By Linda M. June

While cannabidiol scores most of the glory for hemp products, its superhero effect grows with a team of humble assistants. Much has been said about the synergistic “entourage effect” that minor cannabinoids and hemp flavonoids offer, but what about those delicate hemp terpenes? Do they really make a difference? We think so. Ongoing research suggests CBD products may reap additional benefits from hemp terpenes.

But First, What Are Terpenes?

In general, terpenes (which become terpenoids as they oxidize during the drying/curing process) are resinous, sticky compounds formed from the essential oils of many plants. Developed within the trichomes (special structures filled with various phytochemicals) on hemp flowers, they emit the famous scents of cannabis plants. Trichomes can cause the flowers to look as though someone dipped them in granulated sugar. Under magnification, trichomes appear as bulbous white sacs on stalks, tiny but full of defensive power.

Between the harvesting, drying, and extraction processes, the fragile terpenes in the hemp plants are lost. But your product need not miss out on terpenes with a dedicated formulator like GenCanna that works hard to preserve terpenes and create terpene enhancements from other botanical sources that can be re-introduced to your formulas.

The Benefits of CBD With a Terpenoid Entourage

According to renowned cannabis researcher Ethan Russo, in his recent Frontiers in Plant Science article, it has long been known that whole-plant cannabis products work better than single-molecule cannabinoids. Dr. Rafael Mechoulam, an early pioneer in cannabis research, dubbed this the “entourage effect.” That is, once you separate out the inert components of the plant matrix such as waxes and chlorophyll, the remaining bioactive molecules – cannabidiol, terpenes, flavonoids and other minor phytochemicals – impart a more potent effect when used together. This often gives what every CBD enthusiast wants: needing less product to achieve the desired results.

The Most Common Terpenes

While there is an assortment of at least 150 hemp terpenoids scientifically identified, not all terpenoids come in sufficient quantities in hemp to make inclusion economically viable. Also, each chemovar (short for chemical variety – a.k.a. “strain”) of hemp has its own collection, or profile, of terpenes.

The scientific journal Plants published a detailed review of existing research on common hemp terpenes, listing linalool, alpha-pinene, myrcene, limonene, beta-caryophyllene, humulene and cineole as some of the most commonly found in hemp. With the unique characteristics of each terpene, you can add those most suited for the type of wellness goals you wish your product to support. For instance, if you want to zero in on sleep or mood, you can choose the best terpenes thought to team up with CBD for more support in those areas. Likewise for healthy workout recovery, immune health, and so on.

Based on the scientific review:

  1. Linalool may be beneficial for sleep-focused CBD products.
  2. Alpha-Pinene may be beneficial in supporting immune health and mental sharpness.
  3. Myrcene may be beneficial for mobility and post-workout recovery.
  4. Limonene may be beneficial for consumers who want to support their immune health, metabolism and focus.
  5. Beta-Caryophyllene may be beneficial for digestive support and everyday muscle soreness.
  6. Humulene may be a good candidate for metabolism and appetite.
  7. 1,8-Cineole may be beneficial for supporting mental focus (a thinker’s terpene).

Terpene Benefits for the Competitive Edge

By adding terpene enhancements, you can make your product line more diverse, providing more value to your consumers. If you would like to know more about adding terpenes to your product lines, please contact our private label team. We have extensive experience in special formulation solutions and look forward to answering your questions.

GenCanna is not making health claims on CBD products; the data discussed herein is based on a scientific review of literature only.

Linda M. June is a freelance writer specializing in alternative health and natural products.

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