A New Sniff at Terpenes
Much of the information out there on terpenes and essential oils generally focuses on the scent characteristics and therapeutic benefits. I want to create a fresh perspective today, but first as a brief review, terpenes and terpenoids are the primary constituents of essential oils and are what give these aromatic oils their defining characteristics. When you smell cannabis, you’re not smelling the therapeutic cannabinoids that we know and love, you’re smelling the “terps”. These aromatic compounds work synergistically with cannabinoids to increase the therapeutic potential.
So here’s where I want us to look and it is really really cool. Smelling is essential in the formation of memory and this is in part due to its impact on mood and emotion. We remember things that we can feel and sense way more than things that we can think. So much of our everyday experience is impacted by sensory inputs and our olfactory sense, our sense of smell, is potentially one of the most powerful directors of our experience.
When you think of your fondness of the holiday season can you smell it? The scent of warming spices like cinnamon and cloves, hot and steaming apple cider, sappy pine trees, the savory sweetness of the char of a roaring fire, home cooked food wafting through your warm grandparents house, the sharp pungent peppermint smell of candy canes, etc. When reflecting on these scents, we can create those wonderful feelings in our bodies in the present moment. It feels good right?
Our olfactory sense exists in a direct pathway to our limbic system in our brain. This early developed mammalian brain center is responsible for encoding emotional memory. Emotional life is largely housed in this area and it can be connected to so many pieces of everyday life including motivation, sexual arousal, decision making, pathologies like PTSD and depression, fight or flight response, the “high” from recreational drugs, attention, social processing, and the list goes on. In fact studies have shown that when people make purchases it is a vast majority of the time based on emotion instead of logic. Even when we think it’s a logical decision it is still probably emotional, it’s just below conscious awareness.
Now that we see how scents are THE “vibe setter” (I’d say music is too but that’s another discussion) lets get back to cannabis terpenes. You may have not focused on this, but the smell and taste of cannabis greatly adds to the experience. Taste is largely due to smell by the way, you can judge this based on past attempts to eat food with a stuffy nose from a common cold. In states where people can purchase their cannabis at a dispensary, the best experience is when they allow you to smell the flowers of your choice. This is important, as we can now see the significance of smell in the emotional enjoyment and benefit of ingesting the herb.
In fact, you may want to consider that your body can recognize the right strain for you based on smell. Your innate intelligence knows what kind of experience you want in order to bring your body into balance. Ever get lost in sweet and soothing clouds of lavender when you're desiring to relax? People crave a tailored experience for their unique feelings. Some want something more uplifting, some want something grounding, soothing, energizing, sleep-inducing, or couch-locking. The beauty of this medicine is you can find the right combination for you at any phase in your life.
Here in Georgia, unfortunately we can’t yet go to the dispensary, however Roseman’s Remedies has created a way for you to get similar emotional benefits. We’ve done this by using our own propriety essential oil blends in many of our CBD products. We’ve customized our bath bombs and salts for the unique experience you desire: relaxation, energizing, muscle soothe, and euphoria. Another way for you to customize your cannabis experience is by visiting our new storefront, which will give you the chance to come smell our essential oil blends as well as the premium flower that goes into our hemp smokables.
All in all this blog post was created because we want you to stop and smell the roses! It’s actually very important for your enjoyment in life and wellbeing.