For years the only compound in cannabis deemed worthy of study and appreciation was tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. More recently, cannabidiol (also known as full spectrum hemp oil) has become the primary industry buzzword as scientists unlock its numerous therapeutic and medicinal benefits.
But in 2011 the industry was rocked by a bombshell, and it had to do with terpenes, the aromatic organic compounds that give all cannabis plants (hemp included) their distinct skunky odor.
Hemp Terpenes are the Next Frontier
Neurologist and researcher Ethan Russo found that hemp terpenes work together with cannabinoids to boost and modulate the effect of one another in the body’s endocannabinoid system.
These essential oils are rightly considered the next frontier in terms of targeted medicinal and therapeutic uses of hemp. The hemp plant alone contains over 200 terpenes, 12 of which occur in significant quantities.
Myrcene — which is also found in hops, mango and lemongrass — is one of the most prevalent hemp terpenes, and its anti inflammatory and anti-insomnia effects are well documented. The terpene Limonene, which smells like lemon, has been shown to act as an antidepressant and energizer.
Different hemp strains contain different proportions of each these dominant terpenes, meaning that there are near endless cross-breeding possibilities that will allow us to develop strains that directly treat certain conditions.
If you cook with hemp, as I do, the fact that each variety of hemp has a different flavor profile should get you excited!
The Top 12 Hemp Terpenes
- Myrcene — Thyme, Hops, Mangoes
- Limonene — Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemon
- Caryophyllene — Black Pepper, Rosemary, Cloves
- Humulene — Basil, Cloves
- Bisabolol — Chamomile
- Ocimene — Mint, Parsley, Kumquat
- Terpinolene — Apple, Sage, Rosemary
- Valencene — Oranges, Tangerines
- Geraniol — Geranium, Tobacco, Lemon
- Terpineol — Lilac, Eucalyptus, Lime Tree Blossoms
Meet Jenny Argie
I am a single mother of three from Brooklyn, a breast cancer survivor and I have been a hard-nosed cannabis activist since I first tried hemp oil in the hopes it would ease the pain of my cancer treatments.
After learning the science behind the plant’s therapeutic effects, I started Jenny’s Baked at Home, a labor of love that is dedicated to sharing whole-plant hemp oil products for the Kitchen, Body and Soul with anyone and everyone in need.