Terpenes are aromatic organic hydrocarbons. They are found in large quantities in some plants, including the chemical composition of cannabis. The secretory cells of plants synthesize terpenes when exposed to light. In short, they are the main components of essential oils of plant species. They form the main odor aromas of each plant.
The natural role of Terpenes
Terpenes are protective means for the plant. They defend it against insects, bacteria, fungi, or environmental changes.
What are Terpenes? What Are Their Benefits?
The benefits of terpenes are not exhaustive and depend on several factors. However, they all share two fundamental virtues: the odorification of plants and the interaction with light. They have a therapeutic potential that has been known for a long time.
In Japan, there is a custom called Shirin-yoku which consists of taking forest baths in areas rich in terpenes. These improve mental and physical health by strengthening the immune system and reducing stress levels. They also have beneficial effects on inflammation, cancer, appetite…
Here are some very common terpenes with their own benefits.
It is found in cannabis, hops, berries, thyme, and eucalyptus… With a flavor comparable to clove, it brings an earthy, spicy taste and grape notes to plants. It is believed to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Studies have shown that it blocks the action of cytochrome and aflatoxin which are carcinogens.
Rosemary, peppermint and citrus fruits contain it. In cannabis, it is the second most common terpene after myrcene. It is also antifungal and antibacterial. Anxiolytic and antidepressant, it stimulates the attention and the concentration. According to some studies, limonene optimizes the absorption of other terpenes and their effects.
It is what gives lavender its particular floral smell. It is also found in bay leaves and mint. It is also present in cosmetic and household products. Its therapeutic properties are numerous: sedation, relaxation, sleep aid, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, healing, etc.
Still called BCP, it is an antifungal, antioxidant, antidepressant, and anxiolytic. This terpene with a woody and spicy flavor is effective against localized pain. It is present in black pepper and cloves which, when applied as a grandmother’s remedy, helps to heal toothaches. It also fights inflammation, neuropathic pain and the chronic pain of arthritis.
BCP interacts with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system and in this sense behaves as a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Present in foods approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), it is considered a dietary cannabinoid.
Terpenes Function In CBD
The roles of terpenes have been much more studied in the context of research on cannabinoids, particularly CBD, whose effects they potentiate. The latest results highlight a synergy of action between terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. This is the entourage effect.
What are the uses of Terpenes?
The terpenes are much used in aromatherapy to relieve many problems. For a relaxing effect, for example, the choice will be made on the lavender because of the presence of linalool in great proportion. Today, they are increasingly used in the hemp industry.
Thanks to the multiple combinations of terpenes present in each cannabis plant, an infinite spectrum of cannabis aromas and scents can be created. In addition to this indication, they serve as an inhibitor, catalyst, or potentiator of the effects of cannabinoids contained in the plant.
A recent study published in 2011 in the British Journal of Pharmacology suggests a potential combination of terpenes and phytocannabinoids in well-defined proportions in order to identify a therapeutic potential. To go in the same direction, other research such as the study of biochemical targets and mechanisms of action of terpenes are underway.
The Takeaway On What are Terpenes
Terpenes are just one of many beneficial compounds in CBD Oil. Their benefits and function within CBD are still being discovered, but it is known they contribute to the entourage effect.
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