Terpenes are typically referred to as hydrocarbons that occur in plant essential oils, and conifers are where they are most frequently found. Terpenes in Cannabis sativa are analgesic and may cause an “entourage effect.”
Essential oils are composed primarily of terpenes. In addition to contributing to the scent and flavor of cannabis, terpenes interact with cannabinoids to alter its effects.
Additionally, terpenes may provide health benefits to the human body. As rules surrounding cannabis become less stringent, experts are conducting more research into the potential advantages.
Learn more about terpenes in general, as well as their possible health benefits, by continuing to read.
What Are Terpenes and What Are Their Functions?
There are around 150 distinct terpenes found in cannabis. Despite the fact that the majority of terpenes are present in minute quantities, the more prominent terpenes collaborate to give various cannabis strains their distinct aroma profiles.
Sour Diesel’s terpene profile conveys its pungent, gassy nature, whereas Cherry Pie conjures the aroma of a freshly baked sweet-and-sour cherry pie.
Terpenes serve multiple purposes in the cannabis plant and can cause a variety of medicinal and mood-altering effects in consumers.
Where Do Terpenes Come From?
Terpenes are naturally occurring chemicals present in the trichomes of cannabis female plants. Trichomes are viscous, transparent glands that cover the surface of buds and, in much lower quantities, leaves and stems. Importantly, trichomes contain resin glands that generate terpenes.
Terpenes are crucial for the growth and survival of cannabis plants. In addition to providing various fragrances, these chemical components contribute to the color and pigmentation of cannabis leaves and buds, as well as their flavor.
Certain terpenes, such as geraniol, deter insects and herbivores from consuming cannabis. Other terpenes, such as terpinolene and linalool, attract insects and other tiny animals that assist in pollen dispersal.
Live resin is extracted from freshly frozen cannabis plants while maintaining freezing temperatures throughout the extraction process to preserve terpenes and other volatile plant ingredients, resulting in a more aromatically and flavorfully complex cannabis experience.
A variety of factors can influence the number of terpenes produced by a cannabis plant. Whether a plant is grown outdoors or indoors, its exposure to light, temperature, specific growing mediums, nutritional levels, and when it is harvested can all affect terpene concentrations.
Numerous terpenes are volatile molecules, which means they are easily lost during traditional cannabis extraction procedures.
What Role Do Terpenes Play in The Effects of Cannabis?
This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect. cannabis compounds are more than the sum of their individual parts. When cannabinoids and terpenes are taken together, as opposed to separately, a unique synergy between the complete plant arises.
Interactions Between Terpenes and The Human Body
Terpenes contribute more than just taste and smell. Additionally, they facilitate the actions of other cannabis chemicals.
Terpenes and cannabinoids may either amplify or inhibit one another’s effects, depending on which combination is present in a particular cultivar and how an individual reacts to it.
How Do Terpenes Impact the Human Body?
It is not new knowledge that terpenes have fragrant qualities. Terpenes have been exploited by humans for a very long time to create essential oils for aromatherapy and other purposes.
It appears that the effects of terpenes extend beyond positive emotions and stress alleviation. Terpenes have also been highlighted as a new frontier in medical cannabis. It’s becoming clear that these aromatic chemicals are also potent therapeutic agents.
All terpenes possess distinct combinations of medicinal characteristics. Some of the human effects of terpenes are reminiscent of their function in cannabis and other plants, which is not surprising.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System, and What Function Does It Serve?
Numerous therapeutic effects connected with terpenes have been uncovered through animal investigations and in vitro tests.
Human studies on terpenes are in their infancy and have not been conducted extensively. To clarify our understanding of these substances, we need to conduct additional research.
Antiviral substances are continually sought after by researchers. Numerous terpenes, such as alpha- and beta-pinene, caryophyllene, camphor, and carvone, have demonstrated potent antiviral properties.
The search for cancer-suppressing chemicals is driven by the increasing prevalence of numerous cancer types. Certain terpenes, particularly those present in cannabis, can demonstrate anticancer action, inhibiting the activity or proliferation of cancer cells.
Together with other terpenes such as pinene, camphor, terpinene, and beta-myrcene, limonene may be a very effective anticancer and antitumor agent. One of the potential benefits of terpenes is that they are unlikely to harm healthy cells or create negative effects.
Herbal extracts containing terpenes are utilized in the formulation of 25% of antidepressant medications. Linalool and beta-pinene are popular plant extracts included in antidepressant medicines.
An extensive variety of terpenes may exhibit antimicrobial action, or the capacity to stop a hazardous bacteria in its tracks. Terpenes such as alpha-bisabolol, geraniol, menthol, eucalyptol, and terpinolene may assist in killing germs or halting their progression.
Researchers have discovered that some cannabis terpenes have a pain-relieving effect similar to that of cannabinoids.
Humulene, geraniol, linalool, and -pinene are examples of terpenes that may have analgesic properties.