Research into the medicinal benefits of cannabis terpenes is still in its infancy but already has shown promise in treating a variety of neurodegenerative conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Terpenes are highly aromatic molecules that occur naturally in plants and trees, including the wonderful cannabis plant. They are the basis of aromatherapy and responsible for all the variations in taste and smell from plant to plant, strain to strain.
There are hundreds of terpenoids but only a handful appear in large enough amounts in cannabis to make their presence known outside of laboratory testing.
Terpenes are important for much more than the delightful aromas they provide. They have therapeutic effects too. Linalool, the primary terpene in lavender as well as many purple and floral-smelling cannabis strains, is calming and helps with sleep and relaxation. It can also help with insomnia and anxiety.
These are not the only terpenes being researched for these degenerative diseases, but some of the ones most commonly found in cannabis.
Delta 3 Carene
Found in many common plants like rosemary, peppers, cedar and fir, the terpene Delta-3 Carene (Carene) is responsible for sweet, earthy aromas in cannabis strains. Most notable about Carene is its ability to aid in the repairing of bones, especially those damaged by malnutrition. But, it also stimulates the memory and aids in retention making it a promising lead in cognitive disease research.
Carene is partially responsible for dry eyes and mouth when smoking cannabis as it helps regulate body fluids.
Find Carene in Haze strains.
Eucalyptol, also known as cineole, is the primary terpene in eucalyptus trees. It’s also found in rosemary, bay, sage and of course, cannabis. Eucalyptol’s pungent, cooling aroma has been shown to ease pain, reduce blood pressure and alleviate mental stress. It’s one of the most popular aromatherapy oils in use at spas and healing centers around the world.
Eucalyptol has shown promise in treating many conditions. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and helps peripheral neuropathy patients when applied topically. This terpene may also help slow the decline of cognitive functioning in sufferers of neurodegenerative diseases.
Eucalyptol can be found in Super Silver Haze, Bubba Kush and Headband.
Geraniol is the terpene most present in geranium flowers and is responsible for its delicate, floral scent. It’s a popular terpene in the cosmetics and food industries where it’s used to create sweet, fruity scents and flavors. Geraniol can be found in lemons and tobacco and is produced by bees to mark their hives.
Geraniol has many potential medical applications and research has shown it to be therapeutic in the treatment of cancer as well as being an antifungal, antibacterial and antispasmodic. It’s also an antioxidant and neuroprotectant.