To help our loyal customers better understand the benefits of a full spectrum CBD extract, we are launching a blog series on terpene benefits! The first of this multi-part post will focus mailing on beta-caryophyllene, a terpene which is commonly found in our own sativa-bloom plants as well as in the final product of our Genesis Blend products.
What Are Terpenes?
The term ‘terpene’ can be broadly defined as a class of chemical compounds that naturally occur in plant varieties and, sometimes, even animals. Chiefly known for their responsibilities in differentiating strains of cannabis by their aromas, maintaining the pigmentation of color in vegetables, and having a hand in the flavoring of some plants, uneducated minds often consider terpenes to be a mere anecdote in the grand scheme of cannabis products and their uses.
Found in several species of plants, herbs, and even animals, the main function of these compounds are to “give plants their characteristic scents” (Lee, 2021.) Terpenes are responsible for giving that signature citrus smell to lemongrass oil, they are what make a pine tree smell of pine, and are the main culprits in providing cannabis flower with the notorious smell of sticky-sweet wood. Terpenes are also commonly found in everyday, mass-manufactured products such as lotions, perfumes, and even some foods.
More than any other plant we know of today, cannabis has been found to contain over 200 different terpenes: all which are more than capable of lending a helping hand to better your immune health.
With supposedly over 20,000 terpenes present in our environment today, it is safe to say that terpenes are everywhere. But they aren’t just there to emit delicious aromas–terpenes have a wide variety of abilities: they help plants recover from damage, they aid in attracting pollinators, and you best believe they are more than capable of repelling predators from the plants in which they reside. And it isn’t just plants that reap the benefits of terpenes–but humans too!
A majority of the terpenes that we’re aware of today have been dubbed ‘bioactive’–a term which, according to The Dictionary, is defined as “having a biological effect” (CITE.) Essentially, when a substance is classified as bioactive, it means that, if consumed, said substance could have an affect on the human body. This is all dependent on the concentration of the substance in question and the ways in which said substance was consumed.
Terpenes, when consumed, bind to receptors in our brains, thus producing “a physiological response that can influence the production of different neurotransmitters [such as] dopamine and serotonin” (Lee, 2021.) This ability that terpenes obtain–the power to positively impact our physical, mental, and emotional health–is the reason why terpenes are so often found in our essential oils and natural-based lotion products.
One study, in particular, tested the effectiveness of terpenes and the potential to use and manipulate them as an antiviral drug to combat against the COVID-19 disease.
In concluding their study, Shaghaghi’s (2020) assumption was supported, ultimately finding that “the results of numerous studies have shown that protease inhibitors and compounds, which make up the major part of plant derivatives, especially terpenoids, can therefore be very effective in controlling virus-induced infection” (Shaghaghi, 2020.)
Eric Baron’s (2018) extensive research on the medicinal properties of cannabis compounds educates us on the fact that each cannabis strain is intricately unique from the next. His 2018 study, which proposes a new treatment for migraines, headaches, facial pain, and, ultimately, those who have fallen victim to the opioid epidemic, found that, though all cannabis plants might not be the same, all of the naturally present ingredients (i.e. terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids) “work synergistically to produce wide variations in benefits, side effects, and strain characteristics” (Baron, 2018.) To put it in layman’s terms, when consumed, all of the differing compounds present within a cannabis plant band together to create an enhanced effect, offering potential healing benefits such as pain relief.
Baron supports this finding in his declaration that “there is accumulating evidence for various therapeutic benefits of cannabis/cannabinoids, especially in the treatment of pain, which may also apply to the treatment of migraine and headache. There is also supporting evidence that cannabis may assist in opioid detoxification and weaning, thus making it a potential weapon in battling the opioid epidemic” (Baron, 2018.)
While terpenoids are commonly thought of as merely the scent and flavor profile of cannabis plants, they also offer benefits unique to their individual makeup. Not only this, but they tend to magnify the benefits of cannabinoids in an occurrence known as The Entourage Effect.
Alone, terpenes offer a wide variety of benefits to heal ailments, ease pain, and alleviate anxiety. However, partnered with other ingredients naturally found in the original cannabis strain (such as other terpenes, flavonoids, and/or cannabinoids,) terpenes are key components to creating The Entourage Effect. Discovered by Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat in 1998, The Entourage Effect (a term commonly associated with the cannabis industry) is when all of the chemicals found in one particular cannabis strain work together to produce an enhanced effect (Ben-Shabat, S., et.al, 1998.) The notion of The Entourage Effect backs the argument we make here, at Bluegrass Hemp Oil, which claims that a full spectrum product offers a greater healing power than any broad spectrum or CBD isolate product ever could.
Our Hydrocarbon Extraction Method:
So what makes a product truly full spectrum? What is the defining component in the production process that allows a CBD product to maintain all of its original, natural ingredients for our benefit?
The answer is simple: it is the hydrocarbon extraction method. The hydrocarbon extraction method is our extraction method of choice because of its ability to keep our products full spectrum.
Some extraction processes are meant to isolate particular components of the plant, removing the beneficial and natural elements of said plant that help contribute to its already present therapeutic properties.
Our products contain trace amounts of THC (that meet the standard legal requirement for production) because, when removing specific cannabinoids (like THC) from the original plant, you lose the natural terpenes and flavonoids that help make the substance what it is: a natural healing supplement that can better the life of its consumer. In a hydrocarbon extraction method like ours, we aren’t isolating anything–we’re not attempting to remove a specific compound within that plant, and we aren’t trying to incorporate unnatural additives.
For terpenes to remain present in your final CBD product, they require a gentle extraction process. The gentler the process is, the more full spectrum your product will be and the closer your final product is to the original plant that was harvested.
The biggest issue in the CBD industry today is that there are lots of products on the market that are labeled/advertised as full spectrum, yet contain no THC. These products are not full spectrum, for they must contain all of the naturally occurring compounds in order to deserve the title.
In the opinion of our experts at BHO, the synergy of all of the varying present is what makes a product truly full spectrum: nothing is added, nothing is removed. Just as nature intended, in a process made as gentle as possible, the final CBD product found on our shelves is the most similar to its original state as it can be.
In the case of other extraction methods such as CO2 and ethanol extractions–though they are legitimate, admittedly even considered widely popular, in the cannabis industry–they come with a cost: that cost being the fact that the high pressure required to extract these natural compounds completely destroys the terpenoid content as a whole, leaving consumers without that entire category of therapeutic substances. In using these extraction methods, your CBD manufacturer is severely diminishing the likelihood of you seeing the benefits of the The Entourage Effect, offered by the natural makeup of original plant.
In making Bluegrass Hemp Oil’s coveted Genesis Blend Hemp Extract, we place whole blooms from our Kentucky bred cannabis into our hydrocarbon extraction system. From this, our hydrocarbon machine creates an extremely safe, higher purity, pharmaceutical grade oleoresin that truly resembles the original plant from which it came. Hydrocarbons are non-polar, which means they bind to the fat-soluble components of the plant (i.e. cannabinoids and terpenes only) to gently extract these compounds from the plant material, while also eliminating non-essential elements. From this method, our golden-colored and earthy-scented Genesis Blend CBD oil is created.
In the first installment of the Terpene Benefits Series, we’re talking about beta-caryophyllene, or BCP.
Caryophyllene, a terpene also known as “beta-caryophyllene” is found in a variety of herbs and spices. This well-studied terpene has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it has been suggested as a treatment for anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Beta-caryophyllene is a prevalent terpene not only in our Genesis Blend Hemp Extracts, but also in black pepper, clove, rosemary, and many other common herbs.
Unique in its own way, B-caryophyllene can activate a cannabinoid receptor–creating an enhanced effect when found in a CBD oil. It’s also been found that “the interaction of CBD + Beta-Caryophyllene can be a potential adjunctive treatment for substance abuse/addiction” (Foreverest Resources, 2021).
According to CITE “β-Caryophyllene has now been shown to be directly beneficial for colitis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, cerebral ischemia, anxiety and depression, liver fibrosis, and Alzheimer-like disease types” CITE also argues that beta-caryphyllene is proven to be extremely bioavailable, providing “an important medicinal benefit to oral cannabis preparations.” (CITATION.)
Shop BHO’s Terpene Benefits
If you’re interested in testing out/reaping the benefits of a full spectrum product and getting a better understanding of the present terpenes and their effects, head on down to Bluegrass Hemp Oil. Find quality, personal assistance from one of our well-educated BHO employees at either of our Kentucky locations in Lexington or Midway–our experts love to help! Not in the area? No sweat! Bluegrass Hemp Oil’s online presence is more than capable of assisting you with your purchase or even continuing your education on all things CBD–find us on Instagram, Facebook, or even our BHO website to get answers to your questions and assistance when you shop.
Baron, E. P. (2018, July). Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. pubmed.gov. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30152161/
Ben-Shabat, S., Fride, E., Sheskin, T., Tamiri, T., Rhee, M. H., Vogel, Z., Bisogno, T., De Petrocellis, L., Di Marzo, V., & Mechoulam, R. (1998, July 17). An entourage effect: Inactive Endogenous Fatty Acid Glycerol Esters Enhance 2-Arachidonoyl-Glycerol Cannabinoid Activity. European Journal of Pharmacology. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9721036/
Foreverest Resources. (2021, June 5). The benefits of the β-caryophyllene(bcp). Foreverest Resources. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://foreverest.cn/news-list/the-benefits-of-the-%CE%B2-caryophyllenebcp
Hartsel, J. (2016). Caryophyllene. Caryophyllene – An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/caryophyllene
Lee, C. (2021, June 2). Most Effective CBD Products – Why Terpenes are Important. Discover Magazine. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.discovermagazine.com/sponsored/most-effective-cbd-products-why-terpenes-are-important
Shaghaghi, N. (2020, March 6). Molecular Docking Study of Novel COVID-19 Protease with Low Risk Terpenoides Compounds of Plants. ChemRxiv. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://chemrxiv.org/engage/chemrxiv/article-details/60c74898f96a001f292870ad