Terpenes are aromatic compounds found within most plants, including the cannabis plant. It’s a broad category that describes a wealth of compounds known to impart unique flavors and aromas.
CBD terpenes are included in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products. In this guide, we’ll look at the most common and interesting terpenes and discuss how they work.
Are There Terpenes In CBD?
There are over 500 recognized phytochemicals in cannabis, and these include over 100 terpenes. These compounds impact how the buds smell and taste, and those reactions are also present in broad and full-spectrum oils.
Many of the terpenes present in hemp and CBD products are found in very small quantities and are not enough to produce any desirable results. However, they may still contribute to something known as the “Entourage Effect”.
This is the process by which multiple compounds combine to produce results greater than the constituent parts.
It’s why full-spectrum CBD oil is one of the most popular CBD products, as it contains a variety of terpenes and flavonoids, as well as multiple cannabinoids.
What are the Most Abundant Terpenes in CBD Oil?
Hemp plants are bred for their terpene profile, as well as their cannabinoid content. A single strain will contain a number of these compounds in varying concentrations, and that ultimately determines the fragrance and flavor of the buds.
The following list includes the most common terpenes:
A common terpene found in the cannabis plant, myrcene has an earthy and yet fruity fragrance. It’s found in large concentrations in mangoes, hops, and thyme.
Many believe that myrcene can aid with the absorption of other cannabinoids. In fact, if you type “mangoes and THC” or “mangoes and marijuana” into Google, you’ll see a number of forum posts, Q & As, and experience reports suggesting that eating mangoes before smoking cannabis will increase the intensity.
Beta-caryophyllene is a spicy terpene that’s abundant in black pepper and cloves and produces many of the same aromas.
As the name suggests, limonene is a sharp, citrusy terpene commonly found in the peels of citrus fruits, including lemons, oranges, and limes. It usually imparts a pungent, sharp, bitter, and sour fragrance.
Pinene is a woody and sour terpene found in pine needles, as well as many cannabis and hemp strains.
Cannabis strains advertised as “sour” usually contain high concentrations of pinene, as well as limonene.
If you detect a hint of lavender in your chosen hemp flower or CBD product, it could contain linalool, a flowery terpene also found in lavender.
Terpineol can be found in many fruits and has a sweet, floral, and fresh aroma.
Bisabolol is one of the naturally-occurring compounds in chamomile, a plant that is commonly consumed for its apparent calming effects. Just like linalool, it has a very floral fragrance.
A fruity terpene often compared to citrus fruits and roses.
Can You Get CBD Without Terpenes?
Whether your chosen product contains any terpenes or not depends on the type of extract.
Full-spectrum CBD oil, for instance, contains all of the terpenes and cannabinoids found in the hemp plant from which it was extracted.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains many of the same compounds, but the THC has been removed.
Full-spectrum CBD is legal under federal law if it contains 0.3% THC, and this isn’t enough to produce the high associated with THC use. However, it could be enough to trigger a positive drug test following chronic use, so broad-spectrum CBD products are favored over full-spectrum CBD products in individuals who are regularly drug tested.
If you only want the CBD and don’t care for the terpenes, flavonoids, or other cannabinoids, look for CBD isolate.
As the name suggests, CBD isolate is an extract isolated to CBD, which means all other compounds have been removed.
Does CBD With Terpenes Get You High?
CBD oil will not get you “high” regardless of whether or not it contains terpenes.
There are hundreds of compounds within the cannabis plant, and these may produce varying results. However, only one of those compounds will get you “high” (THC), and that is largely removed from all legal CBD oil and edibles, as per federal law.
How to Use CBD Terpenes
The best way to use CBD terpenes is to purchase a CBD oil that contains all of these natural compounds and has not removed any of them. Such is the case with a high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil.
You can also buy products that contain only terpenes. This is a good idea if you’re interested in specific terpenes, but if you’re looking for the Entourage Effect, it’s best to look for full-spectrum CBD oil.
Terpenes Vs Terpenoids?
The terms “terpenes” and “terpenoids” are often used interchangeably, but there are some slight differences with regard to their chemical structures.
Terpenes are naturally-occurring plant compounds that exist in high concentrations within the trichomes of the cannabis plant. These little crystalline hairs are basically the plant’s hormonal glands and it’s where you will find the highest concentration of desirable compounds.
Terpenoids, on the other hand, begin to form when the plant is dried and cured, a process that alters the molecular structure of terpenes. Terpenoids are often mixed with other natural ingredients to create essential oils and fragrances.
Are CBD Terpenes Safe?
Cannabis terpenes are generally considered to be safe. There isn’t a great deal of research concerning large doses of single terpene extracts—another reason you should stick with broad/full-spectrum products—but these compounds are abundant and very well understood.
What is the Best Terpene?
There is no “best” terpene. That’s a hard contest to score. It really all comes down to the sort of fragrances that you’re looking for, and whether you prefer the spicy aromas of beta-caryophyllene, the sourness of pinene and limonene, or the floral notes of linalool.
The great thing about terpenes is that there are many compounds and concentrations to discover.