Introduction to Terpenes: Alpha-Bisabolol
You’ve heard of cannabinoids like THC and CBD and the multitude of benefits they offer, but the term “terpene” is likely an unfamiliar one. As science and technology continue to uncover new data about Cannabis, we see that there’s more to a full spectrum CBD product than just cannabinoids. In short, terpenes are aromatic oils found in herbs, fruits, and even some insects. They’re the relaxing effects of lavender, the citrusy smell of oranges, and they’re responsible for giving each cannabis strain its unique taste and fragrance.
These oils are secreted in the flower’s resin glands, the same ones that produce THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Beyond fragrance, each terpene brings its own valuable properties, but they don’t work alone. Cannabinoids and terpenes work together in something called the “entourage effect”, contributing to the theory that the whole plant is better than just one single compound. One study from the Public Library of Science’s PLOS One journal states, “Differences between the pharmaceutical properties of different cannabis strains have been attributed to interactions (or an ‘entourage effect’) between cannabinoids and terpenes.” This confirms it is the interaction of the two constituents that yields the healing and restorative properties we associate with cannabis.
For example, a terpene called Alpha-Bisabolol is known to broaden the therapeutic effects of CBD with its soothing properties. In addition to its soothing properties, Alpha-Bisabolol is also a known relaxant. Most commonly found in German chamomile and the South American Candeia tree, Alpha-Bisabolol is predominantly used in skincare products, cosmetics, and fragrances. Just like chamomile, CBD with the presence of Alpha-Bisabolol has the ability to help settle stomachs and alleviate heartburn and nausea. Not only does it have a delightfully woody and floral aroma, the anti-inflammatory Alpha-Bisabolol can potentially treat a variety of skin conditions and is often found in topical use CBD products. It is one of many terpenes that make cannabis the perfect support for the body.
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