Inside cannabis, you’ll find many substances that create flavor, aroma and certain physical and mental effects. Cannabinoids, marijuana’s active ingredients, produce the most profound effects. However, they’re not the only substances that influence the cannabis experience.
Aromatic carbon-based substances called terpenes also play a big role in marijuana’s story.
Transformative Terps: What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic organic hydrocarbons that give cannabis its scent. Cannabis produces around 140 different terpenes and other plants create them as well. The FDA generally recognizes terpenes as safe. In fact, you’ll find them in many cleaning products, food, and beverages.
Cannabis produces terpenes as a form of natural protection from bacteria, bugs, stress, and fungus.
When we consume cannabis, terpenes work in concert with cannabinoids, creating synergistic effects. Additionally, some research indicates that terps may produce their own unique effects.
Transformative Terps: How To Terpenes Work?
Not unlike cannabinoids, terpenes bind with receptors and influence neurotransmitters once inside the body. They’re lipid and fat-soluble substances that can produce a wide range of effects.
Terps And Depression
Terpenes influence mood in a few different ways.
The first way terpenes influence mood involves serotonin.
Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the human body. It is believed to help regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. – Medical News Today
Many prescription antidepressants are called serotonin uptake inhibitors because they slow the removal of serotonin from the brain. As a result, there is more serotonin in the body.
Another way terpenes affect mood involves norepinephrine. Terpenes enhance norepinephrine activity the way tricyclic antidepressants do.
Norepinephrine is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that acts as both a stress hormone and neurotransmitter (a substance that sends signals between nerve cells). – Everyday Health
Yet another way terpenes effect depression is increased dopamine activity and also augmented GABA (the downer neurotransmitter which counters glutamate).
The wide-ranging effects of terpenes also include reducing inflammation, relieving soreness, helping with sleep and more.
Recreational and medical users alike can appreciate the advantages of terpenes’ diverse effects.
beta caryophyllene (β-caryophyllene)
Terps And Infection
Many terpenes in cannabis and other plants exhibit antibiotic activity.
“[M]any terpenes are known to be active against a wide variety of microorganisms, including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and fungi.” – Mechanisms of Antibacterial Action of Three Monoterpenes
Antibiotic Terps Include
Fungus And Terps
Terpenes and volatile plant oils are proven antifungal agents.
Myrcene; and Limonene
Terps And Inflammation
Inflammation is a common cause of a variety of health conditions. Terpenes show promise in reducing inflammation and relaxing the body.
Terpenes And Relaxation/Sedation
Some cannabinoids are relaxing but terpenes contribute to this effect as well. These terpepens can positively influence anxiety and muscle tension. To pick the best terpenes for insomnia, look for terpenes with relaxing or sedative effects. Also, think about terpenes that could ease stress and emotional upset. Two popular terpenes for insomnia are terpineol and myrcene.
Some terpenes give you a lift often associated with Sativa strains. These terps provide focus and a little extra boost.
Terpenes For Energy & Focus
Pain Relieving Terps
Yet again, cannabinoids get a little help from terpenes when it comes to pain relief. These healing scents can reduce pain.
Terpenes And Cancer
Terpenes show promise in fighting or inhibiting cancer as well.
Anti-Cancer Terps Include
Terpenes And Seizures
According to Prof of Pot, “[by] inhibiting neuronal activity, sedatives can reduce the frequency or intensity of seizures.”
Therefore, the following relaxing terps could help seizures.
Other Notable Terpene Effects
Besides the groupings above, several terpenes create unique effects. Pinene, for instance, inhibits acetylcolynesterasics. What this means is it lessens the side effect THC produces causing short term memory problems.
Additionally, pinene is a bronchodilator with expectorant properties.
Furthermore, Caryophyllene is great for oral health.
Caryophyllene is also the only confirmed terpene that activates the CB2 receptor. This is an exciting point for further research.
Interestingly, Citrics protects against Aspergillus & the carcinogens that are in smoke.
Terpenes are amazing!