TERPENES FOR BETTER HEALTH
When we hear about terpenes in cannabis, we mostly think of their role in the plant’s aroma without much thought to the role they play in the plant’s health benefits as well as the type of high we get.
The Entourage Effect is a well-known term used to explain how terpenes interact with the active compounds THC and CBD found in cannabis. However, research shows that terpenes also have effects of their own.
As terpenes play a major role in differentiating the effects of various cannabis strains, users (both medicinal and recreational) can use them as a tool in determining their ideal strain.
With over 200 different terpenes in cannabis alone, there is still much research to be done to fully understand each terpene. However, scientists have studied some of the most common and abundant terpenes found in cannabis, Let’s take a closer look at these terpenes and their wide-ranging and diverse effects. ⠀⠀
Pinene is one of the most common cannabis terpenes that carries a distinct pine scent. This aromatic terpene can also be found in rosemary, dill, basil, and parsley. ⠀⠀
There are two types, alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, but alpha-pinene is most prevalent in cannabis. ⠀⠀
Whether used aromatically or topically, the many benefits of alpha-pinene prove promising in improving overall health and well-being. Studies show that pinene can be a bronchodilator, increasing airflow to the lungs and helping with conditions such as asthma. Like many terpenes and cannabinoids, pinene is both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, making it useful for a sufferer of chronic pain. Pinene helps fight cancer by encouraging apoptosis and being an anti-proliferative. Pinene is an antioxidant and even appears to aid in memory retention.
This is the most common terpene in the world and is commonly found in higher concentrations in cannabis sativa strains like Jack Herer, Chemdawg, Bubba Kush, Trainwreck, and Silver Haze. Pinene is also crucial to our bodies because it forms the biosynthetic base for CB2 ligands in the endocannabinoid system.
Mango lovers typically enjoy the sweet, tropical fruit for its unparalleled flavor and extreme juiciness, but there is another reason they leave you feeling replenished after eating them – the terpene myrcene. ⠀
Known for its recognizable earthy smell, myrcene is also known for its ability to calm and relax both the mind and body. ⠀⠀
Myrcene is a monoterpene that is a crucial precursor in the forming of other new terpenes. It is also synergistic with THC #bonus , which means it offers easy access for cannabinoids to pass the blood-brain barrier. Who doesn’t like easy access? ⠀⠀
Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, sometimes composing up to 50 percent of the terpene volume in a cannabis plant and offers many therapeutic effects including anti-inflammatory properties, analgesic effects, and antimutagenic influences (which alter a substance’s capacity to make a cell mutate or change). Myrcene also acts as a sedative and an antibiotic.
Indica-dominant strains often have higher levels of myrcene and are often the result of what is referred to as “couch lock,” a very deep state of relaxation, and intense chill. ⠀⠀⠀⠀
Anyone who has been to an Indian restaurant or uses a wealth of spices when cooking has most likely encountered caryophyllene. From cinnamon French toast to peppery steaks to your favourite on tap brewski, caryophyllene has been used as a flavoring agent to enhance a citrusy or spicy profile. ⠀⠀
Besides its wide usages in food and beverages, caryophyllene or Beta-caryophyllene is a common and often abundant terpene found in cannabis.
Caryophyllene with its sweet, woody, spicy, clove-like smell is one of the only non-cannabinoids shown to directly activate endocannabinoid receptors. In fact, Caryophyllene selectively binds to the CB2 receptor and can be classed as an atypical cannabinoid.
Caryophyllene-rich cannabis strains such as Death Star, Sour Bubble, Candyland, GSC among others, may, therefore, have specific medicinal benefits due to this terpene’s effect on our endocannabinoid system.
The many therapeutic uses of Caryophyllene include alcohol craving reduction, analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-coagulant, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, anti-proliferative, gastric protection and neuroprotection — to name a few.
When it comes to aromatherapy, we often find products that increase relaxation and reduce stress laced with the fragrant smell of lavender or jasmine. Many who are wanting to boost their health and well-being look to this scent for its ability to take the edge off of a stressful day or help them finally relax into an honest night’s sleep. Linalool is the terpene that is responsible for helping to calm the nerves and ease the mind and is also found in many other plants and herbs like cannabis, coriander, birch, and rosewood as well as a variety of mint and laurel plants.
Besides its wide usages in aromatherapy Linalool’s powerful floral and spicy fragrance can not only help reduce anxiety, stress but even some symptoms associated with depression, inflammation (which helps with the underlying causes of many chronic pain conditions including arthritis and fibromyalgia) and has antiepileptic properties that can help with seizures and convulsions.
Linalool-rich cannabis strains such as amnesia haze, LA confidential, lavender, purple Kush and Pink Kush among others, will have a floral, slightly spicy aroma similar to lavender. ⠀⠀
Do you know why strains like Super Lemon Haze, Chernobyl, and Tangie give us a sweet citrus fragrance? That’s limonene, the second most common terpene in nature and a prominent terpene in cannabis. The aroma from citrus fruit peels is comprised mostly of limonene, so yes, it is not a coincidence, this terpene takes its name from the limon.
Research of the entourage effect in cannabis has shown that limonene activates synergies with many other cannabinoids and terpenes. This terpene interacts positively with cannabinoids THC-A, CBD-A, CBC, CBG, and with other terpenes such as caryophyllene and linalool. Also, the increased cell permeability helps to smooth the way for the absorption of other substances by the human body.
Mood elevation and euphoria are typical effects from cannabis strains high in limonene (mostly sativa – but some indica strains can have significant amounts of this terpene as well). Limonene can also provide relief of digestive issues by its potent antibacterial and antifungal effects.
Limonene’s benefits also include: Helps boost the body’s cancer-fighting systems, moderates the effects of THC in the brain to reduce the anxiety and paranoia it can sometimes cause. ⠀⠀
Strains considered sativa tend to have higher levels of limonene, although there are a variety of indica and hybrid strains that have high levels as well. Any strain containing “lemon” or other citrus fruits in its name is likely to contain higher amounts of limonene, although some other “non-lemon” strains are packed with this particular terpene such as OG Kush and Sour Diesel. ⠀⠀
Do you know beer and weed share something in common? I’ll give you a hint… It’s what gives hoppy beers their distinct taste and aroma.
Humulene is not only responsible for giving beer and cannabis its unique scent, but is found in a wide variety of plants and have been used in Eastern medicine for centuries. Humulene, formerly known as α-caryophyllene carries a subtle earthy or musky aroma with spicy undertones. Classified as a sesquiterpene, humulene is abundant in hops, sage, ginger, ginseng, and cannabis. ⠀⠀
But there’s more to humulene than its enticing aroma, this terpene has proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and appetite suppressant!
Humulene is present in many therapeutic-grade essential oils and is believed to be an active mechanism in fighting tumors and suppression of appetite. ⠀⠀
Humulene’s unique ability to regulate appetite stimulation and make it a terpene to watch for during cannabis strain selection, particularly if the desired effect is to induce appetite. ⠀⠀
It should be noted that due to the similarity in biogenetics humulene and caryophyllene have a close relationship and amplify each other’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Some strains that are known to test high in humulene include White Widow, Girl Scout Cookies, Pink Kush, Sour Diesel, and Skywalker OG. ⠀⠀
Ocimene is a terpene noted as having a sweet, herbaceous, and woody aroma. Some also describe it as fruity and slightly citric. Found in a variety of fruits and herbs such as mint, parsley, basil, mangoes, orchids, oregano and tarragon, Ocimene is commonly used in perfumes and fragrances. Although it’s Ocimene’s numerous medical benefits that make this terpene especially sweet!
Studies have shown that Ocimene aids in the treatment of diabetic symptoms by inhibiting the increasing of key enzymes. This research analyzed the essential oils of black pepper seeds naming ocimene as a key constituent. Ocimene is shown to have anti-oxidative properties as well as the ability to proliferate key enzymes connected to type 2 diabetes.
But there’s more! Other therapeutic uses of Ocimene include anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antibacterial and decongestant.
Ocimene is known to be more prevalent in sativa dominant strains, possibly playing a key role in the strain’s classification. ⠀⠀
Strains that are known to test high in Ocimene include: OG Kush, Sour Diesel, White Fire OG, Chocolope, Dutch Treat, Super Lemon Haze and Amnesia.
Have you ever heard of bud described as smelling fresh? This is due to Terpinolene.
Terpinolene is considered an elusive terpene — At least in regards to cannabis. Most strains don’t have any at all and those that do tend to have very low amounts. Its subtle aroma is unlike the more notable Linalool that produces a distinct floral smell. Or Limonene that smells of citrus. Or Pinene— you guessed it, pine. Terpinolene, though, carries a blend of scents: It’s piney, floral, herbaceous, and even a little citrusy. And therefore, will often be described as “fresh.” Like most terpenes, terpinolene isn’t unique to cannabis. It also shows up in a variety of other fragrant plants including tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin, and lilacs. ⠀⠀
Unlike other terpenes found in cannabis, terpinolene is neither an analgesic nor an anti-inflammatory.
What puts this terpene on the map is not only its anti-fungal, anti-oxidant and antibacterial properties— but it’s one synergetic performance that enhances the action of THC and CBD!
Studies have also shown Terpinolene as a potential cancer-fighting agent by demonstrating traits that inhibit cancer cell proliferation, and as a mild seductive
by depressing the central nervous system, and therefore inducing drowsiness and reducing excitement or anxiety.
Terpinolene is known to be more prevalent in sativa dominant strains including Dutch Treat, Jack Herer, Pineapple Jack, J1, Super Jack, Lemon Sour Diesel, Afghani and Jean Guy.
TELL US, what is your favourite strains that contains these terpenes? Or, do you choose your strain based on the terpenes? comment below or tag us with #kingtutsterps @kingtutsca on social media :)
STAY LIFTED WEED FAM!