8 Fantastic Health Facts About Terpenes – Cannabis Essential Oils?


Isn’t nature beautiful and amazing? Think of all the blessings we tap from her, the endless array of floral beauty that our eyes never stop admiring. More incredibly, nature gives us the best of fragrances not to forget the double whammy of divine aromas.

Perhaps you may not be aware of this, but what gives herbs, flowers and other plants their unique scent are organic compounds known as terpenes. So when you inhale eucalyptus oil so as to handle your bronchial tubes or dowse your cooling pillows with lavender essential oil, always remember that terpenes are at work. They are the main ingredients responsible for their aroma.

Let’s dig deeper and get acquainted with the aromatic world and the secret behind the smelly nature.

8 Fantastic Health Facts About Terpenes:

1. Terpenes Can Be Used In Therapy

For the many years, essential oils have been known for their healing benefits, especially in the field of aromatherapy. However, it is not known whether they also have physiological effects on our bodies.

Well, guess what? They actually do. Studies have shown that any terpene whose concentration exceeds 0.5% is said to be therapeutic. It is for this reason that the pharmacological interest in terpene is growing.

It has been associated with physiological changes and ability to alter changes in the body. In one study carried out, patients were exposed to citrus aromas. Surprisingly, those involved in the study not only recorded lower levels of depression but also, 9 out of 12 individuals discontinued the use of depressants.

2. Terpenes Are Not In Existence To Make You Happy

We get it all wrong when thinking we are at the center of evolution. Actually, for the case of terpenes, they do not exist with a sole purpose of healing our bodies or easing our troubled minds, they also defend other plants.

Terpenes play a great role in protecting plants against scorching temperatures and pest invasions. It is out of mystery that these organic compounds also makes us feel better. We should just be glad!

3. Cannabis Contains About 200 Terpenes

You probably may have heard that cannabis plant contains a complex array of terpenes that are responsible for every single strain of unique aroma. Well, some people can even point out its effect.

Additionally, terpenes can also be found in garden flora such as Pinene in conifers and pine resin, Myrcene in hops, wild thyme, & lemon grass, Linalool in lavender, Limonene in citrus fruits, and β-caryophyllene which can be found in leafy greens, black pepper, and cloves.

4. Some Terpenes Have Been Linked To Death Of Cancer Cells

Even though research on potential health benefits of terpenes in regard to cancer is still ongoing, the results are promising. For instance, Limonene has been shown to possess chemopreventive, apoptosis-inducing and antiproliferative effects. This simply implies that it has the potential to stop the spread of cancer. In a nutshell, it is can shut down cancer cells and prevent their growth and multiplication. Another organic compound that has been associated with suppression of tumor growth, cancer cell death and inhibition of metastasis is B-caryophyllene.

5. Linalool: Some Type Of Terpene Inhibits Seizures

A quick whiff of lavender oil can be relaxing, no doubt about that. However, what we don’t know is that Linalool, which is the active terpene ingredient in lavender has been found to possess anticonvulsant properties.

In fact, scientists also found that they can use Linalool to modulate glutamate which is the main excitatory neurotransmitter responsible for seizure initiation. However, kindly note that this research hasn’t been carried out on humans yet.

6. B-Caryophyllene: Terpene That Acts Like A Cannabinoid

Terpenes and cannabinoids make up a higher percentage of all the 400 compounds found in cannabis. There two most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis are:

And, they work together. THC activates the endocannabinoid receptors, therefore, creating a physiological effect while terpene β-caryophyllene which is considered as a cannabinomimetic activates CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. It acts just like a cannabinoid. It is for this reason that β-caryophyllene is linked to anti-inflammatory and immunomodulation effects in the human body.

7. Terpenes Works In Synergy With Other Cannabis Compounds

When you start analyzing the cannabis plant, you then begin to see how nature is full of mystery. Scientists have been studying the mechanisms deployed by THC and CBD cannabinoids in the last few years. It is of recent memory that they have widened their research scope and started to examine hundreds of other molecules found in cannabis, terpene being one of them.

According to Dr. Ethan Russso, a research scientist and neurologist, compounds found in cannabis such as terpenes acts as inhibitors to the intoxicating effects of THC and also possess other pharmacological effects. These are some of his recommendations in his “Taming THC” paper.

Dr. Ethan goes on to say terpenes are the reason cannabis-based medicinal extracts have entourage effects. Entourage effects simply refer to the synergy that co-exists between the compounds found in cannabis. According to Aristotle, the whole thing is greater than summing up the portions or parts.

8. Most Pharmaceutical Companies Don’t Invest In Developing Cannabis-Based Drugs

It is not strange to see most pharmaceutical companies investing in drugs that contain few molecules, perhaps one or two. This is a common practice because it is easier to patent, study and even turn their developments into tidy profits.

Unfortunately, cannabis plant doesn’t fit so well in such a model. It is known for its terpenes, flavonoids, and the sprawling labyrinth of cannabinoids. And there may be others yet to be discovered.

Terpenes Health Facts Final Words

If there is any cannabis-based medication in the market today, it is either a synthetic version or a single molecule. Sativex (Nabiximols) which combines both THC and CBD is the only exception.

However, research studies show that medical cannabis that contain the full spectrum of active components stands out from the rest by being more effective compared to synthetic or isolated versions. Needless to say, terpenes outperform most of them and play an important role in therapeutic plant synergy niche.

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