It was my great pleasure to once again meet with Gina Mama Epps, the sassy passionate educator. This meeting introduces Everyone to Gina Mama Epps as the Co Founder of Hemp Sisters and the Co Host of The Hempy Hour Podcast. In our time together, Gina gives us a brief description of Hemp Sisters, as our focus led to great information about Terpenes. You may not be familiar with what Terpenes are, but you most certainly will have a better understanding when you “listen in” to this extremely powerful information. You will see why terpenes are beneficial and why they are the wave of the future for your health and environment.
Carol: Gina, so very happy to be meeting with you again today.
Gina: It is always a pleasure to hang out with you Carol.
Carol: Gina, first tell me a bit more about Hemp Sisters and Your Podcast, please.
Gina: Hemp Sisters began a decade ago with my best friend and I doing education on social media. Mandatory lock downs and home changes like our children not attending public school gave us the push and time to transform our print and other educational efforts into a forum
where our passions could be seen and delivered with our personalities. We are both very vivacious, and our relationship, our sisterhood bond, our vibe, is so very unique, people notice. We have survived the test of time, 45 years and counting and the podcast is a great medium to get in on the full Hemp Sister experience. We are three seasons in and have had the great honor to introduce the people and organizations that inspire us along with sharing our cannabis knowledge in a practical way. We encourage our guests to be raw and bold like us. There is so
much to be gained through conflict, loss, happiness, joy and hardship and the Hempy Hour is
dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating those journeys.
Carol: Very nice Gina and continued success.
Please share what exactly is a terpene?
Gina: Terpenes are the volatile aromatic molecules that a plant or flower emits. Many people commonly associate them with cannabis (hemp) because those plants contain high concentrations of them. Many compounds considered to be vitamins or herbs are actually terpenes. One, for example, that many may be aware of is beta carotene.
Carol: That’s very interesting. I can imagine few are familiar with that fact. So, what do terpenes do?
Gina: Terpenes do more than determine the scent, they also provide therapeutic benefits. They contain many medicinal properties.
Carol: Such as? Can you elaborate a bit more please?
Gina: The benefits are lengthy: antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antihyperglycemic, analgesic, anti inflammatory and antiparasitic. The inhalation or ingestion of specific terpene blends can create a calm, relaxed state while a different terpene set can create an aroused, energetic state.
Carol: Are there people who cannot use terpenes?
Gina: Terpenes have earned the highest safety rating by the FDA; it’s GRAS (Generally
Recognized As Safe) list. Like most things, however, there are going to be people that are more sensitive to certain terpenes, the same way they would be with certain scents. I, for one, cannot be around most floral scents due to my allergies and there are many floral scented terpenes. The oxidized forms of the fragrance terpenes limonene and linalool are known to cause allergic reactions on the skin.
Carol: Are terpenes safe for children and pets?
Gina: The short answer is yes, BUT like I mentioned earlier, many people have allergies to certain terpenes. Terpenes have an extremely strong scent. Children and pets may both be a little sensitive.
Carol: So, it seems to go without question to read labels, ingredients – know your product(s) and what is in it/them at all times.
Gina: It is crucial to understand where a product comes from, how it is made and exactly what is in it for us to be able to make an informed decision.
Carol: Absolutely. What is your current role in working with terpenes?
Gina: I am a part of an incredible team that is bringing terpenes to light for the entire country. I work deeply in social media and passionately educate whoever will listen.
Carol: Is there a difference between terpenes and essential oils?
Gina: Terpenes are what essential oils are made of. There are many types of plants and flowers that have been used widely as traditional medicines as well as fragrances in perfumes. Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the plant’s scent. They are only obtained through distillation.
Carol: Where are terpenes found?
Gina: There are over 80,000 terpenes found naturally in plants. Only around 200 are actually in the cannabis/hemp plant. These aromatic compounds create the characteristic scent of many plants, such as cannabis, pine, and lavender, as well as fresh orange peel. The fragrance of many plants is due to a combination of terpenes. In nature, these terpenes protect the plants from animal grazing or infectious germs.
Carol: How do terpenes work in our body?
Gina: There is an entire sector of science surrounding terpenes called Olfaction, which has been the basis of Nobel Prize research. The science behind scent has proven that terpenes have incredible effects in reaching biological targets (receptor groups) in the brain and body, turning on or off different regions responsible for a variety of physiological and psychological events. It is incredible to me to experience this firsthand. When I feel stressed and I take a minute to stop and “smell the roses” there is no denying the immediate results.
Carol: Amazing. Are there other ways terpenes are used?
Gina: Terpenes are used extensively as the basis for pharmaceutical medications, as well as being commonly found in cosmetics, bath and beauty products, perfumes, cooking ingredients, essential oils, commercial household products, etc. In fact, the bestselling weight loss product in history, Sensa, was a terpene product used by
shaking onto food. Now, in the cannabis field, we are seeing terpene infused pre roll cones and wraps, etc.as well as terpenes being sprayed on cannabis flower.