TERPENES AND THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT
Cannabis is a plant with over 400 compounds and molecules, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals. Many of these compounds interact synergistically to create what scientists refer to as an “entourage effect.” However, before we discuss the entourage effect in cannabis, we’ll first explain what terpenes are and the role they play in cannabis.
WHAT ARE TERPENES?
Terpenes are compounds from plants that emit a fragrance. These compounds are secreted through the resin glands of the cannabis flower. Terpenes are not exclusive to cannabis alone. Terpenes can be found in many plants including fruits, herbs, grains, many flowering plants and more.
COMMON TERPENES FOUND IN CANNABIS
Over 120 different terpenes are found in cannabis plants alone. They provide a variety of scent or flavor that you experience from one strain to the next. Below are some of the most popular terpenes found in cannabis.
Pinene terpenes are commonly found in the resin of coniferous trees like the pine tree, sage, olive, eucalyptus, rosemary, bergamot, and sassafras to name a few. Pinene gives off the smell of pine or rosemary needles and is known for its anti-cancerous, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Linalool is a terpene found in flowers and spices. It has calming and sedative effects, used as a sleep aid for centuries. Its common uses include relief from depression, anxiety, and stress. Linalool is also known to help with epilepsy, inflammation, and has anti-cancerous properties.
Myrcene terpenes are commonly found in cannabis. It can emit citrus or tropical smell. Myrcene promotes penetration through the brain/blood barrier allowing cannabinoids like CBD THC to take effect more quickly. It’s an anti-carcinogenic terpene and can grant relief from insomnia, pain, and stress.
Limonene is another well-known terpenes found in numerous foods, fragrances, and household cleaners. It features a distinct citrus flavor like orange or lemon with a sometimes-herbal undertone similar to juniper, peppermint or rosemary. Limonene offers a wide array of benefits on the gastrointestinal system. It also has anxiolytic, antidepressant, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is found in tea tree, cumin, apple, some citrus fruits, marjoram, and oregano. This woody and smoky terpene is not analgesic or anti-inflammatory like most other terpenes found in cannabis, but it possesses anti-cancer properties in addition to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Terpinolene is ideal for promoting sleep and reducing anxiety as well.
What is the Entourage Effect?
Accessing the medical benefits of the Entourage Effect could augment the positive potential that terpenes one of the compounds found in cannabis have on the body when they interact with cannabinoids. Terpenes are crucial to the entourage effect. Their reaction boosts the psychological and physiological benefits of cannabis plants. They help the receptors in our minds accept more CBD and all other cannabinoids.
Terpenes play a couple of roles in supporting the health benefits of cannabinoids. Terpene molecules are also known to produce a range of odors once they evaporate. Through this phenomenon, aromatherapy is possible. Terpenes found in plants species are used to restore balance and soothe senses within the body.
Research has shown that terpenes have meaningful contributions to the cannabis entourage effect and in high enough concentrations can display their own therapeutic benefits. Thousands of patients cannot benefit from this effect if they are unable to terpenes with cannabinoids, which according to research is one of the fundamental ingredients for creating this synergy between molecules.