The various health benefits caused by cannabis and hemp use are now being widely documented due to the increased legalization throughout the United States, and numerous research being conducted on these, previously illegal, plants.
The cannabinoids, known as THC (short for its scientific name tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), seem to get almost all of the credit for the mental and physical benefits provided by hemp and marijuana. And, in all honesty, these compounds deserve the credit they are getting. However, cannabinoids aren’t the only effective therapeutic compounds found in hemp and marijuana. There is actually an entirely different class of physically- and mentally-beneficial substances found in these plants known as terpenes.
What are Terpenes in CBD?
Terpenes are a group of strong smelling compounds that plants produce in order to ward off herbivores that might eat them. These compounds make up many of the essential oils derived from plants. As a matter of fact, a variety of essential oils that you already have within your household may be terpenes!
Terpenes are not simply used for their smell and flavor. Terpenes also provide a variety of powerful healing properties that work in a synergistic manner with the many cannabinoids found in hemp and weed. Let’s show you what these different types of terpenes can do for you!
6 Types of Terpenes Explained
Myrcene is the most plentiful terpene found in marijuana and hemp; almost every strain contains a good amount of it. As a matter of fact, it has been shown to make up over 65 percent of some cannabis strain’s entire terpene profiles.
This terpene has been thought to smell of red grapes and cloves; it has a musky, yet fruity aroma. Marijuana strains that have myrcene in abundance are usually indicas and can be quite sedative.
Skunk-based strains, White Widow and most kush strains typically contain a lot of this particular terpene. Myrcene also has been reported to have profound effects in combating pain and inflammation.
Have you ever been told that eating mangoes can enhance the effects you feel from cannabis? Well, this is one cannabis urban legend that has some truth to it! Mangoes are full of myrcene and eating them prior to using cannabis can increase its absorption rate while helping to extend the psychoactive high and other therapeutic effects.
Limonene is the second most plentiful terpene found in cannabis and hemp. As this terpene’s name indicates, limonene is also found abundantly in almost all citrus fruits. It is one of the primary reasons that these fruits, and the cannabis strains that it is found in, have such a strong lemon-lime smell and flavor.
Many of the marijuana varieties that contain a large amount of limonene are usually given a name that includes “Sour”, “Lemon”, or “Citrus” in it. Lemon Haze, Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Jack Herer, and Durban Poison are among the many strains that contain a large concentration of this terpene.
In terms of mental benefits, limonene has been shown to help alleviate anxiety attacks while also improving overall mood. Even more importantly, limonene has also been shown to provide powerful physical benefits by being effective at combating certain bacterial strains and fungi.
Every single strain of marijuana shares a consistent underlying smell and flavor profile that is extremely recognizable. If you are a cannabis user, it is the smell that lets you know when weed is around or being smoked. This infamous odor characteristic of weed is due to the terpene linalool.
Linalool has been shown to provide a variety of potent relaxing, sedative, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety benefits. Research has shown that this compound also is extremely effective at fighting arthritis and general inflammation.
Enhance this terpene’s effectiveness in your body by pairing your cannabis or CBD supplement use with other herbs rich in linalool such as lavender, coriander, cinnamon, and mint. Cannabis strains that contain especially high levels of this terpene include Lavender, Amnesia Haze, LA Confidential, Special Kush, and OG Shark.
There are two different types of pinene terpenes that are found in nature. They are known as alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. As their names indicate, both are
found in abundance in pine trees and are responsible for their familiar sharp smell.
Alpha and beta-pinene are also found in plentiful quantities within oranges, rosemary, parsley, basil, and obviously, many cannabis strains. Marijuana varieties that are rich in both pinene terpenes include Strawberry Cough, Jack Herer, Blue Dream, Romulan, Dutch Treat, and Island Sweet Skunk.
Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene are extremely potent anti-inflammatory compounds. This is why pinene is often used to reduce arthritis symptoms. Research has also shown that pinene is quite effective against respiratory issues and helps increase overall airflow. So, somewhat shockingly because we are talking about cannabis compounds which are often smoked, alpha and beta-pinene have been shown to be effective as a form of asthma therapy. It also helps reduce the temporary memory loss that is associated with THC ingestion.
Caryophyllene has a distinct peppery, spicy flavor and aroma. It is found in large concentrations in cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, basil, oregano, and rosemary.
Almost all terpenes provide their healing benefits within our bodies without binding to a single cannabinoid receptor. However, caryophyllene is the only terpene that binds directly to these receptors. This is one of the main reasons that this unique terpene provides such powerful anti-pain analgesic effects on our bodies. As a result, you will find caryophyllene in many hemp- or cannabis-based pain-relieving topical creams.
This terpene also has potent anti-anxiety effects and has shown some promise in alcoholism rehabilitation by effectively treating symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and even reducing cravings of alcoholic substances. Weed strains that are rich in caryophyllene include Rockstar, Skywalker OG, and Super Silver Haze.
Bisabolol, which is also scientifically known as levomenol or alpha-bisabolol, is found in plentiful quantities within the candeia tree, chamomile flower, and many marijuana varieties. Cannabis strains that have a lot of bisabolol include Headband, Harle-Tsu, ACDC, OG Shark, and many kush strains.
This terpene is characterized by a pleasant, yet distinct floral aroma. This is one reason that the bisabolol essential oil has been used in a plethora of cosmetics and perfumes over the decades. Recent research has unearthed its numerous medical benefits. Bisabolol is yet another powerful analgesic terpene that is also quite efficient at treating wounds and fighting a variety of bacterial infections. It is also an effective anti-irritant with potent anti-oxidant properties.
Hopefully, you can use this list of terpenes to help enhance the numerous benefits that hemp and cannabis bring you already by ingesting other terpene-rich plants and fruits at the same time.
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