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Terpenes 101: What are they? What do they do?

If you’ve ever caught a whiff of sage, lavender, or cannabis, you’ve smelled terpenes at work. The fragrant molecules are what give plants, flowers, and trees their wide range of scents, from earthy and floral to citrusy and it turns out they’re also good for your health.

Experts say the emotional and physical benefits of certain terpenes can be felt after forest bathing (which doesn’t involve any water), using essential oils, and yes, consuming cannabis. Here’s what you need to know:

Different terpenes, different effect

Your lavender essential oil and the chamomile leaves in your tea both get their distinctive scents from terpenes. And the same goes for cannabis, which actually shares some of its 200 or so terpenes with those plants. (Different strains of cannabis have different terpene combos, which is why they all smell a little bit different.) But terpenes benefits transcend the olfactory. Terpenes are part of the reason why one strain of pot may make you feel ultra-chill while another wakes you up.

“The strains and their effects are largely dependent on terpene levels within the plant”, he explains. “Whether you want to fall asleep or get some work done, the terpenes in your strain will determine how well that will work out. More [relaxing] indica strains are thought to contain high levels of [the terpenes] linalool and myrcene, making them smell deep and low, with hints of lavender, grape, berry, or skunk. Uplifting strains will smell more like fresh-cut grass, pine, and fresh citrus. It makes sense after all, sniffing a lavender essential oil is known to be soothing, while citrus is said to be energizing and in fact, cannabis can be classified as a form of aromatherapy in its own right.

“There is evidence that many of these terpenes have an effect on the human body when inhaled, it’s not pseudoscience”, he says. By smelling lavender or chamomile, you really are getting an anti-anxietal” effect. “By smelling citrus, you really are opening up the sinuses and clearing the mind. When you light up or vaporize cannabis, you’re getting all of the aromatherapy effects in addition to THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.”

The Esanssi Effect

Terpenes have been found to work in synergy with cannabinoids like CBD and THC to create what’s known as the “entourage effect”, which helps determine how the cannabis interacts with your body, often making the plant more effective. Esanssi botanical CBD oils are naturally packed with terpenes from the CBD and from our proprietary botanical blends. The oils naturally complement and intensify the CBD, to create powerful and great tasting botanical CBD oils. These active compounds modulate the effects of one another, reducing the side effects of [certain] constituents while enhancing the effects of another. For example, some scientists believe a terpene called pinene may help counteract cloudy thinking and memory loss that can be caused by THC, while limonene is believed to help boost the anti-acne properties of CBD when applied topically.

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