You may have noticed a recent trend in the world of cannabis. Instead of talking about “indica vs sativa”—or even “THC vs CBD”—many cannabis consumers are focusing on terpenes as a way to characterize different strains.
Even if you’ve never heard the term before, you’re familiar with terpenes. They’re the fragrant hydrocarbons (or what many call “essential oils”) that give different strains of cannabis—and countless other plants and natural substances—their distinctive aromas and flavors.
Terpenes, as it turns out, do a lot besides impart lovely scents. Research shows that different terpenes work with the cannabinoids, flavonoids and other compounds in cannabis to produce what we call the ensemble effect, working together to create more powerful effects than they do individually. Preliminary research even suggests that some of the terpenes in the cannabis plant may have some health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties, though more data is needed!
- Sedation: Cannabis strains containing more than 0.5% myrcene content are thought to have broadly sedative effects. Some people find these strains helpful for insomnia!
- Pain Relief: In some rodent-based studies, myrcene has shown some evidence of reducing the perception of pain. Studies on humans, as well as plenty of anecdotal evidence, suggest that myrcene can have a similar effect for some people, as well.
- Anti-Inflammation: Studies suggest myrcene may have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. This is one of the reasons some people find cannabis topicals to be effective.
We’re fans of all things cannabis—there’s a lot of good that comes from this simple plant! Terpenes are a big part of what makes medical cannabis so great. While they’re no replacement for phytocannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN, they offer their own unique advantages, and we look forward to sharing more about these hydrocarbons with you.
If you want to become a patient in Minnesota, you can learn more about qualifying conditions and the certification process. And look out for more educational blogs about flower and terpenes coming soon!