Terpenes: Nature's Gift to Wellness
Plants are powerful. As humans, we are so blessed to be surrounded by living organisms that can provide us with nutrients, sustenance, and natural medicine - all powered by the sun and the will to grow.
For centuries, our ancestors incorporated flora into their daily lives, using different herbs for healing and wellness. Cannabis was among those sacred plants that provided relief for a variety of ailments. As they knew long ago, plant based medicine brings us strength, vitality, and an important connection to the single star that powers our Solar System.
Cannabis is still a key to healthy living. The ensemble of cannabinoids and terpenoids is the perfect combination to boost a variety of therapeutic properties that can help widespread issues such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It’s not all about the THC and CBD anymore - terpenes are nature’s gift to wellness.
By now you’ve most likely heard terpenes can be found in a variety of plants, and are also the strong smelling oils that produce the flavors and aromas of cannabis. But what about the therapeutic side effects?
Below is a list of five primary terpenes, and an explanation of their extraordinary healing abilities.
Beta-Caryophyllene, also written as β-Caryophyllene, is a therapeutic terpene that is found in strains such as Rockstar, Skywalker OG, and Northern Lights. In addition to its spicy pepper, clove notes, this compound is known to be a natural pain reliever, reduces inflammation, acts as an antioxidant, and protects the brain and nervous system. Leafly reports Caryophyllene is also known to help treat alcohol abuse by reducing cravings and can slow cancer cells from spreading.
Limonene is the citrusy terpene that is found in cannabis. Common strains include Lemon Haze, OG Kush, Lemon Skunk, Jack Herer, and Island Sweet Skunk. As its namesake suggests, this terpene displays strong lemon, lime, grapefruit, and tangerine characteristics. Not only is this terpene beneficial for aromatherapy purposes, it is also a natural stress reducer, can enhance moods, promotes weight loss, and fights depression. WebMD also notes that Limonene is often added to medical ointments and creams to help penetrate the skin.
When thinking of Linalool, lavender is the first thing that comes to mind. This restorative terpene is responsible for the memorable fragrance of this calming purple flower. Linalool can also be found in cannabis strains such as G-13, Amnesia Haze, Cinderella 99, and LA Confidential. It promotes relaxation and sleep, as well as a sense of well being. Used in many essential oils, soaps, and bath bombs, Linalool is also known to have blissful side effects.
HERB recently reported that Myrcene (or β-Myrcene) is known to be one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. This comes as no surprise as hundreds of cannabis varieties display Myrcene’s signature notes of mixed herbs, skunk, tropical fruits, and earthy undertones. A few well-known strains include Pure Kush, Skunk #1, Himalayan Gold, and OG Kush.
As a natural remedy, studies have shown this terpene has the ability to relax muscles, slow bacterial growth, promote sleep, and can help with diabetes.
Myrcene in cannabis also has a synergistic relationship with the Myrcene in mangoes. Steep Hill Labs reports that consuming a fresh mango, 45 minutes before enjoying cannabis, will result in a quicker and more intense onset of psycho activity. Give it a try next time you buy fresh mango!
Pinene, also known as α-Pinene, is a principal monoterpene that is beneficial for plants, animals, and humans. This important compound is found in pine trees, but high levels of Pinene can also be found in cannabis, rosemary, dill, and other garden herbs such as parsley. Look for strains such as Trainwreck, Bubba Kush, and Chemdawg.
Much like walking through a forest, this refreshing terpene has the ability to help with asthma, acts as an anti-inflammatory, provides energy, and promotes alertness. The Leaf also suggests that Pinene appears to aid in memory retention.
Mother Nature has provided us with so many miracles when it comes to plants. With over 100 terpenes discovered in cannabis so far, natural healing continues to grow as we learn more and more. Tapping into these organic gifts is a safe and healthy approach to finding wellness, happiness, and relief.
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Peace, Love & Cannabis,
The Herb Somm