I consume cannabis to relax. When I light a bowl, it’s to relieve stress and anxiety, unwind, or lose unwanted thoughts. Sometimes, however, I don’t want to get high: I just want to mellow out. Those are the times when I opt for a CBD (cannabidiol) consumable product because I know the seizure-stopping, inflammation reducing cannabinoid helps me chill without the buzz.
Sometimes it’s difficult to find CBD-rich product options without psychoactive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and most of the time I can only find CBD in concentrated forms to dab. When I discovered that there was an “Emergen-C for weed” (that is legal everywhere and doesn’t get you high) in the form of an herbalist, CBD and terpene enriched powder, I got very excited. I had to try it for myself, and I liked it so much that I decided to review it.
Emergen-C, the dissolvable powder you gulp in a glass of water, delivers much needed vitamins to the body and helps to strengthen the immune system. The CBD-version of this phenomenon is called Aceso, and while Aceso doesn’t claim to cure anything, it’s packed with cannabinoids, terpenes, and vitamins and is formulated to work with the body’s endocannabinoid system and receptors.
For the purpose of this review, I sampled the Aceso “Calm” Powder Sachet (Sachet is Latin for sack or bag).
The first aspect of Aceso that caught my eye was its sleek, modern packaging. This is a friendly brand that I want to get to know. The modern font and nature imagery play well together, allowing me to notice just from the packaging that I’m purchasing a natural product.
Each 30 pack comes with a 20 sachets containing a total of 225 milligrams cannabinoids or 7.5 per sachet. The 7.5 milligrams cannabinoids are indicative of all natural Hemp CBD, the property that along with naturally derived terpenes causes the calming effect in its products.
That’s a small dose for someone my size/experience, so I doubled down and consumed two packets of Aceso Calm or 15 mgs of CBD. I poured the powder into a small glass of water (about 8 ounces), watched as it calmly mixed in, and then it was bottoms up! First time consumers should stick to the recommended serving of one sachet.
The first thing I noticed was, unlike Emergen-C, this stuff tastes good! Real good! Soothing lavender flavors (a characteristic of the linalool terpene) hit my mouth almost instantaneously. As I continued to drink the Calm, more of a grapefruit taste (a characteristic of the limonene terpene) came through.
Then, I did what I always do when I consume edible cannabinoids: I waited. Usually, with edibles, this waiting is a long time, sometimes over an hour and up to two hours.
When I started to feel the subtle calming effects of the Aceso Calm Sachet just 30 minutes after I drank it, I was pleasantly surprised. Since it was only noon, I felt slightly concerned that my ability to focus may be hindered. Fortunately, the opposite happened. The Aceso Calm helped me focus during the day as my mind relaxed and my head stopped spinning.
I was not at all high at any point. I was just relaxed and clear headed. Aceso’s herbalist formula of whole plant hemp and natural ingredients clearly worked well together, at least on my psyche.
So later that evening, I decided to double down on the Calm again as I was having trouble sleeping. Like clockwork, 30 minutes after I finished my drink–and 30 minutes into a new novel–the pages began turning a lot more quickly and I stopped thinking about my electric bill.
The best kind of deep sleep gradually hit me like a smooth wave about an hour later, and I woke up feeling fresh to death!
Since then, Aceso has become a fairly regular part of my diet. I haven’t tried the Aceso spray just yet, nor the “Soothe” or “Wellness” formulas–but given the success I found with Calm, I will be looking for both very soon!
Learn more about Aceso Calm and other Aceso products right here
Of the many active ingredients in marijuana, cannabinoids — the miracle molecules that deliver most of the plant’s medical efficacy — are not the whole picture. Some cannabis consumers may be aware of terpenes, the cannabinoid-like chemicals that give herb such a pungent aroma.
What most do not know is that terpenes also deliver therapeutic relief, just like their cousins the cannabinoids.
Terpenes are produced in special secretory cells within the trichomes of the plant, the nearly microscopic resinous stalks that cover the flowers and sometimes leaves. This is also where all cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, are created. About 20,000 terpenes exist in nature; more than 200 have been identified in cannabis (compared to 111 cannabinoids).
Like amino acids (or possibly even nootropics for memory and focus), terpenes are powerful building blocks within the plant’s physiology that aid in the production of vitamins, hormones, pigments, resins, and — yes, that most cherished part of the herb — cannabinoids. Cannabis plants release more terpenes when temperatures are higher.
Beyond odor, terpenes play several roles, including protecting the cannabis plant against predators like insects and animals. These special molecules constitute roughly 10 to 20 percent of the total pre-smoked resin in the trichome. It is estimated that 10 to 30 percent of smoke resin produced by marijuana comes from terpenes.
There are actually two types of pinene, alpha and beta. The alpha variety carries a scent of pine needles or rosemary; the beta type smells like dill, parsley, rosemary, basil, or hops. Like its terpene cousins myrcene and limonene, pinene is found in many non-cannabis plants. In fact, it is the most common terpene found in the plant world.
Pinene’s medical efficacy includes increased mental focus and energy. It also acts as a bronchodilator, making it helpful for people with asthma and other respiratory ailments. In addition, it can be used as a topical antiseptic. Probably the most promising application of this terpene, however, is its power to reduce the size of cancerous tumors.
Pinene’s magical power is derived from its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, it affects existing neurotransmitters in such a manner that it results in better memory. Pinene has also shown to inhibit the influence of THC, an example of the entourage effect that may result in a decrease in paranoia or adverse psychological reactions from this cannabinoid when consumed in large quantities.
The power of pinene is nothing new. For literally thousands of years, many cultures around the world have used plants containing large quantities of pinene, like rosemary and sage, for the preservation and enhancement of memory. It’s only today that researchers have a minor understanding of how pinene accomplishes this in the brain.
A 2002 study published in the journal Inhalation Toxicology revealed that alpha-pinene is an effective bronchodilator, meaning it opens the airways of the upper respiratory system. This makes strains of cannabis high in pinene valid treatments for diseases like asthma.
A 2011 study conducted by at Northeast Forestry University in China revealed that the anti-microbial qualities of pinene allow it to treat bacterial and viral infections. It concluded that pinene may be a valid treatment for the virus bronchitis, a condition that is much harder to treat than conventional bacterial infections.
A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2011 and conducted by Ethan Russo found that alpha-pinene has anti-inflammatory properties that may result it efficacy for inflammation-related diseases, including cancer, arthritis, Crohn’s, and multiple sclerosis. The study concluded that alpha-pinene and all terpenes present in cannabis work together synergistically to deliver therapeutic value:
“[Terpenes] display unique therapeutic effects that may contribute meaningfully to the entourage effects of cannabis-based medicinal extracts…phytocannabinoid-terpenoid interactions…could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, [and] fungal and bacterial infection.”
A 2013 study revealed that pinene reduced cancer tumor size and that it acts as a antioxidative and anti-cancer agent. A 2014 study of alpha-pinene derived from pine needle oil found that it was an effective anti-cancer medication. The study concluded:
“Taken together, these findings indicate that α-pinene may be useful as a potential anti-tumor drug.”
Probably the most significant result of the limited research conducted to date is that pinene — and all terpenes — act in a synergistic manner with other terpenes, as well as cannabinoids like THC, to provide medicinal efficacy for those suffering from a wide range of diseases, especially cancer. Of course, more studies are necessary before doctors and budtenders can begin recommending cannabis strains high in pinene for such ailments.
Strains high in pinene include Bubba Kush (an indica), ChemDawg (a hybrid), and Trainwreck (another hybrid).