Terpenes are a class of light, oily chemicals produced by plants which are largly responsible for their scent. They can be thought of as incredibly concentrated natural scent . There are thousands of different terpenes, many of which are bioactive or synergistic with other compounds. Terpenes cannot mix with water, though they mix readily with oil and VG/PG/PEG, and they are a great solvent for oils and waxes. In nature, terpenes usually don’t comprise more than 1-2% of a plant. Very little terpenes are needed to contribute a strong aroma to a mix. When terpene levels exceed 10%, irritation can start to occur, so we recommend you never use more than this amount. <2% is a good limit for inexperienced users to avoid overshooting and getting an irritating smell. Often, a single drop is all that’s needed.
Adding terpenes to aromatherapy vapor liquids:
To mix terpenes with VG/PG/PEG vapor liquids, simply drip the terpenes into the liquid and shake or stir. Here’s the tricky part – the terpenes smell will be very muted at first, and will continue to sharply grow over the next 3 days or so. For this reason you must add the terpenes then let the mix steep for 3 days before you judge the aroma. We recommend that aromatherapy vapor liquids have no more than 2% terpene content. Beginners should use no more than 4 drops per 10ml liquid (2 is often sufficient!), with a three day steep. Vapor liquids with a high amount of water in them may turn cloudy and opaque when the terpenes are added – this is not a problem, just a result of an emulsion between the water and terpenes forming.
Adding terpenes to lotions, salves, and balms:
Simply mix in terpenes, at no more than 5%, and allow to sit for a day. For beginners we recommend using 5 drops max per 15ml lotion, salve, or balm.
Adding terpenes to potpourri/rock salt:
Terpenes can provide all day aroma with potpourri or rock salt. Just add drops of terpenes until you are pleased with the scent given off (do not exceed 10% terpene content)
Adding terpenes to aromatherapy herbs:
Terpenes can help old, stale herbs see, fresh again. Just add 1 drop terpenes (and 1 drop pure water if the herbs are crispy dry) per gram of herb, and seal in a jar for a couple days.
Adding terpenes to oily herbal extracts :
Thinner oily extracts like shatters, rosins, and oils can be made thinner with terpenes. To do this, place the extract in a small glass dish on a coffee warmer plate set to low. When the extract begins to melt, stir in 1-4 drops terpenes per gram max, and allow to cool. How much you will need to use depends upon the thickness of your extract, and the particular terpene blend. Some extra thick extracts, like waxes, isolates, “crystals”, will not become thin enough with just terpenes without the terpene levels being so high as to be irritating and harsh. With these solid extracts, an additional step is needed: after adding 4 drops terpenes per gram, while being heated, add VG in dropwise until the desired thickness is reached.
Adding terpenes to oily herbal extracts for use in tank liquid vaporizers:
Shatters, rosins, oils, crumbles, waxes, isolates, and “crystals”, can be used in wicked tank atomizers with the help of terpenes and VG/PG/PEG. First, place your extract into a small glass dish on a coffee warmer plate set to low. When the extract begins to melt, stir in 6 drops terpenes per gram max. Once the terpenes are thoroughly mixed, add an equal amount of VG/PG/PEG, stir, and allow to cool. The mixture may turn cloudy and opaque; this is the terpenes forming a stable emulsion with the extract and VG/PG/PEG. Once cool, add more VG/PG/PEG if desired to thin further.
*Links leading to external sites may present views that are not necessarily our own. Consult with a doctor before using terpenes. This is a general guide only, and your experience may differ. This guide is meant for legal aromatherapy compounds only.
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