As cannabis-derived products become more popular throughout the world, more researchers are studying this fascinating plant in order to gain a better understanding of how it works and how it has the potential to benefit the human body. We all know that cannabinoids like CBD and CBN have the potential to offer a wide variety of healing benefits to the body and mind, but there’s another class of compounds that’s starting to gain a reputation of its own.
Terpenes are, in a way, the latest fad to hit the natural health market, and for good reason. These unique chemical compounds seem to boast a wide array of benefits on their own, and because of that, more and more companies are finding brilliant ways to extract these compounds using the most advanced technology on the market today.
So, what are terpenes, and are they worth it? We’ll be explaining these compounds so that you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to jump into the world of terpenes.
What are Terpenes, Anyway?
Terpenes, to put it simply, are chemical compounds that naturally exist in the essential oils of plants. These compounds are not like the cannabinoids that are unique to the cannabis plant. In fact, every plant contains its own unique composition of terpenes, and these terpenes exist primarily to repel predators while attracting pollination.
When it comes to cannabis, there are certain terpenes that are more prominent than others. The unique composition of terpenes in a particular cannabis plant determines its strain, which is why certain strains of cannabis are more known for their relaxing properties while others are more stimulating.
What Can Terpenes Do?
Each terpene is associated with its own variety of potential health benefits. Potential health benefits found in many terpenes include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) activity. So, if you’re trying to tackle a particular issue, it’s good to learn about how different terpenes produce different effects so that you can seek out those specific terpenes when choosing a product.
The Most Popular Terpenes and How They Work
Now, let’s get into the most popular terpenes that naturally exist in the cannabis plant. We’ll be breaking down how these terpenes work so that you can have a better idea of what to look for if you’re trying to treat a specific ailment.
Myrcene is a very prominent terpene that exists in concentrations of 20 or so percent in the majority of popular cannabis strains. The more myrcene exists in a particular strain, the more likely it is to be an indica strain, which means that it’s associated with relaxation rather than energy.
Myrcene is largely known for its sleep-promoting and muscle-relaxing abilities. Additionally, myrcene is know for its high level of anti-inflammatory activity, which is why some people report that they feel relief from pain after consuming it.
In terms of its flavor profile, myrcene is known for having an earthy taste.
Limonene is also a highly prominent terpene found in cannabis, and it’s what gives the plant its citrusy flavor notes. Limonene is associated more with sativa strains because of its uplifting properties, allowing it to gently stimulate the brain while providing a mood-lifting effect, which is why it’s so popular among those dealing with depression.
Additionally, many believe that limonene can benefit the digestive tract, and that it can also ward off bacterial infections because of its antibacterial properties.
Carophyllene is a unique terpene in that it seems to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system in the same way that cannabinoids do. It seems that CB2 receptors in the body respond to this terpene and use it to promote healing. This terpene is also known for its spicy aroma and flavor that gives cannabis that notable kick.
If you’re looking for pain relief, carophyllene is a terpene to pay attention to. It seems to contain powerful anti-inflammatory activity, and it may also help speed up the body’s healing process because of its unique effect on CB2 receptors in the brain.
Alpha-pinene, as the name implies, gives cannabis its pine-like fragrance and flavor. Pinene seems to have energy-boosting properties and may be able to improve cognition in terms of memory, concentration and stamina.
Additionally, this terpene seems to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that give it the ability to alleviate pain. It may also be able to help alleviate inflammation along the airways, making it potentially useful for someone who suffers from asthma.
Beta-pinene, as you can imagine, is very close to alpha-pinene, except it’s more associated with antidepressant properties, which is why you’ll mostly find it in sativa strains in high concentrations. Its flavor and aroma are that of pine, just like alpha-pinene.
Terpineol tends to be abundant in pinene-heavy strains, and its flavor and aroma are actually very similar. It seems to act as a natural sedative, and may have a lot to do with the way in which certain strains make a person feel extremely sleepy. In addition to its sleep-inducing effects, it seems to relieve stress, soothe inflammation and provide the body with antioxidants.
Borneol is a fairly prominent terpene that is associated with pain relief and anxiety relief. It has actually been used for its medicinal purposes for centuries. Some believe that borneol can benefit the cardiovascular system while treating neuropathy.
Linalool has a distinctive floral flavor and aroma, and it’s found in many strains of cannabis. It’s known both for its profound pain-relieving properties as well as its sedative-like effects, which is why it’s typically associated with indica strains. It has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may be able to help a person fall asleep soundly.
With its minty aroma and flavor, eucalyptol is a very popular terpene that seems to have many different medicinal uses. Its analgesic properties may be able to help numb pain, while its stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties may help open up the airways.
Nerolidol has a woodsy and citrusy flavor and aroma, and it’s very good at fighting parasites, bacteria and fungus. For therapeutic purposes, it can be taken for its sedative properties. Additionally, it may be able to help the immune system fight bacterial infections.
Explore The World of Terpenes Today!
The world of terpenes is fascinating and having a good understanding for how different terpenes produce unique effects will help you zero in on your unique needs better than ever before. Use this guide to understand the major differences between the most popular cannabis-derived terpenes. Doing so will help you make a much more informed decision when it’s time to purchase a product.