We answer your questions about terpenes with wellness expert Jenni Limb
In recent years, researchers have studied the health benefits of terpenes on the human body, from anti-inflammatory to calming effects. We sat down with Jenni Limb, a local wellness expert, to learn more about terpenes. For over 30 years, Jenni has been working as a wellness leader, studying and educating her clients on everything that supports the human body to recover through her business, Healing by the Sea.
First, what are terpenes?
Some smells are unmistakable: the sharp scent of citrus, the clean smell of pine, and the soothing aroma of lavender. These scents are made up of compounds known as terpenes and give plants a distinct smell. In nature, terpenes serve different purposes: from attracting bees and other pollinators to warding off predators or grazing animals. They have also been known to play a protective role — acting as a part of a plant’s immune system to fight bacteria or supporting the plant to recover from injury.
“We have all been surrounded by biological terpenes since the day we are born,” says Jenni, “but most of us are unaware that this is their name. Take lemon, for example — you can even feel your mouth watering as you now imagine the smell and taste. The smell and flavour are caused by terpenes, and terpenes are found naturally in plants.”
What are the health benefits of terpenes?
Terpenes act on the body’s endocannabinoid system: a complex network of cell receptors that act throughout the body as messengers. Terpenes have been found to interact with the CB1 receptors located in the brain and central nervous system, and the CB2 receptors located in the gut, muscle, joints, skin and other organs.
We asked Jenni to walk us through the wellness effects of beta-caryophyllene and linalool, two prevalent terpenes found in over 200 different types of plants.
“Beta-caryophyllene, otherwise known as BCP, is a warm, woody, spicy aroma and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties,” she begins. “You will be familiar with it as you smell black pepper, cardamom or clove oil, as well as rosemary hops and oregano.” Currently hailed as possessing ‘self-care superpowers’, BCP is unique as it only binds with CB2 receptors. Recent research suggests that BCP’s interactions with CB2 receptors allow it to help manage inflammation and autoimmune conditions while also helping to reduce pain from injuries and chronic conditions.
On the other hand, linalool has been shown to have powerful effects on the body’s serotonin receptors. “Linalool is known for its floral, citric, fresh and sweet aroma,” notes Jenni. “It’s renowned for its calming effects. You personally may be familiar with it when you smell lavender or citrus-like bergamot, but also rosewood.” Its sedative properties are a welcome relief for those who suffer from sleeplessness, depression and anxiety by providing a relaxing and calming effect.
How to include terpenes to your wellness routine
One of the best ways to take advantage of the health benefits of terpenes is to apply drops of specialised terpene blends under your tongue. At ECS Botanics, we have specially formulated terpene wellness blends that target different areas of concern:
- Calm Terpene Blend: may support the management of emotional stress, irritability and restlessness.
- Relief Terpene Blend: may support the management of aches and muscle and joint tension.
- Sleep Terpene Blend: may support the management of emotional stress, anxiety and sleep.
Sublingual administration (placing the drops under the tongue) allows them to be absorbed quickly as they have direct access to the bloodstream.
Where is terpene research heading?
To wrap up our interview, we asked Jenni to reflect on the future of terpene research. “Being influenced by parents who were amazed at what the plant world provided for our bodies, I have no doubt we have more interesting discoveries to come. To say we are just scratching the surface with the facts, we have now identified 30,000 aromatic compounds plus over 100 strains of terpenes is mind-boggling. There is a purpose for each of those compositions, and it is just up to us to find out why — and I’m sure we will.”
Buying terpene drops from ECS Botanics
If you’d like to get started implementing terpenes into your wellness routine, make sure you explore our Wellness First terpene blend range. Our blends are designed by a registered pharmacist and are mixed with Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil — the perfect carrier oil for terpenes. Hemp seed oil has its own incredible health benefits, which complement the significant benefits of terpenes. If you have questions about terpenes, check out our FAQs page or get in touch with the friendly ECS team.