Why CBD is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to CBD products
CBD’s popularity is skyrocketing. More and more people want to learn about its benefits and how it can help them. Google searches for CBD increased 160.4% in 2018. And U.S. CBD sales increased 706% in 2019. CBD’s therapeutic effects are driving its success. Those effects include reducing anxiety, pain, and inflammation, among other benefits. But this explosion in popularity has caused some confusion. Not every CBD product has the same ingredients or provides the same experience. Why’s that? It has to do with terpenes.
What are terpenes?
When you peel an orange in your kitchen, there’s a citrusy smell. When you hike in the woods, you smell pine all around you. Terpenes are responsible for these scents.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many different herbs and plants around the world. They give each plant its signature scent, and they also play a critical role in overall plant health. They attract pollinators, scare off predators, heal damage, and increase immune system function. There are more than 20,000 of them on record, with more than 200 found in the cannabis plant
Terpenes are commonly found in everyday products like lotions, body creams, perfumes, and processed foods. But they’re also found in CBD products.
It’s incredibly difficult to retain terpenes in CBD oils. A significant amount of them are lost if CBD is processed at highly volatile, elevated temperatures. But they’re preserved at lower temperatures. By saving them, this means terpenes can work in tandem with CBD to produce several health benefits.
What are the benefits of terpenes?
Most terpenes are considered bioactive. This means they have an impact on the body when they’re consumed. They bind to the brain’s receptors once they’re in the body. In turn, this produces a range of physiological responses, including the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. They’re often used in aromatherapy because of their effects on mood and stress level.
Each terpene has its own set of benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones found in CBD to explore how they boost health:
Camphene has a woodsy fragrance and has been proven to reduce cholesterol and the amount of triglycerides in the blood. Additionally, it has anti-fungal, antioxidant, and antibiotic properties.
Caryophyllene has more of a hoppy smell and has been used to treat chronic pain and fight the toxic effects that some cancer medications have on the kidneys. It also aids stress relief, depressive symptoms, and weight loss.
Just linalool, camphene, and caryophyllene alone have a slew of health benefits. But they have increasingly positive effects when they’re combined with CBD. The most notable benefit is the Entourage Effect.
Terpenes make CBD more effective
Typically, the Entourage Effect is discussed in regard to cannabis. There are several chemicals present in cannabis, including terpenes, CBD, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. All of these chemicals work together to produce cannabis’ psychoactive effects, or “the high”. This is the Entourage Effect. A lot of people believe that it only takes THC to produce a great cannabis experience, but THC is just one piece of the puzzle. One prominent chemical may produce some effects on its own, but a product with several chemicals working together will always produce a far superior experience.
In CBD products, THC is largely removed. But the remaining chemicals still work synergistically to provide greater therapeutic benefits. A 2011 study by Dr. Ethan B. Russo, MD showed that THC wasn’t necessary for terpenes, CBD, and other ingredients to produce the Entourage Effect.
Why does this matter for CBD? Terpenes combined with CBD increase the body’s ability to absorb cannabinoids, which boosts their effectiveness. The CBD-terpene combo also improves the body’s ability to absorb good chemicals through the blood-brain barrier, and it helps us overcome our bacterial defense mechanisms. Those mechanisms can block CBD products from working effectively once ingested. In short, CBD with terpenes is considerably more effective than CBD alone.
You want to ensure you’re getting the full effect when purchasing CBD products. Thus, you should purchase from a company like Colorado Botanicals, which specializes in keeping terpenes intact during the purification process. The company uses CO2 for lower-temperature extraction, which enables them to preserve cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids and separate THC without diluting their products. Colorado Botanicals strongly advocates for the inclusion of terpenes in CBD products and uses third-party lab reports to verify that all of their products contain them.
CBD isn’t the only key to great CBD products – it’s also terpenes. Terpenes enhance CBD’s effectiveness and are vital in producing the Entourage Effect. They ensure you get the most out of every CBD product. So, make sure your next CBD purchase contains terpenes, or you’ll definitely miss out.