Mysterious terpenes can make you healthier
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are natural compounds found in cannabis and tens of thousands of other plants (particularly conifers). Terpenes give plants their bouquet of smells and flavors.
Additionally, terpenes work in conjunction with cannabinoids and provide their own unique therapeutic benefits.
It is the terpenes in plants that attract pollenating insects for plant reproduction. They also keep predators at bay and even kill them. They slow the maturation of the plant and regulate their metabolism. Terpenes are the “essence” of essential oils. Aromatherapy and essential oil treatments often use terpenes because of their medicinal properties. Some terpenes may develop due to a plant being stressed, for example in excessive heat.
The number of terpenes found in the cannabis plant ranges between 100 and 200 depending on which variation you are using.
The 9 most common terpenes along with terpenes health benefits are:
Mycerne is the most common terpene found in hemp. Over 60% of the essential oil is made up of mycerne in some hemp strains. It smells quite similar to cloves.
Myrcene has been revealed to be a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic. It has a relaxing, calming, anti-spasmodic, and sedative effect.
Limonene is one of the next most abundant terpenes found in cannabis resin. It produces a smell resembling citrus fruits. In addition to limonene being found in cannabis, it is also found in citrus fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, peppermint, and several pine needle oils.
A cancer study in 2013 revealed that limonene reduces tumors in women with early-stage breast cancer. Limonene easily and efficiently penetrates the blood barrier. This increases systolic pressure. This terpenes health benefits also include increased attention, mental focus, well-being, and sex drive. And like mycerne, limonene contains anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is also said to protect against carcinogens found in smoke.
Along with cannabis, many herbs and spices contain caryophyllene. Black pepper is one spice that contains high amounts of carophyllene. Black pepper is what gives caryophyllene that spicy flavor. In addition to black pepper, Thai basil, cinnamon, cloves, and lavender all contain caryophyllene.
As with the previous two terpenes, caryophyllene has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-fungal properties. If applied topically, it also relieves toothaches.
An interesting fact about this terpene is its promising role in alcohol rehabilitation. In a study done on mice, researchers found that caryophyllene reduced the voluntary intake of alcohol.
Pinene, as the name suggests, creates the smell associated with pine (and fir) trees. Both conifers and non-coniferous plants produce pinene — along with balsamic resin, pinewoods, and some citrus fruits.
Pinene is used in medicines as an expectorant, bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. Pinene additionally improves concentration, personal satisfaction, well-being, and energy. Patients suffering from arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, or cancer may seek benefits from pinene.
Terpineol has aromas of lilacs, crabapple and lime blossoms. The plants listed above that have high-levels of pinene often also produce terpineol. Commercial producers of terpineol often extract this terpene from Monterey cypress trees.
Terpineol creates the sedative effect that is experienced in Indica strains of psychoactive cannabis. During tests on mice, terpineol reduced mobility by 45 percent. Experts also believe terpineol has antibiotic and antioxidant properties.
Borneol has aromas of mint and camphor.
Chinese herbalists use borneol in remedies against fatigue, stress, and lingering illnesses. A published study even indicates that borneol kills breast cancer cells. Additionally, some researchers believe this terpene is a natural insect repellent and could potentially be used against diseases caused by ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes — such as West Nile Virus.
Linalool has floral aromas similar to lavender and spring flowers. Linalool is found in mint, laurels, cinnamon, rosewood, and Birch trees.
Linalool has a calming action, is a natural anti-anxiety, and is a powerful sedative. In a study on mice, it was found that their activity decreased by 75% as a result of linalool. Additionally, it has analgesic and anti-epileptic properties. Some therapies use it in the treatment of various cancers.
Some patients suffering from arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia and cancer may find benefits from use of this terpene.
Eucalyptol has a minty smell and is found in trace amounts in psychoactive cannabis. Not surprisingly, it is the main ingredient in eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptol is found in eucalyptus plants, bay leaves, sage, sweet basil, and cardamom.
Eucalyptol is used to relieve pain, improve concentration, enhance meditation, and create a feeling of inner balance. It is still in the early stages of research, but this terpene is showing promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.
Nerolidol has a unique woody smell reminiscent of fresh bark. Nerolidol is found in neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender, and tea tree oil.
Nerolidol contains anti-fungal, anti-cancer, and anti-malarial properties. It may also prevent certain kinds of parasites.
All of the terpene blends that we sell have charts indicating the specific terpenes and their percentages within the mixture. Terpenes health benefits make them a great addition to CBD oil. Check them out now to supplement your CBD oil!