Terpenes 202: The Tiny Molecules that Could Be The Future of Cannabis

April 19, 2021

Terpenes: they transform CBD’s standalone effects and confer numerous health benefits of their own. And with hemp containing hundreds of terpenes — each with dozens of positive qualities — the full number of said benefits is probably too long to list.


To put it simply, terpenes are what make cannabis (including hemp, of course) tick.


Optimize a plant or product’s terpene profile, and the product’s effects as a whole gets optimized along with it. Terpenes can also be custom-blended to provide specific effects like anxiety reduction or deepened sleep. Some terpenes can even activate the endocannabinoid system!


This is something the CBD industry is finally starting to acknowledge. And while CBD itself is still hogging most of its namesake industry’s stage, a select few brands are getting intentional about perfecting their products’ terpene values.


A Look at Who’s Leading the Charge…

For us, that’s something to be excited about. So excited, in fact, that we couldn’t help but make a list of three top CBD companies that are spearheading the charge into terpene-infused territory. Within it you’ll find creative uses of essential oils, rosin-pressed extracts from other superplants, and science-backed blends of all sorts. Without further ado, here’s the list.


#1. Sana Botanicals

Founded by a Gulf War veteran who found that nature worked when nothing else would, Sana Botanicals has quickly risen to the forefront of terpenated CBD.


The result of their dedication to natural solutions? Three flagship CBD oils — Focus, Calm, and Restore — each with distinctly different terpene profiles and equally different intended effects.


Focus aims to help users, well, do what you might expect via its stimulatory dose of CBD (i.e, a low dose) and energy-friendly essential oils like ginger, lemon, and peppermint. Considering that hemp is already rich in limonene, the energizing lemon terpene, this combo seems like a cognitive win-win.


Calm, on the other hand, features calming EO’s: ashwagandha, bergamot, chamomile, lavender, peppermint, and vetiver oil, according to the company’s website. These botanicals are mixed with a moderate 20mg/mL of CBD to “provide a soothing sense of calm while easing stress and anxiety.”


Restore is Sana’s most powerful CBD oil, packing 1,200 milligrams of full spectrum hemp extract into each bottle. Infused with chamomile, hops, lavender, rosemary, and sweet orange, this product’s essential oil blend is decidedly relaxing…and likely to provide an added entourage effect to CBD.


Hemp, after all, isn’t the only plant in Restore that belongs to the Cannabaceae plant family — hops does, too. Neither is lavender the only plant here containing its characteristic terpene linalool — hemp contains it, too! It’s no surprise that Restore would be effective; as the company says, it’s amazing for sleep.


Another plus: while Sana Botanicals clearly prefers the botanical route, they also cater to those seeking a completely THC-free experience through their two-ingredient Pura.


#2. Lumi CBD

Lumi started off in the CBD personal diffuser space, so it’s no surprise that they’d now be off pioneering in an area that’s equally creative: strain-specific (i.e, terpene-specific) CBD vaporizers.


Why try to emulate the terpenes profile of a specific strain, you might ask? Good question! While 30+ years of selective breeding have made high-THC cannabis strains extraordinarily diverse, the same level of diversity isn’t usually found in hemp or hemp-derived CBD.


As a practical example, there are literally thousands of known ‘marijuana’ strains, but only hundreds of stabilized hemp strains. Hemp isn’t quite as rich in terpenes as high-THC cannabis, either, and though it will probably get there in the future it’s just not there yet.


What Lumi’s done with their strain-specific vape cartridges is taken the best component of high THC cannabis — its perfectly developed terpene content — and made it available in CBD’s side-effect-free form. There are five different choice blends available: tangie cookies, key lime bubba kush, cherry AK, durban zkittles, and lemon skunk. Most of these blends feature more than 10% terpene content.


We’re pleased to report that Lumi’s CBD cartridges vape smooth… and just feel truly natural. At a time when synthetic vape thinners are finally getting the bad press they’ve always deserved, perhaps it’s time for the CBD industry to take Lumi’s terpene-mixed template mainstream.


#3. Harmony CBD

There’s much to like about Palmetto Harmony. Named after the founder’s epileptic daughter, Palmetto Harmony uses a specialized ‘lipid extraction’ to produce their hemp oil and has the USDA-Certified Organic seal on all their CBD.


That’s not why they’re on this list, however. The reason for that is their highly popular Holy Cannacence product, which comes replete with high CBD hemp oil, organic East African shea butter, holy basil, frankincense, and sweet orange.


The whole thing is almost reminiscent of ancient Hebraic anointing oil traditions…and though it doesn’t contain a hemp-specific terpene blend, Holy Cannacense and its plant + plant synergy still clearly works. Consider the frankincense constituent alone: like CBD, this beloved oil has more than 300 compounds contributing to its overall anti-inflammatory effect.


Indeed, some customer reviews of Holy Cannacense sound nearly as miraculous as the Hebrew culture’s Old Testament stories. People report freedom from arthritis, walking canes, neuropathy, and more…though we’ll leave this product’s real-life efficacy up for you to decide.


A Bright Future

As we’ve seen, the companies above are off to a great start — but things could get even better. Just imagine a prescription-grade, pinene-heavy CBD vaporizer for asthma, or a purple urkle-derived CBD tincture (it’d be high in linalool) meant to directly address anxiety.


Further, the quantity of one’s ideal terpene intake likely varies from one person to the next. We’re just starting to realize that people’s natural sensitivity to CBD is all over the charts, with one person getting the same benefits from ten or even 100 times more CBD than another. Could the same effect be seen with terpenes?


It’s probably too early to tell, but that’s alright. The long and winding road towards an ideal future can still be enjoyed…after all, plenty of terpenes are still to be had along the way.

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