WHAT ARE TERPENES USED FOR

WHAT ARE TERPENES USED FOR

Terpenes is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and is mostly known for its flavor and scent. This blog discusses terpenes, how terpenes affect the body, what terpenes are used for, types of terpenes, and other ways to use terpenes.

The cannabis plant has over one hundred and thirty cannabinoids. However, most people are familiar with cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).CBD is known for its calming and therapeutic effects, while THC is known for its psychoactive effects. Most cannabis lovers are unfamiliar with the terpenes responsible for the plant’s scent. Terpenes are found in various plants, but most people associate them with cannabis since they have large concentrations of this cannabinoid. Terpenes not only provide aroma but also it has several health benefits to the body. There are various types of terpenes, and they provide varying uses. Some uses of terpenes include; protecting the plant, manufacturing perfumes, and aromatherapy.

TERPENES OVERVIEW

Terpenes are scented compounds responsible for the aroma of various plants like lavender. Manufacturers utilize terpenes to give their scent to perfumes, foods, and body products. Plants are known to attract pollinators and repel predators because of their strong smell.

Some terpenes protect the plant by helping it recover from damage, while others are the plant’s immune system keeping them away from germs.

HOW TERPENES AFFECT THE BODY

Terpene has no psychoactive effects, meaning you can’t get high from using it. However, terpenes can alter the therapeutic benefits you acquire from inhaling cannabis. The cannabis plant is known for its therapeutic effect, mostly due to THC and CBD. However, terpenes have a subtle and indirect effect on your general experience when you smoke them.

Different terpenes affect the body differently. Some have energetic effects, while others are more relaxing.

WHAT ARE TERPENES USED FOR?

Different terpenes have different benefits to the mind and body. Some uses of terpenes include:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Alleviate stress and anxiety
  • Improve appetite
  • Muscle spasm relief

Inhaling terpenes through aromatherapy boost your general well-being too. Terpenes have various health benefits. They are mostly known for their various properties. Certain terpenes can also treat cancer and diabetes. Terpenes are also strong anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and bacterial agents.

TYPES OF TERPENES

Various types of terpenes are used for various reasons. The most popular terpenes are:

LIMONENE

Limonene is popular mostly because of its scent. It is responsible for the orange sand lemons’ citrusy smell. Shin et al. (2020) noted that limonene is useful in treating various illnesses.

Studies have shown that limonene has the following properties:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Antioxidant
  • Anticancer
  • antifungal

Limonene regulation shows how specific immune cells operate, which protects you from various disorders. Limonene is also consumed as a supplement.

PINENE

There are two types of pinene: a –pinene and b-pinene. It is responsible for most plants’ bright and fresh aromas, such as basil and rosemary. It also has various therapeutic effects. According to Weston et al. (2021), pinene is known for its anti-anxiety properties, which help reduce stress and anxiety.

Inhaling pinene is therapeutic since it is a bronchodilator hence allowing more air. Pinene also contains anti-inflammatory properties hence fighting against germs.

LINALOOL

Linalool is mostly found in lavender. It is responsible for its aroma. Belletti et al. (2010)stated that linalool is an important compound mostly used in aromatherapy since it has calming and relaxing effects. Linalool has various properties, including but not limited to:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-microbial
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-depressant

MYRCENE

Myrcene is mostly available in hops and thyme. Cannabis plant flowers also have this compound. According to McDougall et al. (2022), myrcene is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It protects the brain against oxidative damage. It can also protect the heart tissue. It can also be an alternative treatment to ischemic stroke.

However, you should know that high levels of myrcene are used. Myrcene contains anti-inflammatory properties that could counteract the disintegration of specific cartilage cells; hence it could treat osteoarthritis.

BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE

Beta-caryophyllene is available in various herbs and vegetables, including cloves. Like other terpenes, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and alleviates pain and inflammation levels in the body.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it could help in reducing nerve pain. Hence is used in treating persistent chronic pain.

HUMULENE

Humulene is available in hop and ginger plants. Humulene could prevent allergic reactions. In the future, it could be a potential natural asthma treatment.

Humulene has protective effects that can prevent cancer in various cells. However, more research is needed to back these claims.

Other terpenes include:

  • Phytol
  • Nerolidol
  • Ocimene
  • Geraniol

OTHER WAYS TO USE TERPENES

There are various ways you can consume terpenes:

AROMATHERAPY

The most common way of using terpenes is through aromatherapy. An aromatherapy candle is lit, and you get to inhale its smoke. Terpenes will leave your house smelling lovely, and you will also acquire aromatherapy benefits.

You can also use a diffuser to inhale the compound. All you need to do is add the terpene oil to the diffuser and let it do its work. If you want a calming and relaxing effect, choose lavender since it contains linalool with calming properties. Terpene oil has limonene that can make you energetic and invigorated too.

COOKING

It may come as a surprise, but you can use terpene oil for cooking like you would with CBD oil. Terpenes give your food that extra flavor. You can use terpene oil for cooking your favorite food.

VAPING

Most people are aware of vaping terpene. However, you should know that you can’t vape terpene oil solely. You will require an e-liquid base like propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycol (VG). Some brands offer terpenes with the mixtures, while others don’t. Hence t is important you read the product’s label before adding terpene oil to your vape juice.

CONCLUSION

Terpenes are cannabinoids available in various plants responsible for their scent. They play a role in the plant’s health and survival because their strong scent may chase away predators. Terpenes are also useful in the human body since they contain various benefits such as stress relief, pain relief, and improved appetite. Various ways you can consume your terpenes include; vaping, incorporating it in your favorite food, and aromatherapy. However, when purchasing terpene oil, ensure the brand is reliable and trustworthy to avoid purchasing low-quality products that may cause negative reactions to your body.

REFERENCES

Belletti, N., Kamdem, S. S., Tabanelli, G., Lanciotti, R., & Gardini, F. (2010). Modeling of combined effects of citral, linalool, and β-pinene used against Saccharomyces cerevisiae in citrus-based beverages subjected to a mild heat treatment. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 136(3), 283-289.

McDougall, J. J., & McKenna, M. K. (2022). Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Properties of the Cannabis Terpene Myrcene in Rat Adjuvant Monoarthritis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(14), 7891.

Shin, M., Liu, Q. F., Choi, B., Shin, C., Lee, B., Yuan, C., … & Cho, K. S. (2020). Neuroprotective effects of limonene (+) against Aβ42-induced neurotoxicity in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer’s disease. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 43(3), 409-417.

Weston-Green, K., Clunas, H., & Jimenez Naranjo, C. (2021). A review of the potential use of pinene and linalool as terpene-based medicines for brain health: Discovering novel therapeutics in the flavors and fragrances of cannabis. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 583211.

Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS

I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.

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