The frequent mention of the word ‘terpenes’ may have sparked your curiosity. So, what are terpenes? And why are they in the news recently?
Terpenes are organic compounds. They are present in plants, and some animals, and give the plant or animal its distinctive smell. For plants, they help in the process of fertilization by attracting insects.
In the case of animals, however, terpenes act as a defense mechanism by warding off predators.
Terpenes are present in plant resins and essential oils. A common use of terpenes is as an additive in the food industry. However, knowing what terpenes are still doesn’t address the recent buzz around them.
Lately, the terpenes which have become the subject of discussion are the kinds found in cannabis.
Terpenes in cannabis
The cannabis plants consist of a variety of different chemical. Cannabinoids, THC, flavonoids, and terpenes. There are around 100 to 250 different types of terpenes in cannabis alone. They can be cannabinoid or non-cannabinoid.
Interest in cannabis terpenes is not simply because of smell they give the plant, but they perform other vital purposes. In cannabis, terpenes work to enhance the beneficial effects of CBD as well as the psychoactive properties of THC.
THC is the chemical in marijuana that gives the feeling of a high. Recent studies have shown that terpenes in the plant interact with THC. This interaction is the ‘entourage effect.’ Terpenes reduce the psychoactive effects of THC while increasing its beneficial health effects. This research has great potential. By lowering the psychoactive effects of THC, terpenes have the potential to turn THC into a legalized chemical just like CBD.
Terpenes vs. Terpenoids
Terpenes and terpenoids are similar in that they are both are related to the aroma of the cannabis plant and have health benefits. There is one significant difference, however. Terpenes are the original form found in the live plant.
On the other hand, terpenoids are made when the plant is dried and takes up a different form. Terpenoids are simply the altered form of terpenes.
Types of terpenes and their benefits
Like mentioned above, there are hundreds of terpenes present in the cannabis plant. The major ones found in cannabis are as follows:
It is the terpene which gives the cannabis plant its earthy, herbal smell. However, it adds more than just the smell. Myrcene is a pain reliever and reduces inflammation. In fact, Myrcene has been seen to slow down the spread of cancer cells. It is also a major relaxant, so it’s great against anxiety and depression.
This terpene gives an aroma found in pine trees. Just like Myrcene, Pinene has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also antiseptic and has shown the potential to fight cancer.
This one has a citrus scent. Limonene relaxes and helps with the absorption of other terpenes. This terpene has anti-fungal properties and has the potential to fight obesity as well.
It is a terpene with a peppery, spicy scent. This terpene has no psychoactive properties and has shown promising results with reducing the rate at which cancer spreads.
The floral smell of cannabis comes from this terpene. It has calming effects on the body and has anti-inflammatory properties. Linalool also boosts the immune system.
Terpenes are of many different kinds. However, the ones mentioned above are found in larger quantities. Currently, the study on terpenes for their medicinal benefits is ongoing. Research indicates their huge potential in the field of medicine. Terpenes are not merely aromatic chemicals; they serve some very important purposes.
CBD and Terpenes
Like terpenes found in cannabis, CBD or cannabidiol also has a lot of therapeutic properties. CBD has no mind-altering effects and is not addictive. This means the chemical is full of medical benefits and is entirely legal across the country.
CBD usage is on the rise these days. CBD is the main ingredient in epilepsy medication, but it has many other health benefits. These include:
- Pain relief
- Strengthening the immune system
- Reduce the spread of cancer
- Improve heart health
- Reduce weight
- Prevent diabetes
CBD helps improve the working of the brain activity and the immune system. Therefore the chemical is so effective in treating so many different conditions.
CBD is completely legal. CBD oils, tinctures, creams, e-liquids, capsules, edibles are all the rage. Perfectly healthy individuals also consume them to prevent against diseases.
It is expected that 2019 will be the year when CBD will finally get recognized by the FDA. The legal status of CBD has changed over the years, and now its status as a drug is also expected to change.
This is where it gets interesting. Terpenes have already proven to increase the beneficial effects of THC. Using terpenes and CBD together will also have similar effects.
Aside from making CBD even healthier, terpenes also add a pleasant smell. CBD on its own is quite bitter which makes it difficult to eat the edibles made with CBD. Including terpenes into CBD improves its flavor and makes edibles more appetizing.
The final word on terpenes
Terpenes are common, but they hardly get the importance they deserve. They are present in thousands of plant varieties.
In fact, each plant has many different types of terpenes in it. The cannabis plant is a good example of this, having over a hundred different varieties. These terpenes are responsible for the complex aroma found in plants.
Cannabis terpenes have much potential. They not only give the strains of cannabis plants their distinctive smells but serve another vital purpose. The terpenes have medical benefits as well. Quite a lot of these chemicals have relaxing properties like Myrcene is a sedative. They are also excellent at dealing with pain and inflammation.
The most promising aspect of terpenes has to do with their ability to fight against the spread of the cancer cell. This opens a whole new possibility in the field of medicine.
With these points in mind, it seems that CBD and terpenes are a match made in heaven. They are perfectly complementary and enhance each other’s healing properties.
Many companies have already realized the importance of mixing CBD with terpenes. Terpenes help to add a better taste to CBD products. It is a win-win solution for everyone. The users get a CBD product that is more effective, and producers can get a head start on this new trend.