Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants and herbs that can be used for a variety of purposes. From providing flavor, aroma, and medicinal properties to a wide array of products, terpenes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many creative ways. But what is the best way to use terpenes? Let’s take a closer look.
Table of Contents
Before we can discuss how to use terpenes, it’s important to understand how they are extracted. There are several methods available, including steam distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, and supercritical CO2 extraction. Steam distillation is the most common method of extracting terpenes from plant material.
Liquid-liquid extraction uses solvents to pull terpenes from the plant material. Supercritical CO2 extraction uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract terpenes from the plant material. The method chosen for extracting terpenes will depend on the type of plant material being used and the desired outcome.
Therapeutic Applications for Terpenes
Terpenes have many therapeutic applications. They can be used as an ingredient in CBD oil or terpene oil and have different uses depending on whether they are derived from hemp or cannabis.
Terpenes can also be used as an insect repellent, a natural preservative in cosmetics and other products, and to add color to products such as candles, soaps, and perfumes. Additionally, terpenes can be used to create essential oils which are useful for aromatherapy and massage therapy.
Crossing Blood Brain Barrier & Other Plants’ Terpenes
Terpenes can cross the blood brain barrier and affect the brain directly when inhaled or absorbed through a patch. Terpenes from other plants such as ginkgo can also be taken orally and be biologically active in the brain. Certain types of terpenes make THC cross the blood brain barrier more effectively as well.
CBD & Cannabis Medicines & Taking with Fat Meal
CBD and cannabis medicines are best taken with a fat containing meal to help absorb better into our systems. Full spectrum CBD and medical cannabis oils may still contain some terpenes despite CO2 extraction unless labelled as an isolate product; full spectrum products are more effective than isolate products and often need higher doses.
Forest Bathing and Alpha-Pinene
Forest bathing in Japan has become a popular practice for its anti-stress effects and to lift the mood. Alpha-pinene is the dominant terpene found in pine trees and studies have concluded that it has antidepressant properties. Thus, cannabis strains high in alpha-pinene are recommended for lifting low moods and memory.
Flavor & Aroma Enhancers
Terpenes are also useful for providing flavor and aroma benefits. They can be added to food and drinks to enhance their flavor or aroma profiles. They can also be blended with other essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus to create synergistic effects that offer enhanced therapeutic benefits.
Best Ways To Use Cannabis Terpenes
Terpenes are what make cannabis taste and smell delicious. Trichomes (resin glands) produce terpenes alongside cannabinoids. Unfertilized female flowers have the highest concentration of terpenes, which is why they have a stronger smell than the leaves. Even in CBD products, terpenes can still be present in relatively small amounts but still have a possible effect on our brains and bodies at these low concentrations.
Using a Vaporizer
Terpenes are volatile, easily combustible compounds that are best preserved through consuming cannabis with a vaporizer. Vaporizers are designed to heat cannabis at lower temperatures, allowing you to get more of the beneficial compounds like THC, CBD, and terpenes without the smoke. This method is especially recommended for vaporizing cultivars with known calming effects.
Inhalation or Tincture
In order to experience the full effects of terpenes, they should be inhaled or taken as a tincture. Unfortunately, they do not survive gastrointestinal ingestion.
Spraying Terpenes On Cannabis
For cannabis producers and consumers alike, one of the best ways to experience the full potential of terpenes is through spraying them onto cannabis. An advantage is that spraying terpenes on cannabis is a cost-effective way to increase potency or add to the therapeutic effects of cannabis consumption.
In conclusion, there are many ways to use terpenes depending on your needs and preferences. It’s important to research which type of terpene would best suit your purpose before finding a product that contains those specific terpenes. Additionally, you should consider blending different types of terpene-containing products together for enhanced therapeutic benefits or adding them into food and drinks for improved flavor or aroma profiles.