Terpenes – Emerging research and a large body of studies exist demonstrating terpenes’ many possible medical benefits. Terpenes are primarily responsible for cannabis’ aroma and tastes. The FDA has generally recognized terpenes as “safe.” Terpenes act on receptors and neurotransmitters. Much more specific research is needed for improved accuracy in describing and predicting how terpenes in cannabis can be used medicinally to help treat specific ailments. Terpenes are still not evidence-based pharmacogenetically; therefore, not included in our PGX test.
Terpene’s Potential Medical properties:
- Enhances norepinephrine activity (similar to tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil)
- Increases dopamine activity
- Augments GABA
- Inhibits THC’s intoxicating effects, thus increasing THC’s therapeutic index
- Terpenes have been shown to increase the potential of cannabis-based medicinal extracts to treat pain, inflammation, fungal and bacterial infections, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy and possibly cancer.
Some of the main terpenes found in cannabis include:
- Pinene- has a distinctly piney aroma, and is also found in pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill. Pinene is said to promote alertness and memory retention
- Myrcene- another well-known terpene which smells musky, earthy, and has been closely associated in aroma with cloves, with some citrusy notes. Mycrene is thought to enduce the well-known ‘couchlock’ effect, leaving the patient slightly numb and with a substantial body sensation
- Limonene-as is suggested by its name, has a smell and taste of lemon or citrus, and may induce a euphoric feeling, elevated mood and stress relief.
- Linalool Linalool has a lavender or floral aroma, and is Used in the treatment of anxiety
- Caryophyllene-has aroma and smell reminiscent of peppercorns which some people describe as ‘woody.