Fortifying Cannabis Products via Terpene Aromatherapy

Maximizing Consumer Experience via Olfactory Stimulation

Long considered “whack science,” aromatherapy has transitioned from the calming rooms of spa’s and into the homes (and offices) of those wishing to maximize its healing potential. While the notion of healing scents is nothing new, the integration into mainstream acceptance is still within its infancy. The concept is easy enough: diffuse essential oils into the air and breathe. However, its interaction within the human body is slightly more complex.

On the surface, clinical trials have found aromatherapy works within our brains by calming various neural pathways. Studies ranging over a decade found aromatherapy positively altered anxiety, mood disorders, tension and overall quality of life (1). Our sense of smell is closely tied with the emotional sector of the brain, known as the olfactory epithelium. When odorous molecules enter the nostrils, olfactory receptors translate this smell and trigger an emotional response (2).

As we already know, the health or “state” of your emotions/thoughts directly influences the “state” of your physical body. Referred to as the Brain-Body Connection, research clearly demonstrates your emotions, which is interconnected with your nervous system, modulate literally every other physical bodily system and/or responses (3). Case in point, when you’re overly stressed, angry or worried, it’s common to experience a drop in your immune system or an alteration in cardiovascular function (4).

Olfactory Function – Stimulating a Biological Reaction via Cannabis Terpenes

Traditionally, the use of cannabis terpenes is to enhance the aroma of cannabis products. For example, adding a jolt of citrus scents to cannabis vape juice. Enjoying the smell of cannabis via inhalation is referred to as the orthonasal route; however, research suggests the role of aromatherapy extends beyond inhalation. Data outlined in the book The Neurobiology of Olfaction, says the act of exhalation, known as the retronasal route, plays a direct role in how scents are processed and the resulting receptor interaction (2).

So what does this mean for cannabis processors? Quite a lot, actually. As discussed in our previous article, The Next Evolution in Cannabis Solutions via Terpene Integration, by fortifying cannabis products with whole-plant terpenes, the intended effect of the product may be heightened due to its ability to modulate cannabinoid uptake, also known as The Entourage Effect. Not only does this offer a unique ability to boost flavor and scent profiles, but while doing so, the therapeutic value of the product strengthens.

For example, the terpene beta-caryophyllene “selectively binds” to CB-2 receptor sites, which unlike CB-1 receptors that makes us feel stoned, CB-2 primarily deal with physiological mechanisms. By activating CB-2 receptors, this terpene is considered a macrocyclic anti-inflammatory cannabinoid, which means it works with other substances to reduce inflammation throughout the human body (5). When added to a cannabis solution, it’s possible to increase its medicinal value by heightening its anti-inflammatory potential.

CAT Scientific – Equipment for Next-Generation Cannabis Processing

Although the use of terpenes in cannabis products is well-within its infancy, by taking an abstract – yet objective – review of scientific literature, it’s possible to create a more diverse, full-functioning product line for both recreational and medical cannabis users.

Have questions about terpenes? Want to delve deeper into this extraction and integration method?  Contact Us Today and let’s discuss how our equipment is used to bolster cannabis processing innovations!



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Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft. -- Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

1 Comment

  1. Cheryl on March 24, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Bob, as a processor, I totally agree with you on this article. I add terpenes and essential oils to my products. Currently I mix the essential oils and terpenes together on a magnetic electric stirrer for 5-10 minutes. Then I add them to my product. My question is this: should I then homogenize the final product with the homogenizer? If so, how long should I homogenize 500 mls of warm lotion with a temperature of 140 F?

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