If you’ve used any kind of botanical therapy for sleep or other health issues—taken an herbal supplement, used aromatherapy or essential oils—you’ve almost certainly benefitted from terpenes. These tiny molecules are found in many plants, fruits and flowers, including lavender, citrus, and hops. They’re also found in abundance in cannabis.
The cannabis plant has been used for centuries as a sleep aid. Terpenes are one of the primary reasons why cannabis can be so effective at helping ease sleep problems, including insomnia. Cannabis has been shown to lengthen sleep time, increase time spent in deep sleep and shorten the time it takes to fall asleep.
What are terpenes?
Tiny and powerful, terpenes are highly active, aromatic molecules that are responsible for both taste and aroma in plants and fruits. Botanicals used in aromatherapy (including the aromatherapy and essential oils that elevate sleep) are potent in terpenes. When you inhale lavender and feel tension slip away from your body and mind, that’s terpenes at work. As scientific study has shown, terpenes have a pretty broad range of medicinal effects: