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What do Cannabinoids and Terpenes do for the Body?

Posted on November 17th, 2020 to Education

Hemp-infused products are everywhere these days. The cannabis industry is growing rapidly while CBD & terpenes are continuing to carve out their own unique sector of the wellness market. As you sort through the vast landscape of hemp & CBD products, it’s important to ask yourself: do you actually know what you’re looking for?

Understanding the differences and similarities between specific cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp-based products, as well as their effects on the body, can make all the difference in deciding what to buy.

First of all, what are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the members of a family of chemical compounds found in hemp plants. CBD is a cannabinoid. So is Delta-9 THC. Researchers have found that specific cannabinoids may come with therapeutic benefits that are particular to them. One of the most obvious examples of how our bodies react differently to specific cannabinoids is the case of THC and CBD. Smoking cannabis high in CBD will not get you high, whereas smoking cannabis that is high in THC will product an intoxicating effect.

How does our body interact with cannabinoids?

Our bodies interact with cannabinoids via the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Every mammal has one. Within the ECS, there are two cell receptors – CB1 and CB2. These receptors or nodes are the sites that are responsible for cannabinoid action in the body. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and respiratory system, while CB2 receptors are most commonly associated with immune cells and the peripheral nervous system.

Okay, so what are terpenes?

Terpenes are a completely separate set of organic compounds and they’re found in WAY more than just cannabis. Some of the most popular terpenes that you already know are pinene (found in pine needles), and limonene (found in lemons & other citrus fruits). Terpenes are a broad class of chemicals with a backbone made exclusively of isoprene molecules (hydrogen and carbon bonds),  Groups of these molecules attach themselves in distinct ways that set different terpenes apart.

What do terpenes do? What are they for?

As we alluded to earlier, terpenes are known for having strong odors, which in nature serve the plants that make them to deter herbivores. Often, different terpenes attract the various predators and parasites of local herbivores and in this way protect the plant. But that’s not all terpenes are good for.

Okay but what do terpenes do for the body?

Recent research may point to evidence that terpenes play a large & meaningful role in how our bodies react to cannabis. For instance, scientists have found that beta-carotene (the terpene which gives carrots a yellowish tint) is a precursor to vitamin A. It’s important to know how terpenes interact with our bodies especially considering that when you remove specific terpenes from the equation, the beneficial effects of what’s known as the “entourage effect” may be lessened. Scientists are hopeful that more research on terpenes like beta-carotene will lead to fruitful impacts.

How do I use cannabinoids and terpenes?

Traditionally, when people think of the benefits of hemp, the first thing that comes to mind is smoking a joint. But that was 1970, and this is now. There are more to cannabinoids than just THC and CBD.

THC & CBD are just the tip of the iceberg!

These cannabinoids are just the beginning of a hemp revolution. As the hemp industry expands, growers & producers are finding more and more ways to incorporate different cannabinoids and terpenes into various products. With that said, the main methods of ingestion will likely always be the same: hemp flowers/buds, edibles, tinctures/oils, or concentrates.

In conclusion, cannabinoids & terpenes are synergistically related

The outcomes that these two compounds produce in the body are related; in fact, they enhance each others’ effects. Scientists are continuing to work through what is known as the “entourage effect,” where cannabinoids and terpenes work synergistically to produce effects greater than merely the sum of their parts. The more you consider how you can leverage the properties of cannabinoids and terpenes to serve you, the better.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out our full spectrum hemp-infused product line, rich with cannabinoids and terpenes that your body will love. 🙂

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