Health Benefits of Terpenes
Terpenes, powerful compounds that are found throughout the plant world, are a common compound. Terpenes have been around for thousands of years. Through ongoing clinical trials, we are discovering their hidden health benefits. Although we don’t know everything about their therapeutic properties, there is some promising research that points to a bright future in cannabis terpene therapy.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are also known as isoprenoids and they are essential oils that give cannabis its unique aroma. Terpenes are made up of repeating units known as isoprenes. These essential oils protect the cannabis plant from insect predators as well as environmental stressors. Terpenes have been shown to be effective therapeutic agents for humans.
Because terpenes account for the majority of cannabis’ chemical composition, most research has been focused on cannabinoids. However, terpenes found in cannabis plants have been shown to work in synergy with cannabinoids, a process called “the entourage effects”. Research was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, in 2011. This initial interest in medical applications of terpenes sparked further research.
In “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,” Ethan Russo found that the interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes could “strengthen and broaden clinical applications and improve the therapeutic index of cannabis extracts containing THC” and other cannabinoids.
The entourage effect, which is a combination of THC and CBD, may indicate that cannabinoids have a greater variety than isolated compounds. Studies have shown that THC is more beneficial than CBD in many cases. A full-spectrumof compounds including terpenes provides the best synergistic effect.
Terpenes offer a variety of health benefits and have been extensively studied for medical applications. Based on how many isoprene units terpenes contain, they can be classified as mono, tri, tri, tetra and sesquiterpenes. They are widely used in folk medicine and studies are being done to determine if they can be used for medical purposes.
Its antiplasmodial properties have attracted interest as an antimalaria drug. Monoterpenes were studied for their antiviral properties. Some terpenes are also capable of treating diabetes and cancer. Terpenes can be administered in many ways and can help reduce side effects of medication.
Terpenes could provide a better cannabis experience for users without side effects. Terpenes found in cannabis plants may increase blood-brain barrier permeability, which can affect the way THC binds with cannabinoid receptors. Some terpenes may be able to reduce short-term memory impairment associated with THC.
This information should be taken with a grain salt. The majority of studies on terpenes have been done with isolated compounds and in animal models. There is still much to be learned about the complex interactions between terpenes, cannabinoids and other compounds. However, there is evidence from aromatherapy patients that terpenes are beneficial for many other health factors.
Limonene, a popular strain of cannabis, is known for its citrus and fruity aroma. Studies have shown that limonene can reduce inflammation. In 2017, limonene was found to reduce inflammation and colon damage in rats suffering from ulcerative collitis. Another study showed that limonene decreased free radicals within leukemia cells. This helped to decrease inflammation.
Limonene can have many different effects on cancer. An population study showed that citrus fruit peel users had a lower risk of developing skin cancer than those who ate only citrus fruits and their juices. Orally, limonene may slow down the progression of cancer. Research has shown that limonene can prevent inflammation and oxidative stresses.
In animal models, limonene has been shown to improve heart health. The risk factors for heart disease such as cholesterol and blood sugar can be reduced by using Limonene. Limonene can also be used to support healthy digestion, stress reduction, and appetite.
Myrcene (also known as beta-myrcene) is a monoterpene that can be found in cannabis, lemongrass and cardamom, mango, hops and many other fruits and vegetables. Myrcene, a common compound, has a spicy, balsam and peppery aroma. Myrcene is believed to account for more than 20% of the terpene profiles in many cannabis strains.
Myrcene has a high concentration of terpenes, which can have a significant impact on the scent of your strain. Myrcene has long been used in folk medicine to relieve pain. Although the exact mechanism of action remains unknown, researchers believe that myrcene-terpenes may be able to inhibit inflammation and pain.
Myrcene’s sedative properties are more well-known. In 2002, a study of mice showed that myrcene displayed sedative qualities at high doses. Myrcene is a muscle relaxant and can increase the time that mice sleep. Combining conventional and herbal medicines produced better results.
In 2015, a study published in the Journal of the Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry showed that myrcene caused cell death of breast cancer cells. Myrcene was found to protect human skin from UV-induced aging in a 2017 study. Its antioxidant properties may enhance the effectiveness of protective lotions.
Pinene has a naturally piney smell and can be found in rosemary, pine needles, and basil. Alpha-pinene, which is also found in cannabis, is the most commonly used type of pinene-terpene. In animal cells, alpha-pinene showed anti-inflammatory qualities according to a 2015 study. A 2017 study found that pinene could protect skin from ultraviolet damage.
In 2018, a 2018 study showed that alpha-pinene and beta-pinene both have anti-cancer properties. Researchers found that alpha-pinene can be used to treat prostate carcinoma in mice. Both types of pinene also showed antimicrobial properties when compared Candida Albicans. This yeast fungus can cause serious health problems in the human body.
Pinene is gaining a lot of attention as an anti-anxiety and terpene. In 2012, a study showed that beta-pinene and linalool had antidepressant properties in mice. Studies also showed that pinene decreases the incidence of bronchitis in animals. It has also been shown to be effective against Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurological conditions.
Caryophyllene is a spicy, woody aroma that can be found in black peppers, oreganos, basil, and cinnamon. Beta caryophyllene may have anti-inflammatory properties in conditions such as arthritis. A 2018 study showed that healthy rats experienced less swelling when they were given 215 mg or 430 mg of caryophyllene.
A 2016 study found that beta caryophyllene decreased the spread and growth of cancer cells. It also increased the effectiveness of cancer treatment. Based on a 2014 study, there is some evidence that this terpene may help to balance the glucose levels of rats. This could be beneficial in managing diabetes.
In 2013, a study showed that mice treated with capsaicin felt pain relief when they were given caryophyllene. Caryophyllene also has been shown to be a good sleep aid. In 2012, a study showed that caryophyllene terpene improved sleep time and reduced body temperature in animal models.
Linalool’s floral scent is found in lavender, birch bark and cactus. Linalool vapors reduced anxiety, and depression-like behavior. Linalool can also increase the resilience of the immune system to stress-related effects. Linalool may improve your sleep quality. One study showed that Linalool has slightly sedative properties that leave subjects feeling more energetic in the morning.
Linalool’s anti-inflammatory properties may help people with an overactive immune system, according to studies. Linalool may also be used to reduce pain sensitivity by blocking the pain signals within the spinal cord. One study showed that patients undergoing gastric banding had less need for opioid medication after being exposed to linalool vapor vapor.
Humulene is a strong, earthy, musky smell that can be found in hops and clove. A 2007 study showed that humulene, along with caryophyllene, had the ability to treat inflammatory conditions. Studies have shown that humulene can be used orally or inhaled to treat allergies. Humulene has also antibacterial and antifungal qualities.
The humulene-terpene was effective in killing cancer cells when it was tested in balsam fir essential oils. Its antitumor properties shut down the antioxidant processes which help stop tumor growth. Humulene could also be used to suppress appetite, which may help with the munchies.
The complex Terpinolene aroma has floral, woody and citrus undertones. This terpene may be mildly sedative. Inhalation of Terpinolene can cause sedation in animals, according to a 2013 study. Research suggests that terpinolene may be able to repel pests such as mosquitos.
A 2013 study using animals revealed that terpinolene killed cancer cells. This study showed that terpinolene may provide protection against inflammation, and oxidative damages. These are key indicators that can be linked to cancer. Terpinolene’s antifungal and antibacterial qualities have also been investigated.
Ocimene is sweet and herbaceous with hints citrus and woody notes. An 2014 study of flowers from the Citrus Unshiu plants revealed anti-inflammatory properties. This study revealed that about six percent of the plant’s chemical profile was made up by ocimene. Another study showed that black pepper, with its high levels of ocimene, has anti-oxidative properties that are helpful in diabetes.
Terpenes have a seemingly limitless health potential. We have only scratched the surface on the health benefits that cannabis terpenes can bring to your body. The entourage effect can be harnessed via full-spectrum cannabis products to provide more health benefits over the long term, as cannabis contains a variety of cannabinoids.