When you walk into a newly mopped home and notice the scent of pine or start to peel a fresh orange and inhale that sweet smell, you are experiencing terpenes. They are the plant compounds that give plants aroma and taste. Isolated terpenes add scent to a variety of household products, from cleaning solutions to perfume.
For people, these aromatic plant compounds offer more than pleasant scents; studies are discovering health applications, including pain relief.
Although found in many plants, terpenes are often associated with hemp and CBD because both cannabis and the industrial hemp plant contain them in high concentrations.
How Do Terpenes Work?
Many terpenes are bioactive, which means they affect living organisms, tissue, or cells. Examples of bioactive substances include antibiotics, enzymes, and vitamins. Unlike a watermelon seed that can pass right through your digestive tract unchanged, bioactive compounds interact with the building blocks of your body.
Lemongrass, wild thyme, bay leaves, mango, and industrial hemp all have the terpene myrcene. The scent is earthy and sometimes spicy or fruity like a red grape. Myrcene is one of the most abundant terpenes and may have several useful medical applications.