Terpenes are a term often used in reference to cannabis or marijuana.  However, it is growing as a buzz word in the hemp extract and CBD community.  Let’s explore what terpenes are, their function, impact, and more.  

What are Terpenes?

There are over 100 known individual terpenes existing in a variety of plants, including the hemp plant.  The most commonly found terpenes are Linalool, Limonene, Pinene, and Eucalyptol. These terpenes are found in herbs, fruits, plants, and other plants.  We eat and smell terpenes more than we realize. Terpenes can also be found in a variety of essential oils due to their chemical properties. Terpenes function chemically like essential oils by engaging the limbic system of your brain through scent.   When terpenes are isolated they enhance wellness like anxiety, overall mood, antimicrobial, aid in coughs, and more. The limitations of terpenes and other essential oils are how it works with biological systems of the body. Most essential oils, aka terpenes, use your nose.  Olfactory is a powerful sense, smells can trigger memories or promote a sensation. However, when the olfactory sense engages the limbic system of the brain, it is very short term. There is not a set time, as everyone’s nose is different, but the agreement by licensed aromatherapist and the scientific community is that the effect of essential oils on the limbic system (brain) is very short term.  This is why essential oil diffusers, candles, and/or incense sticks need to be working in an almost constant state. It works, for a short time and we need constant input. The other limitation is the initial engagement of essential oils from the outside in. 

The Entourage Effect

Since this limitation of terpenes as essential oils works from the outside in, is it worth it? Yes, according to the publication of Aromatherapy with Essential Oils (PDQ), published January 8, 2109.  This publication discusses the impact of essential oils in the healthcare of cancer patients. It was shown to improve overall health and mood. When paired with other holistic practices like massage and acupuncture.  The cannabis and hemp community referred to terpene enhancement in hemp products as the “entourage effect.” It can enhance the effect of the hemp product in taste and effectiveness of the product itself.

Cannabinoid Distinction

How does this impact hemp extract oil or CBD oil?  Some. Hemp extract oil or CBD oil is Cannabinoids in a carrier oil. Cannabinoids are a separate chemical molecule in the hemp plant that have their own biological system in the body, the endocannabinoid system. Unlike essential oils or terpenes, Cannabinoids can be ingested with direct input into the central and peripheral nervous system.  Hemp extract oil or CBD oil can benefit from keeping certain terpenes for flavor, like our Pink Lemonade CBD oil. Many of our hemp extract products have natural terpenes and other essential oils to enhance the “entourage effect” to engage the limbic system and more. Adding terpenes to hemp extract can enhance a product, however, it isn’t a true necessity to add extra terpenes for overall CBD effectiveness. What terpenes are found naturally in nature in our hemp, are also found naturally in our CBD products.    


Cautions with Essential Oils and Terpenes


Just as with anything you eat, ingest, or come in contact with your body.  Be informed. There are quality extraction processes for essential oils just like hemp extract oil.  NAHA or National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy  is the prominent body for aromatherapy and a great starting source for information.  Much of our 502 Staff and Holly King, with the Reiki Station, are knowledgeable and experienced with essential oils and the aromatherapy community.  We would be glad to answer questions or refer you to someone who has answers. Do become familiar with side effects such as skin irritation, nose irritation, and some essential oils interacting with medical conditions negatively.  Many holistic practices or resources have little side effects, but they do exist. 


Terpenes in their essential oil function to enhance wellness practices or products.  When combined with hemp extract topicals or other products, they add flavor or promote health in limbic brain function.  Don’t like the taste or smell of terpenes? That’s okay. They do not lessen the impact of the effectiveness of CBD oil or CBD isolate when missing.  Cannabinoids work directly and differently within your body than terpenes/essential oils. 502 Hemp has your quality hemp extract products, natural terpenes present, plus knowledge to answer your questions.  502 Hemp is here to be your complete wellness center.