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What are Terpenes?

While we don’t tend to give it much thought, cannabis is actually an extremely complex plant. Did you know, for example, that cannabis contains over 400 various chemical compounds?

It’s true!  

By far the most familiar compounds found in cannabis are cannabinoids, the most famous being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoids are what offer many of the effects cannabis is associated with. 

Another important cannabis compound you’ve likely heard of? 

Terpenes.  

So far, over 100 various terpenes have been identified in cannabis. What are terpenes though, and what role do they play?  

If you’re at all familiar with cannabis’ distinct aroma, you’re already familiar with terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in cannabis that give different strains their uniquely distinctive smell and flavor profiles.

As it turns out, terpenes are believed to play an integral role in the health-promoting profile of cannabis as well. Terpenes in cannabis that are also found in other plant species have shown to be beneficial for wellbeing, and increased cannabis research in recent years suggests that terpenes could be responsible for lending to the suggested health benefits cannabis contains. 

Here we’ll take a deeper look at terpenes to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the complex chemical makeup of the cannabis plant and the varied effects it contains. 

What Are Terpenes?

At the most basic level, terpenes can be thought of as the aromatic and flavor molecules cannabis contains. Terpenes are commonly considered the essential oils of the cannabis plant. 

If you’ve ever smelled cannabis, you know that not all strains smell the same. Some smell super fruity, others are more citrusy and some smell downright earthy and musky. The different odors of different cannabis strains are a result of their own individual and unique terpene profile. 

Strains that smell citrusy, for example, typically contain higher concentrations of a terpene known as limonene, which happens to be naturally abundant in lemons. Pungent, earthy smelling cannabis strains are usually abundant in a terpene known as beta-caryophyllene, which is also found in black pepper and emits a somewhat spicy and earthy aroma and flavor profile. 

While terpenes are known to lend to the aromatic and flavor profiles of various cannabis strains, it’s also been suggested that they may play a significant role in distinguishing the various effects of cannabis. Like much of the research on cannabis, however, more studies are needed to fully understand how terpenes may contribute to the varied effects that different cannabis strains provide. 

How exactly might various terpenes lend to the beneficial effects of cannabis? Take limonene and terpinolene, for example, which are said to have an energizing, uplifting effect. Cannabis strains that contain higher levels of these terpenes could affect the way a certain strain makes you feel. 

There are also terpenes that are known to lend to a more calming effect. A terpene that’s suggested to contain more of a sense of calm and relaxation is myrcene. Myrcene is also found in hops, which are known to be a powerful sedative. 

There’s more to terpene profiles than a particular terpene being found in a particular strain. According to Amber Wise, scientific director at a Washington State cannabis testing lab, there are several variables that will affect the terpene profile of plants, including whether a plant has been grown indoors or outside. “You can end up with different terpene profiles at the end because temperature, growing medium, nutrients, sunlight, all kinds of things affect the terpene profile of plants,” says Wise. 

Where exactly are terpenes produced in cannabis? 

Great question, we’re glad you asked. 

The Intimate Connection of Terpenes and Trichomes

Terpenes, made up of carbon and hydrogen, are produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. Trichomes are the mushroom-like crystals that cover the leaves and flowers of mature cannabis plants that give them a crystal, frosty appearance. 

Trichomes resemble tiny little hairs and function as a defense from predators and other environmental hazards. They’re also where the cannabis magic happens. Within the tiny trichome resin glands are where cannabinoids are produced. Trichomes are also the production house for terpenes. 

It’s because of terpenes that trichomes help to act as a defense mechanism to insects and animals. The tastes and smells terpenes emit can work to repel animals and insects that might otherwise be detrimental to a plant’s growth and survival. 

5 of the Most Common Cannabis Terpenes

While we mentioned that over 100 terpenes have been identified in cannabis, there are a few that are found more abundantly than others. These are the well-known terpenes that are found not only in cannabis, but several other plant species as well.

Because terpenes may play a role in the effects certain cannabis strains offer, they have become something of significant interest in CBD, as well as medical and recreational cannabis. When consumers have a better understanding of terpenes, it could be easier to determine what effects a given cannabis strain might have simply by knowing its terpene profile.  

Here we’ll cover the most common terpenes found in cannabis (and other plants) to gain a deeper understanding of the power these tiny little compounds truly contain. 

Limonene

Limonene is one of the most common terpenes that exists, and as its name suggests contains a distinct citrusy aroma. Limonene isn’t just found in cannabis, it’s a huge part of the chemical makeup of citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges. The terpene limonene is often added to cleaning supplies to create an invigorating and inviting aroma. 

Limonene contains powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that acts as a potent insecticide on cannabis plants. It is known to help the body better absorb other terpenes. Limonene is widely revered for its ability to uplift the mood and relieve stress. 

Myrcene

Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis and contains an earthy, musky aroma. Aside from cannabis, myrcene is also found in mangoes, lemongrass, thyme and hops and is well-known for its analgesic and antibiotic properties. It’s suggested that the potential effects contained in myrcene are relaxation and sedative-like qualities.

Pinene

Pinene is another common terpene with an aroma to match its name. Pinene is found abundantly in conifer trees, citrus peels and turpentine, and actually comes in two different forms:

Alpha Pinene: The most common terpene found in nature that smells like pine trees. 
Beta Pinene: Contains the aroma of dill, basil, parsley or rosemary. 

Pinene has been used for centuries as a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and is also known to be a powerful bronchodilator, helping to improve airflow to the lungs. It’s said that pinene may help increase alertness and could counteract some of the memory loss associated with THC. 

Caryophyllene 

Caryophyllene is a terpene with a woody, spicy aroma that is also found in black pepper, cinnamon and cloves. It’s a bit different from other terpenes, in that it is the only known terpene that also acts like a cannabinoid by activating the endocannabinoid system. 

It’s suggested that caryophyllene can be beneficial for stress support. It is also known to contain anti-inflammatory properties and may help alleviate anxiety and depression. 

Linalool

Aside from being a fun word to say, linalool is a terpene present in cannabis that is also abundant in lavender plants. It contains a lovely, floral scent. The mood enhancing properties of linalool are widely documented, and it’s been widely used for centuries to alleviate stress and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Linalool may also provide a sedative-like effect. 

Terpenes And The Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is a term used widely in the cannabis world, and we’re sure you’ve heard it mentioned before. The entourage effect is the term used to describe the way cannabinoids and terpenes work in harmony together to create the most beneficial effects. 
The premise behind the entourage effect is that by using the whole cannabis plant instead of an isolated aspect of the plant the benefits of cannabinoids are enhanced. If you’ve ever heard the term “whole plant medicine,” it means that the whole plant is used rather than isolated individual compounds. The potential effects of CBD, for example, are believed to be enhanced by the presence of terpenes and other cannabis compounds. 

The complexity of cannabis is fascinating and something scientists are just beginning to understand. It seems, however, that the way the plant was designed by nature makes for an extremely beneficial combination of various chemical profiles that work synergistically together to offer its various effects. 

Because the entourage effect wouldn’t be possible without terpenes, combined with the role they are believed to play in the wellness benefits of CBD and other cannabis extracts, extremely special care is typically taken during the extraction process to ensure terpenes are preserved.

While we’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to the way terpenes interact with other cannabis compounds, they’ve become one of the biggest buzzwords in the industry. Forbes recently referred to terpenes as having “mass market appeal,” with different terpenes now mixed into everything from products trying to imitate the natural terpene flavors found in cannabis to upscale cannabis cocktails at trendy bars. 

So, while there’s definitely much more to be learned about terpenes, research suggests they play an important role in the potential beneficial effects of cannabis. Will the continued widespread attention they’re receiving eventually make terpenes become just as popular as cannabinoids like CBD and THC? Considering the traction they’re gaining, they just might.

At The Wellest all our products contain 0% THC. However, we use complete Broad Spectrum CBD in everything we make. What that means for you is that you receive all the terpenes contained in the hemp we use to produce our CBD. Come take a look and try our products and see for yourself!!

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The ECS and The Immune System

Creating and supporting a healthy immune system is fundamental to avoid getting sick. While catching a common cold or flu is inevitable, a strong immune system can make symptoms much more manageable and reduce the likelihood of a more serious infection.

These days, it’s more important than ever to maintain strong immunity and do what it takes to make the immune system as strong as possible.

Getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and frequently washing your hands are all beneficial for strengthening the immune system.

Did you know that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in immune function?

It’s true! Ensuring your endocannabinoid system is strong and healthy could help ensure immunity is strong and healthy.

Here we’ll take a closer look at how the ECS supports immunity and how supporting the ECS might lead to a stronger immune response.

Understanding the Basics of Immunity

Before we get too deep into the endocannabinoid system and how it might help support immune function, it’s important to have a basic understanding of immunity itself.

To stay strong and healthy, it’s vital to keep toxins and pathogens as far away from making their way into the body as possible. This just so happens to be the job of the immune system.

One of the major roles of the immune system is to evaluate what’s “good” and what’s “bad” coming into the body. If something “bad” does happen make its way in, the immune system works to destroy whatever it is before it can do lasting damage.

When the immune system is healthy, it’s all systems go. Viruses and other nasty intruders are kept at bay or kicked to the curb before they can truly take a toll. On the other hand, a not-so-healthy immune system doesn’t have the defenses to keep these toxins out nor the strength to fight them off when they make their way in. This is why the flu and other illnesses can be so dangerous to individuals with a compromised immune system.

It’s suggested that one way to achieve a balanced state of healthy immunity and regulate immune function is through the endocannabinoid system.

What role does the endocannabinoid system play in immune health? Let’s take a deeper look.

Immune Function and the Endocannabinoid System

Referred to as one of the most important physiological system that exists, the endocannabinoid system is potentially responsible for a number of different functions including mood, memory, sleep, digestive function, metabolism, appetite, immune function and more.
At the most basic level, the ECS consists of the following:

° Two naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG.
° Enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids, such as fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase
° Two cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2.

CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are both responsible for regulating the release of various chemical messengers. While CB1 receptors are primarily found on neurons, CB2 receptors are primarily found on immune cells. The number of CB2 receptors found in immune cells, for example, is 10-100 times greater than in CB1 receptors.

While research shows that the main functions of the ECS are to support homeostasis, emotional response and mood, cognition and motor function, it’s also suggested that outside of these central functions the ECS is also an important modulator of immune function.

How Does the ECS Support Immune Function?

Research suggests that endocannabinoids can modulate the function of a variety of immune cells through the signaling of cannabinoid receptors.

Immune cells are shown to express both CB1 and CB2 receptors, secrete endocannabinoids and have functional transport and breakdown mechanisms. For example, anandamide synthesis is believed to play an important role in the response of the immune system to cannabinoids.

A 2009 study suggests that the effects of cannabinoids on various immune functions tend to be temporary, allowing one to overcome the inhibiting effects of infection when the immune system requires activation.
Researchers suggest that the downregulation of cannabinoid receptor expression when immune cells are activated supports this.

Although the function of cannabinoid receptors on the immune system isn’t completely understood, it’s assumed that endocannabinoid signaling in lymphoid tissues could help control immune cell activation.

What Are The Effects of Endocannabinoids on Immune Function?

Endocannabinoids are suggested to be important in maintaining the “fine-tuning” of immune balance and play a big role in immune functions.

How exactly does it all work?

For one, endocannabinoids modulate the growth and death of certain lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that are also one of the body’s main types of immune cells and work together to defend against things like viruses and bacteria.

They also modulate inflammatory cytokine production. Cytokines are signaling molecules that are secreted from immune cells and play an integral role in the natural immune response.

Interleukins are a type of cytokine responsible for inducing fever, particularly interleukin-1.
Mary Clifton is a New York City cannabis researcher and internal medicine doctor who suggests cannabinoids like CBD should be used regularly to maintain sound health and avoid the symptoms of colds and flu.

“Around cold and flu season,” Clifton says, “it should be a supplement. You are already in a space to not get sick once you’ve been exposed to the virus.”

She says this is because CBD can affect the number of interleukins the body creates. Considering that endocannabinoids have shown to modulate cytokine production, it makes sense.

The immunosuppressive action of endocannabinoids on immune cells is mainly thought to be mediated through CB2 receptors by inhibiting cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a well-known regulator of immune cell function. Research suggests that interrupting or enhancing cAMP effects has significant immunoregulatory potential in autoimmune disorders.

A 2003 study highlights that cannabinoids have shown to modulate several immune cell functions in both humans and animals, noting that the endocannabinoid system “might be exploited in future therapies for chronic diseases and immune deficiency.”

Can Supporting the Endocannabinoid System Support Immunity?

It’s clear that the endocannabinoid system plays a large role in immune function. Does this mean that supporting the endocannabinoid system can help support stronger immunity?

It might, but so far there isn’t enough research to say so. While the way the endocannabinoid system functions with the immune system isn’t completely understood, the ECS has shown to regulate cytokine production and inhibit immune system overactivity.

With what is known about the ECS and immunity, maintaining healthy ECS function certainly couldn’t hurt in the pursuit of a stronger immune system.

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CBD has Taken the Golf World by Storm. 5 CBD Golf Benefits

People love playing Golf.  From coast to coast, Americans play golf in record numbers each year.  In recent years, it is estimated that 27 million people play golf in the USA annually. Golf is a sophisticated sport full of rules and tradition but that doesn’t mean golfers are not looking for a competitive edge.  From oversized drivers to the latest putters, golfers are always looking for ways to benefit their golf score and game. Since the passing of the Farm Bill Act of 2018, and the legalization of CBD at the Federal Level, golfers are flocking to CBD in record numbers looking for additional golf benefits.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that can be found in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as the marijuana and hemp plants. However, unlike THC, an active chemical compound most commonly found in marijuana, CBD won’t give you that infamous “marijuana high.”

CBD has been all over the news headlines lately and for good reasons. The compound brings with it a plethora of benefits. CBD is now being marketed in a variety of forms and helping people all across the nation, including golfers. 

Are you a golfer, or know someone who is passionate about the game of golf and looking to improve their performance?  Perhaps you love golf but find yourself struggling from the aches and pains of playing 18 holes in an afternoon. Read below to learn 5 reasons about CBD golf benefits.


1.  CBD Supports Muscle and Joint Function

As golfers all know, playing 18 holes of golf, or for the die-hard golfers, 36 holes in a day can be physically demanding.  Swinging a club for hours all day really can take a toll on even the fittest of bodies. The average golfer walks 6 miles playing 18 holes  CBD is known to support muscle and joint function and may give you that little bit of relief to make your golf game more enjoyable and leave you the benefit of feeling less sore.  Many golfers will use a CBD softgel to support joint function or a CBD topical for targeted relief.  There are many CBD products on the market that can benefit a golfer’s round or weekend of golf.

2. CBD Supports Focus

Lets face it, golf is a game of skill and focus.  You have likely seen golfers in a tournament and noticed the entire gallery is quiet, signs saying “quiet please” being held up in the air as the golfer prepares to take his shot.  This is because golf requires focus and loud noises can be distracting. Golfers are using CBD all over the country to improve their focus and benefit their score. CBD for golf is being used by many as CBD products have many golf benefits.

3. CBD Supports Improved Mobility

Do you ever notice how smooth and fluid a good golfers swing is?  Of course, the swing has been perfected from years and years of practice but in order for a golfer to be able to repeat his swing thousands of times a year, their body needs to have good mobility.  CBD golf benefits come from how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS system.) One of CBD golf benefits is improved mobility. So if you feel like you are stiff and your body is not at 100%, give CBD a try.  There are lots of CBD golf products to choose from so be sure to buy your CBD golf products from a reputable retailer who lab tests their products for maximum quality and benefits.

4. CBD is Known to Promote a Restful Night’s Sleep.

Let’s face it, you need to be rested to be able to play 18 holes of golf and walk 6 miles or longer in 4-5 hours.  Also, with golf being so popular, many golfers are forced to pick early tee times or risk not being able to play as golf courses become more and more crowded.  In order to get up at the crack of dawn and play a round of golf, many golfers are using CBD products to make sure they get a restful night’s sleep. One company that has added a twist to CBD for golf is The Wellest.  The Wellest offers 25mg CBD softgels, the supplement known to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.  If you need to get up early and play 18 holes of golf, a good night’s sleep from CBD will be a great benefit to your game.

5. CBD Supports a Relaxed Mood

Have you ever noticed how PGA golfers seem to be as cool as a cucumber?  With all the money the professional golfers are playing for in these major tournaments, generally speaking, they are calm, cool and collected.  If you can’t stay relaxed and you are a basket of nerves, how do you expect to sink that 4-foot putt? Now just imagine if you are a weekend golf warrior and your buddies are telling you that you will likely miss that short putt.  CBD is believed by many to provide a relaxed mood and a sense of calm. Golfers are flocking to the benefits of CBD products to keep themselves from becoming jittery. 

So next time, before you tee off with the fellas or ladies, try a CBD product.  Perhaps a gummy or two will help you break 80.  Plus, CBD softgels are discrete, and nobody will know why you are the coolest, relaxed golfer on the course.

The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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Can You Cook with CBD Oil?

Can You Cook with CBD Oil?

About 86 percent of people in the U.S. have heard of CBD. However, less than 20 percent have tried it.

What is the key to trying CBD and sticking with it? Finding a consumption method that works for you. If you’ve never given CBD a try, or if you’ve tried it but don’t use it regularly, you might be interested in this question: Can you cook with CBD oil?

The short answer is — yes! Anyone vaguely familiar with the cannabis industry will know that you can infuse food and candy with THC. But if you don’t want the “edible” high, you can still reap the benefits of consuming cannabis by cooking with CBD oil.

How does it work, and what should you know to get the best results from infusing CBD oil into food? Let’s take a closer look so you can get cooking!

Can You Cook with CBD Oil — and Should You?

There are many things in life that you can do, but that doesn’t always mean you should. So, is it a good idea to cook with CBD oil?

Yes: not only is it possible to cook with CBD oil, but it can be fun.

CBD isn’t the compound in marijuana that gets you high, but it is the one that seems to be responsible for the plant’s health benefits. Research on CBD so far is limited, mostly because marijuana has been illegal for so long. Still, the studies that have been done so far show promising results. However, at this time CBD has not been FDA approved to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

For example, CBD is known for its properties in supporting health and there is a loyal following of CBD users who use it in an attempt to help reduce physical issues. Additionally, many users also believe CBD appears to work well for helping their mood.

How to Add Flavor to CBD Oil

There are many different ways to take CBD oil, but ingesting it orally is one of the most popular.

Some people take CBD oils or tinctures by mouth. However, this method runs into one problem: the bitter taste of CBD oil if it is not blended with a carrier oil for improved flavor.

To avoid that bitter taste, some people prefer to use CBD edibles. Store bought edibles can be great, however, they offer limited options in terms of flavors, and can get expensive if you take them regularly.

To get more creative, and save some money, many people turn to working CBD oil into their food recipes. All you have to do is purchase the best CBD oil online, and you will easily have the  ingredients for CBD cooking at home.

However, CBD cooking isn’t as simple as just putting a splash of oil into whatever you’re already making. For good results, follow these tips — and don’t forget, practice makes perfect.

Start with a Low Dose

Even though CBD doesn’t get you high, it’s best to start with a dose that’s lower than you think you need.

If you use more than necessary, you’re essentially just wasting a valuable product. Plus, some people will see better results at lower doses than at higher ones. Remember, you can always start slow and build up to a high dose gradually.

As you get more experienced with CBD oil cooking, you can raise your dosage. But at first, test out a low dose and see how you feel.

Combine It with Fat

Cannabinoids tend to work best when you bind them with fat, so make sure to keep this in mind while you cook with CBD.

If you just splash CBD oil into your dish, it will lose most of its effectiveness. Instead, you should combine it with something oil-based, like butter, coconut oil, or salad dressing before adding it to your cooking.

Choose the Right Dishes

Because CBD has a bitter, strong taste, you’ll need to carefully consider which foods to pair it with. It works best with strong-flavored dishes that can hide the CBD oil taste.

Many people default to putting CBD oil in sweet foods, since they mask the taste well. However, you can easily go savory, too. For example, you could mix CBD-infused coconut oil into a Thai curry, or add CBD butter to a cheese-based sauce.

It’s also good to add CBD to a small amount of sauce and taste-test it before adding it to your dish. That way, if the oil throws off the taste, you won’t have ruined the whole dish. Again, start with a small amount for the best results.

Use Low Heat

Cooking CBD oil with high heat will make your food even more bitter, as well as making the CBD less effective.

Avoid adding CBD when you’re deep frying, sauteing, or otherwise cooking over high heat. Instead, reserve the oil for low-temperature recipes, like poaching, or use it at the end of cooking to finish a dish.

Find a High-Quality Product

Of course, you’ll always get the best results if you start with a high-quality CBD oil from a trusted supplier.

Remember, not all CBD oil is created equal. Look for organic products that are free from pesticides and other unwanted additives. Try broad-spectrum or full-spectrum products that use top-quality ingredients for the base.

Also, look for brands that test their products to make sure they’re safe and consistently high quality.

Ready to Give CBD Oil Food a Try?

Now, when your friends ask, “Can you cook with CBD oil?” you’ll not only be able to give them the answer, but you’ll also be able to prove it to them.

With just a little bit of practice, you’ll soon get the hang of excellent CBD oil cooking. Try sweet and savory recipes. Experiment with salads, appetizers, and main dishes. Use different flavors until you find what works.

If you love cooking, you’re sure to love cooking with CBD oil. However, there’s one thing you still need: the CBD oil to start with. Check out the products in our online store now!