What do terpenes have to do with CBD topicals you ask? I have an answer for that. Remember last week when I talked about the entourage effect? Well terpenes are a vital part of the entourage effect of full-spectrum hemp oil.
So let’s go back to last week for a refresher on the entourage effect. Essentially, the entourage effect is when all the components of the CBD topicals work in concert to support your health. When you apply CBD topicals, you also receive a lot of botanical compounds, each comes with its own effect and benefit. But upon encountering other compounds, the botanical adapts to surround CBD and attend to the need at hand.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes, found in many plants, not just hemp, are a group of botanicals that produce scent. Hemp has more than 200 kinds of terpenes. In addition to fragrance and flavor, terpenes can boost wellness properties in the hemp extract, CBD.
Here’s a general idea of the kinds of terpenes in hemp and the benefits they offer:
- Myrcene, with its hop scent, can promote relaxation and calmness.
- Caryophyllene, smelling of cloves and black pepper, buoys mood and eases aches and pains.
- Linalool, also found in lavender, is another promoter of calmness and relaxation.
- Pinene, as the name suggests, smells of a pine forest and aides focus, memory and energy.
- Eucalyptol, fragrant with eucalyptus, eases soreness and stiffness.
Terpenes travel in packs and rarely strike out on their own. They act as a natural defense mechanism for plants protecting them from pests, bacteria, etc. Unlike cannabinoids, which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, terpenes boost the therapeutic power of cannabinoids, specifically CBD.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
As I’ve often mentioned in this blog, every body (human or animal) has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for maintaining balance within our system. This balance is called homeostasis.
In 1998, Raphael Mechoulam, renowned CBD researcher, Israeli organic chemist and professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, worked with fellow researcher
Shimon Ben-Shabat to understand how our ECS demonstrated the entourage effect. An October 19, 2019, article explained that, “According to the duo, various inactive metabolites and related molecules boosted the activity of the primary endogenous cannabinoids [cannabinoids that naturally occur in our bodies]: 2-AG and anandamide. They said it helped explain why botanical drugs were often more effective than isolated ones.”
In layman terms think of it as the entire entourage (sorry couldn’t help myself) of compounds interacting efficiently to establish or reestablish balance. So rather than isolating one compound in the hopes of achieving homeostasis, the crew bands together to boost the health benefits of cannabis.
Benefits of terpenes in CBD topicals
Much the same for humans as for plants, terpenes provide a natural defense mechanism supporting mental and physical health. Dr. Ethan Russo, a prominent cannabis researcher, suggests that the entourage effect may account for terpenes’ medical potential. In a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, he looked at the chemical interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids and said, “[they] could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.”
In CBD topicals, terpenes are valuable for therapeutic properties – anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and anesthetic, to name a few.
“[Terpenes] could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.” – Dr. Ethan Russo
Reputable manufacturers understand the entourage effect, the interaction among essential oils, terpenes and CBD. With entourage effect in mind, they develop products around the therapeutic benefits of CBD, essential oils and terpenes to focus on a particular condition or symptom. So, it’s important to understand that just because a product claims CBD, doesn’t mean it’s what it claims. There are a lot of fakers. Not all CBD is created equal and not all products treat all conditions.
Natural and toxin-free topicals
Here are my favorite parts about quality CBD products: they are Earth- and people-friendly. When you read the ingredient labels, you’ll find only naturally occurring compounds. No chemicals, no preservatives, no toxins. The terpenes present in the CBD and essential oils combine to promote health and beauty in a person-centric, eco-friendly way.
Lost Remedy products have never contained toxins or harmful chemicals. All of our products are made from clean, hemp-derived CBD oil with added organic carrier and essential oils. Manufacturing the products creates minimal pollution, and we use compostable packaging and shipping materials whenever possible. Did you know our packing peanuts are made from cornstarch? Yep, nothing bad there. So, we not only care about what you put on your skin but what the products do to our planet.
Do your research
Finally, know what you are treating. Then make sure the product is for that specific symptom or condition. For example, if you have arthritis, don’t expect any old CBD product to ease the pain. For softer skin, seek a lotion or complexion product that is specific to your needs. During radiation, you want a product made specifically to address the burning that often accompanies treatment.
CBD does not offer a one-product-fits-all effect. Though CBD is a tremendous anti-inflammatory in its own right, it primarily serves as an efficient and effective delivery system for the therapeutic ingredients contained in each unique formulation. Understand what you need and feel free to discuss using CBD with your doctor to ensure you’re treating the right condition. As always, do your research and make sure the product you choose is the real deal.