The Power of Terpenes

What's that smell? Aromatic terpenoids!

Organic compounds that make up botanical flavors & aromas are called terpenes or terpenoids, e.g., menthol and limonene. They are naturally occurring hydrocarbons, emitted by many trees and plants. They have strong smells and are responsible for the aromas of the vegetation in which they are found. Well known plants that produce terpenes with smells and flavors we find pleasing are used as aromatic herbs for tea and cooking.

Ancient egyptians smelling flowers.

Aromatic plants have been used for ages by cultures around the world, not only for perfumery and cooking, but also as medicine. The distinctive flavor and smell of each aromatic plant is caused by its unique blend of terpenes and flavonoids.

Terpenes are the largest class of plant compounds on Earth. Our human bodies respond naturally and efficiently to their effects. Those effects may be of a relaxing, anti-anxiety nature. Or may impart a sense of euphoria, well-being or a thermogenic charging. They are well suited as substitutes/alternatives for recreational substances such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, etc.

This PubMed article about the inhalation of black pepper is one example of how vaporizing aromatic herbs can provide assistance with cravings for substances (such as nicotine) that we might prefer to avoid:

HOLI SMOKES formula Shakti Rising includes black pepper as one of its primary ingredients. The feedback we have received from customers regarding its effectiveness in alleviating cravings has been profound. One of the primary roles of terpenes on the human system is stress reduction, so you really can't go wrong with any of our formula blends when it comes to tackling a challenging bad habit, changes in your lifestyle, over stimulation, trouble finding restful sleep...the list goes on! Don't just take our word for it though, read what others have to say about HOLI SMOKES on our testimonials page.

limonene myrcene caryophyllene linolool pinene vanillin 1,8-cineole carvacrol neral anethole zingiberene eugenol carvone estragole myristicin terpinene curcumene pulegone linalyl acetate menthol

The Magic (ok...the science) of Neural Odorant Receptors

Aromatic terpenes can have immediate effects on the body when inhaled. For instance, the terpene obtained from cold pressing sweet orange rind, safe and simple d-limonene, is quickly taken up into the bloodstream and readily passes the blood-brain barrier.1 Because of their innate and natural abilitites, terpenoids are quickly becoming favored over other substances intended for health and well-being.

Inhaled aromas stimulate a variety of important responses within the brain. The sense of smell is our most primitive sense and is found in the same part of our brain that affects emotions, memory, and creativity. When we inhale aromatic terpenoid molecules they immediately engage our neuro-odorant receptors. Those receptors then light up the olfactory bulb - located in the brain's limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for controlling memory and emotion; it and the pituitary gland and hypothalamus area act in unison to control the release of hormones affecting our appetite, nervous system, body temperature, stress level, attention and concentration.

Naturally, our fascinating system of Life and its neurochemical development of wellness and bliss is deeply affected by the things we breathe in. This is one reason to avoid synthetic fragrances and lab-created aromas or flavors. On the other hand, our bodies inherently know what to do with aromatics that are created through the amazingly complex processes of nature.

Humans have co-evolved with many more plant essences than our beloved oxygen. We respond positively to many deeply familiar plant aromas when using our 'native sense'.

A balanced state of health and well-being depends upon our sense of smell more than most realize. It can be disruptive and confusing for our bodies to process artificial scent molecules, even if they have been manufactured to be 'nature identical'.

Terpenoids work via quantum effects not readily produced by synthetically modeled molecules.2 This is why when you vape our Botanic eLiquid you just wanna say HOLI SMOKES!

     1 The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective permeability barrier that separates the circulating blood from the brain extracellular fluid (BECF) in the central nervous system (CNS). The blood–brain barrier is formed by capillary endothelial cells, which are connected by tight junctions with an extremely high electrical resistivity of at least 0.1 Ω⋅m.[1] The blood–brain barrier allows the passage of water, some gases, and lipid soluble molecules by passive diffusion, as well as the selective transport of molecules such as glucose and amino acids that are crucial to neural function. On the other hand, the blood–brain barrier may prevent the entry of lipophilic, potential neurotoxins by way of an active transport mechanism mediated by P-glycoprotein. Astrocytes are necessary to create the blood–brain barrier. A small number of regions in the brain, including the circumventricular organs (CVOs), do not have a blood–brain barrier.

     2 The conventional theory of olfaction is that odour molecules are detected by odour receptors via a kind of lock-and-key mechanism inside the nose: the molecule slots into the receptor and triggers a response, like a key turning a lock. It’s a nice, intuitive theory, but it fails to account for certain puzzling observations – for example, the fact that very similarly-shaped molecules often smell different and vice versa. A revised approach suggests that, instead of shape, the receptors might be responding to molecular vibration. This idea received a further quantum twist in 1996, when the biophysicist Luca Turin proposed that vibrations might promote quantum tunnelling of electrons to open the olfactory lock. A quantum theory of smell sounds outlandish, perhaps, but evidence has recently emerged to support it: it was found that fruit flies can distinguish odorants with exactly the same shape but different isotopes of the same elements, something that is hard to explain without quantum mechanics.