Cannabinoids & Terpenes
Cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, terpenes: you may have heard these terms thrown out in more than one CBD-related scenario. That’s because these terms are essential to understanding what goes into our CBD products and, subsequently, what goes into our bodies. But what do these terms actually mean?
CBD, THC, CBG, and a number of other hemp-derived compounds are known as cannabinoids. That’s because hemp is a member of the cannabis sativa genus, otherwise known broadly as “cannabis.” The term cannabinoid is applied to all of the active constituents of cannabis, which includes both hemp and marijuana.
To get a little more technical, CBD isn’t just any old cannabinoid: it’s a phytocannabinoid. Phytocannabinoids are one of the two fundamental types of cannabinoid, the other being endocannabinoids. The difference is pretty straightforward:
- Phytocannabinoids: cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant, most often found in the plant’s leaves and flowers
- Endocannabinoids: cannabinoids produced naturally in the bodies of all mammals, including humans, cats, and dogs
CBD, CBG, and THC are all phytocannabinoids, and are active constituents of the cannabis plant and even interact with the same receptors found within our bodies as endocannabinoids. But where does this leave terpenes?
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are natural compounds found in the essential oils of many plants. Terpenes have even been found in some insect species, believe it or not. These natural plant compounds are responsible for each plant’s distinct taste and scent. Cannabis terpenes and the products made from them, however, have also shown promise in regards to adding therapeutic benefits to your CBD treatment.
There is a phenomenon known as the Entourage Effect that occurs when users ingest full and broad spectrum CBD products — which contain almost all of the cannabinoids and, yes, terpenes found in hemp. The entourage effect is generally experienced as a pleasant, full body sensation that many users believe increases the bioavailability, absorption, and efficacy of your CBD treatment.
There are a variety of terpenes found in the hemp plant, but here are some of the most important:
- Myrcene: a known anti-inflammatory that has been observed to enhance the effects of phytocannabinoids within the human body and has also been used therapeutically as an antidepressant
- Linalool: a critical component in the production of Vitamin E that is known to possess anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties
- Pinene: responsible for the earthy taste of many CBD concentrations and known to possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, antioxidant, and analgesic properties — it is also the most common naturally occurring terpene found in nature