Cannabis hemp contains two terpene panels; Panel 1: Cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigiol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydocannabinoid (THC), etc., and Panel 2: Cannabimimetics, such as myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, and more, as described below.
Terpenes and The Entourage Effect
Terpenes give each cannabis strain its unique aroma and flavor. They are organic chemical constituents of essential oils produced by most plants, and even some animals such as swallowtail butterflies and termites. Terpenes are volatile aromatic molecules—molecules that evaporate easily.
Terpenes have two very important roles in every plant’s life:
They are the primary component of resin and they protect the flowers from predators.
Terpene resins produce a wide range of medical effects and these are unique to cannabis—the combination of terpenes, cannabinoids and optimal dosage is responsible for the entire success of medical cannabis.
The beauty industry uses terpenes for making essential oils and perfumes, synthetic terpenes are
used for flavoring and as food additives.
15 common Terpenes and Their Proven Health Benefits
Some terpenes are very effective in relieving stress and some are awesome for boosting focus. There are hundreds of these remarkable compounds found in the cannabis plant. Here we will quickly review 15 most common terpenes found in cannabis and their proven health benefits.
In recent years, cannabis terpenes have become an important subject of scientific research.
The “Entourage Effect” is a term coined by S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam back in 1998, to represent the biological synergy of cannabinoids and other compounds like flavonoids and terpenes.
Simply put, when we ingest terpenes with cannabinoids (a likely scenario when consuming a whole-plant product), they form a synergistic relationship, complimenting each other’s strengths. This symbiosis between cannabinoids and terpenes is what gives cannabis its special super food powers, as it improves the absorption of cannabinoids, overcomes bacterial defense mechanisms and minimizes side effects.
It was Jürg Gertsch who first noticed the ability of beta-caryophyllene to bind to CB2 receptors, calling it “a dietary cannabinoid”, and concluded that all green vegetables containing beta-caryophyllene terpenes are extremely beneficial for human use.
Shortly after that, Dr. Ethan Russo published an article in 2011, in the British Journal of Pharmacology, about the therapeutic properties of cannabis terpenes. Dr. Russo described the cannabinoid-terpene interaction as a “synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections”.
1) Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis hemp. Myrcene is known to make up to 65% of total terpene profile in some strains.
Therapeutic purposes, myrcene is packed full of sedative effects, reducing inflammation and chronic pain.
Myrcene is found in earthy, musky notes, like cloves, mango and red grapes.
2) Limonene is the second most abundant terpene in cannabis, but not all strains necessarily possess the compound.
Therapeutic purposes, limonene is a mood-booster and a stress-crusher, antifungal and antibacterial properties, with one study even announcing that limonene may play a role in reducing tumor size.
Limonene is found in lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, peppermint, rosemary.
3) Linalool is in the top five abundant terpenes. Just like these aromatic herbs, linalool also produces sedation and relaxation.
Therapeutic purposes, linalool helps reduce and relieve arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia.
Linalool is found in lavender, mint, cinnamon, and coriander.
4) Caryophyllene is the only terpene that binds to cannabinoid (CB2) receptors, those receptors primarily found throughout the body. Beta-caryophyllene binds to CB2 receptors, which makes it an ingredient in anti-inflammatory topicals and creams.
Therapeutic purposes, caryophyllene, helps reduce inflammation and analgesic.
Caryophyllene has a spicy and peppery note and is found in black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and spices like oregano, basil, and rosemary.
5) Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene twin terpenes smell like pine trees and are found in abundance in nature.
Therapeutic purposes, alpha- and beta-pinene, helps reduce inflammation, improve the airflow and respiratory functions, helps reduce memory loss, reduces respiratory difficulties such as asthma, and gastrointestinal ailments.
Pinenes are obviously found in pine trees, but also in herbs like dill, parsley, basil, cedar, rosemary, oranges, eucalyptus.
6) Alpha-bisabolol, also known as levomenol and bisabolol, has a pleasant floral aroma. Primarily used in the cosmetics industry, but lately, it has caught the attention of researchers for its supposed medical benefits.
Therapeutic purposes, alpha-bisabolol, proves effective in treating bacterial infections and wounds, is a great antioxidant with anti-irritation and analgesic properties.
Alpha-bisabolol terpenes are found in chamomile flowers and candeia trees.
7) Eucalyptol, also known as cineole, is the primary terpene of the eucalyptus tree. It produces minty tones and most cannabis strains only have trace compounds.
Therapeutic purposes, eucalyptol, relieves pain and slows down the growth of bacteria and fungus.
Eucalyptol is obviously found in eucalyptus trees,
8) Trans-nerolidol is a secondary terpene, Its smell is a mixture of rose, lemon and apple tones, and can be described in general as both woody and citrusy.
Therapeutic purposes, trans-nerolidol, its antiparasitic, antioxidant, antifungal, anticancer and antimicrobial properties.
Trans-nerolidol found mostly in flowers like jasmine, lemongrass, and tea tree oil.
9) Humulene is the first terpene found in hops, and its aroma is made up of earthy, woody and spicy notes.
Therapeutic purposes, effective in suppressing appetite, reduces inflammation, relieves pain and fights bacterial infections.
Humulene is found in clove, sage, and black pepper.
10) Delta 3 Carene is sweet and resembles the smell of cypress.
Therapeutic purposes, delta 3 carene, effective in healing broken bones, arthritis aid, stimulates memory and helps with memory retention.
Delta 3 Carene is found in rosemary, basil, bell peppers, cedar and pine.
11) Camphene is musky earth and damp woodlands.
Therapeutic purposes, camphene, conventional eczema and psoriasis medicine, lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides.
Camphene fir needles,
12) Borneol is a herbal minty scent.
Therapeutic purposes, Borneol, natural insect repellent, antiviral.
Borneol can be found in herbs like rosemary, mint, and camphor.
13) Terpineol is described as floral-like, reminiscent of lilacs, apple blossom, and a hint of lemon.
Therapeutic purposes, terpineol, include relaxant, antibiotic and antioxidant properties.
Terpineol tastes like anise and mint.
14) Valencene has a sweet citrusy aroma and flavor.
Therapeutic purposes, valencene, natural insect repellent,
Valencene is found in Valencia oranges,
15) Geraniol smell resembles a mixture of rose grass, peaches, and plums.
Therapeutic purposes, geraniol, has a lot of potential as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant.
Geraniol can be found in lemons and tobacco.