What Are Terpenes And What Do They Do?

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The smell is unmistakable: just as you’re walking past your favorite donut shop, a red-eyed customer exits the store… and WHAM! His smell punches you directly in the face.

To some, a simple whiff of the skunky aroma is enough to leave them drooling… but to others it can be overpowering and obtrusive. Regardless of your stance on marijuana’s smell, have you ever wondered what it is that gives off that unique odor?

Spoiler: they’re called terpenes.

In this day and age, you may have already heard the word ‘terpene’ tossed around in casual conversation and if you’ve looked around at virtually any of the products here at Dr.Ganja, you’d see a plethora of them are ‘enhanced with [particular strain here]’s terpenes’ or ‘contains the terpene so-and-so.’ Indeed, there’s an entire section of ours devoted to CBD Terpene Isolates. So why have terpenes found their way into CBD oil and concentrates, and what do they do?

Terpene Function

Fortunately, terpenes go far beyond just smelling nice. Terpenes also contribute to the often-discussed entourage effect of cannabinoids, which basically states that the effectiveness of cannabinoids is increased when they are consumed with the other compounds found within the plant. Their scope isn’t limited to marijuana either; they are found nearly everywhere in the plant kingdom; in fact, the smell of many citrus fruits is due in part to the terpene limonene, which gives off that distinct lemony smell.

Terpenes are also found in things such as pine needles, hops, and even lemongrass. Do you recall the first time your nose picked up the calming smell of lavender? Yep, that was terpenes doing their work too; specifically, the terpene linalool, which communicated with your olfactory bulb to tell you how pleasant the smell was.

What’s more, each terpene has unique characteristics besides its smell. Take limonene for example, it’s been found to have both antifungal and antibacterial properties (check it out here) and was even found to be preventative in the progression of some types of cancer (study here). Due to these anti-microbial effects, many terpenes act a natural defense system of the plant to ward away pests. Fortunately for us, they also confer great benefit.

Common Terpenes

Some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis and in our products at Dr.Ganja are:

  • Myrcene – A terpene found in hops and lemongrass. Myrcene displays potent antioxidant properties among other things (study here).
  • Limonene – As discussed previously, limonene demonstrates antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is effective in containing the spread of certain types of cancer. Has a distinct piney scent.
  • Caryophyllene – One of the terpenes that has a spicier smell, you can find caryophyllene in cinnamon. Caryophyllene was shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and to be protective against ulcers in the stomach (study here).
  • Linalool – The aforementioned terpene that gives lavender its wonderful scent. Linalool and Pinene have both been shown to have antidepressant effects (study here). Additionally, Linalool is one of the few terpenes that displays sedative characteristics, which may be beneficial for sufferers of insomnia (study here).
  • Pinene – Just as in the name, this terpene is responsible for giving pine trees their smell. Pinene has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic (study here) effects.

Terpene Oils and Isolates

As you can see, terpenes are an incredibly important aspect to medical cannabis. And it would be a bit little silly if we talked about how critical terpenes are in amplifying CBD’s benefits, if we didn’t have anything to offer you.

So if you’re looking to get some terpenes in your CBD oil at Dr.Ganja, then you should be buying products listed as ‘full spectrum’ like CBDistillery’s FullSpectrum Hemp Oil. If you want to check out all the full spectrum products, just type full spectrum in the search bar.

If there’s a specific strain of cannabis that has always hit your sweet spot, you can also check out our strain specific terpene infused CBD concentrates, such as Extract Labs CBD Shatter Granddaddy Purple.

Finally, if you’re looking for a specific terpene for your CBD needs, you can just type the name of that terpene in the search bar. And just in case you’re curious, the skunk smell from marijuana is likely due to the high terpene content of linalool or its chemical analogs :).

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