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What are Terpenes?

 

Terpenes are aromatic molecules which are largely responsible for the smell and taste of hemp and cannabis. They also interact synergistically with cannabinoids such as CBD to enhance the health benefits.

What are Terpenes?

As you may already know terpenes are aromatic molecules which are largely responsible for the smell and taste of hemp and cannabis. They also interact synergistically with cannabinoids such as CBD to enhance the health benefits. Terpenes are produced by virtually every member of the plant kingdom, and are the primary constituents and active compounds of the medicinal resins of frankincense and myrrh as well as all other plant essential oils. They are responsible for the familiar mood elevating piney aroma we love while out walking or cycling in the woods on a hot summers day (This is actually the terpenes alpha and beta-pinene evaporating from the pine resin)

Terpenes are the aroma and flavour of most of the herbs and spices we enhance our food with on a daily basis and we are now finding out that there is more to them than the lovely fragrance and flavour. Here at Synergy Extracts® we are using modern day technology such as high performance liquid chromatography(HPLC) to analyse ancient resins and essential oils and we are finding out that the same compounds keep popping up. Monoterpenes, triterpenes and sesquiterpenes.

The terpene ‘linalool’ for example, is the primary constituent of lavender essential oil, imparting much of its scent and therapeutic properties.

Our hemp extracts are rich in many different terpenes. Most prominently myrcene, ß-caryophyllene, linalool, humulene and alpha-pinene (along with many others) which, like CBD itself, have a wealth of scientific research supporting their potential health benefits. Here at Synergy of Nature we will also be adding back some of the terpenes that are not so common in our hemp strains i.e. limonene (a citrus terpene with calming and mood lifting properties) through additions of other 100% natural and organic food grade plant terpenes.

The Cannabinoid + Terpene Connection. Interestingly both terpenes and phyto-cannabinoids (cannabinoids made by plants, as opposed to those made within our own bodies) share a molecular precursor. They are biochemically produced from the same molecule (geranyl pyrophosphate) in the hemp plant…and modern day research is showing terpenes and cannabinoids have synergistic health benefits when used together.

Myrcene, a monoterpene also found in mangoes, oranges, hops, ylang ylang, wild thyme, parsley and lemon grass to name a few has an analgesic effect and is likely to be responsible for the medicinal properties of ylang ylang essential oil and lemon grass tea. Myrcene also helps promote a restful night’s sleep due to its calming and relaxing therapeutic properties.

ß-caryophyllene, a sesquiterpene also found in abundance in black pepper, hops, coriander seed and basil essential oils as well as many other plants throughout nature, has shown to be a selective agonist of cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2) and to exert significant cannabimimetic anti-inflammatory effects in mice.  Because the widespread natural plant product beta-caryophyllene is an FDA approved food additive and is ingested daily with food it is said to be the first dietary cannabinoid. It is still being studied whether this compound alone is able to modulate inflammatory processes in humans via the endocannabinoid system. ß-caryophyllene does not bind to the centrally expressed cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) and therefore does not exert psychoactive effects.

ß-caryophyllene and CBD when combined have both shown to be anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects. Curiously, CBD is known to interact indirectly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors and caryophyllene with the CB2 receptor – these are the two receptors found in our own endogenous cannabinoid system.

That being said it’s clear that cannabinoids and terpenes help to modulate and enhance each other’s effects so we will be utilizing this throughout our range of products.

It’s another truly wonderful Synergy of Nature that is too good to be missed.

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