Don’t Forget the Terpenoids!
With medical cannabis gaining traction across the country, THC and CBD have been stealing the show – and they are certainly dazzling us. THC and CBD have so much medical efficacy that more people are turning away from their daily pharmaceuticals to discover what cannabis has to offer. Often forgotten in this mix are the Terpenoids.
Terpenoids are a class of chemical compounds that are used medically like alkaloids. Terpenes are hydrocarbons and terpenoids have been altered by oxidization. Although these terms are used interchangeably, a simple way to think of it is terpenes are wet, and terpenoids have been dried out. Unlike alkaloids their effects normally include low toxicity, lesser occurrence of side effects and are generally gentler on the patient.
Terpenoids are a large class of naturally occurring organic chemicals that come in thousands of variations. They contribute to scents, flavors and colors of plants; such as cinnamon and ginger. Many are valued for their herbal or medicinal properties as well as being anti-bacterial and providing analgesic effects; such as menthol, camphor, or eucalyptol. Allergic reaction to terpenoids or instances of intolerance are very uncommon. They are usually very compatible with cannabinoids, the “entourage effect” improves performance both directly and indirectly.
Some common terpenoids and their effects are:
- Pinene - Often found in pine. Pinene aids in short term memory, counteracts some THC effects, causes alertness, treats asthma and inflammation, is an expectorant and bronchodilator.
- Terpinolene - Often found in cumin, lilac, apples, tea-tree and conifers. Terpinolene is commonly regarded as anti-septic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. It acts as a central nervous system depressant. It is useful in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.
- Limonene - Often found in citrus. Limonene is stimulating, mood elevating, an anti-depressant, anti-spasmodic, and is anti-bacterial. It is highly absorbed through inhalation and is commonly used in the treatment of depression, anxiety and gastrointestinal issues.
- Myrcene - Among the most common terpenes, it is often found in hops. Myrcene possesses sedative, muscle relaxant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial effects. It can increase the effects of sedative drugs, and it is known for its “couchlock” effects. It lowers resistance across the blood brain barrier and allows a more rapid onset of other effects.
- Beta-Caryophyllene - Found in black pepper, Beta-Caryophyllene is a CB2 receptor agonist, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant. It can be useful in relief from the “hangover” effect of THC overmedication. It is useful in the treatment of muscle spasms and pain.
- Linalool - Found in Lavender, Linalool can possess mildly psychoactive effects. It has a calming, anti-anxiety, sedative, and analgesic effect. It is commonly used to treat insomnia, depression, stress, anxiety, pain and convulsions. It can also lessen anxiety caused by high THC levels.
- Humulene- Found in cloves, basil and hops, Humulene is an appetite suppressant with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It works very well with Beta-caryophyllene in the treatment of inflammation.
These are just a few terpenoids. When you consider what strain of cannabis might be best for you, don’t forget the terpenoids! They play a significant role and often go unconsidered.