There’s been such a buzz about CBD, the rest of the compounds that come with industrial hemp strains are often forgotten – and with CBD isolates, they’re even left out of the picture altogether.
While some believe CBD is where all the benefits lie, there are an array of terpenes, other cannabinoids, and additional compounds found in different hemp plants that amplify what CBD does. Some even have their own benefits.
When combined with what CBD can do, this makes everything more intense and provides what’s known as the Entourage Effect – the synergy of all these hemp compounds working together.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenoids, or terpenes, aren’t just found in hemp. They’re aromatic molecules found in other plants like vegetables and herbs. They provide both aroma and flavor to strains, giving them each their unique taste and smell. Terpenes are the molecules responsible for the signature, pungent fragrances we get from some strains.
On the beneficial side, terpenes have a variety of benefits and medicinal properties. However, there are over 200 terpenes found in different cannabis plants and they don’t all offer the same benefits.
In fact, only a few of these terpenes have noticeable effects that we’ve seen in studies and clinical trials so far. Let’s look at some of these more beneficial terpenes that you’ll often find in many popular full-spectrum, CBD-rich hemp extract formulas.
Found in many green, leafy vegetables, Beta-caryophyllene is also an essential oil in oregano, black pepper, and some cannabis strains. It has gastro-protective properties and has been shown to initiate a positive response against inflammatory conditions, auto-immune disorders, and treating disorders.
α-pinene and β-pinene
The pinene terpenes, combined with CBD, are the big guys that provide the anti-cancerous and antitumor effects that CBD oil is becoming so well-known for. It’s important to see which terpenes are in a full-spectrum hemp formula, though, as they can be negligible or have virtually no beneficial properties. They may provide a synergistic effect with CBD, but they don’t provide any relief on their own.
Pinene itself can stimulate alertness, which is why it’s used for a lot of full-spectrum formulas geared towards daytime use. It’s found in pine needles as well as the more edible compounds, like dill, rosemary, basil and parsley. Even more pressing, it may be the terpene responsible for counteracting the negative psychoactive effects from THC. It’s just a bonus that it’s an antiseptic compound that helps with memory retention.
Another beneficial terpene example is myrcene, found in lemongrass, thyme, mangoes, and some hemp strains. Another inflammation fighter, myrcene has the added bonus to sometimes relieve muscle tension. The combination is a powerful force to help CBD tackle the body’s hardest symptoms.
Often found in lavender as well as some hemp strains, linalool is a terpene that has sedative properties. It helps stimulate relaxation, a wave of calm, and even deeper or better sleep. Too much linalool infused in a full-spectrum CBD product can be why CBD oil makes you sleepy sometimes – though it may have been on purpose if it’s an evening formula, especially if it’s also infused with melatonin.
Finally, this terpene is most often found in peppermint, some fruit rinds, and hemp strains that have been specifically engineered with this compound infusion. It has antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, and antifungal properties. It also does an excellent job at enhancing mood, and even working its magic on dissolving gallstones. With such vast versatile properties, it’s no surprise that we see limonene in a plethora of full-spectrum CBD formulas on the market today.
We’re learning about the spectrum inside different hemp strains and how we can benefit from more than just the CBD, the one compound we all know and love. Now that we’ve given you a quick rundown on some of the most beneficial terpenes, let’s steer towards the cannabinoid side of things – because CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid in the mix of hemp plants.
THC and CBD are just 2 of many other phytocannabinoids. While CBD is the most abundant in industrial hemp strains and there’s less than 0.3% THC, there’s typically a medley of other cannabinoids included.
When a CBD brand gets each batch of their products tested through a third-party for both the terpene and full cannabinoid profile, you get to see a detailed breakdown of which cannabinoids other than CBD are included and in what quantity in that formula. Let’s look at some of the second-most abundant compounds to be found in hemp.
There are over 500 compounds found in the hemp, and these cannabinoids we’re about to mention are known as some of the “big six” most prominent in medical research today. CBC, or cannabichromene, is one of them; discovered about 50 years ago and still lighting a path with its potential, promising benefits.
Non-intoxicating, as all these compounds other than THC are, CBC doesn’t provide a euphoric high – it binds poorly with the CB1 receptor in the brain responsible for the high THC gives us. It does bind to other receptors throughout our body, however, which provides different benefits.
Instead of providing psychoactive responses, it can hit two receptors that are partially responsible for our pain perception. It has medicinal potential in pain, inflammation, helping brain cells, reducing symptoms of depression, and relieving acne symptoms. While we need more research on its relationship with CBD and its potential for providing an Entourage Effect through synergy, the promise is there, and we’re excited to know more.
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is often less than 1% present in the majority of cannabis strains. Considered a minor cannabinoid for this reason, special engineering and compound infusion can still allow for CBG to be abundant in a CBD product’s formula.
While many believe CBD is what helps promote general wellness, it’s CBG that plays a big role in helping the body further maintain homeostasis. Closer in molecular function to our own endocannabinoids, CBG can help the body perform different functions. For example, if there’s a wound or target area, cannabigerol can help the endocannabinoid system regulate pain and limit inflammation to that region.
Shown to provide quite an array of medicinal properties and benefits on its own, it’s easy to see why CBG and CBD can work in synergy together to provide amplified effects.
Like some of the terpenes we mentioned above, CBN has sedative-like properties. Cannabinol, or CBN, prolongs the sleep time slightly in mice, so we need more research on the subject, but what we do know so far is already promising.
The cannabinoid provides a slightly more psychoactive response than CBD, but no where near close to that of THC. Instead, it stimulates a sleep response, possibly stimulating an appetite response as well. This is what leads to the well-known “naptime and munchies” that marijuana users are known to partake in – but when used for non-psychoactive or recreational purposes, it’s simply ideal for bedtime consumption or evening use.
CBD can suppress one’s appetite, while CBN seems to stimulate appetite, so it depends on how much CBN is present in a full-spectrum CBD formula for how it’s going to make you feel on that side of things. Overall, combined with CBD, CBN might help alleviate insomnia by washing a sense of relaxation and tranquility across the body and mind.
Our Very Own, Natural Cannabinoid
Okay, so we have an endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptors in our human bodies. Those CB receptors must respond to something other than outside cannabinoids like CBD and THC, though – there has to be a natural reason that humans have these receptors.
And there – it’s because we also produce our own, natural cannabinoid, called anandamide. We create this cannabinoid on-demand (most of the time), used to maintain homeostasis and perform a load of other functions across the body. Anandamide is what regulates neuron signaling and inflammation, and much more.
Why is anandamide so important? Well, it’s not known as the Bliss Molecule for nothing. The cannabinoid’s ability to bind to our CB1 and CB2 receptors has a profound impact on a plethora of physiological functions, from pain management, to fertility, to mood fluctuation and appetite stimulation.
Essentially, everything our body is naturally dispositioned to do automatically, anandamide can play a role in.
In fact, the cannabinoid can even help encourage the development of nerve cells in your brain. Since the formation of new nerve cells is responsible for learning and memory functions, this is an imperative process.
There’s a lot more to consider than just how much CBD is in your CBD-rich hemp product. Before you purchase from another cannabidiol brand, make sure you look at their third-party lab results to see what other cannabinoids and terpenes you’ll get to enjoy with their formula.
When you look at the cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles, look into the benefits of each of the compounds on those two lists. You might learn about benefits they possess you don’t want to live without, or you may discover they’re not worth the investment because most of the profile is full of compounds with little to no compounds. Regardless, you now have the tools to know how to do it and what to look for. We hope our guide was helpful and that you take advantage of a full-spectrum formula that offers more than just pure cannabidiol.