Author: Atalie Hamilton
I love to look at cannabis as a house. The cannabinoids act as the foundation that holds the high/medical beneﬁts together. The lighter compounds (terpenes, terpenoids, essential oils, etc..) act as doors, windows, hallways and rooms to bring it all together and play a huge part in how the house feels, looks and functions. To understand terpenes, we need to understand our Cannabinoids and what they are.
Cannabinoids, such as THC, activate receptors in the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, often breaking the blood-brain barrier and creating the “high” or intoxication we experiance.
Some other examples of cannabinoids are CBG, CBN, and CBD.
Terpenes can be responsible for the smell of alot plants, some may also act on the endocannabinoid system in the body in a similar way to cannabinoids. These are often used in nature by plants to either deter or entice insects or animals.
Terpenes can be found in almost every plant, ﬂower, fruit, or vegetable. Over 20,000 terpenes can be found in nature. Out of the 20,000 terpenes, 200 are thought to be in the cannabis plant. Only 150 have been fully discovered but research has started.
A Great example is the terpene limonene. Limonene is one of the most common terpenes in the cannabis industry and also in nature. Occurring naturally in mint, juniper, rosemary, pine, and fennel. Limonene is a colorless liquid with a pleasant lemon/citrus odor. It is widely used as a ﬂavor and fragrance additive in everyday food items such as fruit juices, candies, chewing gums, etc.
Limonene can be found in many beauty products such as soaps, perfumes, shampoos, cleaning products, etc. In addition, it is considered safe for food preservation. Studies on limonene so far have shown potential for elevated mood, stress relief, anti-fungal properties, antibacterial properties, it may help relieve heartburn and gastric reﬂux, and Improve absorption of other terpenes and chemicals by way of the skin, mucous membranes, and digestive tract.
Things start to change when the plant is harvested. as it dries and cures the terpenes oxidize and over time can become terpenoids. Terpenes and terpenoids are similar in ways as they appear to have antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) properties.
Terpenoids have similar characteristics to terpenes by inﬂuencing the fragrance or odor of a plant, while some also have physiological effects. With cannabis, being illegal for so long, there is little scientiﬁc research about how terpenoids and terpenes work in conjunction with the other phyto-chemicals. With different forms of legalization spreading across the world, some research has been done showing some terpenoids might be able to bind to cannabinoid receptors.
Each Terpene has its unique effects and beneﬁts. We are here to help! Come with us as we go through the different terpenes and discover what they can do for you!
Johnson, Jon “what to know about terpenes.” Medical News Today
Hemraj,Dipak “What’s the Difference Between Terpenes and Terpenoids” Leafwell