Medical Benefits Of Terpenes



This comprehensive review focuses on terpenes in cannabis and hops.*

Cannabaceae Cannabis Sativa and Humulus Lupus L. have high levels of mono- and sesquiterpenes.*

Some terpenes have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and biomedicine.*

Numerous in vitro and animal clinical trials support a wide range of terpenes’ medicinal qualities.*

These terpenes have a low toxicity and are well-tolerated. They also have a high therapeutic index.


Cannabaceae Cannabis Sativa Humulus Lupus HTML3_ Both Cannabaceae HTML3_ L. are rich terpenes. These terpenes make up as much as 3-5% of the dry mass of the female inflorescence. The terpenes of cannabis or hops are usually simple mono- and/or sesquiterpenes, derived from two or three isoprene units respectively. While some terpenes have been used in traditional medicine for centuries and are well-known for their potential for biomedicine, others are still being studied. This comprehensive review focuses on terpenes found within cannabis and hops. Numerous animal, clinical, and in vitro studies support terpenes’ medicinal benefits. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as anti-cancer, neuroprotective and anti-mutagenic and antibiotic, and other anti-diabetic and anti-diabetic qualities. These terpenes have been widely used in cosmetics and food additives due to their low toxicities. They have been shown to be safe and well-tolerated.

Medical Benefits of Terpenes

What are Terpenes? Take a closer look at what Terpenes can do for you
Table of Contents

What are Terpenes?
How Terpenes Impact the Body
Uses and Benefits
Side Effects and Risks
Frequently Asked Question
Terpenes are organic chemicals that naturally occur within the cannabis plant. These compounds are found in the trichomes, which are tiny hairs that protect the outer layer of cannabis. They give cannabis its unique aromas and tastes. Terpenes can also be found in herbs such as thyme, and citrus fruits such as lemons.

These organic compounds provide more than a powerful flavorful, aromatic experience for cannabis. Research suggests that terpenes could be beneficial in treating a wide range of health conditions, including epilepsy and malaria.

Cannabinoids: A Free Infographic Guide
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes, a group of hydrocarbon-based compounds, give cannabis its distinctive smell.

Terpenoids is also a term you will see. Terpenoids, a class of terpenes, are chemically modified so that they behave differently when inhaled. The terpenes are usually oxidized. This means that they are combined with oxygen.

How Terpenes Impact the Body

Your body responds to cannabis in a variety of ways. Some of these physiological responses can lead to feelings of pleasure while others can cause sleepiness.

Terpenes are responsible for how you feel about cannabis. Terpenes in cannabis are aromatic compounds that give you a pleasant sensory experience when you inhale the plant. Terpenes can be used to treat many diseases in ways that are not visible.

Differentiation between Terpenes & Cannabinoids

The entourage effect is a combination of terpenes and cannabinoids that gives unique properties. The chemical precursor to cannabinoids, geranylphosphate, is shared by terpenes. Betacaryophyllene for example, is both an terpenoid as well as a cannabinoid. This shows how cannabinoids and terpenes are interconnected.

Cannabinoids are dependent on terpenes, which have a complicated relationship. Terpenes are able to control the amount THC which crosses the blood-brain barrier. Terpenes are a good indicator of the likely effects that a particular marijuana product will have.

Cannabinoids are not able to influence flavor or smell, but terpenes can.

Free Cannabinoid and Terpene Book
Different Terpene Types
There are many types of terpenes, just like there are different cannabis strains.

The Most Common Terpenes Found in Cannabis

These are the most well-known terpenes in cannabis.

Limonene gives off the “citrus” and “lemony” smells and tastes in certain strains. Limonene can be found in fruit rinds and peppermint. Limonene is known to elevate moods and offer stress relief.

Combining Limonene with other “sleepier terpenes” can aid sleep. The effect is more powerful when taken in high doses with THC, pinene and THCV. This is because terpenes or terpenoids can have biphasic effect, similar to cannabinoids. That is, different compounds can have different effects at different doses.

Alpha and Beta Pinene
Pinene is a compound that makes cannabis smell like pine trees. Pinene can also be found in pine needles and parsley. Pinene can increase alertness and memory retention. It also counteracts some of the negative effects of THC.

Pinene is beneficial to people suffering from asthma because of its bronchodilator properties. Pinene has antibacterial, antiseptic and superbug-treatment properties.

Myrcene, also known as b-myrcene, is an anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, and depressant. Myrcene can cause sleepy effects and is found in hops and lemongrass. Myrcene can be combined with THC or CBN to enhance this drowsy effect. Myrcene may also target specific receptors which could help with cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Linalool, a terpene found in jasmine and lavender, gives off an air-freshener-like scent. Linalool can be used to relieve anxiety and induce sedation. It also has antidepressant and anticonvulsant properties. Combining THC, some CBD, CBN and myrcene creates a natural combination that can be very helpful for chronic pain and insomnia.

Beta-caryophyllene is sometimes known as caryophyllene or b-caryophyllene. It has anti-depressant, pain-blocking and neuroprotective effects. Beta-caryophyllene is used to treat cancer, inflammation and addiction (mainly alcohol or opiate/opioid abuse), anxiety and depression, as well as fungal and bacterial infection.

Humulene is often associated with earthy, woody, and spicy aromas and flavours. It’s naturally found in clove, basil and hops. Humulene is antibacterial, antitumor and analgesic. Humulene can also be combined with THCV to have appetite suppressant effects.

Terpineol, a monoterpene alcohol, is found in tea tree, cajuput and petitgrain oils. Monoterpenes, a class of Terpenes, consist of two isoprene unit. Terpineol is described as having a floral, peach or pine scent with a fruity, minty or lime-like taste.

Terpineol is a combination of other cannabinoids that can have anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective effects. It can also kill bacteria. Terpineol can be combined with CBD or CBDV to provide anticonvulsant properties. This is useful for epilepsy.

Many of the terpenes found in cannabis have a sweet, floral, citrus-like smell. Bisabolol is just one. High amounts of bisabolol are found in chamomile and candeia plants. Alphabisabolol is anti-irritant and anti-tumor. It also has antioxidant, antimicrobial and antimicrobial properties.

Bisabolol may have a mild psychoactive effect. It could be combined with THC to give stronger results. Bisabolol may be helpful in reducing inflammation related to skin problems.

Transnerolidol is antiparasitic and antifungal and may inhibit leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease caused by protozoan parasites transmitted by sandfly bites. Nerolidol also has strong antimalarial properties.

Other Terpenes
To understand the potential therapeutic benefits of other minor Terpenes, scientists are currently studying them. These minor terpenes are less common than the major ones and include:

These five minor terpenes are just a fraction of the many others found in cannabis.

Medical Benefits and Uses
Scientific research has shown that some terpenes exhibit the following properties.

To reach conclusive conclusions about each property, further research is required.

Health Benefits
People who have moderate to severe stress may find terpenes helpful in reducing anxiety. Aromatherapy medicine uses essential oils that are high in terpenes to enhance mood. For example, a few drops of lavender oil can calm you down, and a little sweet orange oil can give you an energy boost.

Terpenes are found in many industrial products we use every day.

Flavoring agents for candies and other food products
Insecticides and repellents for mosquitoes contain active ingredients
Shampoos and body lotions with scent enhancers
Massage therapists, and other natural healers, also incorporate terpenes in their work via aromatherapy oil and balms.

How to Maximize Terpenes’ Benefits
Terpenes have a significant impact on how cannabis users feel. They also influence the quality of life and the effect medical marijuana has on patients’ symptoms. Combining terpenes such as limonene and pinene with THC, CBD and THCV can produce more energizing results. Combining myrcene with humulene and linalool will be more relaxing.

Understanding the properties of each terpene is key to maximizing and syncing the benefits.

Side Effects and Risks
Terpenes can cause skin irritation and rash if they are directly applied to the skin. Terpenes can also be irritating to the lungs and even toxic in certain cases.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Are terpenes able to make you feel high?
Although terpenes don’t directly cause you to get high, they can have indirect psychoactive effects by their interaction with THC. Terpenes can also cause psychoactive effects, such as “heady” sensations.

Are terpenes harmful for your health?

Some Terpenes can be toxic. Others may cause irritation to your lungs if inhaled in their concentrated form. Terpenes can be used in essential oils to diffuse, and are generally safe for humans. Many essential oils can be toxic for pets. Pine oil, which is made from pinene, is toxic for cats and dogs.

Are terpenes illegal?
Federal law makes it illegal to use cannabis-derived terpenes. Terpenes can be legalized in states that legalize medical or recreational marijuana.

Get a medical marijuana card and legally enjoy the many terpenes and benefits of cannabis. Leafwell has a team of experienced doctors who will meet you in our virtual clinic.