If you're just getting started with terpenes, you're probably wondering, are terpenes safe? Ultimately, yes! Here's everything you need to know.
We have been consuming terpenes safely since the dawn of humanity in our foods, though we've also been incorporating them into herbal medicines, cosmetics and cleansers, and as essential oils for aromatherapy over the last hundred or so years. Since terpenes are found in all plants on earth, most are generally safe to consume and even have benefits.
For centuries, terpenes have been used for medicinal purposes, though the more research is conducted the more benefits are found. Some of the benefits associated with terpenes are reducing the side effects of medications, anti-inflammatory properties, improvements with digestion, lowering anxiety and stress levels, pain relief, acting as a sleep aid, increasing immune system function, and improving heart health by lowering triglyceride levels, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Some terpenes, like limonene, have been shown to slow the progress of cancer and sometimes even lower the risk of certain cancers.
Outside of food and medicine, terpenes are used safely in cleaning products for their antibacterial and insecticidal properties. You can also find them in cosmetics, soaps, and perfumes as scent enhancers. Within the cannabis and vape industries, they've even been used to improve the scents and flavors of concentrates and vape juices to help boost their effects in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
Generally, terpenes are safe in foods and beverages, aromatherapy infusions, cosmetics, cleansers, perfumes, cannabis, and vape products. Since they occur naturally, after a little bit of refinement and at safe concentrations they're perfectly safe.
Just keep in mind that everybody reacts to terpenes differently. Some terpenes can cause allergic reactions or hypersensitivities in people at low concentrations, so always talk to your doctor and rule out any allergies before experimenting with unknown terpenes.