In the world of cannabis, there appears to be an infinite variety of products ranging from its diverse cultivars to its various derivatives, all obtainable through a broad selection of extraction methods and equipment types.
One of its most recent derivatives is the terpsolate, a blend of the therapeutic CBD-isolate and aromatic terpenes. Although it is quite obscure now, the ingenious invention of the cannabis industry is sure to make waves soon.
The New Adventure in Terpsolates
As earlier stated, terpsolates are prepared by adding to CBD isolates the desired terpene, which gives them their unique trait. In the market, consumable terpsolates are more common; since the terpenes often employed in their production are of food-grade.
The purest extract of organic cannabidiol, CBD isolate, is mostly available in crystalline solid and powder. Given the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol, the isolate was created to provide an alternate means to enjoy these benefits without consuming THC, the psychoactive compound.
With the target been to produce a pure compound, it is not uncommon to find an isolate with 99.9% purity (0.1% residual terpenes) and minimal or zero THC. Though this is often the standard, it is also possible to have an isolate with ≤99.5% purity; hence, it is vital to note the contents of the product before making a purchase.
Nevertheless, full-spectrum CBD remains the top product for better efficacy due to the full entourage effect. But as a standalone, CBD’s effective dosage is the only point at which one can get its full benefits. Unfortunately, there are currently no standard methods to ascertain and mark this dose.
However, the following benefits have been associated with CBD isolates. By the stimulation of the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, it may help:
- Regulate immunity
- Regulate hormones
- Regulate stress response
- Regulate homeostasis
- Serve as a powerful antioxidant
The production of CBD isolates has seen the use of several techniques; out of which, three manifests as most efficient, and are often used in a single process. They include supercritical CO2 extraction, winterization, and decarboxylation.
- The first stage converts the full-spectrum CBD into a broad-spectrum CBD (higher CBD proportion).
- The second stage separates the terpenes, lipids, and waxes through freezing – isolating the CBD.
- The final stage carries out the conversion of CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) to CBD (cannabidiol).
A Bouquet of Terpenes
These are the aromatic compounds contained in all plants, responsible for their flavor and fragrance. Terpenes are, however, now mostly affiliated with the cannabis plant as a result of its high significance in the plant. These compounds are of different types, classes, and composition; and serve as a defense against predators and a lure to pollinators.
The terpenes can equally function as a means of differentiating between cannabis cultivars because, though each variety contains more than one terpene type, there is always the prominent terpene which gives it its characteristics. The quality and development of terpenes are influenced by numerous factors, which include climate, soil profile, chemicals, and several others.
In the classification of cannabis terpenes, there are two known kinds: organic terpenes and synthetic terpenes, with the only difference been their means of synthesis. For the former, there are over 100 identified types, but a few stand out due to their amazing benefits, especially in aromatherapy; to list a few and their aromas:
- Myrcene – A sweet musky scent
- Limonene – A citrusy scent
- Linalool – A lavender aroma with a tinge of citrus
- Pinene – The fresh, earthy smell of the pine forest
- Caryophyllene – A spicy, peppery scent
- Humulene – An earthy, woody aroma with spicy undertones
- Terpinolene – A complex aroma from a mélange of citrus, flowers, and pine
- Camphene – A raw material of the synthetic camphor and thus smells like them
Three techniques have proven useful in the preparation of these isolates: the solventless, which offers two means: steam distillation and hydro-distillation, the solvent-based with a variety of styles, and the mechanical extraction with the rosin technique. Of the three, the latter is the least efficient and is thus not often used. Supercritical CO2 extraction of the solvent-based, on the other hand, is highly preferred. Most times, winterization and short path distillation is used alongside for better output quality.
Conjuring the Magic of Terpsolates
Producing terpsolates is more or less the same as extracting terpenes. The singular difference lies at the ‘short-path distillation’ stage (post-winterization), where the terpenes which thaw at different temperatures are either selected to be left in or taken out, to form the terpsolate.
With the synergistic properties of both compounds, terpsolates provide a higher entourage effect than either isolate can offer – combining the benefits of cannabinoids with that of the specific terpene used.
Cannabis and its derivatives can be used in many ways, but this will depend on the form, composition, and purpose of use. Over to the terpsolates, despite its novelty to the industry, there are already a few recommended usages:
Dabbing – most often performed using a dab rig to vaporize the compound. Since terpsolates are highly concentrated, a minute amount usually efficiently serves its purpose. As an inhaled product, the effects are generally fast to onset.
Edibles – The current market proves many cannabis users love edibles, and the terpsolate is just another addition to the list of delicious-edible compounds to use with its excellent flavors. Well, that might be a little conspicuous in edibles, due to the strong aroma of terpenes; still, it remains an excellent addition and may be used to enhance certain dishes.
Note: Due to digestion, edibles take a while to kick in, and after going through the metabolism process, the CBD and terpene compounds might not be enough to produce the desired effect; hence, knowing the effective dose is necessary for an optimal result.
Topicals – The many benefits of the CBD-terpene mix are not for ingestion alone; they are also beneficial in topical lotions. Their effects can be augmented by adding essential oils, and the terpsolates themselves can serve as carrier oils.
Although the terpsolate is yet to receive FDA-approval, its efficacy has been tested and confirmed through standard FDA-research. Also, the FDA-approval of both its parent materials, CBD isolates, and terpenes, gives an above-average value to its safety for use.
Nevertheless, it is essential to check the prospective product via labeling, specifications, or other viable and reliable means, to ensure accordance with GMP and standard laboratory testing procedures.