Personalise Your CBD Tinctures: Know Your Terpenes
There is a lot of hype going on right now about CBD tinctures. They are the hip new health tonic that celebrities, athletes, and even your own grandmother are getting hooked on. Not every CBD tincture is the same, and terpene profile is one of the main influences. But what are CBD tinctures? And how do you know which CBD tincture is best for you?
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical component of the cannabis plant. But don’t worry, unlike its cousin, THC, it is non-psychoactive. There are many benefits of CBD, but most people take it for the relaxing, calming effect it has on the mind and body. CBD is also proven to help with at least the following 4 conditions:
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, oral cannabinoids are effective antiemetics.
- Chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)-related spasticity, short-term use of oral cannabinoids improves patient-reported spasticity symptoms.
- For these conditions the effects of cannabinoids are modest; for all other conditions evaluated there is inadequate information to assess their effects.
With THC still being illegal in many places across the world, different methods of taking CBD have increased in popularity – one of which is through CBD tinctures. Although these tinctures are great for helping with some problems you may have, they’re not quite as good as something like a THC:CBD 1:1 tincture, because they are missing THC. If a product contains more than a certain amount of THC, it is illegal, but many people think that medical marijuana follows the ‘entourage effect’.
This means that the sum of all the parts of something are more effective or better than the individual parts of it. This is what many people consider to be the problem with something like a CBD tincture.
What is a CBD tincture?
A CBD tincture is an herbal extract made using an alcohol-water mix. The alcohol acts as a solvent, and is used with either industrial hemp, which has a naturally high CBD-low THC ratio, or specific cannabis strains bred to have similar properties.
The tincture is taken sublingually – under the tongue. Just a few drops is usually enough to feel the effects. Generally, it takes around 20-30 minutes for the CBD to begin to take effect. Although it can take up 2 hours to fully feel the effects.
What Are Terpenes?
As cannabis begins to be legalized across the world, more and more research is being done into the different chemical components that make up the plant, and the effects that each of them have on the human body.
Terpenes are a kind of essential oil that exist along with THC and CBD within the cannabis plant. Terpenes are present in all plants, and are responsible for the unique smell and flavour of each strain.
When taking CBD, you can choose to take either a form of CBD isolate – pure CBD that has been fully separated from the rest of the compounds in the cannabis plant, or what is known as full-spectrum CBD. Full spectrum products contain CBD alongside many other compounds found in cannabis – including terpenes.
Sometimes, specific terpenes are added to CBD products in order to enhance their flavour, and to produce the ‘entourage effect’. This is why it is important to know your terpenes.
On the flip side, occasionally companies use synthetic terpenes, which can be a problem, especially in vaporizers.
Personalising Terpene Profiles?
Terpenes have a major effect on the body, and these effects are vary from person to person. How do you know which terpene profiles are most suited to you? Different terpene combinations also produce different effects, from calming and relaxing feelings to even antibacterial and antidepressant qualities.
One common way that you can determine a suitable, personal terpene profile is simply by smell. If you find there is a pleasant aroma from certain terpenes, then these are the terpenes most likely for you to enjoy.
Another great way to find out which terpene profile you like, or which helps you the most with your problems, is to find a strain which helps you with your problem. Once you know a strain which helps you, you can find out what terpenes are inside. This will help you build a personal terpene profile. Let’s say, as an example, that I love Northern Lights after I tried some in Amsterdam, but now I want to have similar healing properties in a country where cannabis is illegal:
What types of terpenes are there?
There are a few different types of terpenes commonly found in CBD tinctures, either naturally as part of the full-spectrum, or specifically added.
- Pinene – as the name suggests, this terpene is found in pine needles. It is known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
- Linalool – you may be familiar with this terpene due to its inclusion in many household cleaning products, such as hand soap. This is due to its flowery, lavender scent. It is often used as a part of sleep-aiding medicine.
- Myrcene – this terpene causes the classic scent of cannabis. It is reported to have analgesic, antibacterial, and antispasmodic effects.
- Limonene – this is a terpene found commonly in citrus fruits, and has that typical citrus-y scent. It is known as having antidepressant, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Caryophyllene – this terpene is known to interact specifically with the endocannabinoid system, and most likely encourages the entourage effect. It has an almost spicy scent.
- Humulene – this is another terpene that contributes to the classic cannabis smell. It also is thought to suppress the appetite.
These are just some of the most common terpenes, but you may come across many, many more in the different varieties of CBD tincture available on the market.
We recommend going for a full-spectrum CBD tincture rather than one made from CBD isolate if you are looking to benefit not only from the entourage effect, but also the multitude of beneficial properties of terpenes.
The cannabis plant is thought to contain around 120 different terpenes, in varying quantities from strain to strain. To get the full benefit from your CBD tincture, you would be able to customise your CBD tincture according to the terpenes you find help your problems. This isn’t widely-available yet, unless you’re making your own tinctures, but in the future it will be possible to choose the terpenes you want in your tincture.