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Terpenes a different approach

Terpenes a different approach

Terpenes have gained more attention recently due to research into the therapeutic benefits of those found in the cannabis plant. Being naturally derived compounds, terpenes are starting to show great promise as a sustainable, natural, eco-friendly alternative to traditional pharmaceutical therapies. But what are they, what do they do and can you use them in your dog?

What are terpenes?

Think about the clean, sharp scent of citrus or the soothing aroma of lavender, these scents are made up of compounds known as terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are found naturally in numerous plants. There are over 20,000 terpene compounds that have been discovered in the natural world and the list is still growing.

In nature, terpenes serve different purposes: from attracting bees and other pollinators to warding off predators or grazing animals. They are also known to play a protective role, acting as part of a plant’s immune system to fight bacteria or recover from injury. Terpenes have been used for centuries by humans as flavourings and fragrances in foods, as well as in cosmetics, perfumes and wellness products. 

What do terpenes do?

Terpenes act on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS): a complex network of cell receptors that act throughout the body as messengers. The ECS plays a role in regulating a range of functions and processes in the body. Terpenes have been found to interact with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 located in the brain and central nervous system and CB2 located in the gut, muscle, joints, skin and other organs.

It has long been known about the calming benefits of lavender, but it is only recently that research has shown that it is the terpenes contained in the plant that are responsible for this soothing effect. Research into individual terpenes indicates that each has its own unique properties ranging from antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties as well as showing promising results as being anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and strong antioxidant agents.

Are terpenes the same as CBD oil?

Whilst terpenes and cannabidiol (CBD) can both be extracted from the cannabis plant; they are completely different.  CBD is a cannabinoid which is a chemical compound that modulates the ECS. Cannabinoids, like CBD, work by interacting with cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the ECS influencing the immune system, cognitive functions, and many other components of the brain and body. 

Although terpenes have been shown to have a synergistic effect with CBD, they are not cannabinoids. They can also act on the ECS however, unlike CBD each terpene generally has more targeted effects and interacts with specific receptors. Unlike CBD, terpene compounds are not exclusive to the cannabis plant. The same terpene compounds found in cannabis can also be found naturally in numerous other plants. Terpenes derived from plants other than cannabis, unlike CBD oil, don’t require a prescription to use in pets.

Are terpenes safe for dogs?

Terpenes are naturally present in the normal diet of dogs. They are present in fruit, vegetables, meat and even the grass they have the occasional chew on. Dogs are commonly used as animal models before human studies are undertaken. The growing number of studies on terpenes such as myrcene, beta caryophyllene, limonene and linalool are not only showing that terpenes are safe but that they may have potential therapeutic benefits when used at particular doses.

As with all naturally derived substances, excessive use can cause adverse effects and even be toxic. It is important when using any terpene product that it is specifically formulated for dogs, is manufactured by a reputable company and that there are weight related administration instructions for the product on the label. Avoid using any products that have a one dose fits all on their label or that are for use in humans.

Will my dog get high using terpenes?

Although some terpenes can be derived from cannabis, they are not the cause of the “high” that is associated with the plant. This is caused by the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive component of cannabis. Terpenes have a completely different chemical structure to THC.  Although some research has shown that terpenes such as those found in lavender can have a relaxing effect, they will not cause the same euphoric effect as THC.

The terpenes contained in the Kinetic Joint & Mobility for Dogs and Kinetic Calm Relief for Dogs are not sourced from cannabis, they are derived from other botanical plants, so it is impossible for them to be contaminated with THC. Kinetic's range of products for dogs are specifically formulated for dogs so you can be assured that your four-legged friend is getting the health benefits of terpenes without the risk associated with other products. The unique terpene blends are mixed with human grade vegetable oil and manufactured to the highest quality.

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