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Cannabis Terpenes

Cannabis Terpenes: What are they, and what exactly do they do?

So you may already be asking… wait… what’s a Terpene? Fair question… and to answer it, Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds found all throughout Nature. Whenever you peel a nice large orange, and get that burst of citrus smell… that’s a Terpene called Limonene producing that smell.

Terpenes are essentially responsible for the scent and/or taste associated with a plant, flower, fruit, and are widely used in Aromatherapy due to how they affect the human brain through scent. Lavender calms, while Citrus energizes. Each has a unique role to play.

Terpenes also have a powerful effect on the body, and mind medically. Many clinical studies have shown some to have neuro-protective effects, while many others to be anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-tumor, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant even in small amounts.

In regard to Cannabis, almost everyone in this day and age knows the smell. The smell is immediately recognizable, which is a result of… you guessed it… Terpenes. The Cannabis plant contains over 200 known Terpenes, and the vast majority of them has had little research done, but there are a fair amount of known terpenes.

There are approximately 15 Cannabis Terpenes that are beneficial to the human mind, and body that science is aware of presently. We’ll discuss a handful of the most widely known ones here. When Terpenes combine with Cannabinoids, an effect known as the Entourage Effect might be achieved. While individual Terpenes have specific effects, combined, research is showing that they may have entirely different effects of a more powerful nature. We’ll list off some of the more common, but beneficial Terpenes.

Myrcene is perhaps the most common Terpene that’s found in Cannabis, and is responsible for pain relief, and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s also the Terpene that will lend itself to couch lock if the percent of Myrcene is really high. Indicas tend to have high levels of Myrcene, while Sativas typically will have a lower percent.

With all that said, Myrcene is the Terpene that increases the effect of your high so to speak. On a side note… I read that if you eat a Mango about 45 minutes before you smoke, it will increase the effect dramatically. Apparently Mango's are loaded with Myrcene.

Limonene is the second most widely seen Terpene in Cannabis, and is easily recognizable by its citrus scent. Limonene can typically be found in orange, and lemon rinds.

Limonene alters the way some immune cells in the body behave, which might help protect the body from a wide range of disorders. In this study, Limonene helped increase the production of antibody producing cells in the spleen, and in bone marrow. These cells are in turn used by the immune system to identify, and neutralize bacteria, and viruses.

Linalool is another Terpene that is found in Cannabis, but typically in a lower dose. Linalool is most commonly found in Indica strains, and combined with higher amounts of Myrcene… it can create a strong body high, or even couch lock.

Linalool is typically found in Lavender, and a few other plants such as Coriander, and Kiwifruit. Linalool has a long history of being used as an anti-anxiety agent. This is due to the fact that essential oil of lavender is believed to be antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anxiolytic. Lavender/Linalool is often used to help patients manage anxiety.

Beta-caryophyllene is another Terpene found in decent amounts in Cannabis. Unlike most other terpenes however, Beta-caryophyllene directly activates the CB2 receptors in the bodies endocannabinoid system… a naturally occurring neuro-endocrine network that is present throughout the body, consisting of the brain, nervous system, heart and organs.

The ECS regulates many physiologic functions including discomfort, inflammation, immunity, hunger, intestinal functions, memory and movement. As a result, it supports our immune system, helps reduce inflammation, and helps anxiety, and chronic pain. Black pepper and cinnamon are the two best-known spices for Beta-caryophyllene, although you can find it throughout your garden in basil, oregano, lavender, and rosemary.

In our next article, we’ll discuss a few more Terpenes, and then show how they are little powerhouses, that in some cases even in small amounts… They have a very big impact on our mental, and physical state. As with many things found in Nature... Terpenes, and Cannabis have quite a lot of beneficial qualities, and properties.

As more research is conducted, we’re finding out that our bodies were designed to consume Cannabis in various forms. Being equipped with an Endocannabinoid system, and CBD and THC receptors… it becomes a little clearer that this plant, and it’s Terpenes and Cannabinoids offer very powerful health benefits.