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Terpenes, the medicinal herbs of cannabis

Until a few years ago, the main concern was the effects of the king of cannabis, THC. But in recent years we have realized that there is a 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 very aroma that soothes the mind and body, the terpenes… Whether it's the sweet fruity taste of Pineapple Trainwreck or that frothy smell of Sour Diesel, cannabis plants do consist of complex and tasty bouquets. Terpenes are what you smell, they will deepen your appreciation of cannabis. And this even if you are a medical patient or a recreational user.

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.

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes


Unlike other strong-smelling plants and flowers, the development of terpenes in cannabis began for an adaptation purpose: to repel predators and decoy pollinators. There are many factors that affect a plant's terpene development, including climate, weather, age and ripening, fertilizers, soil type, and even the time of day.

More from 100 Terpenes

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

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes
Wheel of flavors

The varied palate of cannabis flavors is quite impressive, but arguably the most fascinating characteristic of terpenes is their ability to synergistically interact with other compounds in the plant, such as cannabinoids. Over the past few decades, most cannabis strains have been bred to contain high levels of THC and as a result other cannabinoids like CBD have fallen off to simply trace amounts. 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 can 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, movement, and receptor availability.

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes
Terpenes are also a profession, cannabis sommelier

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

Main terpenes of cannabis

Their differences may be subtle, but terpenes can add great depth to the horticultural art and connivance of cannabis. More importantly, terpenes may offer additional medical value as they mediate our body's interaction with therapeutic cannabinoids. Lots of cannabis testing labs now test for terpene content, so any user can get a better idea of ​​what effects their strain might be producing.

Humulene

Humulene is an essential terpene, it presents woody and earthy aromas and notes of spice and musk. Humulene is found in a wide variety of aromatic herbs such as cloves, sage and cilantro and in black pepper, hops and cannabis. It is one of the top hundred terpenes in cannabis, giving it a natural scent.

Aroma : cloves, sage and coriander
Effects : appetite suppressant
Medical value : to avoid snacking or to ward off uncontrollable cravings
Also found in : Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill
strains : OG Kush, White Widow and Girl Scout Cookies

Alpha-Pinene, Beta-Pinene

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

It is known for its antiseptic properties. Pinenes (Alpha & Beta) can be prescribed in case of bronchial hypersecretion. The terpene is present in many plants, such as mint, lavender, sage and ginger. It is also found in the essence of 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 : warning, memory retention, counteracts certain 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

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

Myrcene is the most common terpene in the plant sector, and in particular in cannabis (sometimes at + 0,5%). It contributes to the anesthetic properties, which characterizes 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 even wild thyme.

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Myrcene is established to be synergistic with other cannabinoids and sesquiterpenes in inducing 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 fruit
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

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

Limonene takes its name from the lemon which, like other citrus fruits, contains considerable amounts of this chemical compound, which is largely responsible for their fragrance. Limonene is widely used in the food, household and cosmetic industries. Previous research indicates that limonene has a beneficial effect against anxiety. Additionally, 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 and helps in weight loss.

Aroma : Citrus
Effects : high mood, stress relief
Medical value : Antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogen, dissolves gallstones, stimulates 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

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

According to a study conducted at the University of Utah taking Caryophyllene combined with other cannabinoids (especially CBD), can be used as safe and effective for robust chronic pain with minimal side effects. In another study, this terpene may 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

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

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

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

Aroma : Floral, citrus, sweets
Effects : anxiety relief 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 cannabis strain, they are no less important than the main ones.

terpinolene

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

It is mainly found in the essential oils of orange tree and Tea Tree (tea tree). It is very attractive to certain unwanted insects of maritime pine wood. Terpinolene regulates the polymerization reaction in the synthesis of food flavors and in perfumery. It is also used in reducing 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

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

two studies confirmed the claims, proving that eucalyptol was useful in the treatment of rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) and colitis (inflammation of the colon). Scientists have 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 to treat asthma and sinusitis, pain reliever.
Also found in : eucalyptus, orchid
strains : ChemDawgn, Super Silver Haze

Bisabolol

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

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

camphene

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

It is the constituent of many essential oils, such as bergamot, camphor, lemongrass or turpentine. During the 19th century the reference combustion camphene was used for light bulbs. But this practice was abandoned because the material is sensitive, and sometimes caused fires and explosions ... A study conducted on mice has shown that camphene can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. So it can therefore 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 terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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 recognized for its tonic, stimulating, energizing and aphrodisiac properties. It is also an excellent anti-infective and helps relieve rheumatic disorders Some studies have pointed out that it is anti-fungal and 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

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

Farnesene is used by some insects for communication. It is present in plants which produce enough to alienate pests ... The automotive industry uses farnesene in the material that makes up 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 from cannabis in very low quantities

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

phytol

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

sabinene

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

borneol

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

Borneol (or Isoborneol) is found in mugwort which exhibits antiviral properties. It is a potent inhibitor of herpes simplex virus type 1. A 2013 study at the College of Light Industry and Food Sciences at South China University of Technology found that borneol may be developed in the treatment of human cancers.

cedrene

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

Cedrene is present in cedarwood essential oil.

Guaiol

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

Geranyle acetate

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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 exhibits strong antimicrobial effects.

Camphor

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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

Menthyl acetate (or Isopulegol)

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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 seizures in animals.

cymene

The terpenes of cannabis, The terpenes

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 peppermint aroma and is a strong insecticide which is toxic when consumed. 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.

Lire: THE LESS-KNOWN TERPENES OF CANNABIS

Tags : EtudeMedicalmedicinal plantsterpeneTherapeutic
Weed-master

The author Weed-master

Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.