What is that particle common across food, perfumes, and medicine? The answer, quite simply, it’s Terpene.
Terpenes are found in all plants and provide the product with its aroma and flavour. These particles have been helping mankind for ages. All of the terpenes we use are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also, terpenes protect plants during high temperatures, and against bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Terpenes are highly volatile, such that the smell of fresh flowers or dried leaves on a sunny day is the smell of terpenes released through evaporation.
Terpenes are very popular among medical or recreational cannabis (marijuana) consumers. Due to the presence of terpenes, many marijuana products have a complex scent and flavour such as citrus, pine, and mint. Terpenes not only help create a diverse selection of cannabis flavours but also contribute significantly to the medicinal effects of the cannabis plant. The aroma of terpenes can help users differentiate between the various strains of cannabis.
This article uncovers 7 health benefits of terpenes which are a sure surprise as they add much more value to a terpene than its most commonly known uses of taste and smell.
1) Terpenes Have Therapeutic Effects – Since terpenes are associated with a distinct aroma, they prove to be very beneficial in aromatherapy. The fragrance of terpenes which are used to make essential oils, induces a sense of calm and alleviates depression, thus bringing about physiological changes. This was proved in a study conducted on 12 depressed patients. When they were exposed to citrus aromas with a terpene concentration of over 0.5%, there was a remarkable reduction in the patients’ depression levels. To add to the success of this experiment, 9 out of the 12 patients actually discontinued taking antidepressants.
2) Terpene-rich CBD oil for pain relief – Cannabidiol (CBD) oil comes from the cannabis plant and is known to relieve chronic pain and resolve sleep problems. CBD oil health benefits are enhanced by adding terpenes to the oil, in terms of providing a fuller experience that is called “The Entourage Effect”. Such an experience involves the interaction of terpenes with CBD to maximise the potential of cannabis.
Terpenes not only provide aroma to the cannabis plant but also protect the plant from insects and bacteria. Currently, there are about 200 terpenes present in the cannabis plant, and the most commonly used CBD oil terpenes are Borneol, Caryophyllene, Cineole, Delta-3-Carene, Limonene, Linalool, Myrcene, Pinene, Pulegone, and Terpineol. While using the medicinal benefits of CBD oil mixed with terpene, knowledge of correct CBD dosage is critical. Scientific studies have proven that the best CBD dosage for reducing swelling is 20 mg twice per day for 1 week. In case a higher dosage is required for more severe pain, due to swelling, then the correct CBD dosage would be 40 mg twice per day.
Scientific research has also proven that the best CBD dose for stress-related muscle pain is 25mg twice per day. After one week, if required, the dose should be increased to 40mg CBD twice per day.
3) Some Terpenes Cause Cancer Cell Death – Results of pre-clinical studies show that some terpenes, namely, Limonene and ?-caryophyllene stop cancer cells from spreading in the body and even prevent cancer from forming. These terpenes can also suppress tumour growth, and prevent metastasis (the development of secondary infection at a distance from a primary site of cancer).
4) Terpenes Can Reduce Pain and Inflammation – Terpenes such as ?-caryophyllene possess anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, hence they can help increase circulation, alleviate pain and swelling when applied topically. Terpenes also soothe cramped muscles.
5) Terpenes Can Alleviate Skin Ailments – Due to their antibacterial properties, terpenes, when topically applied, are very effective for treating severe skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema. Also, a terpene mixed with Vitamin C can be used as an antioxidant to fight skin ageing.
6) Terpenes Can Help Cure Stomach Ailments – Terpenes can be mixed with tea or food, to kill harmful bacteria in your digestive tracks, thus helping cure indigestion or stomach ailments. Terpenes also act as diuretics, help relieve flatulence and gastroesophageal reflux, and reduce menstrual cramps.
7) Terpenes Act As A Bronchodilator – Terpenes such as Pinene widen the bronchi and clear congestion in the respiratory organs. Therefore they are very effective for increasing airflow to the lungs and facilitating proper breathing. Such properties of terpenes are extremely useful in conditions like nose blockage, sinusitis, snoring and sleep apnea ( a serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts).