What are terpenes and how do terpenes work?
Are you looking for a hemp or cannabis product and confused by all the lingo? You finally deciphered the differences between isolates, full and broad spectrum CBD oils, but are now confused by terpenes and rare cannabinoids?
In this blog, we’ll explain what terpenes are and where terpenes come from. We’ll also explain how unique blends of natural, organic terpenes are added to Hawaiian Choice CBD oil tinctures – Relax, Relief, Focus and Active – to amplify specific effects.
Then, we’ll give a short intro to rare cannabinoids: THCV, CBG, CBN and CBC. You can also mix our tailored CBD oils with specific rare cannabinoids to enhance their effects even further. Read on to learn how this works and how to pair them up with Rare Cannabinoid Company products.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are natural compounds that give hemp, cannabis and other plants their aroma, flavor and specific treatment properties.
When people smoke marijuana, cannabis terpenes not only add distinctive scents and flavor profiles to the flowers, but they also influence the high that one feels. For example, sativas contain pinene and limonene, which are known for their uplifting, euphoric properties. Whereas, indica strains contain higher concentrations of terpenes that are considered sedating, such as myrcene.
So, if terpenes alter one’s high when smoking cannabis sativas versus indicas, you may be asking: Can terpenes get you high? No, terpenes do not have intoxicating effects on their own. It’s the THC in cannabis that is psychoactive. However, the terpenes help to enhance the effects of the THC in cannabis and the wellness properties of CBD in hemp.
A couple of the best-known terpenes are linalool and limonene. In addition to being found in hemp and cannabis flowers, linalool is found in lavender and limonene is in lemons and other citrus fruits. Not only do these terpenes produce specific smells and tastes, but they are also responsible for the calming properties of lavender and the uplifting effects of citrus.
In this way, terpenes are believed to contribute to the effects of CBD oil products, both alone and in combination with each other and with other cannabinoids.
How do terpenes work?
There are scientific studies suggesting that the effects of terpenes can be explained either pharmacologically or psychologically.
The pharmacological hypothesis states that terpenes affect peoples’ mood and behavior by interacting with one’s nervous system and/or hormones. Meanwhile, the psychological hypothesis states that terpenes affect one’s beliefs, emotions and perceptions.
Let’s take a look at scientific studies on linalool, which is known for its calming, relaxing, sedating, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
For its calming effect, researchers believe linalool decreases the body’s fight or flight response (sympathetic nervous system) and increases one’s ability to rest and digest (parasympathetic nerve activity).
It is also believed to activate opioid and dopamine receptors, thereby offering pain relief, while inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines, which may reduce inflammation.
Limonene – the terpene found in citrus fruits – has a different effect and may act as a mood enhancer. One study on mice found that limonene had a significant antidepressant effect and may increase serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in different areas of the brain.
Harnessing the power of terpenes
At Hawaiian Choice, we use terpenes to amplify specific effects in our CBD oil tinctures. (The only tincture that does not contain added terpenes is our Pet CBD Oil as we wanted to keep it as simple and as flavor-free as possible.)
All of our human CBD oil tinctures contain 750mg broad spectrum Hawaiian CBD. As a broad spectrum oil (which means full spectrum with THC removed to below lab detectable levels), our CBD still retains its natural terpenes and rare cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG. Each oil is infused with organic or wild crafted Hawaiian pineapple, passion fruit, noni, hibiscus and organic Big Island honey. We then add three organic natural terpenes to each oil for specific effects. For example, our Relax CBD oil tincture contains linalool and our Active and Focus tinctures both contain limonene.
Hawaiian Choice CBD terpene blends
Here are the terpenes that each oil contains:
Relax CBD Oil: Linalool (calming, sedating, mood elevating and used for anxiety and depression), myrcene (which is used in the treatment of insomnia, pain and inflammation) and terpinolene (which has a relaxing, calming effect and promotes sleep. It also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties).
Relief CBD Oil: Eucalyptol (pain and inflammation, with a cooling effect,) gamma terpinene (pain and inflammation, with anti-fungal properties), and humulene (anti-inflammatory agent and a hunger-suppressant, eases pain and inflammation)
Active CBD Oil: Humulene (hunger suppressant and anti-inflammatory agent, eases pain and inflammation), limonene (elevation of mood, stress relief, improves energy levels and focus), delta 3 carene (reduces inflammation throughout the body and promotes bone growth)
Focus CBD Oil: Limonene (elevation of mood, stress relief, improves energy levels and focus), alpha pinene (improves clarity, focus memory, can help with pain and inflammation), beta pinene (improves alertness, increases focus and energy, assists with pain relief and reduces inflammation).
If you’re interested in learning more about the flavors, scents and properties of terpenes, such as: “Which terpenes are best for sleep, inflammation, pain or appetite suppression?” Please take a look at our terpene chart.
Our cooling CBD Topical Gel does not contain terpenes but it is infused with super premium essential oils of lemongrass and eucalyptus from the Big Island of Hawaii.
Hawaiian Choice CBD Fruit Jellies – our vegan, grown-up Hawaiian version of CBD gummies – also contain just the trace terpenes and cannabinoids found in our broad spectrum Hawaiian CBD oil. Each CBD jelly contains 25mg CBD, which is quite strong, but since people take them for a variety of reasons in the daytime or evening, and for both mental and physical well being, we did not add any extra terpenes. However, we sure didn’t skimp on taste! They’re made of real Hawaiian pineapple and passion fruit with just a hint of turmeric.
What are rare cannabinoids?
In addition to terpenes, CBD, and THC, hemp and cannabis plants also contain rare cannabinoids.
As we mentioned earlier, full and broad spectrum products naturally contain very small amounts of rare cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG as well as a mix of terpenes.
Rare cannabinoids are natural compounds found in hemp, cannabis and other plants. They are similar to CBD and THC in that they are believed to interact with the human endocannabinoid system, turning on and off different receptors in our bodies and affecting many processes, including hunger, sleep, pain and inflammation. However, rare cannabinoids occur in much smaller quantities than CBD and THC, usually making up only 1% of the plant’s composition.
Due to advances in breeding of hemp plant strains and advances in technology and extraction processes, rare cannabinoids can now be purchased in their purified form or in one-to-one mixes with CBD oil.
Hawaiian Choice’s sister brand Rare Cannabinoid Company offers THCV for sale as well as CBN (cannabinol), CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene), an extra strength 3000mg CBD oil and full spectrum Rare Hawaiian CBD.
THCV for appetite control & CBN for sleep
So, why would one want to take a rare cannabinoid? Each rare cannabinoid is believed to offer specific mental and physical benefits. In this way they are similar to terpenes as they each offer unique properties and work better when combined together for the entourage effect.
Here are some of the benefits that rare cannabinoids are believed to offer:
THCV for weight loss: Studies show that THCV may help people control their appetites and aid weight loss. THCV is also believed to have uplifting, energizing properties. THCV goes very well with Hawaiian Choice Active and Focus oils. (You can buy THCV online here.)
CBG for pain and inflammation: There are a large number of scientific studies that look into using CBG for pain, inflammation and neuroprotection. See the CBG studies here. You can purchase CBG oil here. It goes well with Hawaiian Choice Relief CBD Oil.
CBC for depression: Studies show that CBC may be able to increase levels of anandamide in the brain. Anandamide is known as the “bliss” molecule as it may elevate mood and ease depression. You can buy CBC oil here.
Just like Hawaiian Choice products, all Rare Cannabinoid Company oils are tested by an independent, third-party laboratory. You can view the lab reports for every batch of every product here. It’s very important to check lab reports for CBD and especially for rare cannabinoids. Rare cannabinoids are very new to the market — in fact, Rare Cannabinoid Company was the first brand in the world to offer a purified THCV oil product – and some substandard companies are trying to sell full spectrum CBD oils or THC oil products as if they were rare cannabinoids.