In recent years, terpenes have received lots of attention. It is not a single chemical compound, rather a term for structurally related thousands of compounds. They are produced by most plants to protect from diseases, predators, and even attract pollinators.
These terpenes provide flavour and aroma to fruits and flowers. For ages, humans focused much on their ability to enhance aroma and flavour but neglected their role in health. But now science is realizing that these terpenes can have numerous health benefits, whether used alone or in combination with other phytocompounds.
These terpenes are classified as mono, di, tri, tetra, and sesquiterpenes. Some of the most common terpenes sources are tea, Spanish sage, citrus fruits, cannabis, thyme, and so on. It is vital to understand that CBD products do not essentially contain terpenes extracted from cannabis. For added health benefits, manufacturers may even add terpenes with better understood biological effects extracted from other plants.
Terpenes can significantly extend the health benefits of CBD products, and researchers are just starting to learn how to combine them cleverly. Although science knows much about them, it is only the tip of an iceberg. Fortunately, some of the terpenes are quite known to science like curcumin, which has hundreds of health benefits and is one of the most well researched of all terpenes. Linalool from lavender may provide an anti-anxiety effect. There are hundreds of well-known terpenes, and the challenge for CBD industry is understanding what to combine with CBD to enhance its efficacy.
Adding terpenes not only means added benefits, but it also results in a so-called “Entourage Effect”. It implies that terpenes not only provide added health benefits, but they can enhance certain actions of CBD itself. Thus, adding specific terpenes to CBD product may help better with anxiety and mood disorders. Similarly adding terpenes to CBD may help improve its anti-inflammatory properties, and much more.
Terpenes can be cleverly selected and added to CBD products to boost the specific effects of the final product. It helps manufactures to create CBD products that might help better in particular disease conditions.
This is just a beginning, as researchers are still discovering how cannabinoids work and their health benefits. Researchers know about the health effects of some terpenes, but they still do not have much understanding of hundreds of other terpenes.
Understanding what terpenes to combine with CBD for a particular effect is quite a complex science, requiring lots of research and trials. However, it is not just a topic of interest, but a vital thing to know. Understanding the interaction of terpenes with cannabinoids will help researchers understand cannabis strains better.
Another major challenge in understanding the role of terpenes in CBD product is insufficient knowledge regarding how terpenes work through different routes of intake. What is known that inhaled terpenes may work very differently than ingested terpenes. But there is still a need for much research in defining these differences to create better CBD products.
To sum up, we are living in exciting times, as cannabinoids have become a subject of much interest to science. It means that one can expect much more effective CBD product in the future, with much broader implications for health and well-being.