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What are terpenes in hemp?


For most of us, the term terpenes is unfamiliar and new, even though we are surrounded by them. They are the substances that affect our senses; they whet our appetite and trigger pleasant emotions, treat certain conditions, they soothe us and cheer us up. Terpenes are the culprits behind the pleasant smells that overwhelm the kitchen when we squeeze a fresh orange or open a glass of blueberry jam. They are what makes lavender and roses special.

Terpenes give plants their aroma, taste, and color

Terpenes are chemical compounds, naturally present in plants and they contribute to the plants’ unique taste, smell and color. Scientists have so far identified over 20.000 different terpenes. They are the basic elements in essential oils and are frequently used in food additives, perfumery, and aromatherapy. There is also increasing talk of their medicinal properties in correlation to various health issues.

Hemp contains over 200 different terpenes

In recent years, talk of the positive effects of the hemp plant has become increasingly frequent. More and more scientific studies confirm its effect on skin problems, autoimmune diseases, the immune system, rheumatic diseases, insomnia and other health problems. Most frequently mentioned active ingredients in cannabis are THC and CBD, with the latter being an active ingredient in industrial hemp and therefore legal for production and sales in the European Union.

In addition to these substances, naturally occurring terpenes represent an important part of the cannabis plant. So far, over 200 different terpenes have been discovered in hemp, and about 60 of them are being closely examined in scientific circles. Research into the effect terpenes have on skin conditions and various health problems is opening new possibilities in the field of treatments with hemp. Some terpenes that are represented in the plant in higher concentrations are described in more detail below.


Most researched terpenes found in hemp


A frequent terpene with a characteristic citrus scent that is also present in large quantities in lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. Researches show that D-limonene terpene displays antibacterial activity and it has also been associated with inhibiting the development of cancer cells in clinical studies.


Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes and can be found in almost all varieties of cannabis. It is also present elsewhere in nature, where it, among other things, gives bay leaves, thyme, and parsley their characteristic scent. This terpene is known for its earthy, grassy taste. It has also proved effective in relieving muscle cramps and treating insomnia and is valued for its anti-inflammatory properties.


This terpene is responsible for the characteristic scent of lavender and is in varying concentrations also present in numerous other flowers. It is popular for its soothing effect and is most commonly used to treat anxiety. In addition, it also displays anti-inflammatory properties.


Do you enjoy the scent of the pine tree? You can thank the alpha-pinene terpene for it. This terpene is present in almost all varieties of cannabis as well as in rosemary, pine, and many other plants. It is frequently used to open bronchial tubes and to relieve various breathing problems, and studies have shown that it is also effective in treating intestinal problems.


Nerolidol is considered one of the most beneficial terpenes and has a wide range of beneficial effects on the body. Clinical studies have shown that it has a strong antifungal and antibacterial effect. This terpene has a gentle scent and can also be found in ginger, jasmine, lemongrass and tea tree.


The highest concentrations of humulene can be found in clove, basil, and hops, which is why its smell can trigger associations to beer. It has a subtle earthy and woody aroma combined with spicy herbal notes. All though cannabis is commonly associated with appetite stimulation, humulene actually has the opposite effect and reduces the appetite.


The perfect balance of active ingredients

In addition to the now well-researched CBD (cannabidiol), the hemp plant also contains other active ingredients that positively affect the skin and organism as a whole. Hemptouch skin care products contain raw CBD oil that is rich in the above-described terpenes but also boasts a variety of other ones that weren’t highlighted here. It is important to understand that hemp balms don’t only consist of CBD and hemp oil and that they represent a complex combination of herbal substances that together have a unique therapeutic effect on the skin.

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