Exploring Cannabis Terpenes
When talking about cannabis, there are certain aspects about it you can’t ignore. One of them is its unique and distinctive aroma that we all know so well, something we owe to terpenes. Terpenes (tur-peens) are aromatic hydrocarbons/oils secreted in marijuana alongside THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. They are synthesized inside the glandular trichomes in cannabis’ secretory cells and majorly found in unfertilized female marijuana flowers before their deterioration phase.
Terpenes’ main function is to protect the cannabis plant against insects, fungus, bacteria and other natural threats that may come its way. However, terpenes also contain a significant amount of medical properties for the human body. This opens a door for the medical cannabis industry and a wide range for possibilities of what terpenes could promote to our health.
Around 200 terpenes have been discovered in the marijuana plant, some of them in nature and others in man-made harvests. Considering that the growing techniques key to the production of the plant, they consequently affect the terpene development too. For instance, the variations in age, weather, climate, soil type, fertilizers and maturation bring to life different and unique terpe
What do Terpenes Do?
Terpenes, like cannabinoids, act on your brain’s receptors and neurotransmitters producing certain effects such as increasing dopamine activity, or acting as serotonin uptake inhibitors. There are a variety of effects that can be produced by each terpenoid profile, some of them will help you with relaxation and others might increase your focus and mental awareness. It all depends on the terpene you are working with.
There is a variety of therapeutic effects terpenes deliver to the human body. From reducing stress levels and anxiety with the Linalool terpene to reducing the risk of heart disease with the Borneol terpene, the benefits of terpenes are truly a leap on medical terrain for the cannabis industry.
Terpenes can also alleviate pain and inflammation, kill bacteria and increase cognitive functioning, treat gastric reflux, ulcers, and even inhibit cancer cell growth. Mainly, popular terpene-related therapies are targeted to help users to deal with pain, depression, addiction, anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, cancer, among other conditions.
Disease-Targeted Therapies with Terpenes
On the other hand, many terpenes work in full harmony with other terpenes, and since there are around 200 different terpene profiles, there are endless combinations science could benefit from. Some terpenes tend to either inhibit or activate the effects with other cannabis compounds, in other words, terpenes and other cannabinoids work synergistically to enhance the potency of marijuana. In consequence, scientists have found the way to manipulate the ratio of cannabinoids in their favor in order to fully understand the role of different terpenes.
Results have shown that terpenes regulate the psychoactive and physiological effects that cannabis regularly produces in the human body. Therefore, with the manipulation of the synergistic ratios between terpenes and other cannabinoids scientists could discover a way to design a treatment directly targeted into a desired user effect and to help specific conditions.
Explore with Your Smell
Even though the only proven way to identify the terpene potency is through lab testing, your nose is also a good way to guide yourself into a terpene with your desired therapeutic effect. Your nose will easily identify distinctive aromas when there is a high concentration of a terpene in a compound. For example, the myrcene terpene is often related to a musky or clove smell, which tends to deliver a relaxing and sedative effect for the user. As a terpene with high pinene concentration levels will remind you of a piney-forest like smell, it will also help you with memory retention.
You might not realize it at first, but marijuana is also related to aromatherapy and the variety of flavors and aromas that terpenes create could potentially mean a new way to treat patients with painful conditions.
If you are looking to start a medical marijuana treatment for any condition, we recommend that you do not self-medicate and approach the experts for the treatment to be successful.
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