By Paul Bester
Inside the molecular healing elements of cannabis are cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes that do the magic. Today I want to share more crucial information about terpenes specifically; how they present in cannabis, what forms they found in and how they could benefit you.
So as many or all of us know cannabis has a very distinct scent and naturally serves as the plants personal protection mechanism to repel disease, insects and other pests or critters. This also reduces the need to use any pesticides at all, just shows the resilience of the cannabis species. There are more than 200 terpenes in cannabis of which most are beneficial and have been studied in other vegetation such as; roses, lavender, citrus, pine, black pepper and hops just to name a few.
Terpenes may be known for their delectable smell but have a key role when it comes to the combined effects when acting with the cannabinoids and flavonoids in what is referred to as an entourage effect. In studies they have concluded that 10% of the weight of all the trichomes (glands where cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes are secreted and ends up as crystals) are terpene weight and has a 400% affinity to increase how the cannabinoids are activated and absorbed in your Endocannabinoid System.
Now the most commonly abundant terpenes.
Alpha Pinene- also found in basil, dill, parsley and rosemary. Alpha pinene helps expand the lungs (dilate the bronchi) and is hugely beneficial for asthmatics and other respiratory ailments. In addition it acts as an acetylcholinesterase (ACE) inhibitor, a very good anti-inflammatory and needs more research but has been given favor in treating antibiotic-resistant infections like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA.)
Carophyllene- can be found in black pepper, cinnamon leaves, cloves, oregano and Thai basil. 🌿 Carophyllene has anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, muscle relaxant and mild sedative properties and evidence suggests it provides natural protection in your gastric system. There are studies that support the use of carophyllene for treating anxiety and depression with success and without dangerous side affects as from modern pharmaceuticals.
Myrcene- commonly found in thyme, eucalyptus, hops, lemongrass, mango and bay leaves 🍁 and exhibits powerful sedation properties along with anti-inflammatory, pain killer and muscle relaxant abilities. Due to the high sedative properties myrcene has the potential to treat sleep disorders like insomnia.
Limonene- You’ve guessed it! Its in the name, mostly found in the citrus fruit family such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes and mandarins. Limonene serves as a major terpene dissolving gallstones and assisting in gastrointestinal issues like heartburn and reflux (GERD). Studies have indicated positive results in the treatment of depression, anxiety, inflammatory pain and the existence of anti-cancer properties and also antimicrobial characteristics to battle off some nasty bacteria.🦠
Geraniol- has a sweet smell of roses and acts as natural mosquito repellent. Yes it is found in roses, lemongrass, geraniums, peaches, passion fruit and blue berries. Geranoil acts as a neuroprotectant and great antioxidant with antibacterial, anti-cancer and anti-fungal properties.
Linalool- cannabis plant that have the aroma of flowers contain linalool such as lavender and dozens of other flowering plants. The medicinal properties are vast, ranging from anti-epileptic, pain reliever, anti-inflammatory and also reduces stress and anxiety. This terpenes has already been deemed useful for topical use to treat acne and burns.
Ocimene- is a very common terpene and can also be found in dozens of plants including; Tarragon, Basil, Allspice, Mint and Parsley. It is has a eloquent smell and is often used in perfumes, body sprays. Ocimene holds anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-convulsant properties, meaning it may help with people suffering from different seizure disorders.
Humulene- can be found in Hops, Basil, Coriander and Cloves and also exhibits excellent anti-Inflammatory properties and has the ability to reduce THC’s affinity to increase appetite and ultimately subdued hunger altogether while still providing relief from painful inflammation.
Terpineol-very common scent found in soaps, perfumes and other beauty products and has flower-like scent with a hint of fruit almost like that of an apple blossom. Terpineol can be found in Pine 🌲, Conifer and Eucalyptus. Properties include but are not limited to antioxidant, antibiotic and anti-anxiety properties.
Terpinolene- has been found in Oregano, Lilac, Cumin, Marjoram and Conifers. It exhibits a piney aroma with a sweet flavor and is also a common product in bath and beauty products. It’s medical properties lean to assist in sleep, reducing anxiety and has the potential to prevent cancer cell growth!
Valencene- this terpene can be found in Valencia oranges. It is less known and at current only holds a few benefits such as relieving inflammation, keep mosquitoes 🦟 and ticks away during warmer seasons.