Have you ever wondered why animals are drawn to certain plants, or why they like to eat grass? Well, it may be the terpenes.

By now, you may know that hemp is a part of the cannabaceae family (Cannabis sativa). You may also know that more than 100 phytocannabinoids, including the two most popular ones – CBD and THC – have been identified in hemp. But what you may not know is that terpenes help make up the biological profile of the hemp plant. They also enhance the effects of phytocannabinoids like CBD.

Still, confusion surrounds these little molecules. What are terpenes? Is there a difference between hemp terpenes and marijuana terpenes? And finally, can our four legged friends benefit from the terpenes in CBD oil? The answer to these questions may surprise you.

What are Terpenes?

Full spectrum hemp, also known as whole plant hemp extract, contains over 400 different compounds, of which more than 100 of them have been identified as terpenes.

By definition, terpenes are volatile molecules responsible for the distinctive odor, flavors, and colors of the different strains found in cannabis. These little molecules act as a natural repellent against pests for the plant, help attract pollinators, and protect the plant from extreme temperatures and other environmental stressors.

Terpenes are produced from the resin within the trichomes of the cannabis plant, which is the same place where phytocannabinoids are found. Interestingly enough, you can find several of the same terpenes you find in hemp, in other everyday plants, herbs, flowers, and fruits. That’s why you may find your pets so drawn to certain plants: it’s the terpenes.

So does this mean that different terpenes are found in hemp-derived CBD vs. marijuana?

Hemp-Derived CBD Terpenes Vs. Marijuana Terpenes

Determining the ratios and amounts of different phytocannabinoids in hemp and marijuana is slightly more predictable than determining their terpenoid content. The terpene composition varies greatly and is usually established through the genetics of the plant, cultivation and harvesting of the plant, and the environment in which the plant is grown. So yes, there is a difference between CBD terpenes and marijuana terpenes, but it usually boils down to genetic strains.

Additionally, temperature and extraction play huge roles in the terpenoid content. According to The Medical Cannabis Awareness Association (MCAA), terpenes that are the most volatile will begin evaporating at temperatures as low as 70 degrees. Other, less volatile, terpenes will evaporate at higher temperatures. This may explain why cannabis smells the most pungent first thing in the morning. It also explains why the terpenes in hemp-derived CBD oils vs marijuana considerably vary. This leads us to the question:

Do Terpenes Get My Pet High?

While we know that hemp and marijuana both belong to the cannabis family, their biological profiles are very different. Hemp is known for an abundance of CBD (non-psychoactive), and marijuana is known for the THC (the part that is psychoactive, and what gets humans “high.”) Unlike certain phytocannabinoids, terpenes are not psychoactive. This means pet owners can safely administer terpene rich hemp oil to their pet, without fear or concern.

So what are the terpenes in CBD oil and how do they affect our pets?

What Are the Terpenes in CBD Oil?

While we know that temperature highly affects the terpenoid content of CBD oils, there are a few terpenes that appear more abundant than others, and always seem to show up in terpene rich hemp oils.

The most abundant terpenes in CBD oil include:

  • Myrcene
  • Pinene
  • Linalool
  • Limonene
  • B-Caryophyllene

But, what are those? Let’s break this down.

How Do Terpenes Benefit My Pet?

Overall, terpenes found in CBD and terpene rich hemp oils can help enhance the properties of CBD, which help contribute to the entourage effect –– when all phytochemicals of the hemp plant work synergistically in the body. Below is a detailed description of each of the terpenes listed above.

Myrcene is a common terpene found in cannabis, and it can be found in other plants like wild thyme, hops, lemongrass, basil, and even mango. Myrcene has a musky-like scent, and it gives cannabis an earthy yet spicy, clove-like aroma. Historically, humans have used plants and mangos rich in myrcene to help with physical discomfort.

Limonene is one of the most common terpenes found in nature. If your pets’ CBD oil has ever had a lemony or orangey citrus flavor, it’s most likely due to limonene. Fortunately, limonene is packed with potential benefits for our companions. Studies have found that limonene from citrus oils helped promote a calming effect in study participants (in this case, mice). Other studies suggest that limonene supports healthy inflammatory responses.

Pinene is commonly found in the resin of pine trees and cannabis. When we think of pine, most of us refer to cleaning products. Why? Because pinene contains properties that promotes the body’s innate resistance to pathogens. Like limonene, pinene is packed with an array of potential benefits.

Linalool has similar traits as myrcene, but they’re just not as potent. That said, linalool gives off a clean, fresh floral scent, with hints of citrus aroma. For a long time, lavender has been known for its mood enhancing and calming effects in animals – and the reason for this is because lavender contains linalool. Linalool has also been studied by scientists for its ability to promote a normal inflammatory response.

B-caryophyllene is the terpene that potentially has the most to offer. It can be found in black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, and of course, cannabis. What makes it so unique amongst other terpenes is that it supports normal cell function in the body. Researchers have found in studies that this terpene supports cellular health, has antioxidant protection, and supports a healthy inflammatory response. What’s great is that most of this research has been done on animal models, showcasing how great B-caryophyllene can potentially be for our four-legged friends.

Holistic Hound’s USDA certified organic hemp CBD oils  are terpene rich and are always third-party tested to ensure you’re getting the very best product for your beloved pets.

Are Terpenes Safe for My Pet?

While we know that terpenes are in no way a cure-all for the unwanted symptoms and ailments our pets experience at times, they may provide great benefits for your pet. Terpenes occur in our everyday plants, fruits, and even spices, deeming them completely safe for our pets to consume.

Terpene-Rich Hemp Oils for Dogs and Cats

As with any new product, moderation is key. CBD and terpene rich full spectrum hemp oils may hold a lot of value, but each animal will respond differently. It’s important to take things slowly, introduce new products in low dosages, and always be observant to how your pet responds to a new terpene rich hemp oil. Finally, it’s important to always inform your veterinarian when introducing a new products to your pet’s regimen, especially if your pet is currently using other products.