Terpenes: A Natural Way to Enhance Relaxing Activities
Stress plays a major negative role in the health and well-being of Americans. Some 76 percent of us report experiencing physical problems as a result of stress, while 73 percent of us complain of stress-related psychological issues. Nearly one-half of all Americans feel that their stress has worsened within the past five years.
If you have your own struggles with stress, you may have developed certain soothing, relaxing rituals to help you unwind, from a comforting cup of tea to a warm, inviting bath. You’ll find that you make these relaxation strategies even more relaxing simply by adding terpenes to your everyday life.
What Are Terpenes, and What Do They Do?
Terpenes are naturally-occurring aromatic compounds found in many plants, including members of the cannabis family. They give many fruits, herbs, and flowers their characteristic scents or flavors. They may also help to protect the plants in question against diseases and predators.
The terpenes in cannabinoids don’t act on the brain and body exactly like THC or CBD do, but they appear to produce some similar, less direct effects. The intense aromas produced by these compounds have a bioactive component, affecting everything from physical relaxation to mood. In addition to this soothing aromatherapy, terpenes can also amplify the usual effects of any other cannabis products you might use, a phenomenon called the entourage effect.
Terpenes That Specialize in Relaxation
Certain terpenes have gained a special reputation for their relaxing, anxiety-dispelling powers. Three such terpenes include:
- Limonene – The lively-smelling terpene commonly found in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons.
- Caryophyllene – This terpene, often associated with peppery or garlicky aromas, boasts natural anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the body and promote calmness.
- Myrcene – Myrcene is found in cannabis, thyme, lemon grass, hops, and cardamon. This particular terpene is especially good at increasing the beneficial effects of THC in cannabinoids.
- Terpinolene – An ingredient in lilacs and apples, terpinolene appears to have a direct effect on the central nervous system that promotes drowsiness. This makes it an ideal terpene for individuals seeking more restful sleep.
- Linalool – If you’ve ever felt relaxed in the presence of lavender, you probably felt the effects of its most prominent terpene, linalool. Linalool can stimulate the production of adenosine, a sleep hormone. It also eases anxiety and protects the body from stress-related damage.
- Alpha-bisabolol – Have you ever found peace in a cup of chamomile tea? Chamomile features a terpene known as alpha-bisabolol, famous for its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.
As you can see, different terpenes offer different (and often synergistic) advantages. You may want to experiment with different terpenes to find a combination of products that gives you exactly the stress-relieving results you’ve been looking for.
Adding Terpenes to Your Bath
Even without any enhancements, a warm bath can do wonders to relax body and mind. The warmth of the water has a relaxing effect on tight, tense muscles, reducing spasms and painful knots. It also increases blood flow, sending oxygen and other much-needed nourishment to tired tissues. These healing, restorative effects have led physical therapists and other practitioners to employ techniques such as hydrotherapy for pain management and injury rehabilitation — but you can enjoy them from the convenience of your own tub.
A warm bath also helps you sleep more soundly, oddly enough by resulting in a net drop in your core temperature. The bath raises your temperature while you’re soaking, but once you’re out of the tub, evaporative cooling creates the opposite effect just in time for bed.
It’s important that you give your soothing bath every opportunity to relax you. In this frenzied age, we’re so used to hurrying through fast-food places, supermarkets, and workplace hallways that we rarely give ourselves extended time to just recline quietly and forget any immediate tasks. If possible, remain in your bath until the water finishes cooling off. Stay longer, if you like. The main thing is that you spend that time thinking about nothing except feeling calm and happy.
The addition to terpenes to your bathwater magnifies these stress-easing benefits. The wide variety of aromas created by different terpenes gives you the ability to fine-tune this experience to your liking. You might choose an aroma that you associate with a particularly happy memory, or you might simply go for those terpenes most widely recognized for their relaxing qualities. This form of aromatherapy allows you to engage all of your senses equally in the pursuit of serenity.
How do you make terpenes one of your “bath buddies?” An ordinary aromatherapy diffuser or incense burner can fill the air in your bathroom with your terpenes of choice. Of course, you can also add the terpenes to a beloved snack or beverage, enjoying these treats as part of your own private VIP relaxation session.
The use of terpenes in your bath doesn’t exclude the possibility of using other healing, soothing additives as well. Feel free to include your favorite skin-softening oils or other bath products to the water. To enhance your bath even further, prepare a soothing environment to complement the soothing sensations. Use candles in place of electric light, put on some soft music, and banish the mobile devices to another room (after first silencing them, of course).
Other Ways to Relax With Terpenes
As mentioned above, terpenes can find their way into the air, into a beverage, in food, as a naturally-occurring ingredient in cannabis products. This means that your use of terpenes as a relaxation tool doesn’t have to begin and end with bathtime. You can aerate your bedroom with terpenes to enhance your quality of sleep, for instance, or nibble on terpene-laced goodies during the day. The sky’s the limit with these potent anti-stress compounds.
If you need more relaxation in your life, w e can help. True Extracts carries a variety of terpenes, including many of the most relaxing ones. Browse our products today — and get ready to relax!