Most people have heard of the cannabis plant, but did you know that it is one of the best sources for terpenes? Terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the trichomes of female cannabis plant and is also called isoprenoids. In fact, there are over 100 different types of cannabis terpenes in indica, sativa and hybrid strains. These can be isolated and used to create new flavors and smells, which can be beneficial for food products such as cooking oils and baking ingredients.
What Are Terpenes?
There are three different types of terpenes: monoterpenes (which consist of two isoprenyl units), sesquiterpenes (which consist of three isoprene units), and diterpenes (which consist of four isoprene units). Monoterpene-based molecules tend to be light-weight molecules with low boiling points; sesquiterpene-based molecules tend to be heavier with higher boiling points; diterpene-based molecules tend to be even heavier. The difference between terpenes and terpenoids is that terpenoids have oxygen added to them while they’re being made, whereas terpenes don’t have oxygen attached to them.
While many have been identified in hybrid cannabis, there are at least 30,000 different types found naturally occurring in plants around the world. Some of them have been proven by research to have therapeutic benefits when combined with cannabinoids such as CBD and THC derived from indica and sativa plant; others are responsible for making certain strains smell like pine needles or citrus fruits! Inhalation is one of the best ways to use terpenes because it allows them to be absorbed directly through your lungs into the bloodstream without having to go through your digestive system first.
Common in many everyday products, including:
Where Do Terpenes Come From?
Terpenes are a group of chemicals found in many plants and flowers. They are responsible for the aroma and flavor of these plants, as well as their medicinal properties. The word terpene comes from the Latin word “terpentum,” which means “turpentine.” Turpentine is an essential oil extracted from pine trees that contains high levels of terpenes. They are produced by all plants in an effort to protect themselves from predators. Terpenes can repel insects, deter herbivores, and even serve as a defense mechanism against bacteria and fungi.
How Do Terpenes Affect Your Body And Mind?
Terpenes play an important role in the way your body processes cannabinoids (the chemicals that make up cannabis). When you inhale marijuana smoke or vapor, your body absorbs terpenes and other compounds through your lungs and into your bloodstream. There presence may affect how you feel when you consume marijuana by affecting your mood, causing relaxation or anxiety, or making you feel more alert or relaxed.
Terpenes vs THC and CBD?
The main psychoactive compound in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the effects of THC are amplified by terpenes and cannabinoids. They interact with receptors in your brain, which cause changes in your body and mind that result in the effects associated with smoking or eating cannabis.
Found naturally throughout the cannabis plant, however they’re most concentrated in the resinous glands (trichomes). These trichomes contain THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids that produce the effects sought after by medical marijuana patients and recreational users alike.
Terpenes in marijuana are not psychoactive by themselves, but they help to create the effects of the plant as a whole. They are unique because they provide the “entourage effect” when combined with cannabinoids such as THC or CBD—meaning that the sum of the whole is greater than its parts. When combined together they create a whole new compound with unique properties that can’t be found in any one component alone.
Terpenes Found In Cannabis:
Here are some of the most common terpenes , along with a bit about what they do for your body and mind:
Beta-caryophyllene: Found in cannabis, clove buds, and black pepper. The compound was first isolated from clove oil in 1868. Potential to treat anxiety and depression, improve cognitive function and memory recall, reduce pain associated with arthritis or fibromyalgia, and even help with weight loss by reducing appetite.
Beta-pinene: An organic compound that is a terpene. It is an aliphatic hydrocarbon and is found in the oils of many conifers, including pines and firs, as well as many other plants. The name “beta-pinene” comes from its chemical structure—it has two carbon rings with three double bonds between them, with another double bond on one side of each ring. This compound can be synthesized from pinene by adding two hydrogen atoms to it. It has a boiling point of 320 degrees Celsius (600 degrees Fahrenheit).
Humulene: A sesquiterpene that can be found in hops, which are the female flowers of the hop plant Humulus lupulus. It is considered to be a constituent of the essential oils of many other plants, and it is believed to have antioxidant properties. When used in aromatherapy, humulene has been said to help with anxiety and depression. It also helps reduce stress levels by promoting relaxation while also relieving pain from muscle spasms or headaches
Limonene: One of the most well-known terpenes is limonene, which gives citrus fruits their distinctive smell. It’s also found in lemons and limes! has been shown to fight cancer cells and reduce stress. It’s also used as a food additive because it can increase the absorption of other nutrients like vitamins A and E. Limonene is also used as a solvent in many cleaning products.
Linalool: Found in many types of plants. It’s also the primary ingredient in lavender. As you might have guessed from its name, linalool smells like lavender. Interestingly enough, it’s also responsible for the distinct smell of black licorice. It has a wide range of uses in the natural world: it’s an insect repellent and an antiseptic. In humans, linalool may help treat anxiety and depression by reducing stress hormones like cortisol. This means that if you’re feeling stressed out or anxious before an exam or job interview, taking some linalool could help calm you down!
Myrcene: A monoterpene found in many plants. It is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, and can be found in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. The effects of myrcene are primarily sedative, helping to reduce anxiety and pain while also promoting relaxation and sleep. It can also help reduce inflammation, making it useful for treating conditions such as arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.
Medicinal Benefits of Terpenes:
Anti-inflammatory: Research has shown that terpenes can reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting the actions of inflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes, which play a role in asthma and allergies.
Antioxidant: Terpenes can help protect your cells from free radicals and oxidative stress by neutralizing them before they damage DNA or other cellular components.
Antibacterial/Antiviral: Some terpenoids can kill pathogens such as bacteria and viruses by disrupting their cell walls or interfering with their growth cycle.
Antidepressant: Many terpenoids have been shown to elevate levels of serotonin in brain tissue, which helps regulate mood and behavior by promoting feelings of well-being. The best-known example is linalool (found in lavender), which has been shown to have antidepressant effects similar to Prozac but without the side effects!
Pain relief: Can help reduce inflammation and pain by inhibiting COX-2 enzymes which break down fatty acids into inflammatory prostaglandins; they also have analgesic properties that can help treat chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA), menstrual cramps/PMS symptoms