Terpenes are volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons which are generally found in essential oils of a plant or fruit. Terpenes have various effects and come in an assortment of aromas. Generally terpenes occur naturally in order to deter pests or attract pollinators.
When terpenes are chemically modified for instance by oxidation, the terpenes convert into terpenoids. Terpenes and terpenoids are the main constitutes of essential oils!
During warmer weather large amounts of terpenes are emitted by trees, resulting in a natural form of cloud seeding. This process allows the forests to naturally regulate their temperatures.
Cannabis plants have been found to carry over 200 individually identified terpene compounds! This is more terpenes then any other known fruit, plant or tree.
Collecting terpenes from plants can be a very difficult, expensive and time consuming process. This is due to the fact that, plants produce very small amounts of terpenes!
When terpenes are combined with cannabinoids they cause something commonly referred to as; the entourage effect. This, so called entourage effect can greatly increase the potential benefits that certain cannabinoids can have on the human body.
The benefits of terpenes are only just beginning to be discovered and understood as they have only just recently begun to research terpenes and their effects. Many terpenes can have quite impressive medicinal properties. They can help fight bacteria, fungus and enhance ones health!
Alpha-Pinene is a commonly found terpene in Cannabis but can also be found in pine tree and herbs such as sage or rosemary. Alpha-Pinene has been shown to help those suffering with breathing difficulties or disorders. It has also been shown to increase one’s memory or help one focus.
Limonene is another terpene found in Marijuana but can also be found in citrus fruits such as lemons. It has been shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties and has also proven to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-depressent (increases serotonin production in the brain -hence elevating mood).
Myrcene which is commonly found in menthol, lemon grass or mangoes can also be found in Marijuana buds or plants. Myrcene has been shown to have anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-depressant, anti-bacterial as well anti-carcinogen and anti-inflammatory properties. When ingested in combination with marijuana it can allow for psychoactive compounds in the marijuana to pass through the blood-brain barrier with much greater ease and efficiency. Myrcene can also have a very relaxing sort of effect. Some users of marijuana have reported, that when they consume a mango prior to smoking marijuana their ‘high’ is greatly increased and longer lasting!
With much just beginning to be discovered, it’s exciting to look towards the future of marijuana research and especially terpene research. The benefits are countless and soon we could be using terpenes everyday to help with the many ailments thousands are suffering from each and every day!