Recent times have seen an unprecedented influx of delta-8 THC vape cartridges in the cannabis industry. Virtually all these brands/products are categorized as CDT, even though most are not. Some have terpenes concentrations as high as 9%, but it still doesn’t automatically make the product CDT.
Conversely, what makes a product non-CDT is not common to all delta-8 vape cartridges. It is neither the availability of terpenes in the content nor its absence. What really matters is the source of the terpenes.
You may ask, if all delta-8 THC products are hemp products, why cannot all of them be CDT carts or non-CDT cars? Well, this article answers all your questions and clarifies all misconceptions about terpenes.
This piece aligns terpenes derived from cannabis against botanically derived ones. It also draws from research findings to see how natural terpenes are faring against synthetic terpenes.
What Is A CDT Cart?
To put it simply, CDT stands for Cannabis Derived Terpenes. Therefore, a CDT cart is a vape cartridge that contains a product that has cannabis-derived terpenes. Manufacturers can source terpenes from different sources. First, all plants have terpenes that can be extracted, not just the hemp plant. Not only that but terpenes can also be obtained synthetically.
However, a product will be CDT only when it contains terpenes derived from hemp.
What Is A Non-CDT Cart?
A non-CDT cart is filled with a product that contains either botanically derived terpenes (BDT) or synthetically derived ones. Manufacturers source botanical terpenes from plants (mango, citrus fruits, pines, etc.) other than cannabis strains. Interestingly, all plants, including hemp, have identical terpenes. This probably explains why many manufacturers are venturing into using BDT.
Meanwhile, the majority of these carts are delta-8 THC carts. Having both CDT and BDT on the market has given rise to a debate about which is better.
CDT Vs. Non-CDT: The Source Of The Confusion
Understandably, terpenes extracted from high-quality cannabis strains have higher therapeutic benefits than those extracted from low-quality strains. Also, terpenes from other plants, like citrus or vine trees, differ in chemical composition ratios.
However, the real issue is the synthetic terpenes since both CDT and BDT are organic. From all indications, it is evident that the world is not comfortable with man-made compounds yet. That suspicion goes higher when it involves ingestion.
By synthetic terpenes, we mean terpenes that scientists produced in a laboratory using different forms of chemical manipulations. The result of these manipulations may be a good terpenes profile with the same concentration as those extracted from cannabis. In some cases, however, it may turn out to be nothing close to terpenes.
Unfortunately, there are sizable numbers of carts on the market that use synthetic terpenes. Some of them compound the issue by using synthetic fragrances and flavors. Going by the warnings of medical experts, you should avoid products like these.
However, some of them do not declare. They use phrases such as ‘fragrance oil’ or natural flavors. Companies that use these expressions almost certainly use synthesized terpenes.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are volatile compounds available in all plants’ essential oils. Findings have shown that linalool or myrcene high terpenes may have therapeutic benefits. Likewise, a-pinene or terpinolene high terpenes may have effects on your mood, along with hemp-derived terpenes or cannabis terpenes..
Terpenes have a strong aroma that, in a way, positively influences their taste. Similarly, terpenes, whether from cannabis or not, look alike. It takes a laboratory terpene profile analysis to know the terpene levels present in products. Not only that, but you can also differentiate between these products through taste, smell or texture.
Some may mix up CBD flower (cannabinoids) and terpenes, but they are not the same thing. The slightest similarity they share is that they both exist in cannabis plants. However, what plant does not have terpenes? Whereas only cannabis has cannabinoids in abundance – what is found in some other plants like Echinacea or black pepper is insignificant.
In addition, they both have less than 0.3%THC, so they are legal in most US states. Plus, these compounds do not intoxicate and are commonly used in prescription medications.
Yet, they work differently on your body. While cannabinoids modulate the endocannabinoid system (ECS), terpenes do not. However, any suggestion that terpenes do not affect receptor systems is wrong.
Are All Terpenes The Same?
Yes, and no. Yes, because all terpenes have the same structure. All terpenes that are botanically derived have identical chemical makeup.
However, it is also in line to say no. As briefly hinted above earlier, there are different types of terpenes with slightly different effects on your body. That is because, though they have the same chemical makeup, the compositions may be different. For example, CDT with higher myrcene has been found to perform differently from those high in limonene.
There are also synthetic terpenes. Further down, there are still different terpenes forms in these three broad categories. Remember, CDT refers to terpenes exclusively extracted from cannabis plants. Those extracted from other plants are known as non-CDT terpenes.
Methods Of Extracting Terpenes
It is no secret that there are many cannabis strains in the jungles, and just as that is, there are multiple methods of extracting CDT or BDT. Most of these methods are traditional and have been used to extract so many other substances. Let’s see them.
Distillation Terpene Extraction Method
This method is all about steam distillation. Steam is employed to assist in evaporating all terpenes components present in the leaves. Heat is involved, but it is conditioned in such a way that the generated steam only partially dilutes the terpenes to allow extraction. The result is always a mostly natural terpene.
That notwithstanding, many do not use this extraction method because a lot of terpenes, due to their volatility, are lost. You are left with acutely little terpene when compared to what other methods yield.
Hexane Terpene Extraction Method
The hexane extraction method uses a self-produced chemical compound, hexane solvent. This chemical eliminates all useless particles and preserves only vital terpenes. By standard, the process continues for at least forty-eight hours to smooth the terpenes. The process involves dilution and freezing, which help remove hexane fats and lipids.
Comparatively, the hexane method consumes a lot of time, yet it is more challenging to master. You may have an inconsistently blended product if good care is not taken during the whole process.
Ethanol Terpene Extraction Method
This method also involves the use of heat, but it is combined with an alcohol variant. You can use devices such as a film evaporator to extract the alcohol from other components. While this method produces large quantities of terpenes, it is riddled with problems.
The high intense heat can degrade the organic compound and affect terpene levels, drastically reducing its quality. Also, this whitewashing method can bleach off most of the terpenes’ natural benefits. Ethanol does a thorough job of extracting everything extractable from the leaves/buds. In the process, it may extract contaminants.
Another deficiency of this method is that the flavor and taste component in the terpenes may be seriously battered without any possible remedy or reversal.
Decarboxylation Terpene Extraction Method
This method is about the best. It produces high quantity and quality and does not take too much time. Ironically, this method involves the collection of terpenes before extraction.
A decarb vacuum oven and some ground hemp biomass are used. You attach a cold trap collector to the oven and start to decarb the leaves. While doing that, a conducive situation is simulated for terpenes to volatilize and escape into the waiting collector. The vacuum exertions reduce the temperature in order for the biomass to release terpenes. This procedure markedly removes any chances of having damaged terpenes before collection.
Manufacturers may have personal reasons for choosing a method of extraction above the others. However, it is worth saying that decarboxylation appears to be the best.
What Are The Benefits Of Terpenes?
Terpenes have many benefits, from health to medical and miscellaneous ones. In this piece, we will discuss the benefit of terpenes in delta-8 THC cartridges and in general.
Arguably, cannabis-derived terpenes have more benefits than those extracted from other plants. Thus, we may talk about them more.
Basically, terpenes give vape cartridges their exceptional smell and flavor. That is easily understandable since fragrance is the major essence of terpenes in plants. Without terpenes in delta-8 THC carts, the taste may be terrible. Don’t forget that sweet aroma contributes to improved flavor.
Besides taste and aroma, terpenes combine well with delta-8 THC carts. Some people have noted that terpene-infused carts enhance delta-8 effects, amongst which is the entourage effect.
Health Benefits Of Terpenes
Aromatherapy medicine makes use of essential oils that has terpenes to enhance mood. When you rub these oils on your body or merely smell them, the powerful aroma is potent enough to de-stress your body and heart.
Many alternative medicine practitioners have touted lavender oil as a good energizer. The same is said of orange oil and other citrus fruits.
Medical Benefits Of Terpenes
Terpenes contain a number of medicinal properties that help in managing cases like:
- Fungal infection
- Viral infection
- Parasitic infection
It has been established that people can also use it to enhance skin tone, prevent inflammations and give drugs their rich aroma.
Flavors Of Cannabis Derived Terpenes
Arguably, we can say CDTs (Cannabis Derived Terpenes) and botanically derived terpenes (BDT) are the most sought-after of the three categories of terpenes. Apart from being all-organic, the flavor is another reason for liking terpenes exclusively extracted from nature.
Here is a list of cannabis-derived terpenes which have outstanding flavors.
Pinene gives cannabis its pine-like flavor. It is the source of the distinct fragrance you enjoy in basil, rosemary and pine needles. In some strains, the flavor pinene produces is akin to that which you can whiff off the woody forest and pine trees.
Though pinene has identical percentages to limonene, its levels are unstable; so it may vary from time to time. If you want it in the highest concentration, find the resin glands of the cannabis plant.
Mint and parsley have ocimene to thank for their sweet flavor, which you can find in some cannabis strains. Unfortunately, it is not available in abundance. However, many vape carts do bear a subtle whisk of fragrance.
This is what is abundantly found in cannabis and hemp plants. Its fragrance is subtly spicy and earthy. You can perceive its aroma in many delta-8 THC carts.
What’s most outstanding about this terpene is its high concentration, which can be as high as 20%, though its concentration is found in flowers.
This is another terpene that is not found in abundance. In addition to that, it is a subtle terpene with mostly undercurrent.
However, manufacturers use its undertones in the overall flavor of vape carts. Spices such as nutmeg and cumin contain some terpinolene.
Arguably the most aromatic, limonene is found in citrus fruits peels, hemp, and cannabis. All ‘lemon’ strains of cannabis give off limonene’s citrus-like aroma.
Conclusion: Which One Is Better CDT Or Non-CDT?
Carts have taken the cannabis industry by storm. CDT and non-CDT (BDT) carts are two similar products that are quite different. From the above, it is clear that the source of terpenes is what differentiates them. Though synthetic terpenes also exist, they are not reliable. Therefore, what is practical is not to consider THC Vape pens that have synthetically derived terpenes.