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Terpenes: Extraction,
Effects & Benefits

Terpenes play a very important role when it comes to hemp products. They’re responsible for how each strain smells. While they’re in the same part of the plant as cannabinoids, like CBD, they’re their own unique compound.

How terpenes develop within a particular strain comes from a wide variety of factors. Climate, soil type, fertilizers, and even the age of a plant can impact terpenes. Surprisingly, the time of day can also alter how a plant smells.

There are over 100 different terpenes in cannabis plants. Each lean toward a distinct aroma. Because of their influence on the plant, terpenes can be a valuable ingredient in many hemp-derived products.

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What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are actually aromatic oils found within the hemp plant. Each lean toward a distinct aroma and help shape the overall smell of each strain of hemp. With over 100 different terpenes found in hemp, they serve as a valuable ingredient when selecting what strain to grow and how hemp-derived products will taste and smell.

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Developing alongside cannabinoids as hemp plants grow, terpenes are influenced by climate, soil type, fertilizers, and even the age of the plant. While each hemp strain gets its aroma from a combination of terpenes, it is possible to isolate individuals to use in specific products.

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Common Terpenes

There are five terpenes that appear most often in cannabis plants. Each has a distinct smell.

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  • Myrcene is the most common. It is a herbal-scented terpene you can also find in mango or lemongrass.
  • Pinene, like its name, has a pine scent. You can also find it in rosemary and basil.
  • Caryophyllene has a peppery aroma that’s also found in cloves and cinnamon.
  • Linonene, also like its name, has a citrus smell. You most often smell it in fruit rinds.
  • Terpinolene is the fruity terpene, but is also found in nutmeg and cumin.

Effects & Benefits of Terpenes

While each terpene has its own aroma profile, it also may have a unique effect when ingested. More research is still needed to understand the role terpenes can play, however, some consistencies are already noticeable. For example, certain terpenes promote relaxation or relieve stress. Others may help with focus. Assumptions about terpenes get made based on the strains where they’re most commonly found. If the plant has a reputation for providing a certain effect, the terpenes within it may help enhance that effect. Benefits may be specific to which terpenes are in the products being used, including:
  • Myrcene as an anti-inflammatory
  • Limonene as an antidepressant and stress reliever
  • Pinene to help with focus

You don’t have to have the most popular terpenes in a hemp product to notice a positive effect either. Ones like beta-caryophyllene, valencene, and linalool may have noticeable benefits when it comes to one’s mental health. Other terpenes may provide physical benefits such as muscle relief and the ability to boost your immune system.

Each individual will experience different effects from using hemp-derived products with terpenes, so it’s important consumers have options when it comes to scent and taste of popular products.

The Entourage Effect

Even with their own aroma and potential effect, terpenes may play a central role on the effect cannabinoids have. This is the entourage effect. Two or more compounds mixing together either enhance or downplay the effects of each other.

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Terpenes and Full-Spectrum CBD

Because of the entourage effect, you’ll often find products made from full-spectrum oil. This particular type of oil contains the entire plant. CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids all come together, to work together. All the plant components found in full-spectrum oil amplify each other’s therapeutic benefits. This gives terpenes a place to shine. They contribute the aroma as well as supporting the potential medicinal benefits of the oil.

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Terpene Extraction

As with most compounds extracted from the cannabis plant, there are a variety of ways you can extract terpenes. Options fit into two categories, solventless and solvent-based. 

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Solventless Extraction:

Solventless extraction uses heat and pressure to separate compounds from hemp. The upside to this process is that there’s no solvent to potentially dilute what’s extracted. The downside is the extreme heat may alter or destroy the terpenes themselves.

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Solvent-based Extraction:

Solvent-based extraction uses a lower boiling point. Hemp is mixed with a solvent, and heated until the plant parts separate. After, the solvent is allowed to evaporate, taking with it the unusable plant parts, and leaving you with terpenes, cannabinoids, and other valuable plant parts. 

 

You have options on what kind of solvent to use, each with its own pros and cons. Some popular solvent choices include butane hash oil, carbon dioxide, live resin, and ethanol. Ethanol is currently gaining in popularity, and it’s the choice at Arbor Vita8. It’s less flammable than butane and more efficient than live resin. Our ethanol is food-grade quality, which, combined with our fully-automated process, gives our extraction methods an extra level of purity and safety. Additionally, ethanol is a usable solvent in extraction, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice as well.

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Terpene Extraction with Arbor Vita8

Since scent is such a huge part of how we taste, keeping terpenes intact during the extraction process is important for the production of many products. Partnering the right terpenes with the proper cannabinoid also ensures they can play their therapeutic role as well. 

For superior extracts, look no further than Arbor Vita8. We stand above the competition through our combination of industry experience, top-notch equipment, and high-end facility. We can help you create the highest-quality extracts through our fully-automated, ethanol-based extractor.