Terpenes

Plant terpenes are a natural component of cannabis that gives the plant it’s potent fragrance & identifiable aroma. Cannabis varieties have a complex scent and flavor because of terpenes, with richly recognizable smells such as citrus, pine, lavender and mint. 

Terpenes are the aromatic chemicals produced by many plants, including hemp, which give the plant its unique smell and taste. Terpenes have recently started to attract scientists’ attention because of their unusual properties and possible therapeutic applications. The terpene aromas aid in their absorption and their combination with cannabinoids can amplify the effect of hemp CBD products.

In the simplest terms, terpenes are fragrant, volatile aromatic chemicals that are produced by the flower’s resin glands.

 

If you want to get more technical, terpenes are a class of organic compounds known as ‘aromatic hydrocarbons’, many of which have been found to produce a complex interaction between other terpenes present in the plant and cannabinoids like CBD and THC to produce synergistic-effects. (Entourage Effect)

There are over 200 terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant; each cannabis strain has a unique terpene profile.

Also found in: mangoes, hops, thyme, lemongrass.

MYRCENE

Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis plants. Myrcene concentration dictates whether a cannabis strain will have a Indica or Sativa effect. Strains containing over 0.5% myrcene produce a more “sedative” high while strains containing less than 0.5% have an “energizing” effect.

Also found in mango, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus, lemongrass and many other plants, it smells similar to cloves, with a herbal, balsamic, spicy aroma. It has an earthy undertones of red grape and musk.

 

Therapeutically, this terpene is most responsible for feelings of lethargy, sleep and apathy. Myrcene has chemical properties that lower resistance across the blood/brain barrier, allowing it and many other chemicals to cross the barrier more easily and quickly.

Myrcene can work in synergy with other cannabinoids to reduce inflammatory response & as an anti-mutagenic (inhibits cancer cell growth and cell mutation).  It also has antibiotic healing properties. Along with Linalool and CBD, it produces a calm, relaxation both mentally and physically.

Myrcene is the most-studied terpene in the cannabis plant and is being proven to have many benefits. However, a review of the scientific literature reveals that while the increased presence if Myercene has been alleged to lower resistance across the blood-brain-barrier, allowing other cannabinoids more effective entry into the brain and CNS, this inference has NOT BEEN PROVEN and should not be offered as a potential therapeutic enhancement until further studies can elucidate a precise mechanism of action.

Also found in : confer trees, orange peels & rosemary.

PINENE

As you may have guessed from the name, Pinene gives certain cannabis strains that fresh pine scent and flavor. Pinene is clear and colorless and accounts for cannabis’s familiar odor–often associated with pine trees and turpentine.

Pinene is the most common naturally occurring terpenoid in nature and acts as both an anti-inflammatory & bronchodilator to help improve the airflow and respiratory functions.

Therapeutically, Pinene acts as a analgesic (pain relief), antibacterial, antibiotic and antioxidant to prevent oxidation damage to other molecules in the body. It also promotes ‘alertness’, counters short-term memory loss and acts as an anti-proliferation agent (inhibits cancer cell growth). Scientific studies show it to be a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Also found in basil, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, oregano and rosemary.

CARYOPHYLLENE

Renowned as the first-ever “dietary cannabinoid” for over a decade now, β-caryophyllene (BCP) may not be as well known as other cannabis terpenes–but you would know it if you tasted it.

Born from a combination of iso- caryophyllene and α-humulene, it is known for giving strains their distinct peppery aroma. This peppery terpene has been investigated for its ability to treat neuropathic pain & inflammation.

Therapeutically, β–Caryophyllene is a common constituent of the essential oils of numerous spice and food plants and is the only known terpene that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to produce anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects by selectively binding to the CB2 receptor and is a functional CB2 agonist.

Besides its analgesic and anxiolytic properties, some studies have found that caryophyllene has a very promising role in alcohol rehabilitation & even recommended caryophyllene for treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Also found in mint, pepper, basil and orchid flowers.

OCIMENE

Ocimene is frequently used in perfumes for it’s pleasant odor. In nature, this terpene contributes to a plant’s defenses and possess anti-fungal properties.

Ocimene is also believed to be a protective agent or part of a plant’s defense mechanism against harmful elements. Pests like aphids, which can be highly detrimental to cannabis crops, steer clear of strains with this terpene the same way mosquitos stay away from citrus oils in certain varieties of geraniums.

The aroma of Ocimene is herbaceous, floral and sweet.

Therapeutically, studies found supporting evidence that Ocimene containing oils have the potential to suppress the production of several different inflammatory substances emitted by the immune system.

Ocimene was shown to have anti-oxidative properties as well as the ability to inhibit key enzymes connected to type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Also found in rose grass, peaches, and plums.

GERANIOL

As its name suggests, Geraniol (also known as lemonol) is most famous for its presence in geraniums, where it helps form the blossoms’ distinctive, delicate scent.

It’s also present in roses. Geraniol emits a rosey scent that makes it a popular perfume additive. Geriniol, like Valencene, has been shown to be an effective plant-based mosquito repellent. Bees even produce it as a means of marking their hives and nectar-bearing flowers.

Therapeutically, Geraniol has shown a lot of potential as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant. Other potential medical benefits associated with this cannabis terpene include: antioxidant, anti-tumor, neuroprotectant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-spasmodic.

Also found in: lavender, coriander, birch, rosewood.

LINALOOL

Linalool gives some cannabis strains a floral aroma, reminiscent of a bouquet of Spring flowers with spicy overtones. It’s best known for the pleasant floral odor it gives hundreds of different plants including lavender, citrus, cinnamon, laurel, birch, coriander and rosewood.

Linalool has been used for thousands of years as a calmative, tranquilizing sleep aid. It possesses sedative properties and is an effective anxiety, stress reliever.

It’s also been used as an analgesic and anti-epileptic and is most often in cannabis strains that are helpful in coping with PTSD and anxiety. This terpene is favored by medical Cannabis users who want to overcome opioid addiction.

Also found in: citrus rinds, juniper, peppermint.

LIMONENE

Limonene is the second most prevalent terpene in cannabis but not all plants have it. Limoene has a ‘citrusy’ smell that resembles lemons. This is a dominant terpene in strains with a primarily relaxing effect.

Limonene is a fresh smelling terpene that aids in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and mucus membranes and has been used to treat anxiety and depression.

Therapeutically, Limonene has been discovered to be an effective anti-fungal and can also help with things like weight loss. Used in alternative medicine, Limonene has the ability to reduce heartburn and gastric acid reflux with very low toxicity.

One study even announcing that limonene may play a role in reducing tumor size.

Also found in ginseng, sage, and sunflowers.

HUMULENE

α-Humulene adds the “hoppy” aroma to cannabis and beer. Multiple varieties of humulene are used in brewing beer as it commonly occurs in the flowering hops plant.

Therapeutically, this terpene exhibits anti-inflammatory activity and is proved to be effective in suppressing appetite, which could make it a potential weight loss tool.

Furthermore, like many other terpenes mentioned above, humulene also reduces inflammation, relieves pain and fights bacterial infections.

Also found in Nutmeg, tea tree, cumin, apples and lilacs.

TERPINOLENE

Studies have shown Terpinolene to exhibit antioxidant and anticancer effects, making it a highly interesting terpene. Part of the reason Terpinolene shows up so often in commercial soaps and perfumes is that it’s described as having a “fresh” scent. Terpinolene has a piney, floral, herbaceous, and even a little citrusy scent.

Therapeutically, when inhaled, studies suggest this terpene has a calming, relaxing sedative effect. As an essential oil, Terpinolene may have antibacterial and antifungal qualities.

It could also protect against heart disease by preventing atherogenesis.

Also found in: lilacs, pine trees, lime blossoms, eucalyptus sap.

TERPINEOL

Terpineol is most commonly found in cannabis plants that have high levels of a-Pinene. Subsequently, it can be hard to smell because the strong smell of pine can overwhelm the scent of terpineol. Terpineol is known for it’s pleasant floral smell, used in soaps and perfumes and it contributes to the distinctive, pine smoke-based aroma of lapsang souchong tea.

Therapeutically, it is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects with mild relaxing, sedative effects.

VALENCENE

Valencene gets its name from the place it’s most commonly found: Valencia oranges and gives cannabis it’s citrus aroma. Valencene is often used as a flavoring ingredient and aromatic additive.

The fragrant terpene is responsible for familiar citrus aromas frequently found in a wide variety of cleaning products and air-fresheners. Some studies show that this terpene could have anti-inflammatory properties along with being a repellent of ticks and mosquitos.

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Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.