THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive chemical that’s behind the euphoric “high” effect you get from cannabis. It also has potent anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and anti-tumor properties. CBD, in contrast, is non-intoxicating. It won’t get you high, though it will alleviate anxiety, promote calm, and has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. CBD can also help you control how your body responds to THC.
Terpenes and the Entourage Effect
These cannabinoids work alongside a lot of other compounds, including Terpenes, which create the scents, and flavors in everything in nature. Together, they create what’s called the “entourage effect.” Though science around the entourage effect is still emerging, the idea is that all the chemicals in cannabis work better together than apart.
The “entourage effect” is a term only used when you’re talking about cannabis. But the idea that chemicals can work better together than apart can apply to lots of different botanicals.
So how do you create an entourage experience without cannabinoids? That’s where chemist and product strategist Sera Passalaqua comes in. With degrees in biology and chemistry from Humboldt State University, a background in product strategy, analytical chemistry of cannabis, and product formulation, Sera’s approach to product development is a holistic mix of art and science. She pairs modern technology with science-backed plant medicine to create new applications; blending terpenes with other potent botanicals, like CBD, THC, adaptogens, and nootropics. She looks at chemical compounds at the molecular level to see how they interact with your body and how they can work together to reach a specific result. Products with purpose.
Terpenes and Botanicals
A self-described “terpene enthusiast,” Passalaqua began formulating Trilogía products with specific need states and cannabis terpene profiles in mind. “It’s the terpene myrcene that gives you the sleepy, couch-lock effect you get when you smoke a traditional Indica strain 1. You’ve also probably heard Sativa strains give you a creative boost. You can actually thank the potent antioxidant terpinolene and limonene for that 2 3 45. I want to bring terpenes to center stage because when they are used in addition to cannabinoids, they can capture a different effect – e.g., the entourage effect. Terpenes have the potential to make cannabis products more productive and meaningful.
Replicating THC With Adaptogens and Nootropics
For the upcoming release of Trilogía’s Lounge Elixir, it meant leveraging the terpenes that are proven to help induce a feeling of calm. It also meant replicating the bliss boosting effects of THC with other non-cannabinoid compounds. “When you sit down to have a glass of wine at happy hour or after dinner, what are you really after? You want to unwind from the day. You want to have a good conversation or watch a good show. You want to leave your stress at the office and have some time for yourself. Basically, it helps you lounge in whatever setting you want to be in and to be present while you’re doing it.
“So my formulations are about creating a different path to reach the same destination. It’s about the ritual. The scent, the flavor. For Lounge, it’s taking calm-inducing, mood-boosting terpenes and CBD and pairing them with other compounds like Schisandra and Holy Basil. This combination keeps stress from bubbling up and helps you deal with the pressure from the day in a balanced way. All of the compounds work synergistically to make you feel happy and relaxed.
“GABA has a really calming effect, and ashwagandha prevents you from feeling stressed, to begin with. When those compounds are paired with terpenes like Linalool, which is the calming terpene you find in Lavender, and Beta-Pinene, which boosts your mood, you get a really nice blend. It’s kind of amazing for everything from a stressful commute home to something like a networking event where social anxiety could come into play. Both of these products offer a new way of thinking about happy hour, to be honest.”
Related Articles: How To Use Cannabis Terpenes To Manage Your Anxiety