Cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are well known for their therapeutic qualities. But, the whole cannabis plant also contains other compounds that include things like flavonoids and terpenes. These compounds work together with cannabinoids to boost the therapeutic benefits of the whole plant. A phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.”
Terpenes are aromatic oils that give plants their distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, lavender, and pine. Yet, terpenes are so much more than that. There is mounting evidence that show terpenes also provide therapeutic benefits in and of themselves. Simply put, it is what gives herbs and plants like cannabis, lavender and eucalyptus, their health giving properties.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the most common terpenes found in medical cannabis, as well as their therapeutic benefits.
Humulene is not only found in cannabis, but also in abundance in hops, sage, ginseng and ginger. Humulene has proven anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in addition to also being an appetite suppressant which makes it useful as a weight loss aid.
Limonene, as the name suggests, has a strong citrus aroma and is mostly found in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes. Therapeutically, limonene has anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory qualities, making it a great all-rounder.
Found in abundance in cannabis, conifer trees, rosemary and other turpentine trees, pinene is a natural insecticide, parasiticide and bactericide. It has also been found to be an effective memory enhancer as well as an excellent bronchodilator making it useful for people with breathing difficulties.
Common in cannabis and herbs such as thyme, parsley and bay leaf, myrcene has a strong peppery, spicy and herbal scent. It is a powerful antioxidant as well as an effective pain killer and sedative making it great for using at night.
Although this terpene is what gives lavender it’s distinctive smell, it is also found in cannabis, birch and mint. Linalool is know to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, anticonvulsant (great for epileptics), as well as having anti- anxiety effects. Linalool has also been shown to work in much the same way as Diazepam to treat nausea.
Again, as the name suggest, eucalyptol is what gives eucalyptus, camphor and tea tree its particular aroma. Being another terpene with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, eucalyptol has been used for millennia as a decongestant and bronchodilator making it an effective treatment for asthma. More recently, eucalyptol has also been shown to inhibit the growth of plaques that cause Alzheimer’s Disease, making it a promising treatment for the disease.
Geraniol has a strong floral aroma and is what gives roses and geraniums their floral character. Therapeutic benefits include pain relief, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as being anti fungal. Geraniol has also been shown to help the absorption of topical remedies through the skin, making it an excellent addition to any CBD creams.
From the above, it is clear that terpenes posses therapeutic power. But terpenes are also responsible for improving the synergistic effects between cannabinoids; the entourage effect. This is why we at Farside are committed to ensuring that all our products contain whole-plant extracts that preserve the full therapeutic signature of the cannabis plant. That way our patients can experience maximum benefits from their cannabis medicine.