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.
Beta-myrcene, also known as simply myrcene, is the most frequent terpene discovered in the sativa plant. Spicy, peppery, musky, woodsy, and earthy are all descriptors used to characterise this terpene. 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-rich strains tend to be indica-dominant, but this isn't always the case.
Beta-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 that has a mild, lemony, or woodsy fragrance. Linalool can be found in a variety of plants, including lavender, citrus, and mint. Lavender is a popular aroma for calming bath products and nighttime 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 sedative qualities of these terpenes are one of the reasons why it is frequently prescribed as a therapy for insomnia.
Pinene is the most frequent terpene discovered in the natural world. Conifer trees, pine needles, orange peels, and rosemary are just a few of the fruits and plants that contain this terpene.
Pinene, unlike myrcene, is rarely the most abundant terpene in a strain's makeup; nevertheless, it is frequently the second most abundant terpene in a strain's makeup. Big Smooth is the only exception, as it has a pinene-dominant terpene profile.
Peiene has a piney, earthy smell. It's also linked to anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It's one of the best terpenes for pain because it's often used to treat chronic pain illnesses like arthritis and MS.
Aside from its physical pain-relieving properties, this terpene also possesses relaxing anti-anxiety properties and helps to prevent Alzheimer's.
Limonene is present in citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. The potency of these terpenes is reflected in the names of strains like Super Lemon Haze and Super Sour Diesel. Look for strains with terms like "sour" or "lemon" in their names when looking for limonene-rich terpenes.
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. Because of its dual immune system stimulating and pain-relieving characteristics, it is one of the best terpenes for pain therapy.
All types of plants, including hops, basil cloves, and rosemary, contain beta-caryophyllene. It is one of the most preferred terpenes for pain relief. Any strain in the "cookies" family is a good pick if you're looking for caryophyllene-rich strains.
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. Although this terpene isn't recognized for pain alleviation, it does have a number of additional benefits that may influence the source of pain depending on the situation. The anti-inflammatory and stress-relieving properties of limonene, in particular, can help with pain management.
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.
Terpene oil contains chemical compounds that enhance the medicinal properties of plants. They are not only responsible for their odour, but they also aid in their evolution. They also supply a variety of medical properties along the route, which is fortunate for us.
The terpene alliance's synergy clearly makes them more efficient together than apart. They appear to perform best in conjunction with other plant compounds such as cannabinoids, flavonoids, and Omega 3 fatty acids, among others. Depending on how terpenes are mixed, they might have varied qualities or effects.
The best way to get the most out of plant medicine is to use all of your senses, particularly your sense of smell. Much of your experience can be guided by your nose. Despite increasing science, we are nevertheless baffled by nature's olfactory markers. Terpene research has a long way to go before it can fully understand their "magic."