You may not realise it, but every time you go for a stroll in the woods and breathe in the fresh, clean air, the pine scent you are inhaling is actually terpenes. And that’s what also gives CBD and other plants their distinct smells and ultimately what makes up essential oils!
It seems like an unusual combination: CBD, terpenes and pine trees, but upon closer examination, you begin to see the connection: The Great Outdoors.
Like pine trees, cannabis is a plant. CBD-infused products are a result of the terpenes in cannabis plants and it’s that connection that relates back to the smell of both pine and cannabis. Let’s examine the impact of terpenes are little more closely.
What are terpenes?
As previously mentioned, cannabis is a plant, so its buds and flowers are what produce the powerful scent you associate with CBD. It’s the same thing for pine trees and many other plants. The odor emitted from the natural compounds in plants work in a couple of ways: To either attract pollinators or repel predators. It is the scent that is said to be behind the healing properties of terpenes.
While much research remains to be done on the medicinal benefits of terpenes, recent studies, including the research paper Terpenes from Forest and Human Health published in 2017, have shown that various terpenes that naturally grow in forests are making a difference with anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic and neuroprotective treatments.
Although people didn’t necessarily understand why, they quickly discovered that children with asthma and atopic dermatitis were reaping the benefits of some pretty clear therapeutic benefits after visiting heavily forested areas. It was convincing enough evidence that countries soon began focusing on forest programs as a means of therapy.
According to the 2017 study, in the 1960s, the United States became focused on “forest recreation” and the Forest Agency of the Japanese government introduced the term “Shinrin-yoku,” often more commonly defined as “forest bathing” in 1982.
Aromatherapy in the forest
The concept is very similar to the science behind traditional aromatherapy. If you love how lavender calms your senses and lemon gives your home a nice clean scent, then you’re already more familiar with terpenes than you know. Terpenes are found in essential oils are often associated with uplifting and healing benefits.
Terpenes are even more powerfully scented because their compounds are considered evaporative. That means they evaporate in the air, breaking down and releasing their odor. That’s why you don’t have to walk up to a pine tree branch and take a whiff of it in order to enjoy its aroma.
While research continues on how cannabis and CBD-infused products directly impact specific health conditions, it’s clear that aromatherapy has its own benefits for the mind and soul