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CDT vs. BDT: What Are The Differences Between The Two?


There are a number of acronyms tossed around in the world of cannabis, from CBD and CDT to THC and BDT. Fortunately, understanding the ABC’s of CBD isn’t as difficult as it seems.

Typically, these abbreviations refer to chemical compounds that are found in the cannabis plant, such as terpenoids, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and omega fatty acids.1 While many are familiar with cannabis oil (CBD), an active component that may support relaxation and well-being, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive ingredient most commonly found in marijuana, others are more obscure.

That said, CDT stands for cannabis-derived terpenes, while BDT refers to botanical-derived terpenes that aren’t exclusive to the cannabis plant. In this guide, we’re deep diving into everything you need to know about CDT vs BDT.

But First, What are Terpenes?

Terpenes, or “terps” are organic, aromatic compounds that are found in nearly every plant on the planet.2

In the natural world, terpenes do plenty for the trees, flowers, and herbs we admire, offering them protection from harm and infections, aiding with pollination, and giving them their unique smell. The clean scent of mint, the bright zing of grapefruit, and the herbaceous aroma of cannabis all are thanks to this list of terpenes.

So far, scientists have identified roughly 30,000 terpenes, which renders them one of the largest collections of naturally occurring compounds in existence.3 You’ve been around them, perhaps unknowingly, for most of your life. They’re found in:

  • Fruits and vegetables, like oranges, lemons, limes, and berries
  • Herbs, such as cloves, black pepper, rosemary, and sage
  • Spices like curry
  • Cleaning products
  • Dyes
  • Pesticides
  • Skincare products
  • Essential oils
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Hops

Their potential to offer therapeutic benefits like a relaxed, healthy mood and relief from minor aches and pains have pushed them into the limelight.4

Different terpenes can also change the scent and ‘experience’ of cannabis or inform the effects of an essential oil. This is why CDT vs BDT terpenes, as well as synthetic terpenes, have become such a hot topic.

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What is CDT?

CDT stands for cannabis-derived terpenes. This means the terpenes used in a product, whether it’s an edible or an oil, were extracted specifically from the cannabis plant, the same plant that produces hemp and marijuana.

Some people may inadvertently use ‘terpenes’ and ‘cannabinoids’ interchangeably. True, they’re both phytochemicals, but they’re two completely different compounds with unique molecular structures.5

Cannabis sativa is a rich, excellent source of terpenes. Research on terpenes is relatively fresh, but thus far, more than 400 terpenes have been discovered in cannabis.4 You may have seen vapes and edibles touting the inclusion and benefits of terpenes, which some manufacturers and suppliers are using to set their product or strain apart from others.

It’s believed that terpenes may have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties.5

A few of the most common cannabis-derived terpenes you might come across include:

  • Humulene
  • Myrcene
  • Beta-pinene
  • Beta-caryophyllene
  • Linalool

The use of different terpenes in products is believed to influence their aroma, taste, and impact. Linalool is found in lavender, for example, and may give a product the flower’s signature woodsy, floral scent.

CDT is often difficult to extract from cannabis plants as it requires costly techniques and chemicals that may affect the purity of the terpenes.

What is BDT?

BDT, on the other hand, refers to botanically derived terpenes. Cannabis is a botanical, too, of course, but this distinction is made to set them apart from cannabis derived terpenes.

Botanically derived terpenes are extracted from a variety of different plants, such as:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Herbs like lavender and lemongrass
  • Spices such as curcumin (turmeric) and black pepper

When it comes to botanically derived terpenes, a few of the most well-known include:6

  • Limonene, which is derived from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes
  • Geraniol, which is abundant in roses
  • Cymene, which is extracted from tangerines
  • Terpinene, which is found in eucalyptus
  • Camphor, which is derived from the camphor laurel tree
  • Borneol, which is extracted from ginger and rosemary

A distillate process is used to extract BDT as individual compounds to maintain purity. For this reason, botanically derived terpenes can often replicate a variety of cannabis strains.

For example, Peels CBD uses a process called Cyclic Terpene Assembly to extract terpenes from orange peels and combine them with olivetol to produce crystallized CBD that’s free of THC, pesticides, and other toxins.

What Are the Key Differences Between CDT and BDT?

On a molecular level, there are no differences between BDT vs CDT terpenes.

One of the most prevalent terpenes, limonene, for example, is found in citrus fruits like lemons as well as cannabis and several other plants. The same goes for the terpene, myrcene: It’s found in mangos, thyme, and basil, but it’s also one of the most ubiquitous terpenes in cannabis.

Rather, the differences between cannabis derived terpenes vs botanical terpenes come down to:7

  • Consistency – Botanically derived terpenes are believed to have stronger uniformity than cannabis-derived terpenes. The concentration of cannabinoids differs from batch to batch, while BDTs are consistent, even across different collections of plants.

  • Presence of THC – Full-spectrum CBD products can include cannabis terpenes as well as a small amount of THC (no more than the legal limit of 0.3%). Similarly, broad-spectrum CBD includes all terpenes and trace levels of THC.8> What’s more, even if a manufacturer attempts to filter out THC, the process is subject to error because of variations in the extraction process. With BDTs, you won’t have to worry about the possible presence of THC.

  • Entourage effect – It’s widely thought that cannabinoids and terpenes work together to amplify their impact on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a role in sleep, mood, metabolism, digestion, memory, and immunity. Ostensibly, this is the reason a consumer may choose full or broad-spectrum CBD over CBD isolate. An analysis of studies featured in the British Journal of Pharmacology demonstrated that cannabinoids and terpenes together may have the capacity to alleviate aches and pains and encourage a relaxed, healthy mood.9 Other studies reveal that terpenes can enrich cannabinoids’ effects on mood, concentration, and energy levels.10 That said, the research on the entourage effect is too thin for definitive claims to be made, even if marketers may want to persuade you otherwise.11

  • What Are The Effects of Both CDT and BDT Terpenes?

    Terpenes have been used for thousands of years for a variety of health reasons. Ayurvedic medicine practitioners, for example, used limonene from juniper as an antiseptic and to mitigate swelling and aches.12 This is because limonene is one of the best terpenes for pain and inflammation. Phyllaembicillins from Indian gooseberry were used to promote hair growth and bolster immune health.

    These ancient practitioners were onto something. Modern research demonstrates that terpenes may have the potential to:

  • Improve your mood – Think of the feeling of tranquility that may wash over you when you’re hiking in a forest budding with evergreens. This is due to the presence of terpenes like pinene. Consider, too, how breathing in the scent of a fresh-cut orange clears your mind and gives you a jolt of energy—all thanks to the terpene limonene. Indeed, one of the biggest potential pluses of terpenes is the impact they can have on elevating your frame of mind.4

  • Combat oxidative stress – We encounter free radicals often. Pollution, second-hand smoke, and the chemicals in processed foods can all cause oxidative stress and accelerate the aging process. Fortunately, terpenes have antioxidant properties that may help you fight these effects.13

  • Restful sleep – Studies on the relationship between terpenes and sleep may be limited, but some studies indicate that certain terpenes, like myrcene and limonene, may promote a better night’s rest.14

  • What are Synthetic Terpenes?

    Rather than being extracted from a cannabis plant or other botanical, synthetic terpenes are made in a lab through chemical manipulation. Theoretically, these practices can improve the concentration of terpenes, which may increase their smell and flavor profile.

    Oftentimes, these practices involve a combination of dilution, distillation, and reconstruction. However, because these procedures are still in their beginning stages, botanical vs cannabis terpenes are more reliable sources of terpenes as there is more research as to how these natural products affect the body.

    Reap the Rewards of Botanically Derived Terpenes with Peels

    Terpenes are abundant in our natural world and can offer a number of benefits, whether you’re deriving them from the cannabis plant or other botanicals. That said, BDTs are easier to extract than their CDT counterparts and may provide more purity and a higher concentration of terpenes to users.

    Peels CBD isn’t just a big believer in the power of botanically derived terpenes—they inspired our entire M.O.

    Our novel CBD products, like CBD Gummies and CBD Oil, are created with bio-identical CBD derived from citrus peels. This gives you all of the wellness benefits of terpenes, such as muscle recovery and healthy moods, without THC and CBD.

    Intrigued? Give us a try today.


    1. UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Cannabis and its Compounds.
    2. Medical News Today. What are terpenes.
    3. Flavor Chemistry. Biochemistry of essential oil terpenes.
    4. Healthline. Cannabis terpenes: what they are and how they work.
    5. Medicinal Plants. Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes.
    6. Toxicological Health. Terpenes from forests and human health.
    7. Peels. What are botanically-derived terpenes?
    8. Medical News Today.Types of cbd: what to know.
    9. British Journal of Pharmacology. Taming thc: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpernoid entourage effects.
    10. Molecules. The cannabis terpenes.
    11. Best Health Mag. The truth about the healing benefits of terpenes.
    12. Nature Public Health Emergency Collection. Therapeutic and medicinal uses of terpenes.
    13. PLos One. Natural terpenes prevent mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and release apoptotic proteins during nimesulide-hepatotoxicity in rats.
    14. Phytomedicine. Central effects of citral, myrcene and limonen, constituents of essential oil chemotypes from Lippia alba.
    15. Molecules. Cannabis and terpenes as an antibacterial and antibiofouling promotor for PES water filtration membranes.
    16. Forbes. US farm bill will make cbd production legal and cheap.