The cannabis industry is evolving at an incredible rate. I’m sure I’m not the only one who leaves work on a Friday night, only to come back to a world of changes on Monday morning. Normally, my inbox is full of inquiries, social media has blown up with conversations about changes, and I’m conversing with teammates about the true impact on the community of these changes. Not all of these changes are negative, though. As cannabis continues to legitimize across the globe, one major change that I’ve seen is in the research. More interestingly, the community has been driving to seek a better understanding of terpenoids (terpenes) – organic compounds produced by plants, which are generally classified as essential oils.
Pinene is incredibly special, as it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This means that upon consumption, it’s able to affect neurotransmitters that already exist in our bodies, and improve our memory functions, focus and energy. Alpha-pinene is also a known bronchodilator, meaning it actually helps in opening the airways in the upper respiratory system. Studies on α-Pinene have shown that anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties on top of this – it can literally shrink tumors!
“So you’re saying cannabis can help with memory, asthma, and infections on top of treatment for pain, cancer and its symptoms?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. The wonderful thing about cannabis is that the terpenes that are present in the plant actually work together with cannabinoids to provide effective therapy against so many ailments – especially cancer. For patients that want the medicinal benefits, but don’t like the feeling of being “high”, α-Pinene has been found to inhibit psychological effects of THC effects as well.
ß-Pinene is another very common terpene found in cannabis, and has a wealth of interesting attributes. Whereas α-Pinene gives off a very strong pine-tree odor, ß-Pinene gives off a muskier aroma similar to rosemary. One of the most highly regarded qualities of Beta-Pinene is its effectiveness as an anti-microbial.
Interestingly, studies testing the effectiveness of the essential oil Rosmarinus officinalis L as an antimicrobial were linked to the existence of both α and ß Pinene in the oil itself. ß-Pinene is also a potential cancer killer, showing very promising results when used as a treatment to prevent the spread of skin cancer . Incredible effects can be seen when terpenes function cohesively as well. ß-Pinene and Linalool have been shown to function together to promote balanced brain chemistry. To break this down further, studies point to these terpenes working together as a natural and safe way to combat depression. While we’ll get to Linalool in a future post, it’s promising for our community to see the potential healing properties of cannabis coming to the forefront of our industry as we continue to evolve. There is a wealth of research out there, but if you ever need to be pointed in the right direction give out laboratory a call.
Fenchone is primarily knows as a flavor and aroma enhancer, and it’s a main component of the essential oils derived from fennel seed. It has an earthy, somewhat woody aroma and can give hints of a cooling, minty or earthy (umami) flavor.While not much research is linked directly to Fenchone, studies target the essential oils of fennel, and suggest that the medicinal properties in fennel oil may be directly linked to the existence of Fenchone. Fenchone is believed to provide diuretic, pain reducing, and anti-microbial effects when ingested.
Valencene, with its citrusy smell and flavor (most commonly found in its namesake, the Valencia Orange), is known to create a flavor profile in cannabis that is similar to grapefruit. When it comes to benefits, Valencene is quite unique. Not only is it known to be an affective anti-inflammatory, but studies have also shown that it’s an effective, safe and natural insect repellent. Next time you go camping, make sure to bring that Grapefruit!
Linalool is very commonly found in many different cannabis strains, but can most likely be found with elevated levels in purple strains. Linalool has an abundance of medical applications. Linalool is shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory, helps block the brain's receptors to pain, aids in preventing seizures, and can actually help users sleep upon consumption due to acting as a mild sedative. The aroma and flavor of Linalool is reminiscent of lavender.
Camphene, which was used in the 18th century to provide oil for lanterns, also has a wealth of properties that can be beneficial when consumed. When partnered with Vitamin C, Camphene becomes a very strong antioxidant. Camphene has also shown promise in treating sinus pressure and hyperlipidemia. This further proves that different strains of cannabis can be tailored to so many different ailments and situations.
Limonene is another terpene with a wealth of medicinal application. Due to its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it’s a very effective agent in bowel motility – it can even, in some cases, help boost your metabolism and assist in weight loss! Limonene can help your body detoxify, dissolve fat, cholesterol, and help cleanse the lymphatic system. Outside of this, Limonene helps with anxiety, sleep, and mood stabilization.
Eucalyptol is another interesting one! It’s shown the slow and stop the growth of fungus, which is ironic considering a fungus was recently discovered that produces this terpene in large amounts. Eucalyptol has also shown effectiveness as an analgesic, antibacterial, antioxidant, and is even as a potential anti-proliferative (slows cancer cell growth).