Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, although they are more commonly associated with the cannabis plant. Terpenes create the characteristic scent offered by a plant, such as lavender, pine, rosemary, and orange. Their scent is often used by the plant for protection or reproduction but can also be used for human health benefits.
Due to the vibrant smell that terpenes produce, many people utilize terpenes in essential oils, which becomes an integrative part of aromatherapy, helping with stress and leveling someone’s mood based on the specific scent they are working with.
New research also indicates that terpenes may have health benefits; when combined with cannabinoids, they produce a synergy that may aid with inflammation support, stress, mood, and discomfort from our ailments. Plenty of terpenes that you encounter regularly include fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and other botanicals.
Commonly found terpenes in the cannabis plant include: limonene, pinene, linalool, myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, humulene, and many others. Each of these terpenes offers specific therapeutic benefits based on its scent.
Some common ones include:
Alpha-pinene is the most common terpene in the plant world. Pine promotes alertness and memory by the metabolic breakdown of acetylcholinesterase, a neurotransmitter in the brain that stimulates cognitive effects.
Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene found in black pepper, oregano, clove, and many green leafy vegetables. It may relieve ailment discomfort and support inflammation because it binds directly to the peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2.
Limonene, a major terpene found in citrus plants, is thought to be uplifting, help boost mood, and have powerful antimicrobial action to help fight against bacteria.
Linalool, a terpenoid found in lavender, may help with skin conditions, inflammation support, and aid in ailment discomfort when applied topically.
Myrcene found in mangos may help the muscle to relax, relieve discomfort, and provide inflammatory support.