Terpenes are a type of compound found in different plants and are associated with cannabis, as this particular type of plant has high concentrations. They are responsible for its characteristic smell and also have some health benefits.
In this article, we are going to show you what terpenes are and the most common types.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that can be found in plants and some types of animals. They are also often used to recreate flavors and aromas in all different kind of products.
They have a fundamental role in nature. In some plants they act to attract pollinators, while in others they are responsible for repelling predators. Likewise, they fulfill the function of protectors for plants by helping them recover from different damages and keeping the immune system healthy.
Cannabis prepared for consumption usually contains terpenoids, they are basically terpenes that have been oxidized, after going through a drying and curing process.
Terpenes and cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are a chemical compound specific to cannabis. These compounds activate a response in the body’s endocannabinoid system. Both CBD and THC are two cannabinoids that influence the body in a unique way.
Terpenes, as we explained, determine the aroma. But some of the cannabis plants can influence the body in a similar way to cannabinoids. The difference is that the body absorbs and uses them in different ways.
How do terpenes affect the body?
Many terpenes are bioactive, so they have an effect on the body. This effect, however, varies depending on the concentration and the person using it.
Due to the odors they produce, they are the basis of essential oils and aromatherapy. Aroma therapy from plants can influence mood and anxiety levels.
There is research to support the belief that terpenes can modify the effects of THC and CBD. Therefore, it has been determined that these components can modify the way in which the body uses CBD.
Some types of terpenes that can be found in nature are the following:
Limonene is easily recognizable by its aroma. It is found in the peel of fruits such as lemons and oranges. It has therapeutic properties as it is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antidiabetic and anticancer.
It modifies the way in which some cells behave, so it can protect the body from different disorders. It can be taken as a supplement safely.
Pinene is the terpene responsible for the characteristic refreshing scent of pine needles, basil, and other leaves. It can have therapeutic benefits and is used in Japan in different therapies.
Likewise, its benefits were replicated in a study where it was found that it acts as a bronchodilator, allowing the lungs to take in more air. It also has a certain anti-inflammatory effect that can be useful for fighting certain infectious germs.