Terpenes are aromatic compounds produced by a variety of plants and by some insects. They often have a strong odor and are responsible for color1. They are necessary to perform diverse functions like attracting insects for pollination, protecting plants from infections, fungi, and so on. Terpenes also influence various receptors in the human body.
There are hundreds of terpenes and thousands of terpenoid compounds. A number of them are found in the cannabis plant. Recent studies show that they comprise a completely different class of active compounds that may play an important role as the cannabinoids2.
Terpenes and CBD oil are very closely related, but they have some significant differences. Firstly, they are compounds of the cannabis plant. However, CBD is a cannabinoid, and terpenes are found in the essential oils of the plant.
CBD oil is a compound that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, but it does not cause psychoactive effects. CBD can be used to help with various problems, including anxiety, pain, seizures, etc.
Terpenes are the molecules that give the plant its pungent scent. They are produced by the resin glands on the plant’s trichomes. They can be found as sticky crystals on the leaves.
In short, CBD oil is the main ingredient that makes CBD products work. Terpenes are additional compounds that do not produce any effect on their own. At the same time, terpenes combined with CBD result in the phenomenon called “entourage effect” and enhance CBD activity3.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all of the cannabinoids and healthy components of the plant, including flavonoids, fatty acids and some of the terpenes. The variety and amount of terpenes in full-spectrum CBD depends on the product quality and the method of processing. Broad-spectrum CBD contains most of the compounds from the original hemp plant.
Different terpenes are combined with CBD to produce different effects. Here are the most common terpenes found in CBD-related products.
Anyway, more researches need to be done to better understand the interaction between CBD and terpenes. Scientists are still investigating how CBD and terpenes combination can cause a better therapeutic effect.