How Can Certain Terpenes and Strains Affect a CBD Product?
As the CBD industry has gotten more and more advanced and popular over the years, we’ve seen the market diversify, offering a wider selection of formulas in various delivery methods, strengths and compound combinations. Nowadays, the average hemp enthusiast has higher standards when it comes to the CBD products that they buy, combined with more education on the hemp plant in general. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many of today’s cannabidiol users are seeking out specific strains that they believe will give them the most desirable effects. But, if you’re new to the hemp scene, you may not quite understand what strains are, or why they matter.
Terpenes: Why These Compounds Matter
Because the strain of a hemp plant is mostly determined by its composition of terpenes, it’s important that we discuss these secondary hemp compounds in detail, as many people still aren’t sure as to what they are and why they matter. Terpenes are the active compounds that come after cannabinoids, and are found, like cannabinoids, in the flowering buds of the female hemp plant. Cannabinoids include CBD (cannabidiol), CBN (cannabinol), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBG (cannabigerol). They absorb into the body and are used by the endocannabinoid system to bind to cannabinoid receptors that regulate bodily processes.
Terpenes are different. For one thing, while cannabinoids are unique to the cannabis genus, that produces both hemp and marijuana, terpenes naturally occur in all plant life. These compounds are responsible for giving each plant its flavor and aroma, which basically means that if you’ve ever eaten a vegetable, you’ve consumed terpenes. Secondly, terpenes exist to protect a plant from pests, disease and other threatening circumstances, with unique properties that keep it as healthy as possible.
When we extract terpenes from plants, we can experience their properties in a way that’s useful to us. For instance, myrcene, a terpene abundant in hemp, is known for its calming properties. Limonene, meanwhile, may offer pain-relieving properties as well as the ability to lift one’s mood and energize the mind.
Hemp naturally offers over a hundred individual terpenes, which each add to the specific effects of the plant, alongside cannabinoids.
What is a Hemp Strain?
When we talk about the strain of hemp, we’re referring to its breed. Hemp comes in a wide variety of strains, with each strain having a specific chemical composition. The main determining factor of a strain is its terpene composition. This refers to the terpenes that are present in the strain, as well as the levels in which they are present, which both impact specific effects of the strain. For instance, some strains have high levels of particularly calming terpenes, thus making them appropriate for bedtime. Others have lots of anti-inflammatory terpenes that make them particularly useful for pain.
Categories of Cannabis Strains
There are three different types of strains, and knowing which type suits your needs the best will help you determine the specific strain to look out for:
- Indica: Indica strains have a higher myrcene content, and myrcene is a sedating terpene. Therefore, indica strains are more associated with calming effects, sleep and relaxation. Many people seek out indicas to use in the evening after a long day.
- Sativa: Sativa strains have lower myrcene levels, and so, may offer more uplifting and energizing properties. Sativa strains may be better for daytime, often giving you a boost in focus, motivation and even sociability.
- Hybrid: A hybrid strain is the result of crossing an indica with a sativa, offering a balance between the effects of each type of strain.
How are Strains Made?
Currently, the hemp market offers an enormous variety of strains, and it seems like more and more new strains are popping up each week. This is because hemp farmers now have a big incentive to breed new strains using expert techniques. As hemp is now legal, and more and more people are buying it regularly, farmers are always dreaming up new strains that can address more specific needs. And, advancements in technology have allowed breeders to design strains with more precision than ever before. Strains are produced by crossing two existing strains together, so that the result offers a balance between the properties of its parents, and even emphasizes specific traits that are desirable.
What Does This All Mean for Today’s CBD Enthusiast?
Now that you have an idea of what strains are and how they are made, it’s time discuss what this means when shopping for a hemp product.
First, not all CBD products come in a variety of strains. For starters, products made with CBD isolate are terpene-free, as they only contain cannabidiol, and therefore the strain from which the cannabidiol was derived does not matter, as you won’t be experiencing its effects.
Furthermore, the most common products that come in different strains are flower and vape products. So, if strains are particularly important to you, try sticking with these delivery methods as they will allow you to explore a wider array of strain options so that you can get more out of your daily regimen.
Choosing a Strain for Your Routine
So, how can you find the best strain for you? We know that the idea of strains can be overwhelming, especially to beginners who are still trying to figure out which delivery method is right for them, as well as the dosage for their needs. First, let’s make it clear that there are no strains that are associated with harmful effects, so don’t worry that choosing the “wrong” strain will result in a disastrous experience.
To select a good strain, it’s a wise idea to first ask yourself what you want out of your daily CBD experience. Many of us want to take it for something specific, like stress or aches and pains. Once you’ve come up with an answer, think about whether a sativa, indica or hybrid will best suit our needs. If you want something for stress or sleep, indica strains are a good call. For something that is more energizing, sativa is the way to go. Hybrids give you a blend of the two in a balanced way.
Next, it’s a good idea to research different strains to learn more about them. Read up on the properties of different strains, in order to figure out which ones might be best for you. Then, look for them in the form of a CBD product that has the right delivery method and strength for your needs.
Also, keep in mind that you may find that it takes a while to come across the strain that best suits you. It’s okay to experiment with different ones – arguably, that’s part of the fun of developing a hemp hobby.