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Hemp & Terpenes, What are They?

What Are Terpenes

OOPS…

I realized something recently that could be making readers confused. I’ve gone over terpenes to a degree with you guys in other blogs, but I do not have one that explains what they are. If you do know what they are that’s awesome! However, I’m going to get a short article here explaining in laymen’s terms the best I can, of what these awesome little hydrocarbons are. Relaxing Auromoas

Basically, a terpene is a hydrocarbon that gives off distinct smells. They are hydrocarbons that combine any compounds of carbon and hydrogen, similar to amino acids. They’ve been widely utilized in essential oils. Yet you don’t see Beta-Caryophyllene on the ingredients, because it is part of what makes the ingredients smell the way they do.

Let’s start here, imagine the distinct smell of hops and rosemary. Imagine how these affect you in essential oil or nature.

90% of what you like about rosemary essential oils or a hops garden’s relaxing smell is Beta-Caryophyllene. It’s also partially responsible for the spice from black pepper. Most CBD products are using isolated terpenes. Meaning instead of it just being very abundant in certain oils they extract the terpene by itself and can use to enhance effects, flavoring, and mixing with others to obtain a combination of terpenes that will help ease conditions across the board

Where Do Some Smells Come From?

Easy answer: TERPENES!!!!

I could make this very in-depth and go over well over 200 terpenes, with their Latin roots and explain what each one can do. I believe that would become somewhat boring. So as simple as it sounds, terpenes are what give certain herbs, spices, plants, and flowers their smell. Let’s go over a couple of simple ones.

Myrcene

Myrcene is a terpene commonly found in plants such as hops, lemongrass, and thyme. The flowers of the cannabis plant also contain myrcene in high amounts.

Myrcene is a strong antioxidant. A study published out of Neurochem Research in 2014 concluded in mice that myrcene can help the brain from oxidative damage following a stroke.

Another study in mice out of Neuroscience Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Inonu Unıversity in Malatya, Turkey, found that Myrcene had a protective effect in heart tissue. The researchers note that myrcene may be a useful alternative treatment after ischemic stroke

However, it is important to bear in mind that these studies used very high concentrations of Myrcene. Sometimes up to 200 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (mg/kg) of weight. The amount you’re getting in most products here is about 2mg. 

One more study done by Eur J Pharmacol in a cell model of osteoarthritis noted that Myrcene appears to have an anti-inflammatory effect. It may also help stop the breakdown of some cartilage cells. This could make it useful against osteoarthritis.

Cloves and Pepper

Beta-Caryophyllene exists in many herbs and vegetables, such as cloves and black pepper. 

Consistent with other terpenes, Beta-Caryophyllene may have an anti-inflammatory effect. This could help manage pain levels in some people. 

In one animal study, out of Eur Neuropsychopharmacol showed Beta-Caryophyllene reduced inflammation and nerve pain. The researchers noted that this anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect might be useful for treating long-term chronic pain. The body showed no sign of developing a tolerance to these effects.

Wonder why it never made it to market?

Lavender

Linalool is the most abundant terpene in lavender. It gives the flower its rich scent. Linalool is one of the more important compounds in aromatherapy. It is responsible for the calming effect many people get when smelling lavender or its essential oil.

A study in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces says that Linalool could affect the body in a variety of ways. Due to a wide range of properties, including:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antimicrobial
  • neuroprotective
  • antidepressant
  • anticancer
  • anti-anxiety

Linalool does appear to act on the body, but researchers are studying its effects further. Then use that research to understand how people can use it to benefit their health.

So That’s About It

I hope this makes a bit more sense now. We only went over 3 of the well over 200+ terpenes scientists are still studying and I am always amazed at what continue I learn. To conclude, I’d say when thinking about terpenes, instead of thinking of them as something complicated, think about them as something similar to essential oils or amino acids but more refined to their molecular levels. The truth is we still don’t know a lot about these things, and putting certain ones in a pen or capsule could prove to show extremely beneficial. Simply put terpenes are what give things certain smells, these distinct smells that can travel across different herbs and spices, and one terpene can have multiple uses. The more we learn, the more we’ll write!

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