These Cannabis Terpenes Can Help Kick Inflammation to the Curb
These Cannabis Terpenes Can Help Kick Inflammation to the Curb
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As people become more aware about how terpenes enhance their experience with using marijuana, they have begun to choose specific strains depending on which condition is being treated. Terpenes are responsible for the flavor, aroma, medical benefits, and effects of many plants, including cannabis . A recent study suggests that terpenoids from cannabis are very effective in treating inflammation, so that more is understood about how the components of marijuana work together to treat many illnesses .
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are fragrant compounds found in many aromatic plants, such as trees, herbs, and fruits. The components that make up a terpene are known as terpenoids. The terpenes in marijuana are responsible for its distinct flavor and smell as well as protect the plant from pests. Mangoes, for example, contain the terpene myrcene which is said to provide a better high when eaten 30 minutes before consumption of marijuana. Two things influence the formation of terpenoids in marijuana: The producer’s curing methods and the genetics of the plant . Terpenes determine the kind of experience one has when consuming cannabis. Without them, cannabis would have no flavor. Dispensary owner Randy Villarba, has said, “The cannabis community is educating itself one flower at a time. Compared to several years ago, terpenes weren’t even part of the discussion when it came to cannabis. As the market continues to mature, cannabis users will start reading terpene profiles the same way people read bear, alcohol by volume” .
Terpenes Influence Purchases
In Nevada, specific labeling requirements and testing regulations make choosing a favorite terpene easy for users. Expert Jonathan Cline adds, “I would say the scent has always been an important factor in purchasing cannabis, but Nevada terpene testing is starting to shape people’s choices in more than just taste. We like to teach that ‘your nose knows best’ because oftentimes if you are subconsciously drawn to a specific scent profile, you indeed could benefit from the medicinal effects of the terpenes making up that scent profile. Increased understanding of terpenes has shaped a new appreciation for the scents and flavors associated with a specific strain” .
Terpenoids Help Reduce Inflammation
Until now, most studies have been focused on how THC and CBD reduce inflammation. A recent study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggests terpenoids are responsible for the anti-inflammatory response that marijuana provides. Israeli researchers extracted terpenoid-rich oils from three different strains of marijuana and tested them in mice and on cells. It was concluded from the first round of experiments that terpenoids were not as effective as CBD and only partly suppressed inflammation. The second round revealed “moderate anti-inflammatory activities in mice” . However, the researchers found that terpenoids mitigate inflammation differently than CBD. They said “different chemotypes of cannabis have a distinctive composition of terpenoids. These essential oils do have anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities that vary according to their composition, but they had no effect on TNFa titers [antibodies]. We suggest that terpenoids may be used to diminute acute inflammation effect, whereas cannabinoids to inhibit chronic inflammation symptoms” .
10 Strains Desired for Their Terpene Profiles
- Cherry Pie and Gelato are berry-flavored strains which contain a terpene called limonene. Limonene is typically found in strains that taste citrusy, fruity, or lemon-y. It is commonly suggested for those dealing with depression, anxiety, and stress.
- Jack Herer and Northern Lights are distinctively spicy. These strains are wood-like, peppery, and spicy due to a terpene called caryophyllene. It tends to be known as an antioxidant which can treat muscle spasms, inflammation, and insomnia.
- Banana Kush and Malawi Pineapple taste tropical due to the terpene linalool. Strains with linalool bring a calming feeling or sedative effect that are known to help with stress, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
- Ingrid is a savory and salty strain due to the terpene combinations of linalool, pinene, and caryophyllene. This pungent and cheesy strain is sharp yet sweet.
- Sour Diesel, OG Kush, and Jack Herer are earthy due to all-natural terpene flavors myrcene and humulene. Myrcene tastes like musk, cloves, or herbal aromas. Humulene is earthy and woody.
- Thin Mint Cookies and Mint Chocolate Chip are minty due to the sharp and sweet taste and aroma of the terpene pinene. This terpene is also known to help with alertness and memory retention.
- Mendo Breath and Nightmare Cookies are satisfying and sweet strains with a rich vanilla flavor due to combinations of terpenes myrcene and linalool.
- Lavender and Green Goddess smell and taste like calming lavender and are known to produce a sedative, calming effect great for relaxation.
- Bubba Kush and Mint Chocolate Chip smell and taste like coffee due to terpenes linalool and humulene. Combinations of these terpenes can act as an appetite suppressant, stress reliever, and relaxant.
- Blue Dream, Grand Daddy Purple, Bubba Kush, and Cherry Pie provide a floral experience that can put one at ease. The terpene linalool is responsible for strains that smell like flowers and can treat stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders .
Is Medical Marijuana Right for Me?
Whether medical marijuana will help your condition depends on many factors best evaluated by a medical doctor. If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to take our eligibility survey. In just 5 minutes, you could pre-qualify for a recommendation. A Florida Marijuana Doctor can then determine if you qualify during an in-person exam. For more information, visit https://docmj.com.
Dr. Rothman is a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has received multiple special awards and recognitions, including Physician of the Year, from the Pinellas County Medical Association (2014 – 2015) and the President’s Service Award from the Pinellas County Medical Society.
He attended medical school at State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York, where he also completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Rothman’s professional career includes being an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida and Clinical Instructor at the University of Tampa’s College of Nursing.
Dr. Rothman received his Florida Medical Marijuana Physicians Certification in 2016 and was one of the first recommending physicians through DocMJ in the state and is loved by many of those early patients today.