Terpenes are naturally produced by all plants on earth and are the essential oil that gives each plant its unique scent, flavour and effect. Though many people commonly associate them with cannabis because cannabis plants contain high concentrations of them. Cannabis produces more than 200 terpenes, but only approximately 30 of them are in significant quantities and in medicines.
Terpenes bind to receptors in the brain, working in harmony with your endocannabinoid system to help bring homeostasis to the body. Historically, essential oils have been used for thousands of years to help with illness and cure specific ailments. Effects on the human body can include inhibiting serotonin uptake, enhancing norepinephrine activity, increasing dopamine and augmenting GABA. Terpenes also play a significant role in boosting the therapeutic effect of the cannabis plan, known as “entourage effect”.
The well-known terpenes:
Beta-caryophyllene exists in many herbs and vegetables, such as cloves and black pepper.
It is the only terpene known to act on the endocannabinoid system, which regulates a variety of physiological processes.
Research shows that molecules which selectively target the CB2 receptor of the endocannabinoid system may help to treat anxiety and depression.
Beta-caryophyllene may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body that could reduce pain levels in some people, has mood stabilizer properties (can be helpful in controlling anxiety and depression), as well as antifungal/antibacterial properties.
Myrcene is found in mango, hops, thyme, lemongrass, but most commonly in cannabis.
Myrcene is known for its sedative, analgesic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effects. It is known to induce sleep but its concentration determines whether a strain has an energizing or sedative effect (Strains containing more than 0.5 percent of myrcene have a sedative effect, while strains containing less than 0.5 percent myrcene produce an energizing effect) (indica vs sativa).
Myrcene can be used as an aid for sleep, a muscle relaxant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory agent or for management of neurological conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson disease.
Myrcene has pain-reduction properties similar to opioids, but without the side effects and addiction.
Limonene is found in lemon, citrus fruits and in large quantities in cannabis plants.
Medicinal properties include antioxidant, anticancer, anxiolytic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulant.
Limonene appears to modulate the way certain immune cells behave, which may protect the body from a range of disorders.
Linalool is found in Flowers, Lavender, Citrus, Fresh Spice.
Linalool has analgesic, anti-seizure, sedative, antibacterial, anti-cancer, antifungal properties. Linalool can be used as a sedative, mood stabiliser, anti-inflammatory and analgesics, muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant.
Pinene is found in earthy pines, as well as numerous herbs and spices. Pinene provides the fresh, bright scent of many plants, including pine needles, rosemary, and basil.
Pinene has bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory, memory retention and broad-spectrum antibacterial properties. It works to inhibit the negative effects of THC in the brain.
Shinrin yoku, which means “forest bathing,” is a Japanese therapy that involves taking leisurely walks in the forest, soaking up the atmosphere, and enjoying the scent.