What's the difference between cbd and terpenes?

What's the difference between cbd and terpenes?

What is the difference between CBD and terpenes?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has stirred up a buzz in recent years for its abundance of therapeutic properties. CBD is sold as an isolate or full-plant extract and used for a number of afflictions like chronic pain and anxiety. More recently, terpenes, another industry buzzword, have gained attention for their unique and powerful therapeutic abilities. If you want to stay in the know and get the best effects from your cannabis, you’ll need to be able to differentiate between the two.

Difference between CBD and terpenes

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in cannabis and closely related to THC. It is the most abundant cannabinoid in the plant. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects and can even counteract or neutralize the effects of THC. Over time, it’s become more medically-accepted, with numerous studies in place and science backing up its therapeutic properties. CBD is sold as isolates or in a full-plant extract. Full-plant extracts do not isolate the CBD and instead keep other compounds in place to work with it.


Terpenes are responsible for the “entourage effect”, the synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes that provides a stronger, more restorative effect than a single isolated compound. Hundreds are present in a single nug of cannabis, and they all work together in various ways to create unique healing effects depending on the strain. Terpenes can be used on their own as well and small doses can have therapeutic effects om the user.


When it comes to structuring, terpenes are very similar to cannabinoids, including cannabidiol. They both stem from the same resin gland of the plant. Isolated terpenes have never been studied like isolated CBD, but they are isolated for use in aromatherapy and other holistic practices.

The different effects of CBD and terpenes

CBD in its isolated form is just that, cannabidiol. No other compounds are present, which means it does not have a full-plant effect. Depending on the source, isolates are typically sold as 99-percent CBD.  


CBD is not readily bioavailable and our bodies tend to push a large portion of it out without absorbing it into the bloodstream. Some studies have suggested that only about six percent of CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream, essentially flushing out the other 94 percent. While isolates can still alleviate a number of ailments, studies have shown that if terpenes are present to synergize with the cannabidiol, it’s more likely the subject will achieve their desired anti-inflammatory effects.


Terpenes are often used for aromatherapy, and they can have calming, soothing effects on the user which vary based on the terpene profiles present. Some terpenes are energizing while others are sedative. Some are best for treating chronic pain while others are mood enhancing. Terpenes offer a lot of customization and catering to the specific needs of the user.










Leave a comment