Medication through aroma: 5 important terpenes in cannabis

Secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD, terpenes are aromatic oils that color cannabis varieties with distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine. Not unlike other strong-smelling plants and flowers, the development of terpenes in cannabis began for adaptive purposes: to repel predators and lure pollinators. There are many factors that influence a plant’s development of terpenes, including climate, weather, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil type, and even the time of day. Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and every strain tends toward a unique terpene type and composition. Let’s take a look at 5 recurring terpene profiles inhabited by most strains:-

  • Alpha-Pinene:

One of the most predominant terpenes found in cannabis plants, Alpha-Pinene imparts an aroma of pine that is found in pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley and dill.  Pinene promotes alertness, memory retention and is also said to counteract some effects of THC. Its potential medical value lies in the treatment of asthma, pain, inflammation, ulcers, anxiety and cancer.

  • Myrcene:

Another common terpenoid found mostly in Indica varieties, Myrcene imparts a musky/herbal aroma that is also found in mangoes, lemongrass, thyme and hops. Said to have a sedative ‘couch-lock’ effect, Myrcene induces deep relaxation and is said to benefit patients of insomnia. It is also rich in antioxidants.

  • Limonene:

One of the most famed and favoured fragrances of all time, limonene has a citrusy aroma that is commonly found in fruit rinds, juniper and rosemary. Limonene elevates mood, promotes stress relief and is said to treat anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain and cancer.

  • Caryophyllene

Imparting a spicy/woody aroma, caryophyllene is predominant in black pepper, cloves and cinnamon. Caryophyllene is said to promote stress relief and treat pain, anxiety, depression and ulcers.

  • Linalool

A unique and rare terpenoid that has a floral aroma to it, Linalool is commonly found in lavenders. It is said to have mood enhancement and sedative effects and it treats anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disease.

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