Terpenes and Why We Love Them

Terpenes are highly aromatic compounds found in plants. Terpenes are produced by trichomes, mushroom shaped glands found on the surface of leaves and flowers. Your body already knows what a terpene is because you have been experiencing them all your life! Simply put: Terpenes are the chemicals that determine how things smell.

💛⁠

Terpenes are commonly associated with cannabis, especially with all the buzz (pun intended) around cannabis in the last few years. Cannabis does in fact contain terpenes, and it is the unique combination of terpenes in a strain that will determine the effects it has on the body. However, terpenes are not limited to the cannabis plant

*

REALLY important to know is that there are over 20,000 different terpenes that have been identified, and scientists are just scratching the surface in understanding how they interact with the human body. While it is true that 100 of those terpenes are unique to the cannabis plant, THE REALITY IS THAT IF A PLANT HAS A SMELL ~ it is the terpenes that you are smelling! ⁠

💛⁠

Does the role of a terpene stop at creating smells in plants? Heck no it doesn't. Terpenes play a vital role in the lives of plants, sometimes they attract pollinators, and sometimes they act as a deterrent to predators. I believe that terpenes are one of the ways that plants talk to humans. 

*

Each terpene has differences in the effects it will have on the body. It is the chemical structure of the terpene, as well as how it interacts with your unique body chemistry that will determine the effects you may feel. Like anything in life, just because something has an effect on your friend, does not mean it will effect you in the same way!

💛⁠

How do Terpenes work?

*

When inhaled, the molecules in terpenes travel from olfactory nerves directly to the brain, and more specifically, impact the amygdala which is the emotional center of the brain. The amygdala is part of the limbic system and is heavily involved in forming memories. This can partly explain why familiar smells can trigger memories or emotions. The limbic system also plays a role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. As such, research is being done to better understand exactly how terpenes exert a physical effect on your body when they are inhaled.

*

When applied to the skin (body’s largest organ) terpenes can be absorbed and work locally, or in some cases the molecular structure is small enough they can make it into the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body. To increase the chance of absorption, research is showing that using massage techniques or heat can help. In this case terpenes my be able to deliver a range of benefits to the body’s systems and organs.

*

How exactly do terpenes work their magic? Well, without going full nerd, the simplest way to understand it is that they work by binding with the receptors we have on certain types of cells. Each terpene is a unique chemical structure primarily composed of carbon atoms, and hence each terpene can produce powerful effects through their interaction with cellular targets. Huh? SO SIMPLY put, if you have cells in your body that need help a terpene can provide, then you will see change in your physiological state. This type of interaction on a cellular level, some terpenes can attach to receptors located on the outside of a cell to influence changes within it, while others can pass through the cellular membrane and bind to enzymes, proteins, and even DNA.  Each terpene works its magic in a unique way, and not only that, each person will respond to the magic in a unique way. We trust in terpenes and LOVE working with them and getting to know them better!

💛⁠

The terpenes and the common benefits associated with each one (as well as which Hipbees product they can be found in) are listed here:

1. Linalool: Can help fight acne with its anti-bacterial properties. May soothe rashes, reduce redness and blotchy patches with its anti-inflammatory properties. Can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles with its antioxidants to fight free-radical damage (if you are into preventing fine lines and wrinkles)⁠. Found in Groovy Glow, Touch and Glow, and JOMO mask.

2. Caryophyllene: Its distinctive flavor contributes to the spiciness of black pepper and can be found in high amounts in cloves, hops, and rosemary. Beta Caryophyllene has potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. It is known to help relieve anxiety and pain

3. Limonene: One of the most commonly known terpenes as it is found in most citrus fruits (in the peels more specifically) and the scent of citrus is pretty darn common. ⁠ 🍋⁠ What are the benefits of this terpene? Science is still working hard on the mechanics of how exactly this works in our bodies (you can check out my blog on the subject if you want to know more). The current potential therapeutic effects are mood elevation and anti-bacterial properties.⁠

4. Myrcene:The most common plants this terpene are found in areare chamomile, mango, hops, grapefruit, and palmarosa. Fun Fact: Myrcene got its name from the Brazilian shrub Myrcia. Myrcene has been studied to have the following qualities: ⁠ *⁠ Sedative⁠ *⁠ Analgesic (pain relief)⁠ *⁠ Anti-inflammatory⁠ *⁠ Anti-oxidant⁠ *⁠ Muscle relaxant⁠ *⁠ The scents most associated with Myrcene are sweet, fruity, tropical, earthy, and green vegetative. Lovely calming and sedative aromas to soothe your soul.⁠

5. Geraniol: Found in geraniums, roses, lemongrass, blueberries, palmarosa, among others:) AND fun fact: bees actually produce this terpene in their scent glands and use it to mark nectar-bearing flowers to make gathering honey more efficient, they also use it to mark the entrance to their hives!!! ⁠

*

If you ever feel like fully nerding out on scientific information about terpenes please check out the article here: TERPENES :)

💛⁠

Also, check out @flowscientific for Canada's most amazing terpenes! We adore them and their amazing team!!!⁠

💛⁠

Oh and PS in case you were wondering, the terpene in the above picture is Beta-Caryophyllene, and I chose that one because from that angle it looks like a heart doing a heel click