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Terpenes and Hemp: Everything You Need to Know

A powerful ingredient which can be found in our Hemp Extract, you may not have heard of terpenes before, but you will definitely have encountered them. The aromatic molecules which give both pine and lemon their unique scent, terpenes influence the flavor and fragrance of plants, plus a lot more besides. 

These chemical compounds are quickly gaining a reputation for their health benefits and with more than 100 found in hemp, a Hextract provides you with a great source. Here’s everything you need to know about terpenes, terpenoids and how they could benefit your health.

What are terpenes?

Found within the oil of herbs, fruits, and other plants, terpenes are produced in response to external cues, such as light intensity, humidity, and temperature. Responsible for making a mango smell different to a bay leaf, it is the combination of terpenes that influence what scent we associate with certain plants. But these unassuming molecules aren’t simply fragrant, they equip a plant to defend itself by repelling herbivores, and also help to attract beneficial organisms, all through the presence of a flavor and aroma profile. [1]

There are believed to be well over 20,000 terpenes, with hemp containing at least 100 of these in varying amounts dependant on the strain.

Terpenes vs. terpenoids

While terpenes are found on the living plant, when they are exposed to high levels of heat the structure changes form, leading it to then be referred to as a terpenoid. Terpenoids are used extensively in the food and beauty industry for their strong aroma and taste. An integral ingredient in essential oils, terpenoids are also used in spices and added to perfumes. In order to maximize the health properties of terpenes, gentle processing of the hemp plant is a must.

The health benefits of terpenes

The research currently available on the health benefits of terpenes is less than abundant, but the information we have so far is incredibly promising. A number of terpenes have been isolate as being present within hemp, and studies have shown great potential for their use in improving health. 

Many properties reappear across a number of terpenes, such as being antispasmodic, antimicrobial and analgesic. With this in mind, here are just a few of the terpenes you can expect to benefit from in a Hemp Extract and the feature they are most renowned for:

Pinene

The most common of all terpenes, pinene is found, unsurprisingly, in pine trees as well as in many other plants, including hemp. 

Research has shown that pinene is an anti-microbial and useful in the treatment of viral and bacterial conditions.[2] Not only that, it is even thought to improve cognitive function, with studies linking it to improved mental retention.[3]

Linalool

A spicy floral, terpene gives lavender its distinctive scent and has been used in aromatherapy for centuries.

Studies have shown what Eastern medicine has known for thousands of years, that linalool is a natural stress reliever and may even function as an anti-depressant.[4]

Humulene

Woody and “hoppy” in odor, humulene is most prevalent in common hops, and is also found in hemp.

Not only is humulene thought to be an appetite suppressant, but research also suggests that it has anti-cancer properties. Better yet, when combined with beta-caryophyllene (also found in hemp) the cancer-fighting ability of humulene is increased by as much as 50%.[5]

Limonene

One of the terpenes you’re most likely to have come into contact with, limonene is found in citrus fruits and is added to cleaning products, perfumes and much more. 

Limonene increases the skin’s ability to absorb other terpenes, making it a key ingredient in topical treatments such as our Deep Relief Pain Salve

Myrcene

With fruity, earthy notes, myrcene is the terpene found in abundance in mango, basil, and thyme. It’s also believed to account for around 50% of the total terpenes in hemp.[6]

Myrcene is one of the compounds which provides Hemp Extract with its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.[7]

As an additional benefit to the action of each terpene, their combined use when taken in the form of Hemp Extract produces an “entourage effect”. This effect sees the qualities of the individual compounds within hemp amplifying one another to create a more powerful total effect and is the reason so many people opt for a Hemp Extract product.

Do terpenes get you high?

Absolutely not. Many people confuse hemp with marijuana, leading to much confusion over whether a Hemp Extract can get you high. To clarify, terpenes are present in both plants, but it is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is present in marijuana, that produces a psychoactive effect. Hemp is naturally low in THC, and our Hemp Extract contains 0% THC for your peace of mind. You can learn more about the differences between hemp and marijuana, or find out why our products are THC-free here.
Ready to place an order? Browse our terpene-rich, Hemp Extract products.

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