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Terpenes, the medicinal herbs of cannabis

Until a few years ago, the main focus was on the effects of the king of cannabis, THC. But in recent years it has become of crucial importance: the presence of other cannabinoids, such as CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol). These cannabinoids have unique medicinal qualities. But one essential thing is the aroma of cannabis, the one that soothes the mind and the body, the terpenes ... Whether it's the sweet fruity taste of the Pineapple Trainwreck or the frothy odor of the Sour Diesel, cannabis plants are make up complex and tasty bouquets. Terpenes is what you feel, they will allow you to deepen your appreciation of cannabis. And this even if you are a medical patient or a recreational consumer.

Cannabis terpenes

Secreted into the same glands that produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, the terpenes are the pungent oils that color cannabis strains with distinctive aromas like citrus fruits, berries, mint and pine.


Unlike other plants and strong-smelling flowers, the development of terpenes in cannabis began for adaptation: to repel predators and pollinators of lures. There are many factors that affect the development of terpenes in a plant, including climate, weather, age and ripeness, fertilizer, soil type and even time of day.

More from 100 Terpenes

More than 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and each strain tends to a unique terpene type and composition. In other words, a strain like Cheese and its offspring will likely have a cheese-like smell, and Blueberry descendants often inherit the smell of berries.

Wheel of flavors

The varied palate of cannabis flavors is quite impressive, but arguably the most fascinating feature of terpenes is their ability to interact synergistically with other compounds in the plant, such as cannabinoids. In recent decades, most cannabis strains have been raised to contain high levels of THC and, as a result, other cannabinoids such as CBD have fallen to simply trace quantities. This has led many to believe that terpenes can play a key role in differentiating the effects of various strains of cannabis.

Terpenes function

THC binds to highly concentrated cannabinoid receptors in the brain where psychoactive effects are produced. Some terpenes also bind to these receptors and affect their chemical production. Others may alter the amount of THC crossing the blood-brain barrier. Their influence even influences neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin by altering their rate of production and destruction, their movement and their availability of receptors.

Terpenes is also a job, sommelier in cannabis

Some are particularly successful in relieving stress, while others promote concentration and acuity. Myrcene, for example, induces sleep while limonene elevates mood. There are also imperceptible effects, such as the gastro-protected properties of caryophyllene. With their unlimited combinations of synergistic effects, terpenes are likely to open new scientific and medical fields for cannabis research.

Main terpenes of cannabis

Their differences may be subtle, but terpenes can add depth to horticultural art and cannabis connivance. More importantly, terpenes can offer additional medical value as they mediate our body's interaction with therapeutic cannabinoids. Many cannabis labs are now testing the terpene content, so any consumer can have a better idea of ​​what effects his strain might produce.

Alpha-Pinene, Beta-Pinene

It is known for its antiseptic properties. Pinenes (Alpha & Beta) can also be prescribed in case of bronchial hypersecretion. Terpene is present in many plants, such as mint, lavender, sage and ginger. It is also found in turpentine. It also has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. When consumed in moderate amounts. Thus it affects the expansion of the bronchi for people who suffer from breathing difficulties.

Aroma : pine
Effects : alert, memory retention, counteracts some effects of THC
Medical value : asthma, antiseptic
Also found in : Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill
strains : Jack Herer, Chemdawg, Bubba Kush, Trainwreck, Super Silver Haze

myrcene

Myrcene is the most common terpene in the plant field, and especially in cannabis (sometimes at + 0,5%). It contributes to the anesthetic properties, which characterizes the indicas. It can be extracted from essential oils of several plants of the lauraceae family, as well as pine, juniper, zingiberaceae (like ginger, turmeric, cardamom), mint, sage, caraway, fennel tarragon, dill, parsley, mugwort, angelica, hemp, hops, ylang-ylang, or wild thyme.

In the medical journal "British Journal of Pharmacology" myrcene is established as synergistic with other cannabinoids and sesquiterpenes of cannabis, which induces sleep repair. This terpene can increase the saturation point of the CB1 receptor, whose role is to absorb and translate the various effects of cannabinoids. Therefore, this action also increases the psychoactive effects of THC.

Aroma : Musk, cloves, earthy, herbal with hints of citrus and tropical fruits
Effects : relaxing effect
Medical value : Antioxidant, anti-carcinogen. But also, good for muscle tension, insomnia, pain, inflammation, depression
Also found in : Mango, lemongrass, thyme, hops, fennel etc ...
strains : Pure Kush, El Nino, Himalayan Gold, Skunk # 1, White Widow

limonene

Limonene derives its name from lemon which, like other citrus fruit, contains considerable quantities of this chemical compound, largely responsible for their fragrance. Limonene is widely used in the food, household and cosmetics industries. Previous research indicates that limonene has a beneficial effect on anxiety. In addition, it increases the amounts of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. In addition this terpene is used for the treatment of gastric problems and contributes to and helps weight loss.

Aroma : Citrus
Effects : high mood, stress relief
Medical value : Antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, dissolves gallstones, stimulating mood; Can treat gastrointestinal complications, heartburn, depression
Also found in : lemon, orange and most fruits, but also in rosemary, juniper, peppermint
strains : OG Kush, Lemon Super Haze, Jack the Ripper, Pumpkin

caryophyllene

It is one of the compounds that contribute to the spicy nature of pepper. Caryophyllene acts as a selective cannabinoid receptor agonist of the 2 type (CB2). Thus, it has a significant anti-inflammatory cannabimimetic effect.

According to a study conducted at the University of Utah to take Caryophyllene combined with other cannabinoids (especially CBD), can be used as safe and effective for chronic, robust pain with minimal side effects. In another study, this terpene can help prevent liver problems resulting from chemotherapy, such as cisplatin.

Aroma : Pepper, spicy, woody, cloves
Effects : no detectable physical effect
Medical value : Gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory; Good for arthritis, ulcers, autoimmune disorders and other gastrointestinal complications
Also found in : Black pepper, cloves, cotton
strains : Hash Plant

Linalool

Linalool or linalool is a terpene alcohol, tertiary alcohol, unsaturated with a floral and fresh smell. It is found in a majority of essential oils including lavender, bergamot, rosewood, which is the major component. Linalol has been used in humans for hundreds of years, mainly in sleep aids.

Research conducted in China has revealed that linalool also helps to reduce the development of pneumonia resulting from smoking. It has a positive effect in reducing the damage caused by the inhalation of cannabis smoke (especially when mixed with tobacco). It also helps to reduce the anxiety phenomenon induced by high consumption of THC.

Another research from Colombia argues that linalool can improve emotional and cognitive performance in people with Alzheimer's and memory-related diseases. Another use is that the pesticide industry since the material effectively rejects fruit flies, fleas and cockroaches.

Aroma : Floral, citrus, sweets
Effects : relief of anxiety and sedation
Medical value : Anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, antidepressant, anti-acne
Also found in : Lavender
strains : G-13, Amnesia Haze, Lavender, Confidential

Secondary Terpenes

The effects that these mechanisms produce vary from terpene to terpene. But these secondary terpenes (less present), often determine the effectiveness of the strain of cannabis, they are no less important than the main ones.

terpinolene

It is found mainly in essential oils of orange tree and Tea Tree (tea tree). It is very attractive for some undesirable insects of maritime pine wood. Terpinolene regulates the polymerization reaction in the synthesis of food flavors and perfumes. It is also used in the reduction of increased anxiety. Research in Japan has shown that this terpene can hinder the development of different types of cancer cells.

Aroma : pine, clove
Medical value : Antioxidant characteristics, reduces depression and anxiety, an anesthesiologist.
Also found in : apple, cinnamon, cypress.
strains : Jack, Blueberry

eucalyptol

Theeucalyptol (also known as cineol) is an important terpene for patients treated with cannabis. Because it can be used to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions. In 2000, scientists have studied the effects of eucalyptol and concluded that it would be useful as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent.

two studies have confirmed the claim, proving that eucalyptol is useful in treating rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) and colitis (inflammation of the colon). Scientists continued to test the anti-inflammatory benefits of eucalyptol. And, in 2013, another study concluded that this terpene could also be used to treat pancreatitis.

Aroma : Eucalyptus, pungent smell.
Medical value : anti-inflammatory, helps treat asthma and sinusitis, an anti-pain.
Also found in : eucalyptus, orchid
strains : ChemDawgn, Super Silver Haze

Bisabolol

Bisabolol is produced by plants such as chamomile, and other aromatics in nature. bisabolol is a mild sweet aroma reminiscent of citrus fruits. Thus, it is widely used also in the perfume industry. Studies indicate that bisabolol has anti-inflammatory properties.

Aroma : chamomile, citrus fruits.
Medical value : anti-inflammatory, soothing, anti-bacterial.
Also found in : chamomile
strains : Oracle

camphene

It is the constituent of many essential oils, such as bergamot, camphor, lemongrass or turpentine. During the XNIXXème century was used camphène combustion of reference for the bulbs. But this practice was abandoned because the material is sensitive, and sometimes caused fires and explosions ... A study conducted on mice has been shown that camphene can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. So it can in the future be used as an alternative to conventional drugs.

Aroma : fir, pepper.
Medical value : anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-biotic.
Also found in : a cypress tree, and valerian.
strains : Ghost OG

Hull (Delta-3-hull)

The hull is the terpene spicy and sweet at once that you will find also in cypress trees. As well as some of the citrus peels. It is also the main constituent of turpentines (30 to 40%). The hull in high doses can affect the suppression of the central nervous system. Although radiation is considered nontoxic, it can cause irritation when administered. Depending on the concentration in the cannabis plant, the hull is responsible for the symptoms of cough and sore throat, so familiar to those who smoke cannabis.

Aroma : fir, citrus fruits.
Medical value : anti-inflammatory fluids, draining the body.
Also found in : a cypress tree, citrus, pine, fir.
strains : El Niño, Lemon Skunk, Kush King

Le nerolidol (or peruviol)

Nerolidol, also known as Peruviol, is a sesquiterpene alcohol found in many essential oils and herbs. It is a major constituent of essential oils of neroli, Brassavola nodosa and Myrocarpus fastigiatus and is also found in ginger, lavender, Melaleuca, and cultivated hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and citronella.

The floral character of nerolidol makes its use essential in perfumery, for example it can be found in cologne. Nerolidol, present in Cabreuva oil is also known for its tonic properties, stimulating, energizing and aphrodisiac. It is also an excellent anti-infective and helps to relieve rheumatic disorders Some studies have pointed out that it is anti-fungal and that it can treat skin problems as well as reduce malaria infections .

Aroma : greenery, fruits.
Medical value : treatment of skin problems, anti-fungal
Also found in : lemon grass, citrus, lavender.
strains : Jack Herer, Skywalker OG

farnesene

Farnesene is used by some insects for communication. He is present in plants that produce alienating pests ... The automotive industry uses farnesene in the material that makes up the tires, and the perfume industry combines its powerful aroma with certain products. It is a powerful antibacterial and disinfectant agent

Aroma : greenery, apple.
Medical value : disinfection of wounds, antibacterial.
Also found in : basil, apple, mint, ginger

Terpenes of cannabis in very small quantities

These terpenes in very small quantities in the cannabis plant, are indeed present and can make the difference at the medical level. They understand :

phytol

Found in green tea, phytol is a diterpene that results from the degradation of chlorophyll. Phytol inhibits the enzyme that degrades the neurotransmitter GABA, which may partially explain its relaxing effect.

sabinene

Sabinene is known for its spicy accents, oak and black pepper. It has been shown that the benefit of liver function and digestion, relieve arthritis, and can soothe skin conditions.

borneol

Borneol (or Isoborneol) is found in mugwort that has antiviral properties. It is a potent inhibitor of the herpes simplex virus type 1. An 2013 study conducted at the College of Light Industry and Food Science at the South China University of Technology revealed that

"Boundol could be developed ... in the treatment of human cancers. "

cedrene

Cedren is present in cedar essential oil.

Guaiol

Guaiol is an alcohol found in guaiacum oil and cypress pine. It has antimicrobial properties.

Geranyle acetate

Geranyl acetate is found in a variety of natural oils, derived from lemongrass, lemongrass, sassafras, roses and many more. It has a strong floral aroma with a fruity twist and has strong antimicrobial effects.

Camphor

Mainly derived from camphor, camphor is easily absorbed by the skin. When applied topically, it produces a cooling sensation similar to that of menthol. Camphor also acts as a mild local anesthetic and an antimicrobial substance.

Menthyl acetate (or Isopulegol)

Isopulegol is a chemical precursor to menthol and has a variety of promising routes for therapeutic research. Studies have shown that isopulegol has gastroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects and reduces the severity of convulsions in animals.

cymene

Generally found in the essential oils of cumin and thyme, cymene has documented anti-inflammatory effects. The research also shows potential protective effects against acute lung injury.

pulegone

Pulegone has a pleasant aroma of peppermint and is a strong insecticide, toxic to consumption. Fortunately, the cannabis plant uses it as a repellent in infinitesimal quantities. Its presence in a perfume amplifies the "floral" touch, especially the "rose" note developed by commercial lavender waters.

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