How Do Terpenes Work?
We need to revisit this question based on feedback from the Hemponics community.
Before going in on the question, I'd like to thank the Hemponics community for raising this for me to clarify.
Well, the simple answer to this question is that is we don’t know.
You may be asking, why not?
Well, because there are literally thousands of terpenes in existence and hundreds in the Cannabis plant.
Terpenes are universally very small in size, very soluble in fat, and very easily vaporisable in the air.
They're present in low concentrations all around us.
Let’s try to drill down on how terpenes work using the Cannabis plant as a specific example.
Terpenes usefulness in cannabis is more implied rather than proven.
Meaning, it is implied from the fact that different strains (or Chemovars) seem to have different effects or give different experiences.
And, not much tells the strains apart chemically apart from their terpene content and concentration.
Now there are lots of studies on lots of terpenes, and some of these studies imply different effects.
Most of the studies are done on mice and very few on humans.
Many studies imply that terpenes work on different aspects of the brain and body compared to cannabis’s action.
So, what we think this might do is that they might help cannabinoids by working at different sites.
Let's use pain as an example.
Pain is an overwhelming amount of unpleasant messages received by the brain.
These messages are rushing up the nerves toward the brain.
Cannabinoids act to slow down the traffic as the messages jump from one nerve to the next.
Another compound may act on other parts of the pathway, say decreasing the sensitivity of the nerve, or increasing the activity of nerves that act in the opposite way to the troublesome nerve.
Now, of course, the system is very complex, so there are thousands of potential pinch points that could be acted upon that could help or hinder that troublesome nerve.
In terms of terpenes with potential pain effects, (such as linalool, bisabolol, myrcene, pinene, etc) each might act on several different targets in that pathway to add to the effect of a cannabinoid producing a greater pain relief effect.
That is in essence the 'entourage effect', where compounds in the cannabis plant might work better together than alone.
That's all for now regarding how terpenes work.
Thanks for checking out today's episode of '2-Minute Terpene Tutorials'.
Remember to grab yourself a bottle of our terpene and hemp seed oil nighttime blend.
You'll be glad you did 😉