What are terpenes?
How a Botanical Buddy System Benefits Human Health
What are terpenes? Terpenes are defined as the chemicals that give plants their distinctive smells and tastes and their healing abilities. When terpenes and hemp seed oil are combined, their effects are magnified in what is known as the entourage effect.
Now, when you mention terpenes, expect most people to look at you with a blank look on their faces. It’s a weird-sounding word. It sounds very scientific, and many will ask: ‘what are terpenes‘? ‘What are the benefits of terpenes‘?
But, while they mightn’t have heard of them, you can bet that they’ve smelt them.
Terpenes are everywhere and so commonplace that we take them for granted!
Freshly mown grass. Terpenes.
Nanna’s prized rose bloom. Terpenes.
A zested lemon. Again, terpenes.
You’re smelling the natural chemicals that plants (and some animals) produce and release into the air.
Plants are clever. They do this to protect themselves from predators, attract pollinators, and cure their injuries.
Are there terpenes in cannabis?
There are over 23,000 different terpene chemicals out there in the world; many of them have positive benefits for humans. Some are rare, and some are common. You’ll find common terpenes in all plants. While others can be unique to certain plants – like the noble cannabis plant.
Quick fact: cannabis has at least 100 known terpenes.
If you’ve ever wondered what cannabis smells like, it’s distinctively pungent, earthy, and herbal. These are terpenes released from their resin glands. Different strains will smell like the terpenes found in that plant.
Terpene is the new buzzword in the health and wellness industry, and especially in the cannabis scene. It’s important to note all cannabis varieties contain these important chemical compounds, including low THC industrial hemp.
What do terpenes do?
Well, besides smelling nice (most do), these clever compounds jump-start the body to do things.
Think of the trolley at Aldi. To use the trolley, you must put the right sized coin in the lock to release the chain.
Terpenes work like that.
How do terpenes work in our bodies?
We all know the cardiovascular system moves oxygen and blood around the body. We can’t live without it.
But would you believe it was only back in the 1990s that some clever clogs discovered an unknown system in the human body that regulates how the other systems work? They called it the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
We have a great blog on the ECS to help you understand how it works in your body.
Knowing how this system works could hold the key to improving your health and wellness.
The ECS stretches down from our brains into all the parts of our bodies. Generally, spanning our central nervous system.
It’s a series of receptors (coin slots, if you will) that affect our bodily functions like appetite, sleep, mood, and pain. These receptors zap into action when the right sized coin is available.
Both Terpenes and CBD oil terpenes are the right sized coin!
For example, let’s look at lavender.
Love it or hate it, lavender is known for its calming, sedating and anxiety-reducing properties. It’s also an antibacterial and antifungal agent.
Surprise! Lavender is rich in therapeutic terpenes.
The most well-known is Linalool (Lin-uh-lool). So, if you’re anxious and can’t sleep, lavender (in some form or another) is often recommended. Why? Because its terpenes flood your body’s endocannabinoid system, find those sleep and mood receptors and zap them into action.
Lavender won’t knock you out like an anaesthetic. Still, it calms the body and talks it into relaxing and chilling out a bit.
Ah, terpenes! What else can they do?
Benefits of terpenes
Some cool things terpenes can do are:
- give pain relief
- assist relaxation
- enhance energy levels
- aid sleep
- help mood disorders
- fight cancer and tumour growth
- produce antioxidants
- kill bacteria
Terpenes and the entourage effect
Some things work better together: kind of like the Avengers.
While each Avenger is mighty individually, their team effect is significantly levelled up when they buddy up. They each have their own strengths, but they bring out the best in each other when brought together. This makes ‘the whole greater than the sum of its parts’ (thanks, Aristotle!). This is known as ‘the Entourage Effect’.
So, like the Avengers, terpenes and other compounds that stimulate the ECS – like the omegas found in hemp seed oil and cannabinoids (like CBD) – can team up. Of course, individually, they have their own strengths, but together their effects are magnified, especially to the human endocannabinoid system.
While this is an easy way of looking at it, this emerging science is fascinating.
Terpenes and Cannabis sativa oil (a.k.a. hemp seed oil)
Hemp seed oil is the oil obtained from cold-pressing the ripened seeds (fruit) of the Cannabis sativa plant. Food Standards Australia New Zealand approved it in 2017 as safe for human consumption.
Hemp seed oil can contain low levels of at least 32 different cannabinoids (those that won’t get you high or show positive for THC in a drug test). Even more proof that terpenes and hemp seed oil can buddy up and power up!
Other great terpene buddies are essential fatty acids (also known as omega acids). The right balance of these healthy omegas can boost the activity of the ECS. We’re looking at you omega-3 and omega-6.
And which food has one of the best-balanced omega 3:6 ratios? Hemp seed oil!
Buddying these two together may be as effective as CBD oil for lifestyle challenges like poor sleep and chronic pain.
How do I get terpenes in Australia?
So, you’re probably thinking that terpenes are something you might like to know more about– especially how to get them in your life?
The good news is that they are readily available in many forms- some are even free!
You can start by introducing terpene-rich foods into your life, such as herbs, spices, and herbal teas.
But… if you really want to give your ECS a kick start, we’ve done the hard yards for you.
Where can I buy Australian terpene products?
We believe that you should be able to access the incredible benefits of terpenes for yourself.
That’s why we’ve developed our own blends of terpene infused hemp seed oil.
We use natural plant terpenes (distilled to a food-grade level), and Australian hemp seed oil to create our range of Terpene Tonics, which are proving to be real winners!
In fact, our customer Steve had very nice things to say:
“Amazing product! As a former professional athlete I still exercise 2-3 hours per day (non-negotiable). Sleep and recovery is therefore essential for me, and I can confirm this is HANDS DOWN the best product I have ever used for pain management, sleep and overall mental well-being and clarity.”
Steve | Melbourne | 2021
So, if you’d like to read more about these blends, pop over and read our product descriptions which cover their ingredients, how to use them, and how they can work for you.
Why do we love terpenes?
Vasse Valley is so excited to bring our new Terpene Tonics to you.
We love that terpenes are safe to use with hemp seed oil and how they work together to give us fantastic health benefits.
Using them (as per our guidelines) to stimulate your ECS is a wonderful way to improve the quality of your life– especially when used with other lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthy diet.
Is there anything else you’d like to know?
We hope that this no-bull blog has been able to explain why terpenes are so significant to our health.
Your input is valuable to us, and we’d love to hear what you think.
Feel free to jump in our comments below if you have any other questions we can help you with.
If you found this helpful, and you think others might too, please spread the word using these key points:
- Terpenes are natural chemicals that give plants unique tastes, flavours, and healing properties.
- Terpenes jump-start our bodies to do things like relax, regulate pain, sleep better, improve mood and deal with hunger cues.
- Terpenes and hemp seed oil used together magnify their health benefits.
- Together, they stimulate the body’s endocannabinoid system to work better.
Thanks for reading. Pop over to our shop if you’d like to start your terpene journey to wellness.