What are Terpenes and their Medicinal Uses?
Terpenes, or terpenoids, are aromatic compounds found in thousands of plant species. They are responsible for the different flavours and fragrances of cannabis. In nature, terpenes protect plants from animal grazing and infectious germs. The plant sources of terpenes include thyme, tea, cannabis, and citrus fruits, such as orange, lemon, mandarin, etc.
Among the many natural products that provide medicinal benefits for an organism, terpenes play a major role. It gives each strain of cannabis a unique scent and flavour apart from adding a therapeutic effect.
What Do Terpenes Do?
Terpenes deliver a powerful scent and flavour. It has two essential roles in the life of a plant. First, it protects the plant from predators, diseases and fungus. Second, it releases resin, used for producing essential oils such as those found in beauty products and aromatherapy. Its therapeutic properties enhance the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
Similar to CBD, terpenes work with the body by binding to the brain’s receptors. They interact with the endocannabinoid system and aid the CBD in entering the body’s bloodstream.
Myrcene, a type of terpene, for instance, increases cell permeability making the absorption of cannabinoids into the bloodstream easier and faster. This process is the ‘Entourage Effect.’ The effect occurs when several natural plant compounds interact together within the human body to deliver a more powerful impact than what a compound can create individually.
Medicinal Uses of Terpenes
Limonene helps to uplift mood and reduce stress levels. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also helpful in weight loss and the treatment of acid reflux and ulcers. Myrcene eases chronic pain and inflammation, induces sedative effects, and aids muscle relaxation.
Pinene helps in opening airways in the respiratory system and is suitable for asthma patients. Moreover, it protects the lungs against viral infections like bronchitis. Linalool has analgesic, anti-convulsant, anaesthetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is the principal compound in lavender, popular for sedative, calming, and soporific powers. As a result, linalool is great for insomniacs and one of the effective treatments for anxiety and stress.
Terpenes are natural compounds capable of delivering a multitude of medicinal benefits. Some terpenes help in relieving stress; others help in relaxing and inducing sleep. Some work well when you want to improve your focus; others have the potential to kill respiratory pathogens.
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