August 20, 2022 5 min read


CBD users are familiar with the term terpenes. Broad-spectrum CBD has a number of these terpenes, which offer some health advantages when taken together.

Hemp was approved for commercial production of CBD extracts as long as they contain no more than 0.3% of THC by dry weight by the 2018 Farmers Bill. There are various methods used to extract CBD from hemp. These include CO2 saturation, steam distillation, and propane/butane extraction. Moreover, CBD is only extracted from hemp plant parts except for hempseed which yields hempseed oil. Depending on the extraction method used, the extraction methods can yield three different hemp extracts, i.e., broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and CBD concentrates. Broad-spectrum contains all the hemp compounds except THC, which is usually removed later in the extraction process. The composition of broad-spectrum CBD includes terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBDV, and CBC. This article discusses terpenes and their usefulness.

What Are Terpenes

It is important to distinguish between terpenes and terpenoids to understand their utility in CBD oil. Terpenes are natural compounds found in the cannabis plant's flower or bud. Terpenoids, on the other hand, are chemically modified terpenes. Terpenoids are formed during the drying and hardening of a cannabis flower. Terpenes are natural compounds found in nearly all plants and even some animals. They are abundant in fruits, vegetables, and flowers. They impart flavor and fragrance to plants while providing numerous health benefits such as pain relief and anxiety relief. Terpenes are responsible for any perceptions people have of a plant. In addition, they also play an important as info-chemicals, attractants, and repellents. Terpenes in high concentrations can be toxic and act as a defense against herbivores and pathogens. Terpenes are found in plant oils, and there are approximately 20,000 known terpenes. What's amazing about the hemp plant is that it alone produces at least 200 of these known terpenes making broad-spectrum hemp extract a rich source of terpenes. However, these compounds are not in abundance but are found in trace amounts on the flip side. There are numerous terpenes such as bisabolol, borneol, camphene, caryophyllene, phytol, limonene, myrcene, pinene, and linalool. Below is a list of some of the most abundant terpenes and how some of their benefits:


Beta-Caryophyllene is a very common terpene found in hemp. It is the second most dominant terpene and the most abundant terpene in the plant. As it directly interacts with our Endocannabinoid System, specifically the CB2 receptor, it is known to act as a cannabinoid. Fungi, cloves, hops, rosemary, and copaiba are some of the other plants containing abundant beta-caryophyllene. It has a distinct flavor and aroma of black pepper. Beta-caryophyllene is a "therapeutic target for treating inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis." de Oliveira et al. (2016). Caryophyllene can help with pain relief. Ceccarelli et al. (2020) showed that caryophyllene was administered to mice and discovered that it reduced the pain in these rats more than those not administered in the same environment.


A-humulene, also known as alpha humulene, is a terpene classified as a monocyclic sesquiterpene that is an essential component of the essential oils found in flowering cones of flower hop plants. Humulene emits hoppy aromas similar to those found in freshly cut hops or craft beer. Humulene's aroma also contains subtle secondary notes reminiscent of wood, spices, and herbs. Mander& Liu (2010) showed that herbs have an anti-inflammatory compound with the potential to treat allergies. Abd Rashid et al. (2021) discovered that when two different sesquiterpenes, trans-caryophyllene, and a-humulene, were given to lab rats as an oral treatment, the mice showed a reduction in swelling. While more conclusive evidence is needed, alpha humulene appears to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent.


Cannabis and hemp plants and their derived oils contain significant amounts of alpha humulene, sometimes as much as 40 percent. Limonene is a terpene produced in the aromatic resin glands of hemp and cannabis plants. It is well-known for its citrus and fruity fragrances, which are found in common items like domestic cleaning products, cosmetics, CBD tinctures, and fruit rinds to enhance its scent. Limonene is currently heavily employed in the health business more than ever before, particularly as a treatment for stress and anxiety. Limonene is a terpene made of a combination of limonene and other terpenes; according to Rabi & Bishayee (2009), Limonene oils have shown promise in assisting chemotherapy patients and increasing beta-signaling for stress and anxiety reduction.


Linalool is a terpene found in lavender and birch bark and has a strong lavender fragrance with some acidic spiciness. It is a common terpene found in abundance in over two hundred different plant species. Linalool is well-known for its calming impact on tension and anxiety. According to Sayorwan et al. (2012), linalool induces a sedative effect by lowering sympathetic nerve activity and boosting parasympathetic nerve activity. Linalool is well known for relieving stress. Koulivand investigated how linalool interacts with body cells and receptors; they discovered multiple targets important to Alzheimer's disease treatment, including anticholinergic, neuroprotective, and antioxidant capabilities. Although this is interesting, additional research is needed to determine how linalool influences our mental state in the face of anxiety and stress.  Nakamura et al. (2009) noted that researchers discovered that inhaling linalool had anti-stress effects when the rats were subjected to stressful settings. They also discovered that linalool, like CBD, helped the rat's stress levels return to normal and how it acts in boosting the functioning of homeostasis.

How Terpenes Enhance The Effects Of CBD

Terpenes provide various health benefits and play a critical role in working with synergy with cannabis to provide an effect known as the entourage effect. Finlay et al. (2020) showed that cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, with terpenes, are much more effective when cannabis terpenes are present because terpenes help cannabinoids alter the blood-brain barrier—influencing the number of cannabinoids that can pass through that barrier and connecting with your Endocannabinoid System.


Terpenes are found in most plants. Their major function is to provide plants with their distinctive scent while also acting as a repellant against bugs, insects, and other organisms that pose a hazard to plants. Terpenes provide numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, stress relief, mood enhancement, and relief for chemotherapy patients. Terpenes have been discovered to boost the effects of cannabis by changing the blood-brain barrier, allowing more cannabinoids to flow through the endocannabinoid system.


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Ceccarelli, I., Fiorenzani, P., Pessina, F., Pinassi, J., Aglianò, M., Miragliotta, V., & Aloisi, A. M. (2020). The CB2 agonist β-caryophyllene in male and female rats exposed to a model of persistent inflammatory pain. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 850.

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Finlay, D. B., Sircombe, K. J., Nimick, M., Jones, C., & Glass, M. (2020). Terpenoids from cannabis do not mediate an entourage effect by acting at cannabinoid receptors. Frontiers in Pharmacology11, 359.

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Rabi, T., & Bishayee, A. (2009). d-Limonene sensitizes docetaxel-induced cytotoxicity in human prostate cancer cells: Generation of reactive oxygen species and induction of apoptosis. Journal of carcinogenesis8.

Sayorwan, W., Siripornpanich, V., Piriyapunyaporn, T., Hongratanaworakit, T., Kotchabhakdi, N., & Ruangrungsi, N. (2012). The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity.