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What are terpenes?

What are terpenes?

Terpenes in CBD are organic hydrocarbons that give cannabis its aromatic variety and taste. Furthermore, flavonoids are also present in the cannabis plant, which are also responsible for scent and taste. But they are not only present in cannabis plants. Terpenes as well as flavonoids are found in blossoms, herbs and plants, as they give them their unique smell.

In addition, terpenes are also a kind of defence mechanism. They keep insects or animals from eating the plant. Furthermore, terpenes are often used in the production of flavours and fragrances, for example to conjure up a pleasant smell in organic products.

The combination of terpenes and cannabinoids in CBD oil is particularly important, as both substances support each other. Therefore, in this article we would like to take a closer look at the important terpenes of the hemp plant, which are of course also contained in CBD oil.

What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are secondary plant compounds that, together with terpenes, give the cannabis plant its scent and flavour. They are mainly absorbed through the consumption of fruits and vegetables and are also present in many medicinal herbs and almost in the plant.

There are currently around 8,000 different flavonoids that have been isolated so far. However, only a fraction of them have been sufficiently researched. These include, for example:

  • Quercetin
  • Kaempferol (oxidation product of pelargonidin - orange natural dye)
  • Luteolin
  • Apigenin (light yellow natural dye)
  • Catechin

    Flavonoids, like terpenes and cannabinoids, have a different effect on the organism. In combination, however, they are almost unbeatable. Flavonoids have an effect:

    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Antioxidant
    • Antispasmodic
    • Promotes circulation
    • Stops cancer growth
    • For liver problems
    • For heart problems
    • For depression
    • For allergies

      However, it is also known that flavonoids and proteins in combination can inhibit the positive, health effect.

      What exactly are terpenes in CBD?

      While terpenes were hardly searched for on the internet two years ago, this has changed. This is mainly due to CBD products, as terpenes and cannabinoids play a major role here. Terpenes are a large group of chemical compounds.

      They occur as a minor component in natural organisms. Terpenes have an antimicrobial property, which is why they can be used as a natural pesticide. In their pure form, terpenes are very poorly soluble in water, i.e. non-polar.

      However, they are highly soluble in fats and oils (lipohil), which is why they are often used in essential oils used for aromatherapy to refine the aroma. However, it depends on the terpene mixture so that the aroma oil can really have an effect. They are also contained in CBD oil and can do good things for your health.

      Where are terpenes found in hemp?

      Terpene is produced in sticky resin glands of the cannabis plant. Among other things, the cannabinoid CBD is also secreted in these. However, the interest in these substances from the cannabis plant is not only due to the smell.

      Terpene is produced in sticky resin glands of the cannabis plant. Among other things, the cannabinoid CBD is also secreted in these. However, the interest in these substances from the cannabis plant is not only due to the smell.

      Science has found that terpenes interact with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system. This finding has given the active ingredients a completely different meaning for science and consumers.

      This is also because the effect of terpenes and cannabis is a very interesting combination. Both substances support each other and can thus have an even better effect on health.

      These terpenes are present in CBD oil

      Various terpenes are present in the hemp plant, thus also in CBD oil. Flavonoids, i.e. plant substances, are also present in the cannabis plant. These, together with the terpenes, give the CBD oil its corresponding scent and taste.

      However, we would only like to list the most important terpenes here. It must also be said that cannabis varieties have a very distinct terpene profile, which differs on the one hand in concentration and on the other hand in composition. The four terpenes with the highest concentrations are:


      Besides cannabinoids like CBD, cannabis also contains terpenes like limonene. Cannabis plants that can have a high content of limonene have a pleasant lime or orange scent, but this does not mask the typical cannabis aroma.

      Therefore, limonene is often used in aromatherapy, as the scent is perceived as very pleasant and also brings some benefits. Furthermore, limonene is also often an ingredient in creams and ointments with CBD. Limonene helps the active ingredients to penetrate the skin better.

      The active ingredient limonene is primarily a component in cannabis. But limonene is also found in large quantities in peppermint and juniper, rosemary and citrus fruits.


      The terpene B-caryophyllene produces a woody and spicy aroma. This is why it is very often found in cinnamon, black pepper or Thai basil. Moreover, B-caryophyllene is the only terpene that interacts with the endocannabinoid system to develop the aroma.

      Through research, scientists assume that the terpene could have an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, they are convinced that B-caryophyllene could also be an important helper in cases of depression, anxiety or chronic pain.

      However, this needs further investigation to substantiate the studies. Together with cannabidiol, this effect could be an excellent therapeutic approach.


      Linalool has an extremely pleasant, floral aroma, which is why it is found in numerous plants. For example, linalool can be found in lavender, mint, cinnamon or even mushrooms and flowers of all kinds. As we all know, lavender has a calming effect.

      Here, the terpene linalool in particular contributes to this calming effect, as it has been proven to be an important helper in stress and anxiety. In addition, linalool is also known as a sleep aid and is even a precursor in the production of vitamin E in the body.


      B-Myrzen smells like cloves and also has a slightly earthy and musky aroma. These terpenes are most abundant in cannabis and are the main component of the terpenes in the plant. B-myrcene makes up almost half of the terpene volume in cannabis.

      But this ingredient can also be found in mango, hops, eucalyptus, lemongrass and thyme. Studies have found that myrcene has an anti-inflammatory effect and can be used as a treatment for kidney inflammation.

      Why are terpenes in CBD important?

      Terpenes are present in many plants and have many advantages. On the one hand, they protect the plants from predators and on the other hand, they also serve as a plant pesticide. This means that the cannabis plant does not need to be sprayed, as the hemp can protect itself.

      But they also have medicinal benefits for humans. They have different effects and can be used for different ailments. Some of the terpenes have an antiseptic or antimicrobial effect. Others, however, have an anticarcinogenic effect.

      As a result, terpenes can be used for many complaints. In addition, they can be helpful for inflammations or pain. Terpenes can even be used in aromatherapy for anxiety disorders and panic attacks as well as to support healthy sleep.

      However, this also means that they have some of the same health values as cannabinoids, which are found in cannabis. The combination of terpenes and cannabinoids thus has a special effect and can enhance the health-promoting properties of both.

      For example, various studies have shown that pinenes or alpha-pinene is an important helper in viral and bacterial infections. Pinene is a terpene that is found in numerous plants such as conifers. Furthermore, these compounds can also aid digestion without the need for a chemical agent.

      How terpenes from hemp affect the body

      The terpenes CBD have a special mode of action on the body. They interact in part with the endocannabinoid system, which all humans possess. Terpenes, like cannabidiol and THC, can interact with cellular and neuronal receptors in the body to balance neurotransmitter levels.

      They offer protection to plants and flowers, which can also be transferred to people at the same time. For example, terpenes can bind to the receptors and thus significantly influence dopamine activity. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter of the reward centre.

      But serotonin, the happiness hormone, is also influenced by terpenes. Thus, not only cannabinoids like cannabidiol have positive effects, but also terpenes and the flavonoids contained in hemp. The big advantage here is that they are as good as free of side effects. This cannot necessarily be said of serotonin reuptake inhibitors or painkillers as well as antidepressants.

      CBD oils are only so valuable with terpenes and flavonoids

      As you can see, terpenes and flavonoids play a particularly important role in CBD oil. They support the cannabinoids like cannabidiol so that they can unfold better. Furthermore, the combination of CBD, terpenes and flavonoids is particularly important, as this is where the entourage effect can occur.

      The Entourage effect was first mentioned by the Israeli cannabis researcher Raphael Mechoulam. He found that the cannabis plant can work best with the compounds in combination.

      This means that flavonoids, terpenes as well as cannabinoids should not be taken separately but together to achieve the best effect. The molecules and different substances can thus develop their full effect and at the same time also bring the desired benefit.

      Thus, not only the cannabidiol or the various cannabinoids play a major role in CBD oils. The terpenes and flavonoids are also of great importance when it comes to the health effect on our organism.

      Therefore, the interaction of the billions of microorganisms is particularly important, as each one can have its own and individual function.


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