Hemp compounds are widely used to support health and well-being. But have you ever wondered what purpose these compounds serve the plant itself?
As much as we would like to believe that the hemp plant is a gift from god to improve our lives, the primary functions of cannabinoids and terpenes seem to be quite different. Read on to find out what they are!
If you are already familiar with the hemp plant, cannabinoids & terpenes, skip straight to the last section.
What is Hemp?
For those of you who don't know already, hemp is simply a term used to describe cannabis that contains very low levels of the psychoactive compound THC.
In recent years, hemp has been primarily used for industrial purposes such as making fibers for the sales of ships, producing hemp seeds for consumption, making construction materials, bioplastics, and thousands of other practical uses.
However, before the term 'hemp' was invented, humans had been using low-THC cannabis for spiritual and well-being purposes for thousands of years.
We are now in a phase of a 'green revolution', rediscovering the benefits of the plant mainly through the use of products such as CBD Oil.
What are Cannabinoids & Terpenes?
Cannabinoids are a group of compounds that have the ability to interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The ECS is an internal bodily system that seems to help regulate a wide range of functions such as mood, memory, appetite, memory, pain, the immune system, and sleep.
While cannabinoids were first discovered in the cannabis plant, research later revealed that some cannabinoids are in fact produced within the human body. These are known as Endocannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are generally used for enhancing health and well-being or for their calming/relaxing effects. While in some cases, people use cannabinoids such as THC to 'get high'.
Common cannabinoids found in Full Spectrum CBD Oil include CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBC, and trace amounts of many other cannabinoids. In fact, the cannabis plant is known to produce over 120 of them!
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give plants, fruits, and even some insects their unique scents. They can be seen as individual components, that when combined, make essential oils.
As with cannabinoids, terpenes have huge potential when it comes to enhancing health and well-being. Some have calming properties, whilst others can have an uplifting effect.
Cannabis plants produce over 140 different terpene compounds in varying concentrations. The levels of which are determined by factors such as the strain of the plant or growing conditions.
Many of the terpenes found in cannabis can also be found in other common plants. Linalool, for example, is found in cannabis but is also the terpene responsible for the distinct smell of lavender.
Myrcene is a relaxing terpene that is produced in abundance by both cannabis and hops, one of the plants used to make beer.
Common terpenes found in Full Spectrum CBD Oil include Linalool, Myrcene, Pinene, Humulene, D-Limonene & Beta-caryophyllene.
It's worth researching the benefits of each of these terpenes to gain a full perspective of their potential.
What Purpose do Cannabinoids & Terpenes Serve the Plant Itself?
Given the wide range and complexity of cannabinoids & terpenes, their exact purpose for plants is yet to be proven definitively.
However, it is theorised that the hemp plant essentially uses cannabinoids and terpenes as survival tools.
Cannabinoids found in trichomes on the plant may protect it from UV rays, prevent it from drying out in the sun, or insulate it in colder temperatures.
Both cannabinoids and terpenes are believed to be used by the plant to either repel or attract certain insects.
They may simultaneously repel herbivores from eating plants whilst attracting insects that eat such herbivores as a 'double-edged sword' defense mechanism. Terpenes may also help Hemp with reproduction by attracting bees for pollination.
Given that cannabis and humans have essentially evolved together over thousands of years, a final benefit for the plant itself could be that by benefiting the well-being of humans with cannabinoids and terpenes, we are more likely to cultivate the plant, thus increasing the plant's chances of survival.
However, this is just a thought from us at BROWN'S, and is not scientific in any way!
We hope you have enjoyed learning about the fascinating chemical machine that is Hemp. If you're interested in checking out our range of hemp and CBD products, click the ‘Shop Now’ button at the top of your screen.