Team Work Makes the Dream Work: How CBD Terpenes Work with CBD to Produce the Entourage Effect
Throughout the ages, terpenes have proven themselves capable of fighting many ailments. Today, CBD terpenes and THC can combine forces to enhance and multiply one another's effectiveness. This is known as the "Entourage Effect."
What is the entourage effect? It's when a collection of treatments (such as terpenes and other CBD products) have an overall impact on the body which is greater than the sum of said treatments combined.
What could this do for your overall health and well-being? Here's a simple guide to understanding CBD terpenes and how they work with other treatments to answer that question.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a group of volatile, aromatic compounds. Terpenes occur in all plants, flowers, vegetables, and herbs. They are what give a plant its signature odor. We associate the smell of terpenes with food, fragrances, and even cleaning products.
Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons (composed of carbon and hydrogen). There are thousands of terpene compounds found in nature. Isoprene molecules join to build terpene compounds. These isoprene molecules join together to form long chains.
These compounds often have a strong odor. They evaporate rapidly and are readily picked up by receptors in the nose. Terpenes, or terpenoids, form the basis of aromatherapy. Holistic healers make use of terpenes in many treatments.
"Terpene" and "terpenoid" are often used interchangeably. These words do have different meanings. Terpenes are hydrocarbons. Terpenoids have been oxidized or modified in some way.
Historical Use of Terpenes
Chinese healers have used terpenes for centuries. The Chinese exploited terpene benefits found in cinnamon, wormwood, and pine. They've employed the use of plants containing specific terpenes to treat ailments. From pain relief to stress relief, terpenes have served as ancient remedies.
Chinese medicine used terpenes as calming sedatives. They helped patients recover from illness and stress. Some treatments used terpenes as antibacterial agents. Asian countries use terpenes found in herbs and spices to prevent cardiovascular disease. The Chinese used other terpenes as anti-cancer agents and to reduce inflammation.
The Chinese used thyme to treat the digestive system and respiratory illnesses. Uses of ginger, rosemary, sage, camphor, marjoram, and mugwort all make use of the terpene borneol's properties. Chinese herbalists also use borneol to treat bronchitis, coughs, and colds.
For this reason, acupuncturists may burn borneol as a moxa to apply topically. Terpenes have been used as a moxa for acupuncture since at least the 1600s but likely for much longer. A moxa is made from mugwort leaves and other ingredients to be used on or above the skin. Borneol is associated with the heart, lungs, liver, and spleen meridians.
Use of terpenes continue down to this day. Western doctors first found out about borneol's effectiveness in 1888. Dr. Ralph Stockman then conducted experiments on it. Linalool, a recognized sedative, served as a sleep-aid in Germany for centuries. It has also treated inflammation.
The Entourage Effect
Most life forms on earth respond to the effects of terpenes. There are thousands of types of terpenes that alter the impact of receptors in our bodies. Terpenes improve the relationship between cannabinoids and the body. Terpenes even enhance their own properties when combined. These enhanced relationships create the Entourage Effect.
Cannabinoids and terpenes interact to produce positive effects that aren’t possible alone. Terpenes increase the impact of cannabinoids. Their own effect is also improved in this symbiotic relationship. The Entourage Effect helps regulate the psychotropic effects of cannabis. In the end, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.
Terpenes and the Body
Terpenes have a wide range of effects on the human body. Terpenes interact with receptors and neurotransmitters. Terpenoids can increase blood flow, enhance brain activity, and even kill pathogens.
They can act as serotonin uptake inhibitors and enhance norepinephrine activity. They can also increase dopamine activity. Terpenes themselves are non-psychoactive. The FDA recognizes terpenes as safe compounds.
Terpenes and Cannabis
There are over 100 terpenes found in cannabis. The same glands that synthesize THC and CBD also synthesize terpenes. Terpenes perform a variety of functions. They attract insects for pollination. They repel pests. Terpenes also discourage grazing animals. They also protect against infections to the plant caused by fungi and bacteria.
Terpenes interact with cannabinoids to produce unique results. Different strains of cannabis have different terpene profiles. This profile contributes to the various aromas and flavors of the strain. The terpene profile also determines what therapeutic effects each plant offers its users. The unique variety of strains provide users with unique psychological and psychoactive effects.
Understanding terpenes and their health effects are valuable to cannabis buyers and growers. Cultivators are paying close attention to these molecules. They are now cross-breeding new strains intended to treat specific ailments.
CBD Terpenes and Your Body
Terpenes target the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the human body. The ECS mediates the effects of CBD. Terpenes can alter the effects of CBD on the ECS. When inhaled or ingested, terpenes work with cannabinoids to provide therapeutic effects. Terpenes also assist cannabinoids by helping them pass through the bloodstream easier.
Some terpenes and CBD act together to diminish the high that is perceived from THC. The effect on various regions of the brain alters mood, emotion, and cognition. Pairing CBD with terpenes allows users to direct their treatment. Interaction with the brain and other systems of the body add to the effect.
Terpenes can have opposite effects on the same receptors as CBD. For example, myrcene is a positive modulator of CB1 receptors. But CB1 is negatively modulated by CBD. So the effects on CB1 are essentially canceled out.
Terpenes in CBD Concentrates
Distilled THC concentrates do not offer terpene benefits. Extraction methods vary when preserving terpenes. The extraction method is becoming less relevant with the availability of terpene extracts.
Terpenes are now widely available, and manufacturers can add terpenes to extracted oils. The high-quality terpenes in CBD oil offer the same effects as other products. Terpenes, CBD, and THC concentrations can be carefully proportioned to fit specific needs.
Terpenes and THC
Dr. Ethan Russo found that terpenes reduce THC’s intoxicating effects. This finding increases the potential of cannabis-based medicinal extracts.
These extracts can be used to treat pain, inflammation, fungal, and bacterial infections. Others can treat depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, and even cancer. Some terpenes act as sedatives and reduce the anxious effects associated with THC.
Common Terpene Profiles
There are a few different common terpene profiles. We've put together a quick list below.
Myrcene is the most common terpene produced by cannabis. Myrcene produces the stereotypical smell of cannabis. Myrcene is described as having a musky, earthy, herbal aroma. It also contributes light hints of fruit. Myrcene is also found in high concentrations within mangoes, sweet basil, and hops.
Myrcene lowers the resistance across the blood to brain barrier. This allows the effects of THC to take effect more quickly. Myrcene also increases the maximum saturation level of the CB1 receptor. This action provides for a greater psychoactive impact.
Myrcene offers its users the therapeutic effects of muscle relaxation and decreasing pain. It can be an effective antioxidant, sedative, sleep aid, and muscle relaxer. Myrcene is a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic.
Myrcene blocks the action of pro-mutagenic carcinogens. The Bonamin study revealed that myrcene inhibits gastric and duodenal ulcers. It may also help prevent peptic ulcer disease. Myrcene's sedative and relaxing effects make it ideal for treating insomnia and pain.
Pinene is the most potent terpene and is also the most common in nature. Pinene is responsible for woodsy pine and fir aromas. Pinene gives evergreen trees their scent. It's also found in eucalyptus, basil, dill, parsley, and rosemary.
Pinene serves as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, bronchodilator, and anti-cancer agent. A 2012 study concluded that alpha-pinene has an anti-inflammatory effect in acute pancreatitis. Further research suggests that alpha-pinene also likely has skin and oral health benefits. It may also provide support to the immune and respiratory systems.
Pinene is an antimicrobial which fights against mold and pathogens. Pinene exhibits analgesic, antibacterial, antibiotic, antioxidant, antiproliferative, and bronchodilator properties. Pinene reacts with other chemicals to form a variety of other terpenes.
Caryophyllene is among the most abundant terpenes in cannabis. It has a woodsy, spicy, and peppery aroma. It is present in black pepper, hops, cloves, cinnamon leaves, rosemary, and basil.
Caryophyllene is the only terpene that interacts with the endocannabinoid system. Dr. Jurg Gertsch described beta-caryophyllene as “a dietary cannabinoid.” It's the only terpenoid that directly activates a cannabinoid receptor.
Caryophyllene provides antioxidant, analgesic, antidepressant, and anti-anxiety effects. It has demonstrated a positive impact on atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. Some other uses are as an anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, and treatment for arthritis. It may also be able to treat autoimmune disorders.
Studies show that caryophyllene holds promise in cancer treatment plans. The Horváth study suggests that caryophyllene may be an excellent therapeutic agent. It may be able to prevent the poisoning of the kidneys caused by chemotherapy drugs. Beta-caryophyllene protects the gastrointestinal system. It is useful for treating certain ulcers.
Humulene offers a subtle earthy, woody aroma with spicy herbal notes. It occurs naturally in hops, sage, ginseng, cloves, and cannabis. Humulene's name comes from Humulus lupulus, the common hop. Humulene gives beer its distinct smell.
Humulene is an effective appetite suppressant, making it useful for weight loss. It also holds anticancer, antiproliferative, antibacterial, and analgesic properties. The anti-inflammatory properties provide powerful effects both topically and systemically.
Linalool has the smell of sweet lavender with a hint of citrus. Linalool is abundant in lavender, rosewood, cinnamon, and citrus fruits.
The calming effects of linalool add to a wide variety of health benefits. Linalool has been shown to reduce lung inflammation resulting from cigarette smoke. Linalool is also used to treat psychosis and anxiety. It has proved to relieve symptoms of depression, inflammation, insomnia, and depression.
Linalool lessens the anxiety provoked by pure THC. Studies suggest that linalool can boost the immune system. It can reduce lung inflammation, and it can restore cognitive and emotional function.
The Sabogal-Guáqueta study suggests linalool could also restore cognitive and emotional functions. This process involves an anti-inflammatory effect. As a result, linalool may be able to treat the effects of Alzheimer's disease.
Limonene is most distinguishable by its citrus aroma. The scent of lemon, limes, and orange peels easily identifiable. Limonene is used in many foods, drinks, perfumes, and soaps. Limonene is involved in signaling proteins to induce cell growth.
Limonene is easily absorbed when inhaled and rapidly appears in the bloodstream. Its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties ease a variety of health problems. Limonene boosts the immune system. It can be used to treat bronchitis, and it helps reduce stress and anxiety. Limonene can also be used as an antidepressant.
Limonene may be useful in protecting against various cancers. When taken orally, limonene may be effective at treating breast cancer. It can also assist with the absorption of other terpenes through the skin. Limonene has also been effective when used to treat acid reflux.
Terpinolene exhibits a smoky, woodsy aroma. It is common in sage, tea tree, apples, cumin, and rosemary. The piney aroma portrays slight herbal and floral undertones. Terpinolene is used in household items like soaps, perfumes, and insect repellants.
Terpinolene is studied for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also used as an antioxidant. Terpinolene might prevent bad cholesterol. It is also known to be a sedative and can treat insomnia. Terpinolene has been found to induce drowsiness or sleep. It also reduces excitement and anxiety. Terpinolene inhibits cell proliferation in a variety of human cancers.
Choosing Terpenes and CBD Products
Many CBD products are now available with terpenes. Manufacturers can now create CBD oil with terpenes from a wide range of sources. Oils from particular strains can even be infused with terpenes not found in that strain.
Not all terpene CBD oils and concentrates are equal, however. Purchasing from a trusted source with quality extracts is essential. A good supplier will be knowledgeable about CBD and terpene combinations.
Are You Ready to Try CBD with Terpenes
After reading this information, you may be thinking about trying CBD terpenes. The entourage effect can benefit you if you select products with the right terpenes. If you are still unsure of what terpenes you need, contact your CBD product supplier.
CBD terpene oils capitalize on current extraction methods. Combining terpenes, and THC compounds result in increased health benefits and treatments. There's no reason to wait. The Entourage Effect can start enhancing your CBD treatments today. Get your hands on your own CBD terpenes and get started now.
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