Terpenes are the fragrant compounds extracted from plants, flowers and trees. These organic compounds evolved to attract pollinators, such as bees, by using their captivating scents to guarantee that plants are reproduced.
Essential oils rich in terpenes are the most commonly used in cosmetics and perfume formulations. They are also used in food preparations and for brewing beer-hops contain terpenes which are the compounds that give beer its taste and aroma.
Like the terpenes in essential oils, the terpenes in cannabis have distinctive scents that will appeal to and affect you in different ways. Some people are attracted to earthy, herbaceous aromas while others prefer citrus or light floral smells.
The predominant terpene in a cannabis strain can have a positive or negative impact on your reaction to that strain. For example, if you adore fresh, citrus aromas and lean towards essential oils like orange or grapefruit you will most likely favour limonene-rich cannabis strains. However, if earthy, fresh aromas reminiscent of pine and forest are your preference, you will likely lean towards an alpha-pinene-rich cannabis strain like pine or juniper.
The same principle works in the world of aromatherapy. The scent of an essential oil can draw you towards it, it is very likely that that particular oil has the therapeutic properties you need in that moment.
As we know terpenes are powerful pharmacologically active organic compounds which greatly contribute to the aroma and taste of plants. But terpenes have also been used in aromatherapy and herbal medicine for their therapeutic benefits as well as their aroma.
Not only will the terpene profile within any given cannabis or aromatherapy greatly affect its aroma and taste, but the aromatic power of that particular plant will significantly impact the aroma of the finished product. Whether the product is being using in cosmetics, beverages, tinctures, edibles or muscle balms, etc., the aroma and taste of the finished product will reflect the plant’s terpene profile.
The cannabis plant’s aromatic profile can change during production, especially if the material is heated. Being volatile organic compounds, terpenes are heat-sensitive and will start to evaporate at 700 ° F. Citrus terpenes will evaporate first, so the limonene will respond to heat quickly followed by the heavier terpenes such as b-caryophyllene and a-pinene.Even if you don’t expose the terpenes to heat, you need to care for your cannabis material in order to protect the terpenes and the cannabinoids and to avoid oxidation. Oxidation can change the molecular structure of the terpenes, here by affecting their aroma. Oxidation will happen if you expose the terpenes to oxygen over a period of time, so make sure your cannabis is in a dark container, stored away from light and leave very little to no air space in the storage container in order to avoid oxidation.
Deep blue in colour, Yarrow is a skin savior. Yarrow is my go-to essential oil for damaged or severely irritated skin as well as when treating inflamed muscles. I have a long list of therapeutic properties for this oil-ranging from cooling, helping to reduce swelling and muscle spasms to relieving towards hot flashes.
Yarrow is also known for the following qualities, analgesic, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, decongestant, digestive aid, diuretic and of course: skin healing. It has been used to help reduce allergies as well as to reduce the pain of headaches, nerve pain and menstrual pain.Emotionally, yarrow is said help relieve emotional trauma and is often used to help release repressed anger and productively deal with rage.
One of the un sung hero terpenes is sabinene which can be found in yarrow essential oil.
Sabinene is known to be antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, expectorant and a good airborne antiseptic. It may also be useful for reducing swelling. Sabinene is present in over 20% in black pepper, juniper, nutmeg, yarrow and plai to name a few essential oils. It is also present in bay laurel, ravintsara and saro. Being a constituent of the black pepper, sabinene is said to be the reason behind the hotness and spicy element of this oil.It is said to be the component in carrot seed essential oil, which contributes to the green, earthy, carrot top flavor of the oil.
Blood orange has a citrus, sweet aroma with a gently hint of floral.In terms of safety there is a reported low risk for phototoxicity but be careful and avoid old or oxidized oils.It is recommended to limit the use of blood orange to a 1.25% dilution in products applied to the skin.Therapeutically, blood orange is said to offer a wide variety of therapeutic properties including, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antiviral and supportive to a healthy appetite.I have personally found it to be restorative and hydrating for all skin types and I like to use in in morning skincare routine products.Limonene is a monoterpene that is widely found in essential oils. Typically found as a main component in ll the expressed citrus oils, d-limonene is also found in oils such as elemi, spearmint and caraway, limonene commonly known for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties. This component is particularly useful when needing to relieve respiratory congestion as well as for digestive discomfort.
Helichrysum is terpene rich with 47% sesquiterpenes and 34% monoterpenes content.As an essential oil helichrysum is known for its skin care properties.It is used for its skin cell regenerative qualities making it an impressive oil for wound and injury healing.It is also known for its ability to disperse bruises and help reduce scarring.Generally, it is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.It is an effective oil against bacteria and fungus growth that can cause rashes, infections and delayed wound healing. Emotionally and energetically, helichrysum italicum essential oil is healing and balancing. This essential oil can help resolve new emotional trauma and help heal old emotional wounds.
One of helichrysums main terpenes isCamphene. Campheneis a common monoterpene found typically above 10% in many essential oils including white fir, black spruce, hemlock and Engelman spruce. There is 10.17% camphene in white spruce. Camphene is noted for its antioxidant and mucolytic properties.
To learn more about Terpenes check out my terpene course: https://www.labaroma-education.com/labterpene