On This Page
- Terpenes Have Therapeutic Effects
- Terpenes Can Reduce Pain and Inflammation
- Terpenes Can Help Cure Stomach Ailments
- Terpenes Act As A Bronchodilator
- Myrcene Effects And Benefits: The Terpene that Does it All
- Myrcene in CBD Products
- More Than Flavor and Aroma: Cannabis Terpenes 101
- What Are Cannabis Terpenes?
- How to Use Cannabis Terpenes
- Health benefits of Cannabis Terpenes
- Cannabis Terpenes vs CBD oil
- Terpenes, explained: The smelly compounds that can benefit your health
Terpenes Have Therapeutic Effects
You may be tempted to take terpenes lightly because these fragrant compounds are among the favorite chemicals of marijuana mega-fans and aromatherapy advocates. But their turn in the scientific and medical spotlight may have arrived. After decades of strong, but inconclusive, evidence of the role of terpenes in the therapeutic effects of medical cannabis, the national institutes of health (NIH) has been funding research on the medical value of terpenes for the last three years. And with cannabis dispensaries – where legal – jockeying for a competitive edge, cannabis types with unique terpene profiles are providing a deeper, more nuanced experience for recreational cannabis users.
Cannabis legalization has been on the rise in the last few years. In 33 U.S. states, medical marijuana is now legal. In 11 states, recreational marijuana is legal and these numbers are growing. This rush toward legalization has led to a broad range of investigation regarding potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis, both marijuana and hemp. Most of what people know so far about cannabis and its effects has to do with its principle cannabinoids: THC and CBD. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that may have significant health benefits as studies are slowly confirming. However, there is much more to the cannabis plant than cannabinoids. Cannabis, like all plants, create compounds called terpenes, which may be beneficial to humans as well.
Terpenes Can Reduce Pain and Inflammation
Humulene is the first terpene found in hops and its aroma is made up of earthy, woody and spicy notes. Besides cannabis, it can be also found in clove, sage, and black pepper. It has many medical properties. Also, it proved to be effective in suppressing appetite, which could make it a potential weight loss tool. Furthermore, like many other terpenes mentioned above, humulene also reduces inflammation, relieves pain and fights bacterial infections.
When you walk by someone smoking cannabis, the smell is unmistakable. The compounds that produce the potent smell of weed fall under the same class of compounds that produce the citrusy smell of oranges, the sweet smell of chamomile and the clean smell of pine. These compounds, called terpenes, serve important purposes in plants and possibly in humans, too. Research doesn't yet paint a clear picture about the roles that terpenes might play in humans, but the purported benefits range from improved immune function to reduced inflammation. For example, researchers are currently looking at the potential benefits of limonene , a common terpene, as an antioxidant.
Terpenes Can Help Cure Stomach Ailments
Terpenes can be mixed with tea or food, to kill harmful bacteria in your digestive tracks, thus helping cure indigestion or stomach ailments. Terpenes also act as diuretics, help relieve flatulence and gastroesophageal reflux, and reduce menstrual cramps.
Terpenes Act As A Bronchodilator
Known for its anti-inflammatory effects as well as its antibiotic, gastroprotective, and anti-cancer activity, Pinene can also act as a bronchodilator to help breathing conditions such as asthma, promote alertness, and help retain memory. With other terpenes and cannabinoids, it can create an effect of sedation (myrcene) rather than alertness. Some studies have shown it reduces the effects of THC. Pinene is found in pine needles, basil, sage, rosemary, and dill and as it implies, smells and tastes like pine. It is found within pine needles. Regarding Chinese medicine and other research that has been conducted by medical professionals, the results state that pinene itself may have antibacterial properties and antifungal properties. This is in addition to being a bronchodilator, which means that it has the potential to widen and open up airways that are obstructed.
Myrcene Effects And Benefits: The Terpene that Does it All
Life in the 21st century is remarkably fast-moving, so winding down to get to sleep at night is increasingly difficult. Insomnia is becoming one of the primary reasons that consumers seek out CBD products. This is a primary example of why the inclusion of cannabis-derived terpenes such as beta myrcene in the cannabidiol products you choose is so important, because they can increase and maximize benefits, such as helping sleep. Interestingly, myrcene actually has a long history of being utilized to help sleep in folk medicine and naturopathy. The sedative and muscle-relaxant effects of beta myrcene have been thought to compound and create effects that promote falling asleep quickly, and staying asleep. A 2012 study on rats found that a mixture of the terpenes myrcene and limonene had a sedative effect.
Myrcene functions in CBD products in a number of important ways. Firstly, like other terpenes, myrcene is theorized to be part of the “entourage effect”, which means that it works in conjunction with cannabinoids to create increased health benefits for cannabidiol users. Myrcene and other cannabis-derived terpenes are utilized in full-spectrum CBD products. Full-spectrum CBD is already sought after by many consumers for being a natural form of cannabidiol that is thought to result in maximized and intense benefits. Beyond this, full-spectrum CBD products are notable for their inclusion of cannabis-derived terpenes. Many full-spectrum CBD products have begun to prominently feature the inclusion of terpenes on their labels and in their product descriptions. Myrcene is especially important under these considerations, due to the fact that it can mimic the effects of CBD.
Myrcene in CBD Products
In recent years, some sellers of marijuana and CBD products have started making unsubstantiated, exaggerated claims about the medicinal properties of terpenes in cannabis. This is partly due to the increased hype about terpenes caused by the research of Dr. Russo and others. For instance, the claim that myrcene or any other terpene can increase the delivery of THC to the brain is completely unproven. The research currently available regarding terpenes is, by and large, incomplete, so it isn’t entirely known how the medicinal properties of terpenes influence the health benefits of cannabis.
Interestingly, myrcene actually has a long history of being utilized to help sleep in folk medicine and naturopathy. The sedative and muscle-relaxant effects of beta myrcene have been thought to compound and create effects that promote falling asleep quickly, and staying asleep. A 2012 study on rats found that a mixture of the terpenes myrcene and limonene had a sedative effect. The study found that myrcene increased sleep duration by around 2. 6 times. Further research on rats determined that myrcene can increase the amount of time mice spend asleep, but only when ingested in combination with narcotics with strong sedative effects. While there is still lots of research to be done, there are clearly some links between myrcene and having better sleep.
More Than Flavor and Aroma: Cannabis Terpenes 101
Marijuana terpenes are an exciting facet for not only cannabis enthusiasts because they influence taste, but also exciting for scientists because they are learning more about terpene profiles and the health benefits they provide. Growers are motivated to maximize terpenes in their plants because good smell and taste command premium prices, so it's a race to the sweetest and most pungent smell. Terpenes are organic non-psychoactive molecules found in cannabis plants. They are responsible for the varying smells, tastes and effects. Marijuana terpenes influence a bud’s flavor and aroma and by mapping a plant’s terpene profile, we can have better visibility on how to influence the way it will taste and smell. Although manipulating flavor and aroma can be exciting, it barely scratches the surface of terpene research.
The reason why the medical marijuana industry is abuzz about terpenes is because some have significant medicinal value. Because marijuana terpenes are non-psychoactive, they can treat certain health conditions.
What Are Cannabis Terpenes?
There are other terpenes that can be extracted from the cannabis plant, though in small amounts. These include; alpha bisabolol, borneol, camphene, caryophyllene oxide, eucalytptol, fenchol, humulene, nerolidol, ocimene , phytol, pulegone, and valencene just to mention a few.
How can the natural compounds you’ve never heard of can actually boost your health? If you’ve ever caught a whiff of sage, lavender, or cannabis, you’ve smelled terpenes at work. The fragrant molecules are what give plants, flowers, and trees their wide range of scents, from earthy and floral to citrusy – and it turns out they’re also good for your health. Experts say the emotional and physical benefits of certain terpenes can be felt after forest bathing (which actually doesn’t involve any water), using essential oils with a high concentration of the compounds, and yes, smoking cannabis.
The terpene profile of various cannabis strains can help us understand why some people with medical conditions report better outcomes when using one strain of cannabis over another, even if they have the same cannabinoid (cbd) levels. This is because the endless combination of terpene profiles give each cannabis strain its signature tastes, smells and effects. Several studies now show that some terpenes work together while some interact with cannabinoids such as CBD and THC helping them pass through the bloodstream quicker and easier as well as in lowering their blood-to-brain barrier.
How to Use Cannabis Terpenes
It doesn’t end there, since terpenes affect our minds and bodies in their own unique ways, they have been found to work together to either inhibit or enhance the effects of the dominant cannabinoids. Moreover, some terpene combinations work synergistically, while others work to inhibit each other. This has come to be commonly known as ‘the entourage effect’ meaning the ability of different components in cannabis to work together or against each other, which can either downplay or enhance the end results.
Dr. Kaplan says there is a dual route by which terpenes can have a therapeutic benefit. “For years it was thought that people benefited from inhaling terpenes because our olfactory system, or sense of smell, is tied to emotional centers in the brain, thus having a positive effect on our mood,” says Kaplan. “However, recently it’s been identified that the terpenes also act directly on brain cells to modulate their activity. “The terpene beta-caryophyllene found in basil, oregano, black pepper, and cannabis has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-relieving benefits. A study by the Chongqing Medical University in China showed promising results in using this terpene to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease progression is dependent on mitigating brain inflammation, and beta-caryophyllene was either injected or administered orally in mice to dampen inflammation by activating cannabinoid, or cb2, receptors in the brain.
Flavonoids may sound more like flavors, but don’t be fooled, they are the nutrients responsible for color in living organisms. Like terpenes, they form one of the largest plant nutrient families that scientists know about, with more than 6,000 different flavonoids in existence. Around 20 of these can be found in the cannabis plant, which is great news because they have also been found to offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Flavonoids give various strains of cannabis the green or purple color. As things stand, more research is needed to establish the full role of these compounds and how they interact with the other phytochemicals in the cannabis plant.
Health benefits of Cannabis Terpenes
As previously mentioned, there is some evidence to suggest that myrcene and limonene have significant medicinal value related to relieving anxiety and pain. Limonene in particular has also been suggested to act as a reliever of heartburn and acid reflux.
Here are a couple of the most common marijuana terpenes and their health benefits: 1. Myrcene has a musky, earthy taste with a slightly fruity tinge. A powerful anti-inflammatory that relaxes muscles and acts as a sedative, this terpene contributes to the couch-lock feeling associated with indica. According to the international hemp association, most tested strains contain high levels of myrcene. 2. Limonene has a citrus aroma, think super lemon haze, but it also stimulates weight loss, treats bronchial infections, and is a preventative and treatment for cancer. It is ideal for cannabis-infused ointments and creams because its medicinal properties make skin penetration easier.
There are over a hundred terpenes in cannabis that have been identified. The more we know about them, the easier it can be to navigate which ones that may work better for your specific health and wellness journey.
Cannabis Terpenes vs CBD Oil
Caryophyllene is noted for its distinctive, smoky or outdoorsy type scent. It is well known to the famous cannabis strain og kush. As you might have noticed, many of these terpenes provide anti-inflammatory and relaxing effects, which may be of some interest to those who want to use terpene-infused CBD Oils for reducing inflammation from arthritis or for reducing anxiety and stress. Furthermore, this could be evidence that terpenes and CBD products would lead to an entourage effect.
Terpenes are substances found in the majority of plant species and they abound not only in nature but in everyday consumer products as well. What are terpenes to cannabis users? Much more than just a scent. As an intricate part of marijuana, they have a wide range of actions. Terpenes react with each other and the substances around them in great synergy known as the entourage effect. As a result, we can feel the benefits of cannabis to a larger extent. Research has shown that if most cannabis ingredients are retained in CBD Oil and other products, our body reacts better to the treatment.
Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis plants. Terpenes give each cannabis variety its unique smell and flavor. Individual terpenes also have specific effects on your health and how you feel. While cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBG get most of the attention, the right terpene profile in a cbd oil or cannabis variety will contribute significantly to their results and your experience.
Terpenes Explained: The Smelly Compounds That Can Benefit Your Health
Ever been curious as to how different brands have thousands of perfume scents? The level of purity of specific terpenes determines the intensity of an aroma. The secret to building a designer perfume brand is to tap into the exact potency. From the hundreds of various terpenes profiles, here is a breakdown of the benefits for some: linalool – bears a sweet, floral and citrus scent. Often used to cure alleviate pain, it causes relaxation and relief from anxiety. Limonene – bears a lemon/orange citrus scent. Used as a mood stabilizer, it often results in enhanced moods, relief from depression, reduced anxiety and cure for nausea.
It’s believed that the terpenes present in various strains of cannabis enhance the effect of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. It’s what is called the entourage effect in the field. The idea is that multiple cannabinoids combined with multiple terpenes lead to better therapeutic benefits than the cannabinoids alone. Although this is a widely accepted idea, it’s largely theoretical, based on evidence that cannabinoids have an effect on their own, and so do terpenes. In their natural form, they are active in plants. As a plant dries, in cannabis production, the terpenes oxidize and become terpenoids.