Terpenes and Why They Matter

With such burgeoning interest and acceptance by the general public, it’s no wonder we’ve been seeing hemp-derived CBD products explode in popularity. Many people wish to enjoy the medicinal benefits of cannabis without the psychotropic effects of THC-rich extracts found at the local dispensaries and certainly without the side effects that accompany many pharmacological treatments. We’ve covered some of the most common ailments that CBD appears to help treat, but is CBD the sole component of cannabis that can help?

Terpenes: What They Are and What They Do

Largely left out of the regular conversation are those aromatic oils that occur naturally in many fruits, spices and plants—including cannabis—called terpenes. More than just satisfying to the senses, different terpenes offer certain medicinal properties to support whatever form of relief you’re seeking with a high-CBD cannabis extract. In other words, terpenes assist in boosting the desired benefits of the cannabinoid-rich products we’ve come to enjoy.

We’re currently aware of over 100 different terpenes offered in the flowers of cannabis, so it can be challenging to know exactly what to look for when digging through the seemingly endless list of CBD-infused products available on the market today. For instance, if you’re looking for a tincture to ease anxiety, you’d be better off purchasing something with generous levels of stress-fighting limonene or anxiety-relieving linalool, but if you’re in search of a salve to help ease the pain and inflammation of an injury, products higher in caryophyllene, humulene, or myrcene should top your list.

Common Terpenes

To better understand why certain terpenes may be better suited to your needs than others, let’s compare some of the most well-known and abundant terpenes found in cannabis:

  • Myrcene: Also found in mangoes, lemongrass, and hops, myrcene is earthy and citrusy in aroma and is known for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and sedative properties.
  • Caryophyllene: Also found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon, caryophyllene has a spicy, woody scent and can be helpful with pain, inflammation, and promoting a healthy stomach lining.
  • Limonene: Lemons, rosemary, and peppermint are other great sources of this citrus-scented terpene used for its antidepressant, antianxiety and antiseptic properties.
  • Pinene: The name may give it away, but pinene also lives in pine needles and rosemary and gives off a piney, earthy aroma while offering great benefits such as boosting energy and aiding memory.
  • Humulene: Also found in hops, basil, and coriander, this terpene is earthy and woody in scent and offers antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and appetite-suppressing properties.
  • Linalool: Possessing a strong floral scent, linalool is also found in lavender and known for being helpful in treating stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders due to its mild sedative effects.   

How To Know Which Terpenes Are Present In Your (Prospective) Purchases

The terpene profile of cannabis extracts isn’t always easy to track down, though some of the brands we carry here at Kaya include lists on their label or their website. Sometimes you can simply draw on knowledge of what terpenes are present in the essential oils used for flavor to know what products are tailored to specific issues, such as citrus fruit oils rich in limonene for anxiety or mint-flavored drops boasting myrcene to fight inflammation. If you’re curious about the terpene profile of a specific extract, we recommend reaching out to the manufacturer for third-party lab tests that examine terpene levels.

Reach out to the Kaya team at 480-737-0867 if you have more questions about terpenes or any other CBD products and we’ll be happy to help.