WHAT ARE TERPENES?

Terpenes are organic compounds found in a variety of plants, and contribute to their flavor, scent and color. These substances are the building blocks for essential oils and plant resins, and are often used in food additives, perfumery and aromatherapy. Some are even thought to have medicinal properties, and to help in fighting bacteria, fungus and environmental stress. Plants like rosemary, mint or basil have a strong terpene profile, and this is why they’re referred to as aromatic plants. Vitamin A is also a terpene, although we don’t generally think of it this way. Conifers produce large amounts of these compounds, and most plants produce higher quantities of terpenes in the warmer seasons. Cannabis contains a wide range of terpenes that interact synergistically with the cannabinoids in the plant, and to enhance its health effects.

Alpha-pinene, is one of the most known terpenes in cannabis and is also found in sage and rosemary. It is known to act as a natural bronchodilator and expectorant and to help one focus better. It increases the mental energy and can even act as a topical antiseptic. 

Limonene, another terpenes found in the cannabis strains, is also present in citrus fruits, juniper and peppermint, and has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-depressant effects. Moreover, it is suggested that this compound exerts anti-carcinogen properties, and is known to increase blood pressure.

Beta-caryophyllene is a common terpene found in the cannabis plant that is known to activate the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system and to exert anti-inflammatory effects.

Linalool is a naturally occurring terpene alcohol chemical found in many flowers and spice plants with many commercial applications, the majority of which are based on its pleasant scent (floral, with a touch of spiciness).

Myrcene is found in menthol, lemon grass and most varieties of marijuana, and is widely used in the perfumery industry. Just like the previously mentioned compounds, it has anti-microbial and anti-septic properties, and acts as a natural anti-depressant, anti-carcinogen and anti-inflammatory agent. It’s a relaxing substance and in cannabis-derived products, it increases the cell membrane permeability, allowing for higher amounts of THC to travel to the brain cells.

As the research surrounding cannabis and terpenes has increased over the last ten years, we are beginning to learn more about these compounds and how they interact on a molecular level. Terpenes act as modulators for cannabinoids within the brain, meaning that terpenes will either turn on or turn off cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Few clinical publications on cannabis terpene exist, and further science is necessary in fully understanding the modulation effects of terpenes. 

Terpenes can enhance the experience of variety goods from culinary and medical products, to aromatherapy and lifestyle products. Blue River's founder, Tony Verzura has demonstrated the versatility of terpenes and their various applications while building a brand build on purity, quality, and excellence.

Verzura is a veteran in solventless cannabis extraction technology, utilizing terpenes and cannabinoid sequencing in a variety of product lines that have reached thousands. Revered by many in the industry as a "cannabis alchemist," Verzura continues to innovate, pioneer, and popularize revolutionary techniques in the industry and apply these techniques to the Blue River Brand.