Terpenes: The Compounds That Strengthen CBD

What are terpenes?

A terpene (pronounced terp-een) is a compound in plants that give them their smell. Plants use terpenes to fend off predators and/or attract pollinators. They give pine trees, lemons, and coffee their distinct smell. These compounds are also found in hemp plants. And they give hemp and/or cannabis their distinct smell as well.

But, what’s interesting is that these terpenes were discovered to have some great benefits and they help CBD be even more effective.

They’re a force multiplier for CBD.


a chart of common terpenes fround in CBD

There are over 100 terpenes identified in hemp. These are 6 common ones

What can terpenes do?

CBD by itself has a lot of evidence to show it’s an anti-inflammatory and reduces anxiety. But, when combined with the rest of the compounds found in the hemp plant, it has a stronger effect on the human body, since these other compounds like terpenes may also have pain relieving and anti-anxiety properties. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect.a geometric web of lines and dots connecting to each other

Different terpenes cause different effects.

Research has shown that terpenes can create feelings of tiredness/sedation and pain relief. They stop fungus and/or bacterial growth and can reduce symptoms of anxiety by regulating hormones in your brain.

Pretty incredible for something that just “smells good”

Check out the results from these studies:

Beta Caryophellene

Although terpenes are not cannabinoids, this one acts like a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids (like CBD and THC) affect your endocannabinoid system. Terpenes usually do not. Beta Caryophyllene acts as a cannabinoid and boosts levels of the bliss hormone anandamide by interacting with CB2 receptors in your body. It’s also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties

See the research here

There’s also evidence to show it’s a pain reliever and an anti oxidant you can see that research here


Early studies are showing evidence of it being a neuroprotectant and anti inflammatory. Click here to read about it.

Anti-depressant effects were seen in rodent trials here


Alpha pinene

In this study, they irradiated cells with UV light to see how Alpha Pinene would react. They noticed it reduced DNA damage and oxidative stress placed on the cells.

And here’s yet another study to show how this terpene is an anti-inflammatory



This study showed evidence of reducing inflammation in the gut of rats. Searching on PubMed (a database for medical research) would show you 3,800 results for limonene alone. If you don’t believe me, check it out here

You can do this with all of the other terpenes above as well. The search results from all of these show the studies for antidepressive effects, anti-inflammatory effects, reducing skin rash and much more. It’s clear these terpenes are well researched, it’s nothing new.

The bottom line on Terpenes in CBD:

Terpenes are very desirable in your CBD products. Besides their aromatics and flavor profiles, they have been researched for possible health benefits as well. CBD also shares the same benefits of terpenes, but it works via different actions in your brain and body. Combining these two creates a synergestic effect called the entourage effect to describe how all of these compounds team up when taken together with other cannabinoids (even minor ones like Delta 8 THC)

The more terpenes in your CBD, the more benefits to your wellness you’re getting. If you want to see how much terpenes your CBD has, check the lab test also known as a Certificate of Analysis (CoA).

[related: How to read a CBD lab test]

a short bio of Jon Vought

Terpenes offer another level of benefits on top of what cannabinoids like CBD offer. While CBD can provide anti-inflammation or mood support, terpnes can also do the same, causing a stronger effect when working in conjunction with cannbinoids. This phenomenon is called the entourage effect

No. At least not how we understand the word “psychoactive”. Terpenes are not intoxicating. Terpenes may reduce anxiety, reduce stress and promote calmness. So, they are mood altering although they are not mind altering.

Yes, terpenes are often confused with THC, the intoxicating compound found in cannabis. Terpenes give hemp its strong smell and sometimes cause confusion between hemp and marijuana. Regardless, terpenes by themselves are completely legal.

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