Medical Cannabis is a fairly broad topic that could be discussed for quite some time without getting tiresome. We can talk about certain conditions for which Medical Cannabis can be recommended. We can talk about things like state laws and whether cannabis will ever be decriminalized. We can even talk about some of the minute details, like the many different terpenes in cannabis.
We can only speak for ourselves here at Utah Marijuana, but terpenes fascinate us. Everybody tends to focus their attention on THC and CBD, which is fine. But cannabis plants contain more than a hundred cannabinoids and terpenes. We do not know much about them because research has been so limited. But the more we learn, the more appealing Medical Cannabis becomes.
Consider this post your introductory guide to terpenes. We can tell you that Utah growers and processors are hard at work researching terpenes and how they affect Medical Cannabis use. What they are learning will undoubtedly lead to new Medical Cannabis products eventually making it to pharmacy shelves.
Right off the bat, you might be interested to know that cannabis is not the only plant that has terpenes in it. Almost all aromatic plants produce them naturally. Terpenes are what give plants their unique smells. They are what make essential oils aromatic.
Speaking of essential oils, you may have heard that some of them have therapeutic benefits. One essential oil might have a calming and relaxing effect while another might help a person sleep. Guess what? Cannabis terpenes may have similar therapeutic effects. That is why growers and processes are looking at them now.
As a side note, terpenes are molecules that also benefit the plants that produce them. Some terpenes attract beneficial creatures – like pollinators for example. Other terpenes keep predators away. Nature has seen to it that both plants and animals derive good things from terpenes. Why would we suspect anything different from cannabis terpenes?
Some of the more common terpenes associated with Medical Cannabis are myrcene, beta-caryophyllene (BCP), pinene, and humulene. There are many more. How do they influence the effects of cannabis on the human brain? That is what we are trying to find out.
The thinking on this is pretty simple. If terpenes have certain therapeutic benefits on their own, they probably have some benefits that can only be experienced by combining them with cannabinoids. So here’s the thing: when you use raw cannabis flower as a medicine, you’re getting all the cannabinoids and terpenes in one shot. But maybe isolating a single cannabinoid and a single terpene would create a better medicine for you.
That is really what medical terpene research is all about right now. The goal is to eventually have exact recipes for different types of cannabis-derived medicines so that healthcare providers can be more specific in their recommendations. Isn’t that the way medicine is supposed to be utilized anyway?
To summarize everything in this short introductory guide to terpenes is to say they are more than just a smell producer. It goes without saying that cannabis has a very distinct odor. Its terpenes give it that odor. But there is more to terpenes than that; there are lots of things about terpenes we don’t know yet. As we learn more, we might uncover medical benefits that we never dreamed of before.
Keep that in mind the next time you take a dose of your medicine. The odor associated with your Medical Cannabis is a direct result of its terpene profile. But those terpenes might also be helping you medically.