TERPENES

Found in the trichomes in the plant, terpenes are known to play a key part on how the body processes cannabinoids and the overall effects of each strain. Terpenes also play a key role in differentiating the flavor and scent of marijuana. Some terpenes might promote relaxation, while others energy or focus, or a citrusy smell, while others pine, for example.

Read more about terpenes:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12587690

CAMPHENE

A terpene exuding a deep pine aroma shown to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides which would improve heart health.

Eucalyptol

Can reduce swelling and decrease inflammation. This terpene may improve memory and positively influences cognitive abilities. Research has proven Eucalyptol to be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s, as it lowered the inflammation caused by amyloid beta plaques.

Eucalyptol, also known as 1,8 cineole, has a fresh, strong eucalyptus, camphoraceous, minty odor. It is a cyclic ether monoterpene. Eucalyptol has been popularly used on the skin, gums, or other topical areas. The terpene is toxic to several species of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus. Further research has proven eucalyptol to be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s, as it lowered the inflammation caused by amyloid beta plaques. eucalyptol is also an anti-inflammatory for sinuses and the digestive system. As an antioxidant, eucalyptol was effective at preventing lipid oxidation. In addition, eucalyptol has been effective in battling leukemia and colon cancer cells. Asthma remedies have also been used with eucalyptol.

RESEARCH

AROMA

Camphor

BENEFITS

Anti-Alzheimer’s, Anti-Asthsma, Anti-bacterial, Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Insecticide

CARYOPHYLLENE

Gained the attention of scientists when it was discovered to be one of the first non-cannabinoids to directly activate cannabinoid receptors. Since b-Caryophyllene interacts with the body’s CB2 receptors, which play a role in relieving pain, this terpene supports and boosts the analgesic effects of CBD and THC.

Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene, with a sweet, woody, spicy, clove-like smell. It is a unique terpene due to its large size and structure. Due to these properties, beta-caryophyllene is able to activate several receptors in the body, including CB2, which is usually activated most by CBD. beta-caryophyllene has been shown to be an effective analgesic by regulating neuroinflammation and thermal hyperalgesia. Also as an antioxidant, beta-caryophyllene is effective as demonstrated by [preventing lipid oxidation and scavenging other radicals. As and anti-inflammatory beta-caryophyllene has been proven to mediate kidney inflammation and its side effects. In addition, beta-caryophyllene has been eluted to be a gastric-protective.

RESEARCH

AROMA

Clove, Dry, Spicy, Sweet, Woody

BENEFIT

Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Gastric-protective

Bisabolol

A terpene present in the Chamomile flower, and provides soothing effects on top of potential benefits as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic.

Alpha-bisabolol also known as levomenol, is a natural monocyclic sesquiterpene with a mild, floral, peppery odor. It has also been used for hundreds of years in cosmetics because of its perceived skin healing properties. Bisabolol has been effective at blocking the effects of mutagens on genetic integrity in liver cells. Bisabolol has also exhibited strong effects on Campylobacter which are involved in severe food poisoning. Furthermore, bisabolol has been associated with pain relief and neuroprotection, with possible uses in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

RESEARCH

  • ANTI-MUTAGENIC /ANTI-OXIDANT – The mutagenic effects of mutagens AFB1, CP, B[a]P, 2-AA and 2-AF were shown to be markedly reduced by alpha-bisabolol. Alpha-bisabolol also inhibited pentoxyresorufin-o-depentylase and ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase, which are markers for cytochromes CYP2B1 and 1A1 in rat liver microsomes. Since CYP2B1 converts AFB1 and CP into mutagenic metabolites, and CYP1A1 activates B[a]P, 2-AA and 2-AF, the study suggest that alpha-bisabolol antimutagenicity could be carried out by an inhibitory effect on the metabolic liver activation of these promutagens.
  • ANTI-BACTERIAL – Alpha-bisabolol was found to have strong antimicrobial activity against Campylobacter spp. with inhibitory concentrations in the range 0.001-1% (v/v). There was strong anti-Campylobacter activity achieved without adversely affecting the fermentation potential of the model system’s normal flora.
  • ANALGESIC/NEUROPROTECTANT – The effect of bisabolol on the function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in Xenopus oocytes and interneurons of rat hippocampal slices was evaluated. It was found that bisabolol reversibly and concentration dependently inhibits acetylcholine-induced receptor mediated currents. The effect of bisabolol was not dependent on the membrane potential. Endogenous Ca(2+)-dependent Cl channels were not associated in bisabolol actions. Increasing the concentrations of ACh did not reverse bisabolol inhibition. Furthermore, the specific binding of bungarotoxin was not attenuated by bisabolol. Choline-induced currents in CA1 interneurons of rat hippocampal slices were also inhibited.  These positive outcomes can help in protecting specific neurons and fighting against alzheimer’s and parkinson’s.

AROMA

Coconut, Fruity, Nutty

BENEFITS

Analgesic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-mutagenic, Antioxidant, Neuroprotectant

HUMULENE

This terpene binds effortlessly to the body’s endocannabinoid system’s receptors. It has a knack for moving phytocannabinoids through the body and connecting them with the endocannabinoid system. Humulene is a powerful anti-inflammatory and an anti-pain compound. It has also been compared to dexamethasone, which is a steroidal anti-inflammatory. This is why it has been used for years in Chinese medicine, and in recent times in medical marijuana.

Humulene is one of the main terpenes in hops, from which it gets its name. Humulene is also called alpha-caryophyllene. Like beta-caryophyllene, humulene is a cannabinoid and sesquiterpene, although it does not contain a cyclobutane ring. Humulene is a powerful anti-inflammatory and an anti-pain compound. It also has anti-cancer properties. Humulene is unique because, like THCv, it acts as an appetite suppressant, showing promise for weight loss treatments.

RESEARCH

  • ANTIBACTERIAL – The antibacterial activity of basal fir oil (Abies balsamea) seen to be effective with Staphylococcus aureus. At 2.6 microg/mL, humulene was shown to have a minimum inhibitory concentration, the most potent of all the terpenes evaluated in the study.
    Pichette A. Composition and antibacterial activity of Abies balsamea essential oil.
    Phytother Res. 2006 May;20(5):371-3.
  • ANTI-INFLAMMATORY – Humulene was shown to be a good anti-inflammatory across a wide range of inflammatory markers. Its effects were comparable to dexamethasone in rat and mouse models. Humulene has been shown to have rapid onset and relatively good absorption with both oral and topical administration routes. In airway allergic inflammatory routes, humulene was shown to be effective orally or through aerosol.
    Chaves JS. Pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of the sesquiterpene alpha-humulene in mice. Planta Med. 2008 Nov;74(14):1678-83.
    Fernandes ES. Anti-inflammatory effects of compounds alpha-humulene and (-)-trans-caryophyllene isolated from the essential oil of Cordia verbenacea.
    Eur J Pharmacol. 2007 Aug 27;569(3):228-36. Epub 2007 May 22.
    Alexandre P Rogerio. Preventive and therapeutic anti-inflammatory properties of the sesquiterpene α-humulene in experimental airways allergic inflammation.
    Br J Pharmacol. 2009 Oct; 158(4): 1074–1087.
  • ANTI-CANCER – Humulene was elucidated to be potent against several solid tumor cell lines. The molecular mechanism involves producing reactive oxygen species, or free radicals, and depleting natural antioxidants in the cells. Humulene was also shown to work synergistically with beta-caryophyllene in delivering the molecule to cancer cells, thus increasing the cytotoxicity of humulene on several cancer cell lines.
    Legault J. Antitumor activity of balsam fir oil: production of reactive oxygen species induced by alpha-humulene as possible mechanism of action.
    Planta Med. 2003 May;69(5):402-7.
    Legault J. Potentiating effect of beta-caryophyllene on anticancer activity of alpha-humulene, isocaryophyllene and paclitaxel.
    J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007 Dec;59(12):1643-7.
    Tundis R. In vitro cytotoxic effects of Senecio stabianus Lacaita (Asteraceae) on human cancer cell lines.
    Nat Prod Res. 2009;23(18):1707-18.
  • INSECTICIDAL – Humulene was shown to be toxic against early third-stage larvae of the malaria, dengue, and filariasis mosquito vectors, An. stephensi, Ae. aegypti, and Cx. Quinquefasciatus. Also humulene was proven to be a repellant to the adult mosquitos as well. In addition humulene was only toxic to non-pathogenic aquatic organisms, Diplonychus indicus and Gambusia affinis at much higher levels than those used against the mosquitos.
    Govindarajan M. Larvicidal and repellent potential of Zingiber nimmonii (J. Graham) Dalzell (Zingiberaceae) essential oil: an eco-friendly tool against malaria, dengue, and lymphatic filariasis mosquito vectors?
    Parasitol Res. 2016 Jan 21.

AROMA

Woody

BENEFITS

Anti-bacterial, Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Insecticide

LIMONENE

Known for its ability to help alleviate stress and anxiety. In addition to anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, Limonene has been shown to boost energy, help combat free radicals and assists in the absorption of cannabinoids into the body.

Limonene has a strong citrus odor and flavor, the highest amounts are seen in citrus peels. Limonene is commonly used in perfume, house cleaners, food and medicine, partial due to it’s nice aroma and low toxicity. Limonene has been used as a house remedy for acne and athlete’s foot in the past.

Limonene has been shown to be a potent antidepressant and anti-anxiety treatment comparable to some traditional medicines. Limonene has also been inferred to be an anti-inflammatory, lowering or preventing key stages in the reaction. Limonene was elucidated in being a potential treatment for breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer.

RESEARCH

  • ANTIDEPRESSANT/ANTI-ANXIETY – Limonene demonstrated increased social interaction time and decreased immobility time, in the forced swim test using mice, indicating anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. The effects were comparable with the traditional anxiolytic diazepam and the antidepressant fluoxetine.

AROMA

Citrus, Fresh, Orange, Sweet

BENEFITS

Anti-anxiety, Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Antidepressant

LINALOOL

A naturally occurring terpene found in many flowers and spices including lavender. Humans have inhaled the scent of certain plants, including many containing Linalool, since ancient times to help lower stress levels. Linalool has been the subject of many studies, including a recent one in which scientists allowed lab rats to inhale Linalool while exposing them to stressful conditions. It was reported that Linalool returned elevated stress levels in the immune

Linalool is a terpene alcohol with a citrusy, floral, sweet, bois de rose, woody, green, blueberry scent. Linalool is able to act on the opioidergic and cholinergic systems to relieve pain, a unique pathway for terpenes. Linalool also acts as an anticonvulsant, having similar effects to diazepam. Linalool has been used as a relaxant and as a treatment for anxiety for thousands of years. In scientific studies, linalool was proven to sedate mice and also mitigate anxiety.

RESEARCH

AROMA

Blueberry, Citrus, Floral, Rosy, Sweet, Woody

BENEFITS

Analgesic, Anti-anxiety, Anti-inflammatory, Anticonvulsant, Sedative

MYRCENE

A 2011 study in British Journal of Pharmacology, revealed that Myrcene has effects that were thought only cannabinoids could possess. Myrcene serves as a muscle relaxant, helps to fight insomnia and can make cannabinoids more effective. Myrcene serves as a sedative, reduces inflammation and has a powerful analgesic effect.

Myrcene is a monoterpene and an important precursor to many terpenes. It has a woody, vegetative, citrus, fruity, and mango-like scent. Myrcene is hypothesised to help compounds enter cells through enhancing membrane permeation. Myrcene has been shown to be an analgesic in mice and did not cause tolerance to the effect. Ther terpene is also noted to have antioxidant effects with mutagenic compounds. Another benefit to myrcene is its ability to relax muscles and induce sleep.

RESEARCH

AROMA

Balsam, Peppery, Spicy

BENEFITS

Analgesic, Antioxidant, Sedative

NEROLIDOL

A unique terpene that is both a sedative and aides the body’s absorption of cannabinoids. There are a number of medical applications being studied for this terpene, including its anti-anxiety properties and effectiveness at making bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics.

Nerolidol is a sesquiterpene and that smells similar to fresh bark. There are two isomers present in nature, cis and trans. The terpene has been eluted to be a toxin against harmful protozoa like malaria and leishmaniasis. Furthermore, nerolidol is effect in delivering drugs through the skin.

RESEARCH

  • TOPICAL DRUG ENHANCER – Nerolidol has been shown to help the passive skin penetration enhancement, helping a model hydrophobic permeant increase its absorption into skin by 20 fold. There were also significantly longer durations of action and did not wash off easily.
    Cornwell PA, Barry BW (1994). Sesquiterpene components of volatile oils as skin penetration enhancers for the hydrophilic permeant 5-fluorouracil. J Pharm Pharmacol 46: 261–269.
  • ANTIPROTOZOAN – The research on nerolidol has concluded it to be a potent malaria drug. 100 microg/mL of nerolidol caused 100% of growth inhibition of young trophozoite to schizont stage after 48 hours of exposure. Nerolidol had an inhibitory effect on the biosynthesis of the isoprenic and dolichol side chains of the benzoquinon ring of ubiquinones in the organism. Thus the expression of p21 ras protein was significantly decreased.
    Lopes NP, Kato MJ, Andrade EH, Maia JG, Yoshida M, Planchart AR et al. (1999). Antimalarial use of volatile oil from leaves of Virola surinamensis (Rol.) Warb. by Waiapi Amazon Indians. J Ethnopharmacol 67: 313–319.

    Nerolidol has been proven to be effective with Leishmaniasis as well. 57-85 uM was proven to be effective as a 50% growth inhibitory concentration in a broad range of Leishmania species.100uM resulted in 95% reduction in infection rates of macrophages. The compound inhibits the mevalonate pathway. The compound inhibits isoprenoid synthesis by reducing the incorporation of mevalonic acid or acetic acid precursors into dolichol, ergosterol, and ubiquinone. This compound’s effect can be attributed to the blockage of an early step in the mevalonate pathway.
    Arruda DC, D’Alexandri FL, Katzin AM, Uliana SR (2005). Antileishmanial activity of the terpene nerolidol. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 49: 1679–1687.

AROMA

Citrus, Floral, Waxy, Woody

BENEFITS

Antiprotozoan, Topical Drug Enhancer

OCIMENE

A terpene show to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects as well as aiding in inhibiting the proliferation of key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Ocimene is a monoterpene with a fruity, floral, some say wet cloth smell. Ocimene has exhibited anti-inflammatory effects in white blood cell through a variety of pathways. Antifungal effects are also seen with the human specific Candida species. And very interestingly ocimene showed specificity and effectiveness against SARS virus.

RESEARCH

AROMA

Citrus, Green, Tropical, Woody

BENEFITS

Anti-inflammatory, Antifungal, Antiviral

PHYTOL

Known for its help in relief of pain and inflammation.

 

PINENE

Science.gov chronicles research on medical values in pinene dating back to 1980. And, research continues into its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits. This terpene helps produce a focused and alert sensation because it counteracts the body’s sedative mechanisms. Pinene is also a bronchodilator that helps drive oxygen into cells.

Pinene consists of two isomers, alpha and beta, depending on the position of the double bond within the molecule. It is an alkene and contains a highly reactive four membered ring perpendicular to the main ring, prone to skeletal rearrangements. Both the – and + enantiomers are seen in nature. – alpha pinene is mostly seen in European pines, and + alpha pinene mostly in North American pines. The racemic mixture is seen in eucalyptus and citrus oils. Pinene is used in nature with the ozone to condense aerosols that could harm the environment.

RESEARCH

  • ANTI-INFLAMMATORY – With acute pancreatitis, alpha-pinene treatment reduced histological damage and myeloperoxidase activity in the pancreas and lungs. Furthermore, alpha-pinene pretreatment reduced the production of pancreatic tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, and IL-6 during acute pancreatitis. In vitro, alpha-pinene inhibited cerulein-induced cell death and cytokine production in isolated cerulein-treated pancreatic acinar cells. This could point to alpha-pinene possibly having beneficial effects with pancreatic cancer and maybe diabetes. It has been shown that alpha pinene has anti-inflammatory effects in human chondrocytes, thus exhibiting potential antiosteoarthritic activity. + alpha pinene was shown to inhibit the interleukin -1beta- induced inflammatory and catabolic pathways, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells and c-Jun N-terminal kinases activation, and the expressionof the inflammatory (iNOS) and catabolic (MMP-1 and -13) genes.

AROMA

Earthy, Piney, Turpentine-like, Woody

BENEFITS

Anti-bacterial, Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Bronchodilator, Memory Enhancer

PULEGONE

With an aroma peppermint this terpene, provides medical benefits of fever reduction and sedative effects.

 

TERPINOLENE

Concluded to be effective against several species of bacteria. Terpinolene is able to increase total antioxidant capacity levels in white blood cells. Terpinolene has been found to be a central nervous system depressant used to reduce psychological excitement.

Terpinolene is a common terpene primarily isolated from trees. It is present in high amounts in terpintine, which is used in the construction business as well. Terpinolene also goes by the name delta terpinene.

Terpinolene is not an analgesic or an anti-inflammatory, yet most cannabinoids and terpenoids are one of the two or both.

Terpinolene was concluded to be effective against several species of bacteria. Terpinolene is able to increase total antioxidant capacity levels in white blood cells without changing the total oxidative stress level. Terpinolene is further effective in fighting glial cell cancer and leukemia.

RESEARCH

AROMA

Citrus, Fresh, Lemon, Piney, Sweet, Woody

BENEFITS

Anti-bacterial, Anti-cancer, Antioxidant, Sedative

VALENCENE

Has been shown to be anti-inflammatory and lower the levels of inflammatory markers in the white blood cells of the immune system. Valencene is also a bronchodilator, which aides in oxygenation and can help promote cognitive function.

Valencene is a bicyclic sesquiterpene with a sweet, fresh, citrusy, grapefruit, woody, orange odor. The terpene has been shown to be toxic and repel ticks and mosquitoes at lesser concentrations than DEET and without the toxicity to humans. Valencene has also been deduced to be and anti-inflammatory, lower the levels of inflammatory markers in macrophages.

RESEARCH

AROMA

Citrus, Fresh, Grapefuit, Green, Orange, Sweet, Woody

BENEFITS

Anti-inflammatory, Insect Repellent