Terpenes 101: What are Terpenes, Types, Importance in Medical Cannabis Treatments

terpenes 101

As more people are discovering the benefits of medical cannabis, they are finding that there is a whole lot more to it than just buying cannabis and being done with it. Instead, medical cannabis is diverse and comes in a variety of types. Which brings us to today’s subject: terpenes.

You may or may not have heard of terpenes before. For those unfamiliar, in this article, we’ll give you a terpenes 101 of sorts, so you can better determine which medical cannabis treatment is the best option for your symptoms (or for a friend or loved one).

What Are Terpenes?

We’ll start with the basics. What exactly are terpenes?

A compound that you’ll often find in essential oils, terpenes are derivatives of all sorts of plants, including cannabis. They are actually responsible for the fragrances, taste, and appearance of certain plants—in other words, they are critically important to the plants themselves.

You may not realize it, but you’re probably far more familiar with terpenes than you think; they’re in spices, teas, oils, and all sorts of other goods you use on a daily basis.

Marijuana terpenes are no different. That said, they are not valued for their taste as much as they are for their useful effects.

Common Types of Terpenes Found in Cannabis

In cannabis strains, you’ll find both primary and secondary terpenes. The primary cannabis terpenes play the biggest role in influencing the plant’s taste, look, and aroma. Secondary terpenes accentuate these features but are, as the name implies, less impactful compared to primary terpenes.

Some of the common primary terpenes you’ll come across within cannabis include:

  • Myrcene
  • Limonene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Linalool
  • A-Pinene

The Terpenes Chart

When researching terpenes, you’ll often come across a terpenes chart, which indicates the specific benefits of the terpenes, aromas, where they come from, etc.

The chart is just an easier way to digest how terpenes can impact your health as well as how they’ll look, taste, smell, and provide other important information.

Below, we take a look at some of the most important terpenes in cannabis (insomuch as they have health benefits).

  • Beta-caryophyllene: Also found in cloves, rosemary, and hops, beta-caryophyllene is believed to be connected with helping manage anxiety and depression.
  • Beta-pinene: Another anti-depressant, this terpene is also believed to have medicinal applications during cancer treatment.
  • Limonene: Among the most common terpenes, limonene tends to be associated with citrus and, again, has shown to help with cancer treatments and as an anti-depressant.
  • Myrcene: A terpene typically found in mangos, myrcene has also been shown to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, as well as sedative qualities.
  • Linalool: A terpene that contains notes of lavender, linalool has demonstrated success in helping alleviate stress.

Medicinal Potential of Terpenes

The research on terpenes is still being developed.

For instance, there is still no concrete evidence demonstrating whether terpenes can operate on their own or need to be bundled together within a cannabis plant to provide medical benefits. This is often called the “entourage effect”.

Research is finding that in some cases, however, terpenes can behave like cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, which have been shown to have beneficial medical impacts even when isolated.

Still, more research is necessary before we can determine if isolating specific terpenes can provide the same level of relief for pain, stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as similar relief commonly gained from other medical cannabis treatments.

On the other hand, studies have shown some evidence that terpenes play a critical role in a variety of medical cannabis treatments for a variety of ailments. For instance, in a study of mice that were administered terpenes, it was found that pain sensitivity went down when several individual terpenes were given.

Tips for Using Terpenes

We’re just now amassing the requisite body of research that will help you determine if a specific terpene could treat your symptoms.

As such, what is important to remember is that these terpenes are contained within most medical marijuana treatments. So, you don’t need to specifically search out these terpenes; they’re already at work in any cannabis treatment you’ll receive.

Medical Marijuana Consulting Services and Clinics

If you’re ready to consult with a healthcare professional about your treatment options, then visit us at Medical Marijuana Consulting (MMC).

From medical marijuana for chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, and a variety of other ailments, we can help get you the appropriate treatment.

As a leading cannabis clinic in Canada, we’ll help you identify the right medication as well as obtain a medical marijuana prescription for your symptoms.

MMC is a premier cannabis clinic that’s committed to supporting Canadians as they connect with medical professionals with extensive medical marijuana expertise. Consult with a team of physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners that can provide prescriptions, help connect you with coverage for your prescription costs (if eligible), refer you to a licensed producer, and help you apply for the ACMPR license.

At MMC, it is our goal to help every patient that could be helped by medical cannabis access the medication. Join our Ambassador Program and receive $15 for every person you refer to MMC that becomes a patient. To learn more about Medical Marijuana Consulting and how you can secure a prescription as part of your personalized medical cannabis treatment plan, book a consultation online, contact us at 844-312-5143, or email us at patientcare@medmc.ca.

Ready for your medical cannabis prescription?