.

What you need to know about terpenes

As you probably know, cannabis contains many fascinating molecules. Among them we find THC, CBD, and also terpenes that are less known than the others. This is understandable, as they act in the shadows to modulate the sensations that the different varieties of cannabis available on the market provide. 

More specifically, it is important to know that terpenes are molecules found in hemp that help give the different varieties of this plant, unique flavors. They often come in the form of aromatic oils, extracted from hemp, which can give the plant a sweet, fruity, or earthy taste, a minty or cheesy smell, a citrus aroma, etc. 

Terpenes are therefore produced in cannabis, at the same glands that produce CBD and THC. Despite this, they are very little known and don't get as much buzz as the other two flagship compounds in cannabis. In fact, it wasn't long ago that researchers and growers decided to take a closer look at them, as it turned out that they play a major role in the unique effects cannabis provides. 

Terpenes are aromatic compounds, whose primary function is to defend plants from predators. As such, they produce a strong, penetrating odor, which allows cannabis plants to repel certain pests, while attracting beneficial insects for the pollination process. It should be noted that several factors can influence the amount and type of terpenes produced by a hemp plant.

So, for the same variety of cannabis, you can have different aromatic compounds. It all depends on: the soil or type of soil, the age of the plants, the climate, the fertilizers used, etc. This is how it is possible to find more than 100 different types of terpenes from cannabis in the world. For each variety, you can have unique types and combinations of terpenes, available in varying concentrations.

Cannabinoids and terpenes: what is the difference?

Terpenes, like cannabinoids, are photochemical molecules found in cannabis. They are responsible for the unique smells of freshly harvested plants, their tastes and also their effects. There are more than a hundred of them, and they are found in quantity in each plant. This is why terpenes are said to be responsible for the diversity of the many varieties of cannabis that exist. 

As far as cannabinoids are concerned, these are very specific molecules that are not only found in hemp. However, among these molecules, CBD and THC are exclusively present in the hemp plant. On the one hand, THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant, and on the other hand, CBD gives it its many therapeutic virtues. 

Thus, the way terpenes and cannabinoids work in the body is not the same, as they do not affect the body in the same way. Cannabinoids such as CBD bind directly to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system found in the human body. This is how they can produce their effects effectively.

The terpenes on the other hand interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body. They then act in a variety of ways. They can indeed have fascinating effects on the body, especially when consumed alone. When combined with cannabinoids, they have more of an entourage effect that helps enhance the benefits that cannabis provides.

What are the benefits of terpenes?

Generally, to enjoy the benefits of terpenes, one must inhale them as they are aromatic oils. They help to cause an improvement in the emotional well-being of the one who consumes them. It should be remembered that the different types of terpenes that exist are not only present in CBD, but in several other plants. 

So, regardless of their origin, they can have beneficial effects for human physical and mental health. Among their main benefits are:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects

  • Neuroprotective effects

  • Anticarcinogenic effects.

Of course, all of this is just a possibility, because even if studies prove that terpenes are beneficial to health, they still don't accurately indicate their actual impact. Therefore, further study is needed to know exactly how well terpenes can be used alone in therapy or treatment. 

In addition, it should also be noted that specifically, each terpene in plants can have unique effects on humans. Thus:

  • Limonene is a terpene that causes mood elevation, it is found in citrus fruits, peppermint, etc.

  • Linalool is a terpene that can have a calming and sedative effect, it has a sweet, floral scent and is found in lavender

  • As for pinene, it is a terpene that can stimulate alertness and optimize memory, it is found in sage, conifers, etc.

As you may have noticed, terpenes are aromatic compounds that are present in the cannabis plant. They are important because they play several roles. First, they protect the plant from predators, and second, they promote its development by participating in the pollination process. In addition, these terpenes are also involved in playing an important role in the flavors, smells and unique effects of a cannabis plant. So they deserve a little more attention from scientists and also farmers.

Can terpenes be detected with a screening test?

Absolutely not! You can consume terpenes and within minutes undergo a toxicology screening test without fear. The results will reveal no trace of drugs because terpenes are not psychotropic compounds. 

Do terpenes make you high?

Terpenes can subtly affect mood by influencing serotonin and dopamine production. So they can relax or stimulate you, but they don't produce psychoactive effects like the THC in cannabis.

L'entiereté du site web doit être considéré comme de l'information. Nous vous rappelons qu'avant de consommer des produits à base de cannabidiol vous devez consulter votre médecin afin d'obtenir son aval dans votre cas spécifique.
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