What are Terpenes?

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What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are a group of organic compounds produced by a wide variety of plants that we smell or eat every day. These compounds are responsible for the aroma and

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Terpenes are a group of organic compounds produced by a wide variety of plants that we smell or eat every day. These compounds are responsible for the aroma and taste found in the many plants that produce them. All of the terpenes we use are GRAS (Generally recognized as safe) by the FDA and regularly used in aromatherapy and food. Terpenes that occur in plants, however, are often found in very trace amounts. Terpenes may only compose the weight of 1-2% of dried plant matter and in some cases up to 8% in concentrates, but it’s at these dilute concentrations that the flavor profile is best experienced through smell. 

Most notable terpenes include:

a-pinene

Responsible for a lot of the smell of pine trees, alpha-pinene is found in coniferous trees and rosemary. It is a bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and is thought to be responsible for aiding memory.

alpha-pinene Wikipedia article

Alpha-bisabolol

Found in German chamomile, it has a sweet floral aroma.

alpha-bisabolol Wikipedia article

Beta-Caryophyllene

Found in plants such as black pepper and cloves, Caryophyllene accounts for the spiciness flavor. It has anxiolytic, antidepressant, and neuroprotective properties.

beta-Caryophyllene Wikipedia article

D-Limonene

Cold-press extracted from the rinds of citrus fruits, Limonene has a strong orange smell has been used to treat anxiety and depression.

d-Limonene Wikipedia article 

Linalool

Produced most famously by the Lavender plant, Linalool is a very aromatic chemical that is known to cause a relaxing effect in aromatherapy.

Linalool Wikipedia article

Myrcene

Found in chamomile and ripe mangoes, myrcene is said to have mild sedative and analgesic effects. 

Myrcene Wikipedia article