The Benefits of Marijuana Terpenes

Marijuana Terpenes

 

Terpene levels have recently become a new measure to look out for when choosing between marijuana products. Cannabis extracts containing the full spectrum of terpenes are claimed to be more potent than those containing isolated cannabinoids. As the interest for the potential uses and benefits of terpenes grows, a basic understanding of what they are exactly and what effects they provide might help you in choosing the best marijuana terpenes and marijuana products for your needs.

 

 

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are organic compounds found in various plants and some insects that cause most of the scents associated with plants, and are common components of fragrances and flavorings.

In the cannabis plant, terpenes are produced in the same glands as cannabinoids like THC and CBD. They are responsible for the distinct aromas and flavors of particular cannabis varieties, but it is not for this quality that they’ve generated so much interest in the past few years. Terpenes have been found to enhance or hinder the effects of cannabinoids, increasing the popularity of products high in terpenes as well as their research.

 

 

Potential effects of terpenes

Current research suggests that terpenes and cannabinoids in marijuana modulate the effects of THC and make it act differently than when extracted and isolated.

A study conducted in 2006 indicated the enhanced effects of THC, the most prominent compound in cannabis, when combined with other cannabinoids, producing the so-called entourage effect, and went on further to research the synergistic interaction of cannabinoids and terpenes. It was found that terpenes may enhance the therapeutic qualities of cannabis extracts and expand their clinical usage.

A study from 2011 indicated that non-cannabinoid compounds such as terpenes increase the therapeutic effects of THC by inhibiting its intoxicating effects, further enhancing the potential of medical cannabis for treatment of various conditions, ranging from mild to severe.

 

 

Marijuana terpenes and their uses

Over 100 terpenes can be found in the cannabis plant, with each strain having a unique composition. Marijuana-derived terpenes determine the effects of particular cannabis strains, with some producing mood-elevating effects and increasing alertness while others promote relaxation and stress-relief. Here are some of the most common cannabis terpenes:

 

 

  1. Myrcene

Aroma: earthy, musky, herbal, with subtle fruity undertones

Used in the treatment of: pain, inflammation, insomnia, ulcers

Potential effects and benefits: analgesic, antibiotic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antimutagenic; sedating, calming, relaxing

Also present in: mango, hops, lemongrass, thyme, citrus fruits, bay leaves, eucalyptus

 

 

  1. Pinene

Aroma: pine, fir

Used in the treatment of: asthma, pain, inflammation, coughing, anxiety, cancer

Potential effects and benefits: expectorant, bronchodilator, local antiseptic; aids memory, increases alertness, improves concentration

Also present in: pine, rosemary, basil, parsley, dill, sage, some citrus fruits

 

 

  1. Limonene

Aroma: citrus

Used in the treatment of: pain, inflammation, acid reflux, bronchitis, anxiety, depression, cancer

Potential effects and benefits: anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti carcinogenic, tumor preventing, boosts immunity; stress-relieving, mood elevating, promotes weight loss, improves mental focus, increases sex drive

Also present in: rosemary, peppermint, juniper, fruit zests, pine needles

Other uses: insecticide, scent, cleaning agents

 

 

  1. Beta-Caryophyllene

Aroma: pepper, woody, spicy, cloves

Used in the treatment of: pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, cancer, ulcers, toothache, arthritis

Potential effects and benefits: antioxidant, analgesic, anti fungal; sedating and relaxing

Also present in: black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, basil, lavender

 

 

  1. Linalool

Aroma: floral with lavender and subtle spicy undertones

Used in the treatment of: pain, inflammation (especially lung inflammation), insomnia, anxiety, psychosis, depression, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease

Potential effects and benefits: anesthetic, analgesic, anti-convulsant; boosts immunity, improves cognitive and emotional functioning, mood elevating, sedating, calming, relaxing

Also present in: lavender, various flowers, mint, cinammon, rosewood, birch trees, some fungi

Other uses: pesticide, flavoring agent, scent, bath and body products

 

 

  1. Humulene

Aroma: woody, earthy, hops

Used in the treatment of: inflammation

Potential effects and benefits: anti-bacterial, anorectic (appetite-supressing)

Also present in: coriander, hops, basil, cloves

 

 

  1. Delta 3 Carene

Aroma: piney, earthy, with a citrusy flavor

Used in the treatment of: inflammation, arthritis, bursitis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease

Potential effects and benefits: stimulates memory, reduces excess bodily fluids like tears, running noses and menstrual flows, promotes bone growth and repair

Also present in: basil, bell pepper, cedar, pine, rosemary

 

 

  1. Borneol

Aroma: earthy, minty, spicy, herbal

Used in the treatment of: insomnia, pain

Potential effects and benefits: anti-septic, analgesic, bronchodilator; reduces fatigue, stress-relieving

Also present in: camphor, rosemary, mint

Other uses: insect repellent

 

 

  1. Eucalyptol

Aroma: spicy, minty

Used in the treatment of: inflammation, pain

Potential effects and benefits: anti-fungal, analgesic, antibacterial, antioxidant; improves concentration

Also present in: eucalyptus, tea tree, mugwort, bay leaves

Other uses: cough supressants, mouthwash, body powder

 

 

  1. Terpineol

Aroma: pine, clove, lilac

Used in the treatment of: inflammation, anxiety

Potential effects and benefits: antioxidant, antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antimalarial; stimulates immunity, sedating, calming, relaxing

Also present in: pine, lilacs, lime blossoms, eucalyptus sap

Other uses: perfumes, cosmetics, flavors

 

 

The effects of terpenes can change according to the presence of other compounds, as an occurrence known as the entourage effect activates. Further studies are necessary for better understanding of this phenomenon.

Cannabis analysis laboratories have begun to more closely examine terpene content for even better understanding of the effects of particular cannabis strains. With the research intensifying, marijuana terpenes and their synergistic effects might provide us with even better, more potent medical marijuana products in the future.

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