Plant Medicine: All About Terpenes
What are cannabis terpenes and what do they do?
Terpenes are [flavorful and fragrant] aromatic, essential oils secreted by the glandular hairs found on floral leaves and flowers of female plants. Plants developed terpenes to attract pollinators and ward off predators.
Terpenes give cannabis its natural flavor and scent. There are over 100 unique types that not only play a key role in identifying different strains of cannabis, but offer medicinal benefits (reportedly - studies are ongoing) and may contribute to the "entourage effect". Some terpenes might promote focus and alertness, while others potentially promote stress-relief and relaxation.
Many cannabis analysis labs test for terpene content, so if you're interested in learning more about the terpenes found in our products, just ask! (email@example.com)
Here are some of the common terpenes found in cannabis:
1. Myrcene: this is the most common terpene found in cannabis. With an aroma that's been described as "earthy", "herbal", and "musky", myrcene has been known to work as a muscle relaxant and sedative. Myrcene can also be found in citrus fruits, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus, thyme, lemongrass, and many other plants.
2. Limonene: cannabis varieties high in limonene have a "citrusy" odor and may promote alertness and uplift attitude. During testing of the effects of limonene, participates noted a decrease in anxiety. Additionally, during one study, limonene reversed mammary tumors in mice and stimulated apoptosis - programmed cell death - in breast cancer.
3. Beta-caryophyllene (BC): "peppery" and "woody" aroma, BC is a strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. May be useful for treating joint and muscle pain, such as arthritis.
4. Pinene: possesses aromas of pine and fir. Pinene has been used as a local antiseptic and anti-inflammatory expectorant, and may actually diminish the effects of THC when combined.
5. Linalool: cannabis varieties high in linalool may promote calming, sedative effects. For centuries, linalool has been used as a sleep aid, and studies show it tends to diminish the anxiety THC can promote, making it helpful in treating anxiety.
6. Humulene: "hoppy" aroma (because it's also found in hops and coriander) with anti-tumor, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anoretic (appetite suppressant) effects.
7. Terpinolene: common terpene in sage and rosemary, terpinolene is used throughout the US in soaps and perfumes, and also acts as an insect repellent. A study on terpinolene found that it can reduce anxiety and act as a sleep aid.