The cannabis plant contains a variety of different compounds. However, CBD and THC remain the most widely known components of the multi-faceted plant. In this blog post, we’re shining a light on another powerful group of cannabis compounds: terpenes. Although you may never have heard of them, terpenes are influential in the appearance, odour and effects of cannabis.
Terpenes CBD – What are terpenes?
Terpenes are a compound found in cannabis. The naturally occurring chemical is present in a variety of plants and animals. The body of in-depth research into the therapeutic
tinfluence of terpenes is growing . However, it is clear that the se
Multiple well-known terpenes occur in popular vegetation. These compounds include:
People tend to associate lavender with its calming properties. Some people keep the plant by their bed and smell it to de-stress and clear their minds. The popularity of lavender and its soothing effects means there’s extensive research into how the plant has such a profound impact on the mind. Research suggests it’s the terpene, linalool, that gives lavender its desirable properties. The linalool lavender is thought to act in the same way when present in strains of cannabis. Therefore, using cannabis strains with high quantities of linalool are expected to calm the body and help manage mental health conditions in the same way.
Going deeper into the science, studies show linalool affects the parasympathetic nervous system. Our parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for regulating serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine levels and GABA activity. GABA activity relates to the nervous system. If the GABA neurotransmitter connects to the GABA receptor, it produces a calming effect. Consuming linalool is proven to calm the body, helping it exit the fight or flight stage. The influence linalool has over the brain suggests the compound can be an effective antidepressant.
Terpenes and cannabis
Despite the lack of information surrounding the relationship between terpenes and cannabis, these chemical compounds are arguably one of the plant’s most powerful components. Much of the research surrounding the effects of cannabis on the body and the mind focus on cannabinoids. Although both work together, these two compounds are not the same.
To what extent each compound influences the body is largely unknown. For decades, it has been assumed that CBD and THC have the most profound effects on the body. New research suggests terpenes could have more influence than either of these compounds. Some terpenes can work in isolation to produce psychological and physical effects on the body. However, most knowledge surrounding terpenes focuses on using them alongside other cannabis compounds.
The absence of information surrounding terpenes compared to CBD and THC means guidance around absorbing, orally consuming or smoking terpenes is scarce. Isolated terpenes aren’t as common as CBD products. Therefore, most terpene consumption happens indirectly through using other cannabis products. The three ways we might consume terpenes all metabolise at different speeds, meaning you’ll feel the impact and intensity of the terpene at a different rate. We know oral ingestion takes longer than smoking or sublingual absorption because these enter the bloodstream straight away. As we discover more about terpenes, more guidance and knowledge on how consuming the compound can impact the body should become available.
Why do terpenes matter?
Terpenes are immensely powerful chemical compounds. Without a variety of terpenes, the effect cannabis has on our bodies and minds would be very different. Although the research surrounding how terpenes interact with the body is in its infancy, we understand terpenes play an essential role in our relationship and reaction to cannabis-based products. The better our understanding of these compounds, the more opportunity we have to utilise it to benefit our mental and physical wellbeing.
Although it is well understood that THC and CBD are very powerful components of the cannabis plant! It is also now believed that terpenes have just as much of a role in the physical appearance and biological effects of using cannabis.