Cannabliss - Nature’s common scents
Exploring terpenes - plants’ natural fragrance compounds
From fruity and sweet, to deep and earthy, the cannabis hemp sativa plant has a unique scent that varies from plant to plant. But it’s not only cannabis that tickles our noses. Many plants, fruits and flowers also contain these same fragrance compounds that give us a little scent of the familiar. And they do more than smell good. These fragrant plant compounds have a whole host of health and well-being benefits to give our wellness an aromatic lift. Combined with plant cannabinoids, they work in harmony, shaping and colouring the experience and enhancing the natural well-being benefits.
Terpenes are aroma profiles found throughout the plant kingdom. With a range of distinctive aromas like pine, citrus, lavender and pepper; terpenes and terpenoids can be found in a variety of different plants, flowers, herbs and spices including mangoes, lavender, rosemary and peppermint. Terpenes are plant molecules built from a five-carbon building block called isoprene. These volatile molecules are known to evaporate easily which allows them to reach and trigger the olfactory senses in the nose. But they don’t just smell nice. Terpenes are known to have lots of medicinal benefits, including reducing pain and inflammation, relieving anxiety and killing bacteria. Essential oils are rich in natural terpenes, and their wellbeing effects are far and wide-ranging. With ‘essential’ in the title they must be pretty good, right?! Research has found that vibrational frequency of essential oil is the highest of any natural substance. Rose essential oil, for example, can reach frequencies as high as 320 MHz, while lavender vibrates at 118 MHz and sandalwood at 96 MHz. Why not raise your vibration the natural way with terpenes!
With over a hundred different varieties, terpenes can help with a multitude of different medical conditions and ailments. The therapeutic and healing properties are particularly beneficial for the skin, especially soothing our tired and dry summer skin. Our terpene-infused CBD roll ons are a super moisturiser containing essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6, vitamin A, vitamin E and powerful antioxidants to work with the natural oils of the skin. The handy roll on is small enough to fit in your handbag and very convenient to bring on your daily travels - what better way to soothe your skin whilst on the go.
As well as giving our skin a boost, terpenes can also help with other aches and pains. The rosemary and peppermint in our Grounded CBD roll on is great for managing pain and for soothing muscular discomfort. Roll it straight on to your muscles and joints for relief, allowing the therapeutic blend of terpene molecules to get to work soothing and relaxing muscle aches and tension. Our specially-formulated essential oil blends contain terpenes which bind with the cannabinoid extracts in our oils to enhance your well-being experience.
An entourage effect
The broad spectrum CBD oil that’s in our blended roll ons contains a range of different phytocannabinoids - including CBD, CBN and CBG - that work alongside each other in perfect harmony. This natural synergy between cannabinoids is enhanced even further with terpenes, with the different aromatic molecules interacting to increase the therapeutic benefits of the entourage effect. While the cannabinoids are known to produce the primary well-being benefits, the terpenes are thought to play a significant role in how cannabinoids react with the brain and body.
The entourage effect has been spoken about by cannabis consumers for a number of years, but now the science is catching up with anecdotal evidence and confirming the synergistic natural benefits. A study from the University of Arizona Health Sciences department found that when terpenes were combined with cannabinoids, the pain-reducing effects were amplified. When it comes to the entourage effect of the natural compounds found in cannabis hemp sativa, it’s clear that the benefits of the whole plant are better than any of its parts individually.
Common terpene scents
There are hundreds of terpenes across the plant kingdom, and possibly even more yet to be discovered. But when it comes to the products we use, there tend to be familiar terpenes that crop up again and again. Here are some of the main terpenes and their uses and benefits:
Linalool - Commonly found in lavender, linalool’s light and floral aroma has calming properties which are known to help with reducing stress and anxiety, as well as being used as a sedative, antidepressant and antipsychotic. It is also an anticonvulsant, interfering with the underlying mechanisms that cause seizures.
Limonene - As the name suggests, limonene is typically found in citrus rinds and is distinguished by its lemony scent. Commonly used in cosmetics and household cleaning products, limonene is known for its powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties. It even acts as a natural insecticide for the plants themselves. In addition to its well-being benefits, limonene’s easy absorption means that it can help improve the absorption of other terpenes.
Humulene - With earthy, woody and spicy aromas, humulene is found in a variety of plants including hops, black pepper, basil, ginseng, and sage. It has been used as a holistic remedy for centuries, and is proven to be effective at reducing inflammation, suppressing appetite and working as an antibacterial. It takes its name from humulus lupulus (better known as hops), and therefore the aromatic profile is similar to hoppy beer.
Myrcene - Known for its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, myrcene is commonly found in hops, lemongrass, thyme and mangoes; and has a fragrant herbal aroma. It is the most common terpene in cannabis hemp sativa with many of the plant’s strains being myrcene-dominant. Interestingly, myrcene determines whether a cannabis strain is indica or sativa.
Pinene - Found in pine trees, pinene comes in an alpha and beta type. Alpha pinene has the aroma of pine needles, and beta pinene has a herbal aroma like rosemary, dill or basil. It is the most commonly found terpene in nature, present in conifer trees, turpentine and citrus peels. a-Pinene is known to widen the bronchi and bronchioles, which helps to increase airflow to the lungs — a huge help to asthma sufferers. It is also used as an antiseptic and is a known anti-inflammatory. It can even help to improve memory and alertness.
Ocimene - A sweet, herbaceous flavour with woody undertones, ocimene is best known for its uplifting effect. Found in bergamot, kumquats, mint and orchids, ocimene acts as the plant’s defence mechanism against pests and other harmful elements. It’s known to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties; and research is starting to indicate how ocimene could be beneficial to diabetics.
Caryophyllene - Present in many herbs and spices including black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, oregano and basil; caryophyllene has the spiciest aroma of all the terpenes. Caryophyllene acts as a cannabinoid as it activates our endocannabinoid system, in particular binding to CB2 receptors. It has great anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties; and furthermore, recent studies show that caryophyllene can reduce alcohol intake meaning it could potentially help with the treatment of alcohol addiction.
Smells like well-being
The possibilities for combining and fine-tuning individual cannabinoids with specific terpenes in order to treat various different conditions is an exciting prospect. When we take into account the entourage effect of cannabinoids and terpenes working together in harmony, it’s easy to see how these many different natural compounds in the plant can have a huge array of benefits to the skin, mind, body and soul. We’re only just starting to understand the therapeutic benefits of terpenes and cannabinoids, but when it comes to more holistic wellness, maybe we should be trusting our gut and following our noses.
Sarah Green - Cannabliss Content Creator
The Graces London Team
Want to get in touch? We would love to hear from you.
Please drop us a line at email@example.com