How Your Body Needs Cannabis and Terpenes
06 / 03 / 19

How Your Body Needs Cannabis and Terpenes

If you’re relatively new to medical marijuana treatment, you may be unfamiliar with the word terpenes. You won’t be for long. This is an essential concept within cannabis-based treatment and understanding the role of terpenes is really vital for understanding holistic, plant-based healthcare.

What Are Terpenes?

Let’s start with some basics. If you’ve experienced different kinds of cannabis before, you may have noticed an aromatic diversity; in other words, different cannabis products have different smells. For that, you can thank terpenes, which are fragrant oils that secrete from the sticky resin glands of the cannabis flower. And while they are an essential part of cannabis, it’s worth noting that they’re not unique to cannabis; you’ll also find terpenes in different fruits, herbs, etc.

These oils cause different strains of marijuana to have different aromas, but that’s not the only thing they do. Terpenes—like cannabinoids—can bind with receptors in the brain, stimulating wide-ranging effects. So, as you consider the type of cannabis that’s best suited for your wellness needs, it’s important to consider terpenes, as well.

How Terpenes Affect the Body

There are more than 100 known terpenes, and they all impact the body a little differently. They do so through complex and typically synergistic interactions with other compounds, including cannabinoids themselves. In fact, some researchers think that terpenes play the most critical role in determining how each strand of cannabis impacts mental and physical health.

The impact you can anticipate varies. For example, some terpenes can have a relaxing effect, and are ideal for patients seeking relief from stress and anxiety. Others have almost the opposite effect, however; they awaken, promoting focus and mental clarity.

You can speak with your doctor or ask at the dispensary about the effects of different terpenes but be warned that this is a complex topic. The impact of any given terpene can vary greatly just depending on the other compounds with which it interacts, so tracing direct cause-and-effect relationships between terpenes and your health is more complex than you might think.

Some Terpenes You Should Know

With those caveats given, it’s good to know some of the most common terpenes and some of the basic effects that are generally associated with them. Here are some examples.

Myrcene

Myrcene has been celebrated for its anti-inflammatory properties, but it can also function as a muscle relaxant or as a sedative. Some patients have found that it greatly alleviates the pain of osteoarthritis.

MyrceneImage by Leafly

Limonene

Common to citrus fruits as well as to some strains of cannabis, limonene has been linked with relief of depression, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms.

LinaloolImage by Leafly

Pinene

Found both in cannabis and in many conifer trees, pinene is actually the most common terpene of all. (As its name suggests, it’s identified by a pine smell.) It has a number of potential medicinal benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Alpha PineneImage by Leafly

Humulene

Humulene works both as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Because it suppresses appetite, some patients actually use it for holistic, natural weight loss.

HumuleneImage by Leafly

Find Out More About the Terpenes You Need

These are just a few examples of terpenes that have been linked with positive health effects. The best way to determine the specific combinations that will address your health concerns is to meet with a provider at Marijuana Doctor Now in Sarasota, FL. We’ll help you put together a full, personalized clinical plan, making sure you know exactly what to get at the dispensary, then how to use it!

The first step in the process is simply calling and scheduling an appointment. Reach out to us today to set up your confidential consultation with Marijuana Doctor Now.