Why Terpenes in CBD Oil Matter – The Entourage Effect

The benefits of full spectrum CBD oil can be enhanced further by what is known as the entourage effect. This is a mechanism by which terpenes in full spectrum CBD oil increase the uptake and absorption of helpful cannabinoids in the body. But what are terpenes and how does this process work? In this overview we’ll run you through what terpenes and the entourage effect are, how they work, their benefits and why it matters for your health. We’ll also take a look at why this effect means full spectrum CBD oil is a better choice than isolated oil products to maximize effectiveness and strength. Learn about the key terpenes found in hemp, their effects and how to get the best results when picking your next CBD oil Australia. 

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is a therapeutic product that is created when the oil from cannabis sativa is extracted and purified. It contains the compound CBD or cannabidiol which is highly anti inflammatory, beneficial to health and promotes recovery plus reduces anxiety. It does this by acting on the endocannabinoid system (more on this soon). ‘Full spectrum’ CBD oil denotes a type of oil containing cannabidiol that is extracted from all plants of the hemp plant. This means it has the full spectrum of nutrients that can be found across the leaves, stems, seeds and buds of the plant. Resultantly, the end oil product contains far higher quantities of terpenes, antioxidants, phytonutrients like omega 3 and minerals. 

What are terpenes?

Cannabis (or hemp), like many plants including lavender and tea tree, produces its own natural scent chemicals. These are compounds designed to signal either other plants or animals as pheromones or for other purposes. Whenever you smell scents from a plant, it will generally be from the fragrant terpenes being produced by the plant. Many are used to attract insects such as pollinators to help the plant reproduce. They’re typically most concentrated in flowers (which is why many flowers smell strongly) or the buds of plants. This includes hemp, which contains many terpenes, most concentrated in the buds. While not commonly known, terpenes have a few important benefits to our health which make them important.

The Entourage Effect from CBD Oil

When taking CBD oil, the cannabinoids from the oil like CBD are absorbed into the bloodstream, before being transported to CB1 and CB2 receptor binding sites. These sites then activate what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. This is a complex network of receptors that can be located throughout the body from the brain and CNS to skin and gut, which responds to cannabinoids. When activated it releases anti inflammatory endocannabinoid chemicals that deliver therapeutic effects like reduced anxiety and improved blood pressure. Terpenes from hemp are thought to enhance the uptake of cannabinoids like CBD in the body. They improve the absorption of cannabinoids into the endocannabinoid system and upregulate their binding. This makes the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids stronger, improving their benefits to your health. Why this occurs is not yet known. It is theorized that particular terpenes such as myrcene may aid the transportation of cannabinoids like CBG, CBN or CBD to the cannabinoid receptor binding sites. They may improve cell permeability to enable this and enhance the uptake of nutrients but its not yet clear.

Health Benefits of Terpenes

It’s true that terpenes are often bioactive and can be absorbed by the body. Many are anti-inflammatory or antioxidative, conferring health benefits to our cells. Others can help with sleep or relaxation like linalool, which is found in lavender, but also commonly in hemp. It’s no surprise that many fruits are high in terpene content. Their scent is attractive to us as they’re rich in healthy vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants which the plant is signalling. Some terpenes are also antimicrobial or antibacterial. For example tea tree oil is commonly used to combat bad smells, infections and bacteria. It is very high in certain terpenes that contribute to its natural defensive effects. Some terpenes are also thought to contribute to the complex gut microbiome and help improve our gut flora. It may help explain why plant based foods are so effective in building our gut health.

Common Terpenes

What are some examples of terpenes in hemp and other plants with strong health benefits? Let’s take a look at some of the best ones to look out for:

1. Myrcene

Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found across all plant life, including hemp. Research in Switzerland shows that up to 50 percent of terpenes across all plants are composed of myrcene. The aroma of myrcene is fruity and earthly and it tastes like mangoes with a minty aftertaste. Myrcene is plentiful in hops, thyme, mango, and lemongrass. It has a lot of therapeutic properties, being known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain reducing) properties

Myrcene plays a vital role in CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory activities. Different studies have shown that injections of myrcene have relieved pain in the modulation of the central nervous system and peripheral analgesia. It is also capable of enhancing sleep and helping to reduce tension in the muscles. As you can tell this terpene works amazingly with cannabidiol, helping to operate in synergy with CBD to bring enhanced levels of relief to the body.

2. Pinene

Pinene is the most used terpene in medicine and it has two major types – one is alpha, and the other is beta. Alpha-Pinene is found in pine trees and can generate the plant’s signature scents. It’s also a compound found fairly frequently in cannabis. It also has a lot of therapeutic properties. Studies showed that Pinene can mitigate MRSA infections in some individuals. Other research has shown that Pinene also has potent antimicrobial properties. It has been found that Pinene is highly effective in treating viral and bacterial infections. Pinene is used in natural medicinal treatments as an anti-inflammatory to relieve muscle pain. 

3. Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is produced in different plants like cloves, black pepper, lavender, Thai basils, and cinnamon leaves, but can also be found in full spectrum hemp oil. It has a woody, peppery and spicy aroma. Some researchers have shown that beta-caryophyllene is an excellent therapeutic compound to stop nephrotoxicity that is caused by some pharmaceutical drugs. Caryophyllene serves as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to help manage different diseases. It is among the best terpenes that are used in different medicines to relieve pain and inflammation, which is great as it can be found in hemp.

4. Limonene

Limonene is another commonly used terpene found in different plants such as cannabis. This terpene has a sweet and fresh aroma with a twist of citrus scent. Limonene has relaxing and sedative effects and is also capable of having antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Limonene, like myrcene, helps you to get rid of insomnia and aids with sleep. Limonene is also a lipid-lowering terpene that helps to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also helps in preventing insulin resistance in the body. 

5. Linalool

Linalool has been used in aromatherapy for many years, it is known for giving a particular scent to lavender. Linalool is also found in cannabis. The flavor of Linalool is lemony with some tastes of lavender, coriander, and rose. Linalool is a type of terpene that is responsible for many effects and is used for relieving stress. Some studies have shown that Linalool has anti-stress effects. It helps in normalizing stress levels. It also helps in bolstering a healthier immune system that will be better prepared in fighting infections.

6. Humulene

Humulene is another type of terpene that is responsible for different flavors and bouquets of popular products and herbs, as well as cannabis. Humulene gives beer its taste and aroma that is produced in the hop plant. Humulene has anti-inflammatory qualities. It synergises with beta-caryophyllene which lifts the anti-inflammatory properties of Humulene and improves its efficacy. It is also observed that Humulene kills S.aureus bacteria, lowers cholesterol levels, and reduces the risk of cardiac problems.

7. Camphene

Different research bodies have shown that camphene can reduce cholesterol levels – this is primarily responsible for heart diseases including heart attacks and strokes. Studies also show that camphene can also be effective in improving blood lipid profiles, but this may need further evaluation in clinical trials. Camphene is also anti-inflammatory as a phytonutrient.

Why Pick Full Spectrum CBD Oil in Australia

A major consideration when choosing a CBD oil is its terpene content. But not all types of oil contain terpenes. Let’s take a look at these types and why the full spectrum version is generally the best choice if you’re looking for a solution that is rich in terpenes that synergise with cannabinoids like CBD to boost their effect.

Isolate CBD Oil: this formulation of CBD doesn’t contain terpenes. It undergoes an additional refinement process during production which strips away most of the plant nutrients that occur naturally in hemp. These nutrients include terpenes, much of the plant fiber that is typically retained in the oil, vitamins, minerals and many minor cannabinoids like CBD or CBN. The purpose of this is to maximize concentration of CBD in the end product to create a higher strength and purity. However this means it loses the entourage effect.

Full spectrum CBD oil: these oil types will almost always contain terpenes. A full spectrum oil contains nutrients from all parts of the hemp plant, with a reduced level of refinement to ensure the profile of the final product is rich in terpenes, antioxidants and helpful plant nutrients like lignans. While it may have lower levels of CBD, the entourage effect [as well as presence of minor cannabinoids means it’s generally better overall. It will provide you with a more balanced mix of nutrients, helping your body recover better and reduce inflammation to a greater extent.

Broad spectrum CBD oil: is somewhere in between isolate and full spectrum. It will usually contain a number of cannabinoids outside of CBD as well as many plant nutrients but strips away some of the less necessary components of hemp. It can be effective if you need a more targeted oil that is rich in a particular cannabinoid like CBG or CBN. Our recommendation is to use a full spectrum product.


Much is still to be learned about terpenes and how they function in the body. What we do know is they synergise with cannabinoids like CBD to boost their effectiveness in the endocannabinoid system. We’ve run through what terpenes are and how the entourage effect works. It is this effect that enhances the anti inflammatory and analgesic effects of CBD, promoting even more results for users. We also ran through some of the most important terpenes that occur in many plants like hemp, what their health benefits are and how they work. When choosing a CBD oil – look for a full spectrum product. You’ll get the best mix of terpenes and other phytonutrients so you can benefit from the entourage effect. These oils also contain healthy fats, vitamins and other great nutrients that will help with immunity and overall well being.