Terpenes are plant-based organic compounds that can amplify and add new dimensions to the smell and flavor of a wide range of products–essential oils, meals, aromatherapy, drinks, and even skincare. These highly-concentrated compounds can also offer a host of benefits that, when used correctly, can improve your overall well being.
Because of this, handling and preparing terpene products requires nothing short of scientific precision and care. Otherwise, using the wrong mixtures or ratios can end in an unsatisfactory experience. This article will discuss some tips for working with terpenes the right way.
Tips for Using Terpenes and Isolates
Terpenes and isolates can elevate a variety of mixes when done right. The key is to pay close attention to the details in every step of the process–from where you’re buying them to how you’re mixing them with other products.
1. Handle terpenes in the right conditions
Before you begin putting your terpenes to the test, you need to mix them in the right conditions. This includes using the proper safety equipment, having the right tools to create the mixes with, and working in the right type of space.
When working with terpenes, make sure to wear gloves (nitrile ideally), closed shoes, eye protection, and protective outerwear like a lab coat or apron. This ensures your mixes stay clean and protects you from any spills or splashes. You should also be working in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of fumes.
In addition to protective equipment, you will need tools like a pipette, syringe, and digital scale to accurately measure and dispense your terpenes.
2. Familiarize yourself with terpene and isolate ratios
Terpenes, like other chemical compounds, have characteristics that affect how they interact with other substances. Knowing the right ratios to use when creating terpene mixes can make a huge difference in how well they mix and how effective they are in the final product. Terpenes are an oil soluble liquid. Terpenes do not mix with water, or other water soluble substances in their purified form.
Given how concentrated terpenes are by nature, they should be diluted before use or added in small, controlled doses. Otherwise, they may end up too overpowering and ruin your mix. The exact ratios will depend on what you’re adding the terpene to, which may require additional research and experimentation. Always err on the side of caution and start with around 1% concentration, then work your way up or down.
3. Heat your terpene mixes with caution
While terpenes can be used for cooking and other mixes that require heating, you may end up losing terpene content from exposure to high temperatures. You can avoid accidentally evaporating your terpenes in two ways:
- changing the order of adding and processing ingredients
- heating terpenes at certain temperatures.
When heat is necessary for mixing terpene into a product, low heat of 60 degrees Celsius or less is recommended. If you need to use additional heating or higher temperatures for other ingredients, process them first before adding the terpenes. Some of the best terpene fragrances can be very fragile to heat and too much heat can damage the delicate and delicious atoms.
4. Have a wider understanding of different terpene profiles and their benefits
Terpenes are extracted from a wide range of plants, resulting in a number of different aromatic profiles and additional effects. Some terpene manufacturers may also create terpene blends that combine these natural profiles to create more distinct scents and flavors.
There are five principle terpenes: myrcene (mango and herbs like basil, thyme, and bay leaves), pinene (pine needles), limonene (citrus fruits like oranges and lemons), linalool (lavender and some floral spices), and beta-caryophyllene (spices like cloves, black pepper, and nutmeg). Myrcene and linalool are known to help manage stress and promote relaxation. Meanwhile, pinene, limonene, and beta-caryophyllene can help with focus and invigoration.
These profiles and benefits only scratch the surface of what terpenes can provide. The possibilities of different terpene molecules is endless, with thousands of variations observed and recorded in nature. Read up on the terpenes and terpene blends you plan on working with before mixing them together. Knowing which profiles work together better and which ones may cancel out effects can make all the difference to the end result.
5. Purchase only from authentic sources
Terpenes, like many other plant-extracted compounds, undergo processing and refining to become the products you know and use today. Because of this, rigorous quality control is needed to ensure that they are safe for use and correspond to the profile that they claim to have.
It is critical that you buy your terpenes from authentic and reputable sources. Terpenes and terpene blends from less reputable sources can have dubious quality. At best, these sources may not have as strict quality standards, resulting in a disappointing mix. At worst, they may be cutting their formulations with other substances that can put you and your mixes at risk.
6. Be wary of marketing claims on terpenes
Terpenes have been documented to give users additional benefits to their well-being like additional focus, relaxation, and pain management. However, they are not and should not be used as substitutes for medical treatments..
Some companies may oversell the benefits of terpenes to encourage consumers to try their products. Marketing claims that say terpenes can be used as a treatment and preventative product for diseases like cancer, gallstones, and high cholesterol have been debunked by the FDA. Do your research on any claims and if any effects or benefits sound too good to be true, they probably are.
Get the Best Out Of Your Terpenes
Just when you think you’ve experienced all there is to smell and taste, terpenes provide an awesome way to boost existing aromas and flavors and create entirely new ones. With the right ingredients and know-how, you’re one step closer to reaching new heights with terpenes. Just make sure to stick to verified and authentic terpene manufacturers for the safest, best quality experience.
Check out the Medical Terpenes store for safe terpenes and terpene blends for your mixing needs!