In the last few years,  terpenes have garnered a whole new level of attention. But are terpenes legal? They are. Terpenes are non-psychoactive, and while they are commonly used to enhance the high associated with cannabis use, they do not cause it. Instead, the psychoactive effects of marijuana are caused by THC, which works to activate the CBD 1 and 2 receptors in the brain.

Are terpenes legal? Yes. Despite common misconception, terpenes are not exclusive to the cannabis plant. In fact, they are naturally occurring compounds that are found in plant life and in some insects. The confusion stems from the recent popularity of adding terpene profiles and isolates to cannabis. This causes different effects for the user, including a longer-lasting, and more powerful high. It can also impact the effects of cannabis in terms of the type of high. While recreational marijuana is not legal in every state, terpene use is. In fact, you can now purchase pure terpene isolates or profiles and add them to your favorite drink, food, or incorporate the terpenes in your next aromatherapy session.

There are thousands of terpenes that are derived from plant life. While we may not know much about many of them, we have learned quite a bit about the two hundred terpenes that naturally occur in cannabis. Now that you know terpene use is legal, let’s find out how terpenes can impact your high, the chemical effects of terpene use and what types of health benefits terpenes offer.

Powerful Aromatic Compounds

There are over fifty thousand terpenes globally, with two hundred found in the cannabis plant alone. Terpenes can heavily influence both the taste and fragrance of food, beverages, and even cannabis. This ultimately depends on terpene type and content. Some food will have a stronger or milder taste based on the types of dominate terpenes it contains and the same goes with cannabis.

Since recent studies have discovered that adding certain types of terpenes can positively impact cannabis quality in terms of the strength, and duration of your high, and the effects, terpene use is now more popular than ever. But before this discovery, most people had never even heard the word terpene. So, it comes as no surprise that many people mistakenly believe that terpenes are only found in cannabis. But as we mentioned, terpenes are found in all plant life, and even in some insects. These powerful naturally occurring components can have a major positive impact on your health, but they’re more widely known for their ability to affect a cannabis user’s high in a variety of ways.

Powerful Aromatic Compounds

Cannabis is packed with several powerful terpenes including:

  • B-caryophyllene
  • Caryophyllene oxide
  • Linalool
  • Phytol
  • Nerolidol
  • Myrcene

Each of these terpenes can impact the type of high you experience, whether it brings you up, boosting energy, or brings you down, promoting sedation and relaxation. But these terpenes are all fragrance and flavor components that are common in the human diet. This means that there are many ways you can safely and easily utilize their benefits without smoking or vaping cannabis. In their plain form, terpenes can also offer some impressive therapeutic effects.

Terpenes are what contribute to the flavor and scent of many foods, but they also offer many unique health benefits. As an example, linalool, which is found in lavender, is a terpene that’s also found in and added to cannabis due to its power as an antidepressant, sedative, and analgesic pain reliever. It’s also commonly used for its anti-seizure, and anti-anxiety benefits. Because of this, linalool is often found in candles and essential oils that are used for aromatherapy and marketed as calming. It can also be found in lotions, body sprays, and some solvents.

Where You Can Find Terpenes

As I mentioned earlier, more than fifty thousand terpenes have been identified and the list continues to grow. These compounds are incorporated into everything from perfumes, soaps, and hair care products to household cleaning supplies and holistic medicine.

Since their rise in popularity, you’ll find that companies are now adding extra terpenes to their products. In fact, it’s now easy to find and buy chocolate and even beer that has been infused with extra terpenes. It’s plain that the terpene infusion trend has significantly expanded scent and flavor possibilities for food and beverage manufacturers.

Terpene Isolates and Profiles

Terpenes are now also commonly sold as a concentrate, whether it’s a terpene isolate or a terpene profile. Terpene profiles contain a mixture of different types of terpenes, while an isolate contains just one powerful terpene. Some users prefer to buy several different isolates, as opposed to buying one profile. Buying isolates will allow you to have more control over the terpene content and which types of terpenes you want to play a more dominate role.

In general, terpenes provide unique health benefits and flavors and can be mixed and matched to suit the user’s needs. In smaller amounts, terpenes can provide soothing effects on both the body and mind.

In certain states, recreational cannabis is still highly regulated or illegal, however, terpenes are not derived only from cannabis.

The Purpose of Terpenes

Terpenes are organic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules that are formed by some insects and all plant life. They’re also the primary components in essential oils and plant resins. These volatile compounds are meant to ward off harmful bacteria and fungus, and protect plants from environmental stresses. They also work as basic chemical building blocks for more complex molecules, such as cannabinoids. Their aroma is one of their most notable attributes. They emit a pungent aroma and are responsible for the scent and flavor of cannabis. Most cannabis users know that a wide range of scents can be detected from each strain of marijuana. This is because there are more than two hundred different types of terpenes in cannabis. The scent of cannabis is determined by the most dominate terpenes in a particular strain.

How Can You Use Terpenes?

But terpenes are responsible for more than just the scent and flavor of pot. Certain types of terpenes can provide unique health benefits and can even improve the effects associated with cannabis use. In this way, terpenes cause what is known as the entourage effects in which the different chemical compounds in cannabis work much better together compared to how they work alone. When terpenes are mixed with cannabinoids, the cannabinoids have been shown to work more effectively to treat certain types of ailments compared to isolated cannabinoids.

Out of the two hundred terpenes that are found in the cannabis plant, many of them have gained notoriety for improving the effects of cannabis.

How Can You Use Terpenes?

When it comes to terpenes, there really is no limit. Marijuana enthusiasts can add terpenes to buds, shatter, distillates, hash, and more. Terpenes are very versatile and can also be added to drinks, health and beauty products, fragrances, essential oils, ointments, and much more.

But terpene use should be closely regulated, especially when added to cannabis products. Terpenes are surprisingly potent. When you mix terpenes with any type of cannabis-related product in order to improve your high or for the added health benefits they offer, you must be careful in terms of the amount you add. Just four of five drops can overwhelm the scent and flavor of marijuana. Because of this, if you’re new to terpene use, I recommend carefully following the instructions for any type of isolate or profile you use. Most manufacturers will provide excellent dosing information.

When using terpenes for aromatherapy, you will also want to use it in moderation. Fortunately, many essential oil companies now add a higher terpene content, which simplifies the process. Potent profiles such as Lev8 Labs Ltd. Zkittles Strain Specific Terpenes can add the type of citrusy pungent fragrance and relaxing effects that can take aromatherapy to the next level.  To learn more about how terpenes work and how to use them, click here to read my article on can terpenes get you high?

Related Questions

Are Terpenes Good for You?

Yes, they are. They offer many health benefits when used correctly. Currently, preclinical studies are underway to study the effects of terpenes on cancer cells, and while we don’t know the full scope of their potential to naturally eliminate cancer cells, the results thus far are very promising. The powerful terpene limonene has been shown to prevent cancer cells from spreading and can even prevent cancer cells from forming. Another powerful terpene called B-caryophyllene has been found to suppress tumor growth and can cause cancer cell death. It can also act like a cannabinoid, activating the CB2 endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. Linalool is often used to promote relaxation, but it also contains anticonvulsant properties. Research has shown that linalool use can impact the main excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain that initiate seizure activity. Additionally, terpenes are commonly used to help people suffering from insomnia, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain and inflammation. As we learn more about terpenes and how they can impact the different systems in the body, it’s clear that terpene use will increase in the near future.

What is the Difference Between CBD and Terpenes?

What is the Difference Between CBD and Terpenes?

Both CBD and terpenes serve specific purposes and have many things in common, yet they’re both very different compounds. Most people are more familiar with CBD and how it works compared to terpenes. Terpenes are oils that are secreted in the resin glands of cannabis plants, which also produce CBD. However, terpenes are not exclusive to cannabis plants. They’re actually found in herbs, fruits, and other plant life. When you combine terpenes with different cannabinoids, such as CBD, you achieve what’s referred to as the entourage effect. This effect basically describes how terpenes and cannabinoids combine and lock into the receptors in the brain in order to produce a unique high. When they’re combined with cannabinoids, terpenes will work to enhance the therapeutic effects. Many terpenes can actually inhibit or catalyze the formation of certain compounds found in marijuana. Terpenes studies have shown scientists how to manipulate these compounds in order to achieve specific ratios. As an example, there’s a major difference between sativa that’s infused with linalool, compared to indica that’s infused with limonene. Both of which can enhance the effects of cannabis, but in very different ways. The differences between terpenes explain exactly why people tend to experience different types of highs, even with plants that are from the same harvest. This is due to level of terpenes secreted. Additionally, the terpene content can vary from plant to plant. In this way, terpenes and CBD are very similar. Both CBD and terpenes are non-psychoactive, so you will not feel the type of high effect you can experience from other types of cannabinoids, such as THC. To learn more about terpenes and how they work, click here to read my buyer’s guide.

Can I Mix CBD Oil and Terpenes?

Yes. You can. I recommend using a high-quality oil, such as CBD Pure Hemp Oil Extract. The amount of terpenes you use and the type will depend on the type of effects you hope to achieve. Some types of terpenes are used for their powerful pain and anti-inflammatory properties, while others are used to promote sleep or relaxation. To learn more about the effects of CBD oil and the benefits it offers, click here to read my CBD oil buyer’s guide.

Can You Vape Cannabis?

Yes. There are many ways you can ingest cannabis, but these days vaping seems to be the most popular option. Vaping cannabis involves heating the buds, as opposed to burning them and inhaling the vapor. It’s believed to be a much safer alternative to smoking and it’s also much more convenient and discreet. Vaping is usually done with the use of a portable vape pen. Most of these vape pens require cartridges of concentrates, however, some will allow you to vape raw

Final Thoughts

Are terpenes legal? Yes. Terpenes are naturally occurring and are not only found in the cannabis plant. Because of the new attention that terpenes are receiving in the cannabis community, many people mistakenly believe that terpene use is as heavily regulated as THC. But this simply isn’t true. Terpenes can be found in lotions, perfumes, food, beverages, and more. The addition of terpenes in cannabis products works to provide a wide range of health benefits and can even affect your high, improving the length and strength, but terpene use, in general, is perfectly legal.