Medically reviewed by Dr. Jen Palmer, ND – Naturopathic Doctor,
Director of Education for Charlotte’s Web™
If you have ever had a waft of particularly aromatic plants such as lavender, you’ve encountered terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that create the distinct scent of many plants like cannabis, pine, lavender, and oranges.
However, creating the aroma of hemp and other plants is not the only purpose of these important chemicals. Terpenes serve a protective function for the plant and may also offer some health benefits to the human body.
Read on to find out more about the benefits of terpenes in CBD.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are fragrant organic compounds found in hemp and other plants that bind to receptors in the human body and carry a variety of health benefits.* Terpenes are responsible for the aroma and flavors of some hemp-derived CBD products, like our Original Formula, and influence its effects by interacting with cannabinoids.
Hemp-derived terpenes are formed inside cannabis trichomes, and their relative presence is directly affected by both the spectrum and intensity of light exposure. Terpene profiles vary amongst hemp plants, influencing their unique aroma profiles. Different hemp plants will produce distinct scents based on their unique blend of terpenes.
Why Do Plants Produce Terpenes?
In some plants, terpenes act as a way to attract pollinators or repel predators, such as insects or foraging animals. Terpenes also play a protective role, helping the plant to recover from damage, while others act as a part of the plant’s immune system to keep away harmful germs.
Types of Terpenes
- Caryophyllene– A terpene in hemp, caryophyllene is also found in hops, cloves, and rosemary. It carries an herbal aroma synonymous with these plants.
- alpha – Humulene– This terpene is dominant in hops. It’s also present in sage, clove, basil, black pepper, and ginseng, and carries a corresponding “hoppy” aroma.
- Limonene– Most commonly found in citrus fruits, in which it provides that citrus smell.
- Linalool– This terpene is found in rosewood, bergamot, coriander, rose, jasmine, and lavender. It produces a very pleasant floral aroma and is often used in soaps and perfumes.
- Myrcene– Most commonly associated with the signature “earthy” aroma found in most hemp plants.
- Ocimene– Produces a strong, sweet, herbal scent. wide variety of plant life, including mint, mangoes, basil, and orchids.
- Pinene– Similar to its name, it is commonly found in pine trees and other conifers, pinene is also responsible for the “piney” aroma of certain hemp plants.
- Terpinolene– It’s commonly found in plants known for pleasant fragrances, such as rosemary, conifers, lilacs, and apples. It creates a fresh herbal-citrus aroma.
- alpha Bisabolol– This terpene was first isolated from Matricaria chamomilla (Asteraceae) in the twentieth century and has since been identified in other aromatic plants such as Eremanthus erythropappus, Smyrniopsis aucheri, Vanillosmopsis species, and Salvia runcinata.
Are All Charlotte’s Web™ Hemp Extracts Alike?
Each hemp extract has a unique phtyo-chemical fingerprint, which includes unique pairings between cannabinoids and terpenes within each batch. We strive to provide reproducibility and consistency with our hemp extracts so that the user experience today will be the same user experience a year from now.
Charlotte’s Web™ Original Formula has a unique cannabinoid and terpene profile which helps to provides its unique user experience and benefits.* It is helpful to know that our Original Formula’s top three terpenes are beta-Caryophyllene, alpha Bisabolol, and alpha-Humulene.
Benefits of Terpenes
So, what are the benefits of terpenes for humans? Terpenes have been shown to cooperate with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, as well as the immune, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems*. Terpenes also support other cannabis molecules in producing desired effects. This is called the entourage effect, and it is the reason these aromatic compounds have become such a critical area of cannabis research.
There are many potential health benefits associated with terpenes, but most of the research so far is based on animal and lab studies. More research is necessary to fully understand the role of terpene in health.
Some of the potential benefits of terpenes that should be explored include:
- Beta-caryophyllene has been characterized by scientists as both a cannabinoid and a terpene, because unlike other terpenes, it behaves like a cannabinoid and directly activates endogenous cannabinoid receptors. Beta-caryophyllene is abundant in the hemp plant. It has a wide range of potential beneficial actions, most of which are based on its influence on inflammation.*
- alpha – Humulene may be an effective anti-inflammatory, as preliminary research indicates.*
- Limonene is the second most common terpene found in nature and is also used in a variety of products, such as cleaning supplies and fragrances. It may offer a synergistic effect with CBD to reduce occasional anxiety, and overall improve mood, based on preliminary research.
- Linalool may have anticonvulsant and sedative properties. It also has been found to inhibit the growth of fungus in lab studies.*
- Myrcene is the most prevalent terpene in cannabis. It is known to have a strong sedative effect, and may also be an effective anti-inflammatory. A 2015 study in cell-culture models indicated that myrcene may be helpful in slowing the degradation of cartilage and should be further researched for its effects on osteoarthritis.*
- Ocimene can act as an anti-inflammatory and may prove to have antiviral and antifungal properties.*
- Pinene may also have anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been shown to interact with GABA receptors, which could support a sense of calm.*
- alpha Bisabolol use as an anti‐inflammatory agent is ubiquitous. This compound also exhibits several other pharmacological properties such as analgesic and antibiotic.
Terpenes & Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web™ hemp extract includes naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more. It is formulated to help support a sense of calm for focus manage everyday stresses, recovery from exercise-induced inflammation, and maintain healthy sleep cycles*.
If you are interested in a premium hemp-derived CBD product with terpenes, look at our full-spectrum CBD products.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.