Cannabis Derived Terpenes: A Formulation Guide

This article delves into the subject of terpenes. With the proper equipment, a range of extraction processes, and quality-level terpenes, producers have no shortage of consumers lining up for their products. Consider the terpene and product formulations listed in this article, as well as the health advantages of terpenes to boost your profit. 

If there is anything cannabis is known for, it’s that familiar aroma. However, there is a range of scents for every user, from earthy to musky to sweet-citrus. Terpenes are fragrant compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants responsible for various aromas associated with them.

Isolated terpenes can be found in various scent-based products like perfumes, lotions, soaps, and even coffee. However, they are prevalently found in cannabis and hemp plants since these particular plants contain such a high concentration of terpenes.

A large portion of what makes CBD extraction so profitable is preserving the aroma, scent, and flavor of cannabis. In addition to the smell component, terpenes also have a range of reported mental and physical benefits for the consumer. 

In any botanical extraction process, terpene preservation is a critical factor from plant to product. This article will dive into cannabis-derived terpenes and cannabis formulation guides from top to bottom, including identification, possible health benefits, best capture processes, and final product formulations.

Cannabis Derived Terpenes from A to Z

Terpenes are present in over 100 unique strains of cannabis plants. Not only are terpenes responsible for smell and flavor, but recent studies have also shown that many of these terpenes have some health benefits. Let’s examine some of the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis in our terpene chart:

Terpenes Found in Cannabis

Terpene Smell Benefits Found in
Myrcene Earthy, musky, fruity Reduces inflammation, chronic pain Mangos
Limonene Citrus Improves mood, stress; antibacterial Citrus fruits
Linalool Spicy, floral Sedative effects Lavender, cinnamon, and mint
Caryophyllene Spicy, peppery Research for alcohol withdrawal¹ Cinnamon, cloves, other spices
Alpha-pinene and Beta-Pinene Pine-like Anti-inflammatory properties improve respiratory functions. Orange peels, basil, parsley, and other plants contain this terpene
Alpha-bisoprolol Floral Treats bacterial infections Chamomile
Trans-nerolidol Woody, citrusy, floral Antifungal/Antimicrobial Jasmine, tea tree oil
Eucalyptol Minty Positive effects on Alzheimer’s² Eucalyptus trees
Humulene Earthy, woody Appetite suppression Sage, black pepper
Delta 3 Carene Sweet Helps osteoporosis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia Peppers, cedar, pine
Camphene Musky, earthy Antioxidant, topical treatment Fir tree needles
Borneol Minty, herbal Insect repellent Rosemary, camphor
Geraniol Grassy, fruity Neuroprotectant, antioxidant Tobacco, lemons
Valencene Oranges Insect repellent Valencia oranges
Terpineol Floral Antibiotic and antioxidant Perfumes, cosmetics

How to Capture Your Terpenes

CBD oil producers may find it necessary to seek out the most advanced equipment for bountiful and efficient terpene extraction. However, it is first important to recognize that enhancing the quality of your terpenes will lend itself to an overall more effective and desirable CBD product. 

Capturing and separating terpenes before the supercritical Co2 extraction process has three primary advantages: It generates high-quality terpenes, allows for other beneficial properties within the hemp or cannabis to be maintained, and gives the producer better control. 

Making sure terpenes are not diluted through the supercritical Co2 extraction process is important for CBD producers because preservation of terpenes is oftentimes what sets your product above the rest. The fragrant smell is what frequently draws consumers toward your particular product. It can encapsulate the type of product you want to sell.

Better Terpenes Captured in Fractional Distillation

A multitude of CBD manufacturers loses profit from improper terpene distillation and extraction. Using ineffective extraction methods can cause terpenes to have some of their most useful components degraded. Ethanol dissolves cannabinoids, waxes, fats, and volatile components all in one single liquid. The primary method to getting terpenes out is to do fractional distillation. 

Supercritical Co2 and Other Extraction Methods

Another method uses separate vessels designed to capture their terpenes during supercritical CO2 extraction, but there are drawbacks to this method. Since terpenes are volatile, if you are utilizing the supercritical Co2 method, make sure your equipment is at the highest efficiency. 

Meaning, your supercritical Co2 extractor should have multiple funnels and columns for terpene separation, but your machine should also contain a separate chamber for cooling and heating purposes. Getting terpenes back to their proper state of matter or equilibrium is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the terpene content. 

Another method utilizes what is called a subcritical extraction to collect their terpenes. This involves a simple, 20-minute run with lower temperature and pressure. As a result, the terpene extraction produced has a much cleaner and purer quality. However, it is still possible that some leftover chemical contaminants may remain in the terpenes.

Why Cannabis Derived Terpenes Matter in Product Formulation

Terpenes are an essential component of cannabis formulation. Each terpene gives a unique aromatic and flavor profile to the product. Therefore, different terpenes will provide unique benefits for the consumer, and individual terpenes will make up distinctive pieces in the cannabinoid profile. 

To determine the right product for you, review the list above and decide which effects would be most advantageous. If you are a producer, consider incorporating a variety of terpenes within your product to enhance benefits and provide a range of options for consumers.

Organic Terpenes vs. Synthetic Terpenes

Naturally occurring organic terpenes are popular for many cannabis product generators, but the synthetic version of terpenes can also commonly be found in CBD product formulation. Synthetic terpenes are produced through chemical manipulation in a laboratory. Most of the consumption of synthetic terpenes lies with vape cartridges and pens. Much of the evidence against synthetic terpenes is from an environmental and health perspective, but both organic and synthetic can be widely used.

Extracted terpenes can provide a broad-spectrum terpene profile. Broad-spectrum extraction incorporates a large variety of terpenes into the organic compound of the hemp plant. Due to these organic terpene compounds producing a range of effects, synthesized terpenes are not necessary. 

If proper equipment is used, like the supercritical Co2 extractor and the natural elements of terpenes are salvaged, synthesized terpenes are not a required piece of a good CBD product. Instead, fresher, more unique CBD products can be created with organic terpenes.

These tinctures come in various flavors, leaving the choice up to the consumer’s unique flavor profile. Organic tinctures are all formulated from naturally derived broad-spectrum terpenes. Broad-spectrum is difficult to reproduce with synthetic terpenes when added to a product; the appeal of an organic cannabis terpene profile provides potential health benefits and mitigates unknown risks of lesser studied synthetic terpenes.

The Entourage Effect

There are several health advancements associated with naturally occurring terpenes. For example, elevated mood decreased tension, or pain within the body, are just a few benefits of terpenes. In addition, when terpenes are combined with other cannabinoids, a synergistic phenomenon, called the entourage effect, occurs. 

The Entourage Effect involves increased activity in cannabinoid receptors in the functional brain when different cannabinoids and terpenes are consumed in combination rather than in isolation. 

Essentially, terpenes are a significant component to include within your CBD product makeup because they react well with other types of cannabinoids to produce an enhanced effect for the consumer. The Entourage Effect can potentially yield increased medical and advantages for individuals, including more benefits for the body and the mind.

In other words, this shows that the benefits of certain cannabinoids on their own are less than that of a compound that contains a full range of cannabinoids and terpenes. This provides further evidence of the value of terpenes in a final cannabis concentrate product and how important it is to collect pure, unadulterated terpenes. Next, consider how your product can be enhanced by adding potent, organic terpenes. 

Cannabis Derived Terpenes: A Formulation Guide

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