We’re beginning to see that there’s a lot more to hemp than its cannabinoid content. There is a new interest in the terpenes that are in hemp. Terpenes are the essential oils made by all plants. Terpenes are what give each flower, herb, fruit, and extract its own unique scent, flavor and effect. One way to think of terpenes is as building blocks which come together to make "tower". Each tower is unique in its own way. Each tower serves a specific purpose. Each tower can stand on its own but when combined with other "towers" it makes stronger, better tower. Hemp contains more than 200 terpenes—oils produced by the plant’s resin glands. Like cannabinoids, terpenes bind to receptors in the brain and give rise to various effects. Lab tested products are the only surefire way of knowing what terpenes are in your hemp CBD oil.
If you love herbs and spicy foods—or beer for that matter, you’ve most likely encountered beta-caryophyllene (BCP). BCP is a common terpene that’s found in hops and is responsible for the spicy, zesty flavors of black pepper, rosemary, oregano and many other herbs. There’s BCP in many plants around the world, including hemp. This terpene plays a key role in activating the many therapeutic properties of hemp. This is thanks to its own potent healing power and its unique ability to activate the endocannabinoid receptor CB2.
BCP is the first-known "dietary cannabinoid". It has this nickname because it appears naturally in so many herbs and spices. This is also why the Food and Drug Administration awarded it GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for use as a food.
Cannabis compounds like CBD typically bind directly to both cannabinoid receptors to a greater or lesser extent. A number of secondary terpenes and hemp compounds act indirectly by boosting their activity. But like CBD, BCP is able to bind directly to endocannabinoid receptors themselves, specifically to CB2 receptors, which occurs in large numbers in the organs and peripheral tissues.
The ability of BCP to bind directly with the CB2 receptor means that this terpene can help:
- Reduce Pain
- Ease the symptoms of inflammation-related conditions such as osteoarthritis, colitis, atherosclerosis and diabetes
- Protect brain cells in Alzheimer’s disease and stroke sufferers
- Suppress tumor growth and boost the effectivness of some chemotherapy medications.
- Support healthy skin cells
Information taken from HelloMD and Project CBD