Terpenes: The Undiscovered Country

Howdy and Happy Friday!! And no, we are not going mention the date. Just keep on rocking that summer vibe like it goes in forever. Today we are going to keep it short as we wrap up our series on Terpenes. Before we get started, I want to say that the last two years in this crazy industry have been, well, crazy. The lack of foresight that went into planning, licensing and funding is absolutely staggering.

The phrase ‘unbridled hubris’ comes up in industry conversations far more than it should. But we are slowly moving past all of the chaos and into a more stable and sane understanding of the industry. How do I know this? Because I was in Berlin two and half weeks ago and I have seen the future. But we will talk about that more next week, this week it’s all about the Terpenes. So, let’s go!!

What’s In a Terpene?

As we have discussed in the last few blogs terpenes or terpenoids are one of nature’s wonder compounds. They usually occur in plants and they and a big part of essential oils extracted from plants. Terpenes also play a major role in the therapeutic value that any given medicinal plant has. Terpenes therefore have a wide range of medical uses. They have increased antiplasmodial activity that is similar to chloroquine which is used to treat malaria. Terpenes have also proven to be effective in the treatment of cancer and even diabetes due to their ability to produces the reagents that fight both diseases respectively.

Suffice to say that terpenes are badass. They really are one of nature’s little miracles. But what makes them so awesome? First, it’s important to remember that there are multiple types kinds of terpenes. The basic difference is the number of isoprene units they have. Based on this number terpenes are given prefixes, mono, di, tri, tetra etc. The isoprene units are volatile and give off a scent or a taste that allows a plant to naturally protect itself from predators and pests. And boom, there is the miracle. Nature is such a dynamic and highly organized and efficient system that virtually everything it does serves multiple purposes. This is why when we as the human species start messing with the balance of nature, we are biting off waaaaaay more than we can chew.

Prime Objective

Now we know that terpenes come in numbers and their original or base function of is to protect the plant. However, this is not limited to pests and predators. The really interesting part is that terpenes actually send signals to the plant to maintain a kind of homeostasis. Sound familiar? Now we cannot say for sure, but we can speculate that as terpenes are clearly a part of the entourage effect, they play a role in homeostasis. Not only in plants but in humans as well. This would go a long way towards explaining why full spectrum distillate the only way to a true CBD experience is truly.

Broad-spectrum distillate also works but it depends on the extraction process and the remediation process. Remediation is how we remove the THC. It is usually done through chromatography which involves using harsh solvents which separate out the THC. This is why our personal practices are fully organic. We do not use chromatography to remove the THC. We use plant-based solvent to break the THC down into other minor cannabinoids. That’s what separates us from the rest of the pack. That and the awesome.

We Are Not Alone

Are we the only ones who use this process? No. There are some very talented extractors and formulators out there who are doing something very similar to what we are doing. But there are not many of us. As a result, we tend gravitate towards one another. Stronger together is the general wisdom and we love it. The people that we have met in the last 7 months have re-instilled our faith in an otherwise soulless industry. We all share the same values and have the same drive to reach our shared goals.

Terpenes, the entourage effect, full plant extract, these are the watchwords that are essential to our peer group. And on that note, I will leave you with a chart of the different terpenes and what they are generally good for. You guys’ rock, and we wish you all a most excellent weekend.

Table 1*

Monoterpenes C10 Quercus ilex Fragrances, repellent  
Sesquiterpenes C15 Helianthus annuus Treat malaria, treat bacterial infections, and migraines  
Diterpenes C20 Euphorbia, salvia miltiorrhiza Anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular diseases  
Triterpenes C30 Centella asiatica Wound healing, increases circulation