Terpenes like Cannabinoids are a set of organic compounds that exist in the cannabis plant. Terpenes work together to give each cannabis strain a unique flavor and smell. Terpenes pair alongside Cannabinonds which alters the way each strain affects the brain. Terpenes and Cannabinoids create varied effects as they react to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system. Terpenes naturally occur in nature in things like pine, citrus peels, rosemary, sage, mangoes, lemongrass, and many more. While we are still on the forefront of this research, terpenes have become known for their distinct aroma and flavor that determines each strains' unique profile, and specific medicinal qualities. This helps people find strains more suitable for individual needs and desires.
Humulene is an important terpene for cannabis patients because of its distinctive effects. Not only is humulene an effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic, it also acts as an appetite suppressant. Several studies have been completed on humulene signifying its anti-inflammatory properties. In 2007, both humulene and caryophyllene displayed comparable anti-inflammatory responses to steroid alternatives. A year later, Brazilian scientists found that, when used topically, humulene was simultaneously effective in reducing inflammation and offering pain relief. Then in 2009, the oral effects of humulene were analyzed and the results suggested that again, this terpene was highly effective at reducing inflammation, proving its usefulness as a topical or oral supplement. Although it is disappointing that no official studies have been completed on its anorectic properties, it's widely acknowledged throughout the medical cannabis community, especially in testing labs, that humulene works in a similar fashion to the cannabinoid THCV by suppressing appetite. Hopefully in the near future, scientists will work to quantify the anorectic effects of humulene on patients.
**Also found in Hops, Sage, Ginger
Anti-inflammatory, Appetite Suppressant, Pain Relief
Commonly used for Inflammation, Over-Eating Disorders, Pain
Nerolidol is a terpene that gives certain cannabis strains a distinctive woody aroma. Besides contributing to the scent profile, nerolidol can also be used as an antifungal agent or as a natural sleep aid. A study published in 2007 examined nerolidol's effects on skin lesions in guinea pigs and found that it was clinically effective at treating lesions within the first week of application. Although research is still needed on human participants, these early findings are encouraging. A more recent study from 2013 focused on nerolidol's effects on the hippocampus of mice. The researchers discovered that the terpene displayed sedative effects in all animal subjects. Again, more research is needed on humans to validate these findings, but it is not unreasonable that the same effect would still apply.
**Also found in Rosemary, Pine, Dill, Parsley, Hops
Commonly used for Insomnia, Skin Lesions
Myrcene is oftentimes the most abundant terpene in cannabis and it is the reason why some strains smell of cloves and hops. Myrcene has been meticulously studied and the results show that this terpene causes both sedative and analgesic effects with the potential to minimize inflammation. As early as 1990, researchers discovered that myrcene possesses the unique ability to stimulate the release of endogenous opioids, which explains how it is able to reduce nociceptive pain. In the same year, a separate group of researchers also concluded that myrcene offered powerful pain-relieving properties, suggesting that it should be offered as an alternate form of pain medication to the traditionally prescribed aspirin-like pharmaceutical alternatives. Cannabis patients who are looking for a strain that will improve the quality of their sleep should seek a strain that is high in myrcene. A 2002 study showed that myrcene promoted muscle relaxation and increased the sleeping time of mice compared to the control counterparts. Most would assume that the sedative effects produced by myrcene would also work as an anti-depressant and stress reducer, but research has proven this to be false. Interestingly, according to a study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine, high amounts of myrcene can increase anxiety instead of reducing it - something medical cannabis patients want to actively avoid.
**Hops, Thyme, Lemongrass, Mangoes
Anti-inflammatory, Pain Relief, Sedative
Commonly used for Inflammation, Insomnia, Pain
Caryophyllene is considered a highly important terpene because, unlike other terpenes, it is able to activate CB2 receptors throughout the body. This unique trait makes caryophyllene very similar to the cannabinoid CBD because both can be used to eliminate pain, minimize inflammation, and reduce stress. Multiple studies show that as a functional CB2 agonist, caryophyllene has the ability to reduce inflammation, which in turn, helps to alleviate pain. The unique way in which this terpene relieves full-body pain has been a revelation for scientists, because no other terpene has yet been documented to manipulate the endocannabinoid system. Besides being useful for reducing inflammation and pain, caryophyllene has also exhibited stress reducing and anti-depressant properties in mice. Not only that, but some studies also suggest that this terpene can act as a neuroprotectant as well. More research is needed on this front, but the findings are unsurprising given what is already known about CBD. Furthermore, caryophyllene can also be used as an antifungal to eliminate dermatophytes, which are known to cause skin diseases such as ringworm.
**Black Pepper, Cloves, Rosemary, Hops
Anti-depressant, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Neuroprotective, Pain-Reliever, Stress Reducer
Commonly used for Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Inflammation, Pain, Skin Diseases
Limonene, a terpene that is highly prevalent in the rinds of citrus fruits, has the potential to provide numerous health benefits for medical cannabis patients. Studies have shown that limonene is capable of preventing the spread of cancer, managing stress and depression, and reducing inflammation. As early as 1994, Limonene has been studied by researchers to determine its anti-cancer effects. The research showed that limonene possessed anti-carcinogenic effects and was effective at treating early and advanced-stage cancers. These surprising results sparked a wave of interest from other researchers and, over the next decade, additional research confirmed that limonene helped with pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. In 2010, researchers sought to discover other health benefits that limonene could provide, and it was soon revealed that limonene was a useful stress-reducer and anti-depressant as well. Medical marijuana patients who are looking for a strain to help them relax would benefit from a strain containing limonene. Another reason why limonene is such an important cannabis terpenoid is because it helps reduce inflammation. Several studies indicate that limonene reduces inflammation, making it a useful medicine for the treatment of asthma and gastrointestinal issues.
**Rinds of Citrus Fruits
Anti-carcinogenic, Anti-depressant, Anti-inflammatory, Stress Reducer
Commonly used for Anxiety, Stress, Cancer, Depression, Inflammation
Pinene is a bicyclic monoterpene chemical compound that encompasses both alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. Due to misinformation, many believe that cannabis contains only alpha-pinene, but this is simply not true. Both alpha-pinene and beta-pinene are present in cannabis, and oftentimes, contain very similar amounts of each. Pinene is the most common terpenoid found in nature, and it can be used to help medical cannabis patients breathe easier, reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and even improve memory. Asthma patients who desire to medicate with cannabis would be well-suited to vaporize a strain that contains high amounts of pinene. Pinene is considered a bronchodilator, meaning that it helps improve airflow to the lungs. As is the case with numerous other terpenes, pinene can also be used to reduce inflammation. Recent research shows that at non-cytotoxic levels, pinene modulates the body's inflammatory response, making it a useful medication for patients who suffer from osteoarthritis. For patients who suffer from a bacterial infection, pinene has been proven to have antimicrobial and antibacterial capabilities. Studies completed in 2011 and 2012 demonstrated that pinene can be used to treat various bacterial infections including infectious bronchitis viruses. What most people do not expect is that this terpenoid can help improve cognitive ability. By inhibiting acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain, pinene works to improve memory retention.
Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Bronchodilator, Improves Memory Retention
Commonly used for Asthma, Bacterial Infections, Dementia, Inflammation