Why Are Terpenes Important?

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Terpenes are a type of hydrocarbon-based compounds that create cannabis’s unique smell. You may also hear the word “terpenoids,” which are a class of terpenes. However, these have been chemically modified to act differently when you ingest them. Typically, terpenes are oxidized, which means they are combined with oxygen. 

The Impact of Terpenes on the Body 

Your body undergoes several physiological responses when you consume cannabis. Some are feelings of pleasure, while others create feelings of sleepiness. The presence of terpenes impacts what you feel when consuming cannabis. 

Terpenes vs. Cannabinoids 

Terpenes and cannabinoids aren’t separate; however, they work together to provide unique properties via the entourage effect. These two substances have the same chemical precursor, which is geranyl phosphate. Additionally, Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene and a cannabinoid. This is a fact that outlines how these two substances are linked. 

Both substances are necessary. Terpenes work to control how much THC crosses the BBB – blood-brain barrier. Also, terpenes will help you determine what effect a specific cannabis product will have. 

Medical Uses and Benefits of Terpenes 

There are several different types of terpenes. Some have been shown to provide the following properties:

  • Antiviral
  • Anticonvulsive
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antidepressant
  • Antitumor 
  • Anticancer

It’s worth mentioning that each property requires additional research to have definitive conclusions.  

Health Benefits of Terpenes 

Terpenes can help reduce general anxiety in individuals dealing with mild to moderate stress. A common practice in aromatherapy medicine is smelling essential oils that contain terpenes. This is said to have mood-enhancing benefits. For example, when you breathe in lavender oil, it’s said to have calming benefits, while sweet orange oil may provide a burst of energy. 

Uses of Terpenes 

Today, terpenes are used for several industrial products that are used daily. Some of these include:

  • As flavoring agents in various food products, including candy. 
  • As active ingredients in insecticides and mosquito repellents. 
  • Scent enhancers for body lotions and shampoos.

Many natural healers, including massage therapists, use terpenes in their balms and aromatherapy oils because of the benefits mentioned above. 

Tips to Maximize Terpenes Benefits

The terpenes in cannabis impact how you feel and the effect that medical marijuana has on your symptoms and your quality of life. Combining terpenes such as beta-caryophyllene, pinene, and limonene with THCV, CBD, and THC can offer energizing benefits. On the other hand, combining terpenes like linalool, humulene, and myrcene creates a more relaxing effect. 

Knowing the unique properties of the different terpenes and then mixing them together is one of the best ways to see the desired benefits. 

Understanding the Role of Terpenes 

As you can see, terpenes have several roles. They are beneficial substances in cannabis and can provide numerous health benefits. It’s smart to learn as much as you can about the different components of a product before using it to ensure you will get the desired effects. Being informed is the best way to make smart decisions regarding the use of cannabis and terpenes.

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