Terpenes are aromatic oils produced by a wide range of plants and insects. They're supposed to have evolved as a strategy to prevent predators and attract pollinators, and they're responsible for the powerful scents produced by plants and fruit. Terpenes, on the other hand, have lately been discovered to have therapeutic qualities ranging from anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and anti-depressive to analgesic (pain relief) and anti-inflammatory. But, with so many terpenes to select from, how can you know which ones are best?
This article will help you better understand terpene profiles so you can make more informed judgments at the dispensary when purchasing goods and how various terpenes can help with pain relief, anxiety, and inflammation.
Terpenes and Their Potential Benefits
If you've ever smelled an orange or pine needle, you've probably encountered some of the most common terpenes. Terpenes oil contains chemical substances found naturally in plants such as thyme, spanish sage, and citrus fruits. Terpenes have medicinal qualities in addition to their scent.
Essential oils, topical goods including lotions and creams, cleaning products, and food additives are all examples of terpene-containing items. Because of their "anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, anticonvulsive, depressive, anxiolytic, anticancer, antitumor, neuroprotective, anti-mutagenic, anti-allergic, antibiotic, and anti-diabetic characteristics," terpenes offer a wide range of medical benefits and uses.
A variety of other primary and secondary advantages, such as antifungal and antibacterial capabilities, are available depending on the terpene in question. Here's a quick rundown of how terpenes interact with the human body:
- Receptors and neurotransmitters are acted upon.
- They have the ability to block serotonin absorption (similar to antidepressants like Prozac).
- It has the ability to increase norepinephrine activity (comparable to antidepressants like Elavil).
- Dopamine activity should be increased.
- GABA supplementation (an inhibitory neurotransmitter that counters glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter)
Now, Let’s Get Specific
Here are 5 terpenes that have a wide range of benefits.
Myrcene has a peppery, musky, woodsy, and earthy scent. Myrcene is the most prevalent terpene discovered, which can also be found in a variety of plants and fruits in nature, including mangoes, lemongrass, eucalyptus, hops, and many others. Myrcene is thought to be the major terpene. In several animal experiments, Myrcene terpenes have been shown to be effective in the treatment of acute pain, chronic pain, and anxiety.
Linalool is a floral terpene which can be found in a variety of plants, including lavender, citrus, and mint. Lavender is a popular aroma for calming bath products and night time essential oils since this flowery terpene is known for its anti-anxiety effects. Linalool has been shown to have anti-inflammatory qualities. It is thought to be especially beneficial in the treatment of chronic illnesses such as MS, arthritis, and chronic pain. The relaxing qualities of this terpene is one of the reasons why it is frequently prescribed as a therapy for insomnia.
Pinene is most commonly found in conifer trees, pine needles and rosemary. Pinene has a piney, earthy smell. It's also linked to having anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Studies have been conducted showing links positive links for increased cognitive function and focus.
Limonene is present in citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. Limonene is thought to boost the immune system. It's also used to treat anxiety and depression, as well as pain and inflammation, which are both mental and physical symptoms. Limonene helps with serotonin uptake and is often referred to as the 'happy terpene' having mood boosting properties.
All types of plants, including hops, basil cloves, and rosemary, contain beta-caryophyllene. It is one of the most preferred terpenes for inflammation and pain relief. Caryophyllene has been proven to activate cell receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system like CB2 oil, as previously described. The terpene has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties because it activates CB2 receptors. In one study (2013), these terpenes have been shown to alleviate discomfort in mice.
More research is needed, but preliminary findings suggest that beta-caryophyllene is one of the greatest terpenes for reducing inflammation and relieving pain due to its capacity to activate the body's CB2 receptors. CB2 receptor activation also helps to prevent seizures and reduce artery plaque development.