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The Interaction Of Terpenes In Cannabis- A Comprehensive Explanation

Terpenes are natural oils that give cannabis, as well as a variety of other herbs, fruits, and plants, their scent, color, and flavor. The interaction of Terpenes in cannabis are essential because it provides distinct smells and aromas that are appreciated by cannabis aficionados and are frequently used to identify and name strains, such as Lemon Haze, Strawberry Cough, or Mango Tango. They've also helped the plant gain an evolutionary edge by functioning as an antifungal and warding off insects and animal predators. Terpenes are produced by glandular hairs (trichomes) that are abundant on the plant's flower leaves and buds.

Terpenes have recently gotten a lot of publicity because of their synergistic capacity to function with cannabinoids, and they've been dubbed "big hitters" in the entourage effect. Terpenes work in the same way that cannabinoids do with the endocannabinoid system. Terpenes help cannabinoids in penetrating the blood-brain barrier when breathed or swallowed. Myrcene, for example, is known to improve cell permeability, allowing THC and other cannabinoids to be absorbed more quickly. Terpenes can also affect the creation and destruction of dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain. This understanding also explains why different strains have distinct affects on our mental and bodily experience, in addition to smelling and tasting differently.

"Cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions "may provide synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal, and bacterial infections," according to a 2011 report by Dr. Ethan Russo.

Most Common Terpenes In Cannabis

The word Myrcene written in white above two bulbs and two cut portions of mango
The word Myrcene written in white above two bulbs and two cut portions of mango

Myrcene

Boiling points: 168°C (334°F).

Aromas: musk, cloves, herbal, citrus.

Effects: sedating, relaxing; enhances the THC’s psychoactivity.

Also found in: mango, thyme, citrus, lemongrass, bay leaves.

Medical benefits: antiseptic, anti-bacterial, antifungal, inflammation.

Mango, thyme, lemongrass, and bay leaves all contain myrcene, a musky and lemony terpene. It's the most frequent terpene in marijuana and has sedative and analgesic properties. By decreasing the blood-brain barrier for itself and other chemicals, it has synergistic effects.

Caryophyllene

Boiling points: 160°C (320°F) Aromas: pepper, wood, spice.

Effects: no detectable physical effects.

Also found in: pepper, cloves, hops, basil, oregano.

Medical benefits: antioxidant, inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, insomnia.

Black pepper, hops, cloves, basil, and oregano all contain beta-caryophyllene, a peppery and spicy terpene. It is recognized to be an antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory and muscle spasm reliever. Beta-caryophyllene has been demonstrated to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties in a 2014 study, and it has also been shown to have potential as a therapy for chronic pain. It's the only terpene that has been found to directly activate our cannabinoid receptors (CB2), and it's also why leafy greens are so good for the body.

Linalool

Boiling points: 198°C (388°F).

Aromas: floral, citrus, spice Effects: sedating, calming.

Also found in: lavendar, citrus, laurel, birch, rosewood.

Medical benefits: insomnia, stress, depression, anxiety, pain, convulsions.

Linalool is largely responsible for lavender's signature calming aroma. Citrus, laurel, birch, and rosewood all contain it. Linalool has calming properties as well as antibacterial and pain-relieving properties.

It activates immune cells and strengthens the immune system in general. It has anti-inflammatory properties and was found to alleviate the effects of Alzheimer's disease in rats in 2016.

A bunch of green pine leaves
A bunch of green pine leaves

Pinene

Boiling points: 155°C (311°F) Aromas: sharp, sweet, pine.

Effects: memory retention, alertness.

Also found in: pine needles, conifers, sage.

Medical benefits: inflammation, asthma (bronchodilator).

Pinene (Alpha and Beta) is a terpene found in pine cones and needles, conifers, rosemary, and sage that has a strong, sweet, and piney odor. It works as a bronchodilator and has anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. It easily passes through the blood-brain barrier, preventing the degradation of chemicals that help memory and attentiveness. It can also be used as an antiseptic on a local level.

Humulene

Boiling points: 198°C (388°F).

Aromas: woody, earthy. Effects: suppresses appetite.

Also found in: hops, coriander.

Medical benefits: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, pain.

Humulene is a terpene that can also be found in coriander and hops. It gives cannabis a woody, earthy aroma and flavor, as well as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and pain-relieving properties. It can also be used as a hunger suppressor.

Limonene

Boiling points: 176°C (349°F).

Aromas: citrus, lemon, orange.

Effects: elevated mood, stress relief.

Also found in: citrus rinds, juniper, peppermint.

Medical benefits: anti-depression, anti-anxiety, gastric reflux, antifungal.

Limonene is a bright, clear terpene most commonly associated with citrus fruits, but it can also be found in plants such as juniper and peppermint. It has been shown to help with the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and into bodily tissue, as well as ease sadness and anxiety symptoms. Limonene contains antifungal qualities, helps with gastric reflux, and may help decrease malignant tumors.

Terpineol

A bunch of purple lilac flowers surrounded by many green leaves
A bunch of purple lilac flowers surrounded by many green leaves

Boiling Points: 219°C (426.2°F)

Aromas: citrus, floral, spice.

Also found in: narcissus, freesia, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, lemon peel oil.

Medical benefits: antioxidant, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antiulcer, antihypertensive.

Terpineol is found naturally in lilacs and has a delightful floral, citrus, and spice fragrance. It can help protect the stomach from ulcers while also reducing pain and inflammation. It possesses antibacterial and antimicrobial properties when used topically. However, it is arguably most known for its antiproliferative properties, particularly in the treatment of malignancies.

Finally

Keep in mind that each state has its own testing regulations if you're seeking specific terpenes in products. In addition, as a plant, each season and harvest can be different. Finding lab-tested items is the only way to know exactly what you're getting and in what quantities.

You may notice differences in how the medicine affects you from batch to batch if you're utilizing a product with a validated cannabis profile. Eileen has heard of children with Dravet syndrome losing seizure control as a result of variations in high-CBD drugs from batch to batch.

Test results should be readily available from reputable companies. Please note that not all companies test for all substances, so be careful to inquire.

About The Authors

Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah - Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.

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