Terpenesare organic compounds attributed to giving plants their notable aroma and taste. Terpenes even have their own medicinal properties! When used synergistically with cannabinoids, terpenes can enhance the effects of the cannabis plant.
Education is an important part of The Grove medical marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas and Pahrump, for both our resident patients and our out of state medical card holders.
Typically, when cannabis is mentioned, the term tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is dropped left and right and is usually recognized as the plant’s main medicinal constituent. In reality, (THC) is one of 483 known compounds in the plant including at least 84 cannabinoids, such as Cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and cannabigerol(CBG).
Another class of pharmacologically beneficial compounds present in cannabis is the terpene. Terpenes (/ˈtɜːrpiːn/) are organic compounds attributed to giving plants their notable aroma and taste. Terpenes are found everywhere in nature in plants and insects. Insects use terpenes as a way of communication and even as a luring mechanism for mating. Some plants such as pine and firs use terpenes as a defense mechanism to ward away predators. Terpenes even have their own medicinal properties!
When used synergistically with cannabinoids, terpenes can enhance the effects of the cannabis plant. As cannabinoids bind to the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, terpenes interact indirectly with them to affect their chemical output by modifying the availability of cannabinoids that pass through the blood-brain barrier. They even enhance neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine by altering the rate of production, destruction, movement, and availability of receptors.
The following information from a variety of marijuana online publications is intended to help you get to know your terpenes:
“As its name suggests, geraniol (also known as lemonol) is most famous for its presence in geraniums, where it helps shape the blossoms’ distinctive, delicate scent. It is also found in a wide range of plants including tobacco and lemons, and interestingly, is produced by honey bees as a means of marking their hives and flowers. Geraniol is a monoterpene alcohol that boils at about 447˚F and frequently occurs in strains that also produce linalool.
Its floral, occasionally fruity aromas and flavors remind many of citronella candles or rose gardens, and occasionally of passionfruit or stonefruits such as peaches and plums. It is used frequently as a fruity flavoring agent, and shows up in an array of bath and body products. Geraniol, like valencene, is known to repel mosquitos.
Potential medical benefits attributed to geraniol include:
Interesting fact: Honey bee’s mark their hives and flowers with Geraniol.
“Terpinolene has a smokey or woody odor and is found in apple, cumin, lilac and tea tree. Terpinolene is also known as δ-terpinene, or delta terpinene.
Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.
Anti-Fungal – Inhibits the growth of fungus.
Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.
Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Antioxidant – Prevents oxidation damage to other molecules in the body.
Terpinolene is neither an analgesic nor an anti-inflammatory, which is surprising as most cannabinoids and terpenoids are one of the two, if not both. It does help fight cancer like most other cannabinoids, and it is anti-fungal as well as anti-bacterial. Terpinolene is a sedative which may also be helpful in cancer treatment if patients have difficulty sleeping, possibly in conjunction with other terpenes or cannabinoids like linalool and cannabinol, Outside of the human body, terpinolene has been shown to be an effective natural method to repel both mosquitoes and weevils.”
Interesting fact: A-Pinene would be a great terpene for a student or looking to focus.
HUMULENE is related to B-Caryophyllene but acts as a different isomer with different distinctive properties.
“Humulene naturally occurs in clove, basil, hops, and cannabis sativa. It carries a subtle earthy, woody aroma with spicy herbal notes you might recognize in some of your favorite strains. Though cannabis is commonly associated with appetite simulation, humulene is actually known to suppress hunger.
A popular and oft-found terpene, B-Caryophyllene has some interesting medicinal properties as well
“Because it targets CB2 receptors and delivers no high, BCP is an effective way to medicate while avoiding any alteration in perception or motor skills. It can be used to treat several inflammatory disorders, including arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Like its cousins pinene and limonene, BCP has also been shown to fight cancer, reduce anxiety and depression, and has even been found to be gastroprotective — meaning it can be used to treat ulcers.
BCP also is helpful for those suffering from atherosclerosis and osteoporosis and can even increases bone mass and blocks pain signals, all while avoiding any interference with the nervous system. Because so many other cannabinoids and terpenes act as analgesics (pain killers), BCP is more evidence of the entourage effect, a theory explaining how a variety of terpenes and cannabinoids work synergistically to improve health or fight disease.”
“Limonene has numerous medicinal benefits including promoting weight loss, aiding digestion, and preventing gastric distress. It has been shown to be an anti-fungal agent, making it a natural remedy for athlete’s foot or outbreaks of yeast. Limonene also shows promise as a treatment for anxiety and depression. Most interestingly, limonene has been shown both to stimulate the immune system and be an effective treatment for cancer.”
“Myrcene (or β-myrcene) is a terpene that occurs often in highly fragrant plants and herbs such as mangoes, hops, bay laurel leaves, thyme, lemongrass, and basil. Myrcene is produced by numerous cannabis strains, and some have suggested that it lends sedative, indica-like effects (including “couch-lock”) to strains containing more than 0.5% of this terpene.
Another place you’ll find myrcene is in mangoes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that eating a ripe mango prior to consuming cannabis may accentuate or extend the psychoactive effects of cannabis; some have suggested that this is due to the fruit’s concentrations of myrcene, which is naturally synergistic with THC and allows cannabinoids to more easily bridge the blood-brain barrier.