What Are Terpenes ?
Terpenes are aromatic chemicals present in many plants, but they are most usually associated with cannabis due to the large amounts found in cannabis plants.
What are cannabis terpenes?
Most people can smell cannabis before they see it because of its distinct smoky, musky smell, and pungent odor.
How are they found??
How Terpenes Affect Our Body
Cannabinoids ( CBD ) & Terpenes
When terpenes and cannabinoids interact in the human body, they create a synergistic effect known as the 'entourage effect.' In other words, these two compounds collaborate within the endocannabinoid system to temper or enhance the therapeutic properties and side effects of the other.
A 2011 study on the effects of Phyto cannabinoid-terpenoid entourage on different problems looked into the synergy. Researchers came to the conclusion that terpenes and cannabinoids may be complementary, resulting in a broader and more promising range of clinical applications for cannabis extracts.
The composition of terpenes varies greatly between cannabis strains.
The researchers also discovered that full-spectrum CBD extract was four times more potent than CBD isolate, implying that patients could take a much lower dose, and attributed this to the therapeutic synergy of cannabinoids and other compounds such as terpenes.
Benefits Of Terpenes
Terpenes have been linked to a variety of therapeutic benefits in preclinical studies on animals and in vitro studies (in test tubes). However, it should be noted that terpene research is in its infancy and has not been widely conducted on humans. More research is needed to further our understanding of these compounds.
Researchers are constantly on the lookout for new antiviral compounds. Many terpenes, including alpha- and beta-pinene, caryophyllene, camphor, and carvone, may have strong antiviral properties.
The search for compounds that can help suppress cancer is being fueled by rising rates of many types of cancer. Some terpenes, including those found in cannabis, have anticancer activity, which means they can help to inhibit the activity or growth of cancer cells.
Twenty-five percent of antidepressant drugs are made with terpene-rich herbal extracts. Linalool and beta-pinene are two plant extracts that are commonly used in antidepressant medication.
A wide range of terpenes may have antimicrobial activity, or the ability to halt the growth of a harmful microorganism. Terpenes such as alpha-bisabolol, geraniol, menthol, eucalyptol, and terpinolene may aid in the killing or halting of microorganisms.
Some cannabis terpenes have been discovered to mimic cannabinoids by producing a pain-relieving effect. In one 2021 study, pain-relieving effects were amplified without an increase in negative side effects when terpenes were combined with cannabinoids. This interaction may be indicative of the entourage effect.
Top 3 Terpenes Found In Cannabis
Limonene is a terpene recognizable for its zesty citrus fragrance, primarily in lemon, but also in orange, lime, and grapefruit. Limonene is found in the peels of these citrus fruits and in many varieties of cannabis.
Pinene is one of the simplest terpenes in existence. Despite its simple structure, this compound has been shown to offer a wide variety of benefits. Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene are simply two variations of pinene.
Aside from delivering the distinct forest-like aroma, pinene has several therapeutic properties, including:
- Anti-inflammatory Effects
- Neurological Support
- Antimicrobial Activity
Myrcene because of its numerous health benefits, myrcene is sometimes referred to as the "mother of all terpenes." Although it is one of the most common terpenes in the plant kingdom (and in cannabis), it is also one of the most beneficial.
Myrcene is a powerful antibiotic that is also antimutagenic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and sedative. When combined with THC, its effects and benefits appear to be amplified.