What Are Terpenes and Why Are They Important?
Do you know what terpenes are? If not, you’re not alone. According to a survey, 70 percent of cannabis users reported that they were unfamiliar with the term. Despite industry efforts to raise awareness around terpenes, the majority of patients are still unaware of what they are and why they are important.
What are cannabis terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic oils secreted from the cannabis plant that offer a variety of medicinal benefits. They can intensify or downplay the effects of the cannabinoids, determining how they help alleviate symptoms for different medical conditions.
Why are terpenes important?
Each terpene will have a different effect on the user. Some can leave patients feeling relaxed and calm, while others can boost focus and productivity. When using medical marijuana, it's important to have some background knowledge on terpenes to know which ones could potentially help provide relief to your specific condition.
What terpenes will work best for me?
Which terpenes will work best for you depends on what symptoms you're looking to relieve. For example, if you’re looking to reduce stress and anxiety, terpenes such as linalool and limonene may be the best fit as they contain mood enhancing properties. On the other hand, if you suffer from chronic pain, pinene and limonene have anti-inflammatory properties that make them ideal to help treat swelling, joint stiffness or arthritis.
There are over 100 different terpenes, but the following are a few terpenes that are most abundantly-occurring in cannabis and the benefits they offer:
Myrcene: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, sedating
Limonene: anti-anxiety, stress relief, elevated mood
Linalool: pain and anxiety relief, sedating, calming
Caryophyllene: pain and muscle spasm relief, sedating, anti-inflammatory
Pinene: promotes alertness, anti-inflammatory
Humulene: anti-inflammatory, reduces pain, appetite suppression
Why haven’t I heard of terpenes?
The research in the survey shows that it’s likely because you get your marijuana information from your friends. In fact, 48 percent of marijuana users reported that they use cannabis with someone else - such as a friend, family member, or significant other - which directly correlates with how consumers tend to get their marijuana knowledge.
Terpenes can be extremely helpful for your cannabis therapy and alleviating your symptoms, but the survey stresses the importance of education in consumers and urges cannabis brands and companies to educate consumers on how information, like terpenes, can help treat their medical condition.