Cannabis Terpenes and Its Benefits
Cannabis and Terpenes:
While Cannabis was previously seen as a recreational drug and the focus remained on 'THC' the active ingredient that gave people the 'high', the dialogue has now moved towards the other compounds in cannabis, including cannabinoid e.g. CBD Oil and 'terpenes' being studied for its medicinal value.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a compound found in plants, including cannabis, thought to create the differences in the aroma or fragrance of the cannabis strains. Some botanists and scientists use the term 'essential oil' to describe the properties of terpenes. Each individual terpene profile is responsible for a specific quality, taste, and the effect of interaction on the receptor.
Types of Terpenes and CBD Oil
Combining the 200 different terpene profiles with different cannabinoids creates a unique “entourage effect,” said to describe how each unique cannabinoids and terpenes, reacts with every individual. This combination creates a synergy that enhances the therapeutic benefits.
The unique quality of the terpene structure provides the characteristic of the aroma and helps identify the strain. Like the CBD oil with a citrus flavor profile will contain Limonene and other terpenes.
Terpenes will interact with the CBD individually to create different benefits to the user by effecting the neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain. The individual may see an increase in dopamine activity or enhancement of norepinephrine activity.
The distinction for terpenes is that along with Cannabinoids, terpenes are suggested to be the main physiologically active constituents in cannabis. This allows them to interact with cannabinoids by either assisting or hindering the effects cannabinoids may have on the receptor.
Role and Benefits of Terpenes:
Considering this interaction, research around cannabis terpenes has increased and the flavor profiles, the levels of terpene etc. are being studied to understand the effects it may have in different ways. Understanding that cannabis contains 200 terpenes, individual terpenes are being researched progress knowledge on its interactions, effects and benefits including but not limited to:
- Therapeutic Effects of terpene through Aromatherapy
- The terpene, Limonene, is being researched to understand the chemo preventive effects that would help reduce the spread of cancer cells.
- Β-caryophyllene, is being researched to see its effect on suppressing cancer cell and tumor growth.
- Linalool research could potentially help inhibit seizures in people with epilepsy.
- β-caryophyllene studies have shown an anti-inflammatory effect on the human body.
- Utilizing the impact of terpenes with other cannabis compounds to find out the entourage synergy and help implement it within various drug productions.
The main area of interest in understanding terpenes is moving towards the potential therapeutic role of the compounds. Some studies have shown an association of terpenes with a range of other medical actions like, "anti‐inflammatory, anti‐anxiety, anti‐oxidant, anti‐neoplastic, anti‐bacterial, and anti‐malarial properties." (Hillig KW, Mahlberg PG. A chemotaxonomic analysis of cannabinoid variation in Cannabis (Cannabaceae). Am J Bot. 2004;91:966‐975.)
The benefits of Terpenes