Terpenes vs. Essential Oils
So you’re looking for something that reduces pain, inflammation and anxiety, and has positive health benefits and produces energy – sounds like you’re looking for terpenes!
Let’s start with the basics. What is a terpene?
A terpene is essentially the organic oils in your cannabis that produce the flavors you’re tasting, and the euphoric, uplifting high you get when you’re consuming terpenes. You consume terpenes when you consume cannabis – cannabis is extremely rich in terpenes, so if you consume cannabis, you’re familiar with the taste and feeling of the terpenes within it.
So, it’s kind of a big deal, since it’s responsible for pretty much everything good about cannabis. Yes, THC does have a significant effect on your mind while you’re consuming cannabis as well, but terpenes are pretty important in the overall way that you feel, inside of your mind and physically.
There are several different types of terpenes that can be found in cannabis. What’s fascinating is how many of them have medicinal effects, and can produce effects that reduce inflammation and pain in consumers. People with terminal illnesses may benefit from the positive effects of terpenes. Many types of terpenes produce effects like sedation, anti-inflammatory, and/or an energizer. Some people, depending on which terpene they’re consuming, can have an energetic high that creates a feeling of euphoria and elatedness, while others may have a sleepier, relaxed high because of the different terpenes present in the cannabis.
Some people use essential oils to try and replicate the same effects which can be derived from terpenes. Is that the same thing as a terpene, and does it have the same effect, or is it all a falsehood? Let’s start with the basics here, too. So what exactly are essential oils?
An essential oil is a concentrated, aromatic oil obtained from natural products like fruit, roots, seeds, leaves, or flowers. The use of essential oils, while very trendy nowadays, has been a trend since ancient times.
So that gets us to the difference between terpenes and essential oils – which is actually a fairly large difference, contrary to popular belief. Essential oils are combinations of different types of chemicals, and are meant to represent the essence of the flavor of a particular plant species. Some varieties of essential oils contain terpenes, but you have to take that with a grain of salt because you’re also consuming various chemicals and ingredients that you’re not accounting for.
So, if you’re looking for something that’s pure and that you can list off the ingredients on one hand, terpenes are the direction that you should probably head in – and, potentially, through lab-tested cannabis so that you know exactly what terpenes are in it. You can learn quickly and easily which terpenes appeal to you and your specific needs, and follow your nose when you’re choosing your cannabis. If something smells especially good to you, try it! Trust your body – it knows what it likes. And, because terpenes have been around for years as well, you can trust that it’s a natural resource.