What are Cannabinoids and Terpenes?

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that give the plant its smell, flavor and psychoactive properties.  THC and CBD are two of the most popular ones.  THC – Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol- is psychoactive and responsible for the famous “High” effect of the plant.  CBD - Cannabidiol – is one of the 110 plus identified  cannabinoids found in cannabis.

 Although popular opinion suggests CBD is non-psychoactive, it is known that CBD interacts with the CB1 cannabinoid receptor and with THC’s psychoactive effects – and therefore is psychoactive, without directly causing the “high” effect.

Both THC and CBD have therapeutic properties.  THC is known to alleviate pain and nausea.  Extensive research is taking place on CBD for its effects on reducing inflammation, anxiety and pain.  Research suggess CBD and other cannabinoids show promising results on cancer.   Different cannabinoids seem to effect specific types of cancer, therefore it’s not CBD against all types of cancer.

Terpenes

Terpenes give cannabis, as well as other plants and fruits, its aroma.  The slightly different smell you take from different types is because of varieties and amounts of terpenes.  Terpenes are known to have therapeutic effects as well – making them the subject of ancient  aromatherapy practices.   This is why CBD oil producers to want keep terpenes from evaporating during oil extraction.

Some terpenes found in Cannabis are:

Terpene

Aroma

Potential Benefits

Effects

Pinene

Pine

Alertness, Memory, Counteracts THC

Asthma, Pain, Anxiety, Cancer

Limonene

Citrus

Stress Relief

Anxiety, Cancer Depression, Inflammation, Pain

Myrcene

Earthy, Musky

Sedating, Relaxing, Numbing

Insomnia, Inflammation, Pain

Linalool

Floral

Sedation, Better mood

Depression, Insomnia, Inflammation, Pain

 

Many molecules, including terpenes in cannabis work in conjunction with CBD and THC.  They contribute to the specific “high” effect from different varieties of cannabis, as well as the health benefits.  Although most studies focus on single molecules, cannabis is a polypharmaceutical plant and synergy that arises between its components is important.  Interactions between CBD and terpenes decrease anxiety caused by THC while adding to cannabis’ beneficial effects.

 

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