What Are Cannabis Terpenes?

Cannabis terpenes are organic, non-psychoactive compounds that give marijuana its aroma and have been found to offer physical and mental health benefits. While research continues to investigate how this remarkable compound interacts with THC and CBD, cannabis terpenes can be found in many products that promote health and wellness.

Terpenes are found in plants throughout nature – they give fruit their unique flavor and aroma, for example, and make a pine forest smell like, well, you know.

But cannabis supporters, backed by preliminary research, believe that terpenes in cannabis have health benefits. The term often used is “entourage effect,” which refers to terpenes working with cannabinoid compounds like THC to provide both physical and mental benefits to users.

Cannabis Terpenes and Aroma

You can detect terpenes immediately with a sniff or two. When it comes to cannabis, some of the most popular terpenes offer aromas such as:

  • Citrus
  • Mint
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Pine
  • Pepper

But aroma is just one aspect of terpenes and not the most important one. Cannabis terpenes, which can be found both in marijuana flower and CBD products, have been found to offer healing and medicinal properties.

Benefits of Cannabis Terpenes

Cannabis terpenes are often most associated with use as an anti-inflammatory and for pain management. But that’s just the start of an extensive list. Various studies have found that terpenes – in connection with THC and CBD – may have antibacterial and antifungal properties, as well as offer support in managing muscle spasms.

Cannabis terpenes also offer a soothing effect. This may prove useful in treating such issues as depression, anxiety, insomnia and stress.

The most common terpenes found in cannabis include myrcene, linalool, pinene, limonene, humulene and borneol.

Depending in the source you read, the impact of these terpenes can vary. However, most agree that both myrcene (citrus) and linalool (lavender) have relaxing properties. Pinene (pine) has potential as an anti-inflammatory and may help with breathing – something that could aid those with asthma. Limonene (lemon) may work as a mood elevator. Humulene (earthy, pungent) may work well as an appetite suppressant and anti-inflammatory.

All research is preliminary in this area. But the potential is there. And people now have the chance to try it for themselves.

Products with Terpenes

As growers learn how different terpenes impact users, they have produced marijuana strains that offer different aromas, flavors and effects by experimenting with various terpenes.

Cannabis terpenes also are part of many CBD products. Oils, lotion and topicals may feature terpenes. Some are designed to help alleviate muscle and joint aches and pains, as well as reduce the severity of headaches and cramps.

With research into terpenes still in its beginning stage, much remains to be found on how these compounds impact health. But for cannabis consumers, it’s another way to investigating the wellness possibilities of cannabis.

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