A Tale of CBD Oil and the Superhero Terpene

What is a terpene? And what does it have to do with CBD oil? By now you may have read or heard something about CBD which is why you are here reading this. Well, at Fusion CBD we want you to be an informed consumer. Because CBD has received acclaim from so many people for a variety of reasons, there is a lot of hype out there about it.

But is CBD a Superman type of hero, flying in solo to save the day? At Fusion CBD we think not. CBD is just one naturally occurring component of the hemp plant. It is a very important member of a team of super heroes, each with their own unique superpower.

Hemp Oil is FULL of super stuff – over 100 cannabinoids including CBD, antioxidants, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, AND terpenes! All of these different “hemp heroes” work together to improve the effectiveness of the others. This is called the Entourage Effect. It even sounds like an upcoming Avengers movie.

That is why we sell full-spectrum (the whole hero team) instead of isolate CBD. CBD is still the “Superman”, but it alone does not bring the power of the group working together to win the day.

What is so special about the Terpene?

Terpenes are fragrant essential oils found in a wide variety of plants, flowers, and even some insects (but don’t let that bug you!). Terpenes offer more than just a pretty smell or flavor. They have been used to support the natural healing process of the body in alleviatiating a variety of non-optimal health symptoms.

Chemical analysis of terpenes has been an exciting field of research for well over 300 years. Terpene research is the foundation of more than 20 different Nobel prizes (beginning with Otto Wallach in 1910). It seems like they are definitely important enough to be a part of Team Hemp.

Based on the high degree of scientific interest in terpenes, it’s a subject that promises to continue to be developed in the future. Research has shown that terpenes help many of the same therapeutic properties of CBD. In the article “The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Terpenoids from Cannabis” researchers found terpenoid-rich essential oils prepared from cannabis were both anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive (a fancy word for something that aids with pain relief.)

But the power and usefulness of terpenes do not stop there. According to research published in PubMed, there is accumulating evidence for the therapeutic benefits of terpenes found in cannabis plants rich in terpenes. According to the paper: “Terpenes’ medicinal properties are supported by numerous in vitro, animal and clinical trials and show:

  • anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, anticancer, antitumor, neuroprotective, anti-mutagenic, anti-allergic, antibiotic and anti-diabetic attributes, among others.

Because of the very low toxicity, these terpenes are already widely used as food additives and in cosmetic products. Thus, they have been proven safe and well-tolerated.” Oh yeah, Scientists also have preliminary findings that show terpenes may help with uncontrolled cell growth (tumors) and neuronal health. When you are using full-spectrum CBD hemp oil that includes cannabinoids and terpenes, you are really getting a one-two punch!

Types of Terpenes in Hemp Oil

All terpenes are not the same. In fact, there are over 100 terpenes that have been identified in the hemp cannabis sativa plant.

That is a lot of superheros, jeez. It might be hard to keep up with that many characters! However, it is not until terpenes occur in concentrations above 0.05% that they are considered to be of pharmacological interest, meaning that is when their super powers activate.

Below are some of the key terpenes found in hemp oil. These terpenes are specifically documented as being present in a sample analysis of hemp from our very own Fusion CBD farm. This analysis was done by ChemHistory–A Cannabis Testing Laboratory. The concentrates of the terpenes listed below range anywhere between 0.05% to much higher–0.89%.

In addition to being found in hemp, and specifically in Fusion CBD products, terpenes have other natural sources. In order to better help you spot and relate to our terpene team, we are including a short description of each terpene, their other sources, as well as their specific superpowers below.

Meet Fusion CBD’s Terpene Team

cbd terpenes black pepper


Known as Β-caryophyllene (.89% in our recent lab test), it is a well-known active principle of black pepper. That’s right, black pepper. What can this terpene do?

This terpene’s superpower: According to researchers in a paper published by the National Institute of Health, it has potential for being used in medical applications due to anticancer and pain relief properties. Damn Daniel!

In fact, this powerful terpene has many properties similar to cannabinoids and some researchers say it could actually be classified as a cannabinoid. We may have another Pluto debate on our hands – planet or dwarf planet?

cbd terpenes carrots

Geranyl Acetate

Introducing, Geranyl Acetate (.84% in our recent lab test). This rocking terpene is found in lemon grass, carrots, sassafras, coriander, and many other places as well.

This terpene’s superpower is that it displays a high amount of antifungal activity according to studies done by the National Institute of Health. That’s right, we are talking big league.

cbd terpenes eremanthus


Let’s meet a-Bisabolol (.48% in our tests). “Bisabolo”, as she likes to be called, is found in the Eremanthus Erythropappus plant among others. I know, that is quite a name. They are native to Brazil. Check out the picture above if you have never heard of the Eremanthus Erythropappus plant. Heck, we have a hard time pronouncing it.

This important molecule has vereral potential superpowers. According to research, a-Bisabolol exhibits anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, antibiotic, and anticancer activities.

cbd terpenes ginseng


Next up is a-Humulene (.31% in our independent test). This terpene, in addition to being in our full-spectrum CBD products, is also found in hops, sage,and ginseng. Ginseng has long been known for its medicinal and healing qualities. Why? Look no further than Humulene.

Hemulene’s superpower according to research is the powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving support it offers the body–pretty sweet. It is also helpful in promoting the healing of wounds.

cbd terpenes mango


Up next is Beta-myrcene (.26% in our tests). Commonly found in hops, lemongrass, sweet basil, mangoes, and more. He has a scent that is fruity and earthy, a great combination for a terp. (Yeah, I just called him a terp.)

But this terp has a ton going for it. This terpene’s super power: according to research, this terpene possesses anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and anxiety relieving properties. Myrcene can also aid with sleep–so if you have a hard time getting to or staying asleep, you’ll want this little buddy on your side.

cbd terpenes guaiacum


This mostly tree-based terpene’s name is Guaiol (.23% in Fusion). It is commonly found in cypress pine and the guaiacum tree. It has a piney scent with a rosy undertone. But don’t let that nice smell fool you.

The potential superpower of Guaiol is no less than awesome. According to research conducted both on living organisms and in the lab, it significantly inhibits the growth of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also antibacterial. Cool. cbd terpenes cloves

Caryophyllene Oxide

Now, let’s meet Caryophyllene Oxide (.17% in our recent Fusion CBD tests). Cary Oxide (a good superhero name) is found in cloves, rosemary and hops. Yes, a number of these terpenes are found in hops, but that is a tale for another website to tell.

This terpene’s documented superpowers include its use as an antifungal treatment and also for helping to prevent blood clots.

cbd terpenes rosemary

Alpha-Pinene / Beta-Pinene

Alpha-Pinene (.11% in our tests) is found in pines and rosemary. It has the strong scent of pine. Beta-Pinene( .05 %) is found in parsley, basil, and hops.

Alpha-Pinene’s superpower is that it inhibits the breakdown of specific enzymes and may thereby aid memory abilities. One study done with mice also found it to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent against Acute Pancreatitis. Research also suggests that both Alpha-Pinene and Beta-Pinene possess anti-infectious bronchitis virus properties.

cbd terpenes bitter orange


Not to be left out is Nerolidol (.11% in our tests). This terpene is present in ginger, jasmine, lavender, tea tree, and lemongrass. But it really gets its name and reputation from “neroli oil” which is produced by the blossom of the bitter orange tree. But there is nothing bitter about Nerolidol.

Its superpowers are wide ranging and include its antifungal effect and antimicrobial activity. Also important for a lot of individuals interested in CBD Hemp Oils is Nerolidol’s potential to provide a stress relieving effect as documented by research done with mice.

cbd terpenes lemons


Lots of people know and use this next member of Team Terpene, D-limonene (.06% in our test). It is commonly found in citrus essential oils. It is one of the most commonly used terpenes. It is an ingredient in food, drugs, make-up, and detergents.

This terpene’s possible superpowers: in studies on rats, it has been shown to reduce anxiety and stimulate the immune system. Good combo move Limonene! It has also been shown in a study with mice to promote weight loss. In a study involving human cell cultures, it showed promise in cancer treatment. Sounds like a terpene we could all get to know and love.

cbd terpenes lavender


Now, let me introduce you to Linalool (.05% in Fusion tests). “Lina Lool” (OK, we did that for fun) is found in many common flowers and spices including lavender, cinnamon, and mint. She has a pleasant smell that has made her quite popular. Lina Lool is used in 60-80% of cleaning and hygiene products. That’s a lot of products.

This terpene’s superpower: in addition to smelling fabulous, animal studies have shown it to possess pain, anxiety and inflammation relieving properties and is also an anticonvulsant.

CBD terpenes pine oil


Alpha-Terpineol (.05% in our tests) is found in pine oil as well as other oils. But don’t let that seemingly dull back story blind you to its use and benefits.

This terpene’s superpower is that it can be used as a fragrance, for flavor, and cleaning. What you might not know is that it has also been shown in research to be beneficial medicinally. Scientific journals have published papers about its antimicrobial and antifungal effects. It is also acclaimed for its anti-inflammatory effect.

CBD terpenes valencia oranges


Last, but not least, is Valencene (.05% in our tests). This terp gets its name because it is present in large amounts in Valencia oranges. Makes total sense, but it is also found in hemp. Hemp has a lot going for it.

Valancene’s superpower is that it gives off a citrus aroma which is known as a repellent for ticks and mosquitos. Heck yeah, I knew I liked this terpene. But there is also growing evidence that it may also have anti-inflammatory effects.

Terpenes Offer a Natural Alternative for Health

There you have it–the role of terpenes as a part of the overall benefit of full-spectrum CBD. That was a lot to cover, so we provided pictures and hopefully a few grins or a chuckle. We hope you learned something new.

It is important to note that terpenes are not approved by the FDA for treatment of any condition. They have simply shown potential in supporting the body’s natural defenses in the studies listed and linked to in this article. Many of these studies involved animal subjects so do not represent the effects that each terpene may or may not have in the human body.

We are fortunate that nature has provided tremendously important resources in hemp that will help us meet tomorrow’s public health challenges. A recent review reported that of the new drugs available on the market during the last 30 year, more than 35% of them have a direct natural origin.

Hemp offers colossal potential for enlarging the list of available natural medicinal compounds. We at Fusion CBD are working hard to provide a greenhouse full of genetic hemp variety to service this future need.


Raising the Standards of an Industry

When choosing an analogy for the CBD oil industry, the words Wild Wild West come to mind. It is the same for any new industry which has to find its legs in the beginning. Take the auto business for example. It struggled initially due to a lack of suitable roads. Every new area has hurdles to overcome.

Over a year has passed since the passage of the Farm Bill of 2018. This bill took hemp off the schedule 1 narcotics list and made it legal. At this point, many of the cowboys of the CBD industry are ready to put on a suit and tie.

But there are challenges.

Farmers and CBD products producers are adjusting to understanding and complying with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements for production and promotion of products. This includes figuring out what FDA category CBD products fall into. This can be kind of tricky with a product that is so versatile. Kind of like the bystander in Superman who called:

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s Superman!”

Except, in this case, it’s: “Is it a food? Is it a supplement? Is it a topical? It’s ALL of them!”

FDA and FTC employees are also struggling to understand this new industry so they can properly regulate it for the public’s safety.

For Fusion CBD the challenge has been welcomed.

“As the industry started to take shape we didn’t even know what we were navigating,” said Ed McCauley, co-founder of Fusion CBD. “We began developing products with an X-factor of the unknown regulations that would apply to CBD products.”

Over the past year, McCauley has been attending FDA certification classes to get fully up to speed on FDA safety regulations.

“Our goal is to be fully compliant with not just one, but all three of the non-pharmaceutical areas that the FDA monitors–food, supplement, and cosmetic.”


Fusion CBD on Being Compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)

Fusion CBD Founders Ed McCauley and Adam Kurtz, along with other reputable CBD companies in the CBD product industry, have embraced the extra work that comes with being cGMP compliant. cGMP refers to the current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the FDA.

cGMPs ensure that manufacturers have systems with proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities.

“Though it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to get in all of the documentation needed to demonstrate compliance, it is really good for the industry,” said McCauley. “There are, unfortunately, a lot of fly-by-night CBD companies out there with mislabeled products. That is bad for consumers and all of us in the industry.”

It is important for retailers and consumers of CBD products to be aware of cGMPs. Consumers and retailers should know whether or not the CBD companies they are buying from are in compliance or working towards compliance.

McCauley said that they had not heard of any CBD companies receiving FDA inspections yet. He expects them to come soon, however. When they do, Fusion CBD will be ready. He predicts that failure of being FDA compliant will put a lot of companies out of the game.

The FDA Big Five – Key Elements of Quality

There are five key things that FDA inspectors look for when determining the safety and quality of a product. It is on these things that the cGMPs are based.

  • Identity
  • Purity – labeling with documentation
  • Potency
  • Composition
  • Limits for potential contaminant – third party testing

These items are reflected in product labeling and product descriptions. The FDA requires back up documentation for both of these. This documentation includes information from 3rd party testing as well as internal Standard Operating Procedure plans. And the plans that CBD companies and any company with supplements are numerous. A company in compliance will be able to show inspectors their Safety Plan, Sanitation Plan, Microbial Plan, Storage Plan among many others.


So What are Current Good Manufacturing Practices?

Having Standard Operating Procedures clearly outlined is an important part of cGMPs for CBD product manufacturers. Current Good Manufacturing Practices for nutritional supplement companies include many areas.


CBD product manufacturers must take measures to exclude from operation any personnel who are suffering from a health condition that could cause contamination. In other words, complaint companies will not have Sneezy Joe packaging up your CBD oil.

Personnel must practice hygienic practices like wearing protective outer garments, hair nets, being clean and washing their hands thoroughly throughout the day. Additionally, personnel must remove any jewelry or objects that might fall into the product. There will be no wedding rings (or gum) in the CBD cream.

CBD companies must have a qualified Quality Control person in place who will inspect and keep records. Records include how the company is following its Standard Operating Procedures and the training of the personnel involved. No records? No Good.

Physical Plant and Grounds

Not only do the personnel need to be clean and sanitary, so do the grounds and physical plant. FDA regulations and inspectors ensure that both are free of germs, toxins, and pests (can you say bugs and rats? Yuck!) The grounds and plant must also be protected from potentially contaminated neighbors. So if the CBD company is located next to 3-mile Island, that could be a problem. (For those of you on the young side, 3-Mile Island Pennsylvania was the site of a nuclear power plant disaster in 1979.)

Equipment and Utensils

Next up on the Current Good Manufacturing Practices hit parade is equipment and utensils. All equipment must be appropriate for use in the facility and not itself bring the risk of contamination. Equipment must also be installed, cleaned, and maintained per the operating manual. We don’t want any equipment leaking oil or gas into our products.

Production and Process Control System

As part of being cGMP compliant, CBD producers need to ensure that their product contains a manufacturing code identifying their company. CBD products must also contain a batch number so that if any problems arise, the specific batch of products in question can be isolated quickly and easily for the sake of safety, correction, and recall if needed.

Returned Supplements

Being compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices means that even the handling of returned products must be outlined in advance and documented. Quality Control personnel in the company must be involved to determine if the returned product can be salvaged. They also determine if the returned product perhaps implicates other products in the same batch that may have issues that need to be handled.

Product Complaints

One of the top reasons that producers fail to be compliant is the lack of a written procedure for product complaints. As with returned products, complaints must be reviewed by qualified Quality Control personnel. Records must be kept which include the name and description of the supplement, the batch number, the date and nature of the complaint, the reply to the complaint and follow up actions taken as a result. If you have ever made a complaint about a product, did you have any idea that your complaint was so well documented? It was if the company was in compliance.

Records and Record-Keeping

For companies that label their supplements with shelf life dates, records of the product must be kept for a year past the shelf life date. If no shelf life date is used in the labeling, records must be kept for 2 years beyond the distribution of the last batch of dietary supplements associated with those records. In other words, supplements, unlike wine, do not become better with age. They just become untraceable.


A Challenge of Naming – “To CBD or Not to CBD, That is the Question”

One of the things that makes it challenging is the fact that many CBD companies, like Fusion CBD, actually produce full-spectrum products. Full-spectrum CBD products contain much more than CBD. They actually contain all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant.

This issue is not talked about enough. It is important because CBD isolate, meaning CBD without the rest of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, is one of the active ingredients in the FDA approved drug Epidiolex. This drug treats seizures and is currently the only FDA drug containing CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum CBD products and isolate CBD products are not the same and should not be regarded as the same thing relative to regulation.

Trouble Areas – Where Companies Fail on cGMPs

With all of the details and nuances of FDA compliance, there are a few that frequently trip companies up. They are:

  • Not having master manufacturing records or missing significant requirements from the records;
  • Not having criteria for product safety and quality for finished products. Also, failure to test all finished batches or at least a subset of finished batches;
  • For significant dietary ingredients, e.g. those that make of the bulk of the product, not establishing specifications for incoming material or failure to conduct identity testing;
  • Not having quality control review procedures. The other mistake on this is having quality control review procedures but not implementing a significant part of them;
  • No batch records;
  • Having significant plant deficiencies.

CBD Products and the Future

With the increased attention and regulation of this industry, the public can expect good products to stay on the market and improve, and bad products to disappear.

The clear winner in all of this is the consumer. The industry also wins because as consumer confidence in CBD products grows, so will the industry.

Companies like Fusion CBD attend conferences on best practices and freely share knowledge with others in the industry.