On a surface level, it would seem that the most important thing about cannabis, including hemp, is the fact that it serves up those beneficial cannabinoids. However, when you get a closer look at the molecular makeup of these fascinating plants, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. Terpenes and flavonoids are a few important components that may actually support the actions of cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol).
What are terpenes and flavonoids? Are there benefits of terpenes, and what about the benefits of flavonoids? Here is a closer look.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes occur naturally in cannabis but also in most other plants found in the natural world. These compounds are responsible for making cannabis so aromatic and flavorful, but they may also have an influence over the colors and visual qualities of different strains. Even further, the concentrations and combinations of different terpenes and cannabinoids can influence the overall effects when smoking a certain strain.
You likely experience terpenes in your everyday life a lot more than you realize. There are literally thousands of these compounds in plants, some in animals, and even some insects that release terpenes. From the smell of a rose and a freshly cut lemon to how the forest comes aromatically alive after the rain or your favorite beer tingles your nose, terpenes make all of this possible.
Benefits of Terpenes
Terpenes have been used for many years for different purposes. Some that are readily extractable from certain plants are used to add fragrance to everything from cleaning products to body spray. Many are used for aromatherapy purposes—different aromatics have been shown to be beneficial for different reasons.
In terms of cannabis, the benefits of terpenes are clear. These highly aromatic compounds give individual strains some of their most desirable attributes. For example, Jack Herer hemp is known for its piney scent and ability to relieve stress—two things that can be contributed to the pinene terpene. Likewise, something like Special Sauce has a nice peppery hit and is highly sought after by people dealing with pain—a primary terpene in this strain happens to be caryophyllene.
Terpenes don’t usually offer such profound effects as cannabinoids like CBD or THC. However, they seem to work synergistically with cannabinoids to highlight certain effects. For example, a strain high in myrcene, which has its own sedating properties, may boost the sleep-supporting actions of CBD. Therefore, a high-CBD, high-myrcene strain like Sour Space Candy would be an awesome choice for someone looking for better sleep..
Effects of Terpenes
Cannabis is known to host at least 150 unique terpenes, even though many have never been totally isolated in a way that they can be thoroughly examined. Check out a few of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, and hemp, below, as well as some of their potential benefits:
- Myrcene – The most concentrated terpene in cannabis, smells earthy and musky with a hint of fruit. Myrcene has sedating effects, so it works well for people looking for sleep support or extra relaxing properties.
- Linalool – Linalool offers a nice spicy floral aroma reminiscent of lavender, which is also a plant that contains this terpene. Linalool promotes an overall sense of calmness.
- Limonene – The second most common terpene found in plants from the cannabis family, and smells a lot like citrus and lemon. Limonene is perhaps one of the most broadly used terpenes in commercial products, but smokers love it for its energetic, mood-uplifting effects.
- Humulene – Also found in hops and ginseng, humulene is herbaceous where aromatics are concerned, but also serves up this trademark muskiness that’s hard to miss. Humulene may work against certain types of bacteria and soothe bodily discomfort.
- Pinene – Pinene is not so prevalent in all cannabis strains, but it is one of the most prevalent in the world. This terpene smells like pine needles, but it yields a sense of calm to soothe anxious thoughts and may be good for everything from allergies to the neural system.
- Caryophyllene – Highly dominant in cannabis strains, caryophyllene is an atypical cannabinoid because it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This terpene comes across as spicy and peppery but may yield a slew of benefits thanks to its unique actions in the body, including stabilizing your mood and targeting pain.
What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids serve a lot of roles in nature. These plant-derived compounds are also partially responsible for the flavors of certain plants, including cannabis. In cannabis, however, flavonoids are usually referred to as cannaflavins.
Flavonoids do a lot of things for the plant, such as supporting the development of seeds and regulating cellular cycles. These compounds may also be partially responsible for adding nutritive value to some types of plants.
Benefits of Flavonoids
Flavonoids are not as studied as terpenes, even though there is some speculation that these compounds do play a role in the different effects of different strains. Compared with the known benefits of terpenes, there is still a lot of unknown when it comes to flavonoids. Likewise, some flavonoids are thought to influence the endocannabinoid system in the human body, even though how and to what extent these offer beneficial effects are topics not clearly understood.
Flavonoids are also responsible for giving strains their specific flavors and pigmentation. Therefore, these compounds are at least somewhat responsible for giving different strains their unique properties when it comes to flavors and appearances.
Flavonoids Found in Cannabis
There are about 20 known flavonoids found in cannabis plants. Check out some of them below, as well as some of their potential benefits:
- Luteolin – Has been used in ancient medicine for many years, is also found in celery, broccoli, and peppers, and may offer a wealth of antioxidant properties.
- Chrysoeriol – Also found in daisies and may relax the blood vessels to target high blood pressure, even though those effects are not well-documented.
- Caflanone – Found in a few herbs, but primarily known for its presence in cannabis, and may offer properties to target certain viruses.
Opt for a Full Spectrum of Terpenes and Flavonoids with Smokable Hemp
Without question, the many compounds found in hemp and all other types of cannabis are worth getting to know. Terpenes and flavonoids don’t just give your favorite smokable hemp its flavor, the two compounds may even improve the experience. The beauty of smokable hemp is the fact that you always get the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
If you’re ready to get more familiar with all of the unique compounds found in hemp, be sure to take a look at our collection at TIMBR ORGANICS.