Hemp is an amazing plant with a complex biochemical make-up. Including various compounds, of which some have surprising properties or even a serious therapeutical value. While you might know something about hemp’s cannabinoids, like Cannabidiol (CBD). There are other types of elements from hemp we should not underestimate. Some of the valuable substances you definitely want your CBD oil to contain besides cannabinoids, for instance, are terpenes:

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give plants their unique smell. Including, but certainly not limited to, hemp. In various compositions these elements are able to create hundreds of different smells in plants and flowers. In fact, many essential oils used for their aroma thank their smell to terpenes. And when you think about the term ‘aromatherapy’; it’s easy to realize that giving off a nice smell is not the only value of terpenes…

Terpenes in CBD oil

Because terpenes can have an amazing effect on your health and well-being; even when you just smell them. This is proven by the relaxing effect you experience when you smell lavender, for example. Or the activating feeling you have when you get a whiff of pines in a forrest. This is respectively caused by Linalool (lavender) or Pinene (pine). Two terpenes which also happen to be very common in most hemp varieties! Other common terpenes in hemp - and Dutch Natural Healing’s Hemp extracts and hemp oil - are: 


One of the most common terpenes in hemp and its extracts is Myrcene. A substance which is also found in mangoes, eucalyptus, thyme, lemongrass and hops. The latter of which is actually called Cannabis humulus and belongs to the same plant family as hemp. From preliminary research, we know myrcene might have anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, there is evidence showing myrcene could possibly have calming, antibiotic and cramp-treating abilities. Obviously, this makes it a welcome terpene in DNH’s CBD oil. 


Another very common terpene in hemp oil, is limonene. This substance is also found in high concentrations in citrus, as you might’ve guessed by the name (lime). However, lemons and lime are not the only products you might’ve encountered carrying limonene. In fact, this terpene is often used in cleaning detergents, insect repellants and anything lemony, really. 

Furthermore, scientists believe that limonene could stimulate the healing of damaged mucous cells in the digestive system. Perhaps that’s why it is believed to help decrease reflux and ulcers. Lastly, limonene also has the unique ability that it helps increase the absorption of other terpenes by the body. Making it too, a valuable addition to our CBD products


Pinene is without a doubt the most common terpene in nature. It exists in two forms, alfa- and beta-pinene. Though alfa is the one we know best, from giving pine trees their characteristic scent. As mentioned above, the aroma of pinene has an activating effect on the brains’ function and increases focus. This is due to the substance’s inhibiting effects on an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase; which is essential to mental clarity and memory-function.  

However, pinene’s effects are not merely noticeable in the brain. Considering the bronchodilator could possibly help with breathing, and aid in the treatment of bronchitis-related ailments. Besides, there is also evidence suggesting that pinene can effectively treat the ‘untreatable’ MSRA-bacterias. This is supported by findings regarding pinene’s antimicrobial properties. Meaning the terpene in CBD oil could possibly be effective in treating various bacteria and viruses, amongst having many other possible medicinal uses. 


A terpene you might definitely know too, is linalool. Considering this substance is what gives lavender its unique relaxing aroma. Accordingly, relieving stress is one of the therapeutical values of this terpene in CBD oil. Though research also shows that linalool might possibly help soothe pain, decrease feelings of depression, fight cramps, treat tumors and holds antibacterial properties


We’ve mentioned hops before, the plant related to hemp containing the terpene myrcene. However, that’s not the only terpene it carries; as it also contains fair amounts of humulene. A spicy, forrest-like aromatic compound believed to have strong anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties. 

More interesting however, is the fact that scientists discovered humulene is able to create reactive oxygen particles; which could cause cancer cells to oxidate. In other words, this would mean the terpene could effectively slow down the growth of cancer cells and stimulate their natural cell-death (apoptosis). While we don’t think the relatively low amount of humulene in our CBD oils will have this same effect; these findings do support further research into the matter to develop hemp- or terpene-based cancer medication in the future.


In addition, researchers think that the anti-cancer properties of humulene work better in combination with another terpene: bèta-caryophyllene. β-caryophyllene (BCP) is also known as Caryophyllene, L-caryophyllene and trans-carryophyllene; and is also found in other plants. Just like the terpenes mentioned before. It is the mean reason for the spiciness of black pepper; and might also be found in rosemary, hops, basil and cloves. 

BCP however, consists of a bigger molecule than other terpenes. Considering this is a so-called sesquiterpene - with 3 isoprene-units. While the ones mentioned above are monoterpenes - with 2 isoprene-units. As a result, it also binds to the same CB2-receptors of the endocannabinoid-system (ECS) as CBD does; giving the molecule some amazing properties in return. For instance, it’s believed bèta-caryophyllene can strengthen the effects of certain anti-cancer medications. Besides, there’s even a patent pending for this substance as an apoptosis-stimulant for cancer-cells. 

Other studies found evidence suggesting that this special terpene might: treat inflammatory diseases like cystitis; and have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and locally sedating effects. Furthermore, some studies support the idea that BCP could help treat neuropathic- and inflammatory pain; multiple sclerosis (MS) and HIV-related dementia. Lastly, there is evidence showing the vegetal compound could effectively help treat anxiety and depression. 


Considering all of these terpenes - and more - come in various compositions in the hemp plant; the so-called ‘terpene-profile’ eventually decides the type of effect you get from a certain cannabis product, like CBD oil. Besides, the presence of terpenes in CBD oil will support and prolong the cannabinoid’s effects. This is something we call the entourage-effect. And from our experience, the more complex a terpene-profile is, the stronger the entourage-effect. Clearly, that is the main reason why the high quality CBD products by DNH are rich in both cannabinoids and terpenes. This ensures the very best interaction with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) for maximum effects of CBD oil in the body.

Please note though, that cats cannot handle terpenes the way humans do. This is mainly due to the fact that cats are naturally carnivores. Which means their bodies are not equipped to process certain vegetal substances. Consequently, cats lack the enzym ‘glucuronyltransferase’, which is responsible for breaking down terpenes. Hence the fact that our CBD for cats is completely terpene-free, in contrast to our CBD for Dogs or terpene-rich CBD oil for humans.