What are hemp terpenes?
What are hemp terpenes? Terpenes are organic compounds which help to determine the aromatic attributes of many different kinds of plants. Hemp plants are particularly known for having a higher concentration of terpenes, which can lead to distinct variances in the scent and flavor between different strains of hemp.
Terpenes can serve as a natural defense for plants by enabling them to give off an odor that may help to deter bugs, pests, parasites, and animals.
Phytocannabinoids and Terpenes
Hemp is a type of cannabis and its primary compounds are known as phytocannabinoids. The most prevalent phytocannabinoid in hemp is cannabidiol (CBD), while commercial cannabis is typically categorized by its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.
When ingested, these specialized compounds are specifically shaped to interact with cannabinoid (CB) receptors that function as part of the endocannabinoid system (ESC). The ECS is an internal regulatory system that works by modulating homeostatic imbalances within the body, and every vertebrate has one.
The glandular trichomes that produce the phytocannabinoids in hemp are also responsible for synthesizing terpenes, which is why researchers often use terpenes as markers for indicating the botanical identity of any particular strain of hemp. Once hemp plants are put through a curing process, the oxidized terpenes become known as terpenoids, although the two terms are often used interchangeably within the hemp industry.
Many researchers speculate that terpenes are an integral part of what is known as the “entourage effect”, which is a term that is used to describe the synergistic interplay between the various compounds within the hemp plant.
Different Terpenes and Their Characteristics
In addition to hemp, there are many different plants that contain terpenes. Currently, scientists have classified over 20,000 various kinds of terpenes, over 100 of which can be found in hemp.
Here are some examples of a few:
Limonene Limonene is an extremely common terpene and it is responsible for the smell associated with citrus fruits. It is very popular for use in household cleaners and other citrus scented products.
Linalool Linalool is another common terpene that is found in over 200 different species of flowers and spices, including rosemary, mint, cinnamon, and rosewood.
Bisabolol Bisabolol is frequently associated with chamomile and is responsible for its light and floral scent.
Pinene Pinene is known for producing the popular fragrance that is associated with pine and fir trees.
Valencene Valencene is a terpene that is also known for being prevalent in citrus fruits, including valencia oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, nectarines, and mangoes. Valencene is thought to help repel insects which is why it’s a common ingredient in anti-mosquito spray.
Citral Citral is another citrus terpene most known for being in lemongrass and is popular for use in cosmetic and lotion products.
Camphene Camphene is associated with a natural, wood smelling scent. It is found in camphor oil, which was commonly used for lamps prior to the civil war as it was cheap and added a nice smell.
Caryophyllene Caryophyllene is prominent in pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. It is often used as a natural food additive.
Eucalyptol Also called cineol, eucalyptol is known for its highly pleasing aroma. It derives its name from the eucalyptus tree and has a distinct minty scent that is commonly used in everything from toothpaste to analgesic balms.
Geraniol Geraniol is a very floral terpene that is found in many different types of fruits and flowers. It is also the primary component in the scent-gland secretion of honeybees.
Humulene Hummulus is found in many different herbs including clove, basil, and most notably, hops.
Myrcene Myrcene is another terpene that is found in hops and is known for its unique aroma. It’s also present in verbena, bay leaves, and mangoes.
Nerolidol Nerolidol has a musky, citrus scent and is prominent in ginger, lavender, and jasmine.
Terpineol Cardamon is high in terpineol, as well as pine, and laurel. It causes a spicy, woody aroma.
Relief contains a terpene blend of alpha-Pinene, beta-Caryophyllene, beta-Pinene, delta-3-Carene, Eucalyptol, Geraniol, Humulen, Limonene, Linalool, Myrcene, Nerolidol, and Terpineol.
Dream contains a terpene blend of Linalool and alpha-bisabolol.
Focus contains a terpene blend of D-Limonene, Valencene, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Citral, and Camphene.
Boost contains a terpene blend of Linalool, alpha-Bisabolol, D-Limonene, alpha-Pinene, and beta-Pinene.