What exactly are terpenes?

Posted in Science of CBD

What exactly are terpenes?

What exactly are terpenes?

Terpenes are a group of naturally occurring organic compounds that are produced mainly by plants and give them their scent, smell, and a host of other medicinal properties.

Plants, and in this case the marijuana plant, produce terpenes in order to mediate their ecological interactions. The terpenes protect and defend the plant against a variety of natural factors, like disease and pollinators for example. They also seem to play a significant role as antifeedants (organic compounds produced by plants to inhibit attacks by insects and animals). Some other functions of terpenes in plants include cell growth modulation and plant elongation, photoprotection, and membrane permeability.

When it comes to marijuana and hemp plants, terpenes are produced using highly specialised hairs that are known as trichomes. Located on the stem and the leaves of the plant, terpenes create the resin that gives marijuana its individual and particular smell and flavour. Some factors that will influence which terpenes will develop include:

  • Soil
  • Climate
  • Time of harvest
  • Age of plant

There are known to be over 120 naturally occurring terpenes found in the marijuana and hemp plant. Secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like CBD and THC, terpenes are scented oils that give each strain its distinctive flavours. Some of the most popular and well-known terpenes found in cannabis include:

  • Myrcene
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Pinene
  • Caryophyllene

While more research is needed, certain terpenes seem to interact differently with our bodies. For example, some terpenes might be able to promote relaxation, or stress relief, while others have the ability to promote things like focus and concentration. By binding to the receptors in our brain, (the same way CBD and THC do) terpenes also influence our body’s production of neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, and play a large role in our physiology.

It’s important to find out what terpenes are in the product/s you are purchasing. Read through the product description and, if possible, check the manufacturer’s website as well to see if they mention what terpenes they use.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or veterinarian when preparing a treatment plan for any and all diseases or ailments. Do not exceed more than 20mg of CBD(Cannabidiol) in your daily dose as per South African government regulations. Regulation amending s22(A)2 of the Medicine and Related Substance Act, 1965 (Act no.101 of 1965) Published 23 May 2019

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