March 21, 2019 2 min read

What Are Terpenes? 

Found in Mother Nature’s medical cabinet, terpenes are molecules that are found in the essential oils of plants and are the substance responsible for a plant's distinct fragrance. Essential oils that hold numerous medicinal benefits such as increased blood flow, enhanced cortical activity, and the ability to kill pathogens. While lower levels of terpenes are found in many plants and insects to repel predators, cannabis is said to naturally have one of the highest levels of terpenes. Terpenes are also what give cannabis its distinct, strong smell. 

How Do Terpenes Work?

Cannabinoids and terpenes work together to synergistically create what is known as the “entourage effect”, amplifying the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components in the body. Through magnifying the effects of individual components, the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts, thus “the entourage effect.” 

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Medicinal Benefits of Terpenes

The essential oil revolution throughout the years has brought new scientific research and awareness of the numerous medical benefits of terpenes and aromatherapy. Terpenes offer help through the treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections, and more.

Which Terpene is Best for You?

While nearly all major terpenes in cannabis are anti-pain or anti-inflammatory, some can increase or decrease the psychoactive effect of the THC in cannabis, which can be an important factor when choosing between the 200 different kinds. 

Terpenes used with CBD may take away THC’s psychoactive effects and only amplifies the beneficial effects of the cannabinoid-terpenoid interaction, without causing THC-induced anxiety. 

  • Myrcene terpenes cause an increase in the effects of THC. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, induces sleepiness, and has research supporting cancer healing effects. (Thyme, lemongrass, basil)
  • Limonene terpenes cause a decrease in the effects of THC. It works as an energizing anti-depressant for the body. (Fruity + citrus aromas)
  • Beta-caryophyllene terpenes are gastro-protective, good from treating ulcers and offer a therapeutic promise for anti-inflammatory and auto-immune disorders. (Cloves, hops, rosemary)

No matter what need you'd like to meet, there is most likely a terpene for you!

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