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  • Post Time Posted May 29, 2019
In a period of just five years, cannabis has gone from the frequently maligned status of stoner counterculture to a Kardashian-level social phenomenon. Popularity of the plant has eclipsed even the most avid cannabis supporters’ expectations.

This success has had a lot to do with many decades of activists fighting for legalization state by state, combined with powerful political interests in America taking a ‘can’t-beat-em-join-em’ approach to the popular substance. There are enormous profits to be made in cannabis and corporations are ready to do what they do best- acquire it, scale it and mass distribute it into every CVS, Starbucks and Walmart on the planet.

The principal event that affected the greatest change to date in the American cannabis industry occurred last December with the federal legalization of hemp (the non-psychoactive cousin of cannabis) passing with the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. That bill effectively sounded the starting gun for legal, hemp-derived cannabis products to be sold across the country starting in January of this year. The trendy cannabis compound CBD (cannabidiol) has been the biggest hit so far of the cannabis renaissance, showing up seemingly everywhere at once. A recent estimate reckons the collective market for CBD sales in the U.S. should surpass $20 billion by 2024. That stratospheric number shouldn;t really come as a big surprise, as CBD is currently an ingredient in a variety of goods, including sleep aids, face creams, energy drinks and pet products.

Now enter: cannabis terpenes, the essential oils present in the cannabis plant - and all plants. Behind the scenes, terpenes give cannabis its distinctive aromatic and flavor qualities, as well as imparting a host of therapeutic effects. Cannabis terpenes like linalool (also present in lavender) and pinene (in conifers) have been used to promote sleep and fight inflammation. Studies by the National Institute of Health have also shown the terpene due can produce an antidepressant-like effect.

A company called True Terpenes are creators of terpene based products including lotions, make-up, chocolates and candles. Additionally, a bar called Sidecar in San Luis Obispo recently started serving up cocktails with cannabis terpenes like myrcene and limonene, provided by Golden Apple Cannabis Co.

Then there’s the company Floraplex Terpenes that’s creating terpene mixtures that mimic the properties and flavors of cannabis without using cannabis at all. “Our strain profiles are developed without using any ingredients derived from cannabis. Instead we work with non-cannabis botanically derived terpene isolates, essential oils, and flavourings to recreate a strain’s terpene profile from scratch,” said CEO, Alec Riffle.

And then of course, there’s the psychoactive market, which is a mammoth industry also looking to optimize the enjoyment of terpenes. Products are coming online that specifically cater to consumers looking to make the most of cannabis’ psychoactive lift, taste and terpene effect.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidcarpenter/2019/05/28/cbd-may-be-all-the-rage-but-cannabis-terpenes-are-about-to-hit-big/#2d9dd68859d3

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