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Best Terpenes for Inflammation

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You might know that cannabis and hemp products are potentially able to help get rid of inflammation and pain. That said, most people assume that this is just because of the cannabinoids, or in other words, the THC and CBD, along with others. However, although THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, all have potential anti-inflammatory properties, they aren't the only substances contained in cannabis and hemp that can do this. What we are talking about here are terpenes. Yes, terpenes, the substance that gives weed its flavor and aroma, are also responsible for potentially providing a variety of health benefits, both for the body and mind. If you don't know what terpenes are, no worries, because we'll explain this directly below. We'll then talk about the various potential health benefits of terpenes, how they fare at treating inflammation, and what some of the best anti-inflammatory terpenes out there are.

Key Takeaways

  • Terpenes are the substances found in plants that give them their flavors and aromas.
  • Terpenes are not only there for aroma and flavors but also have a variety of potential medical and therapeutic benefits.
  • Besides being anti-inflammatory, terpenes may also be analgesic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-allergy, and they may help you sleep, reduce anxiety, and so much more.

What Are Terpenes in Cannabis?

Terpenes are a specific type of natural compound that are found in most plants, herbs, and more. Even some animals create or release terpenes. Yes, cannabis contains terpenes. To put it in simpler terms, terpenes are like the essential oils produced by plants. They are what are responsible for the aroma and flavor of the plants. Every strain of cannabis has slightly different terpenes, which is why every strain has a different smell and flavor. Virtually all of the plants and fruits that you are familiar with contain these terpenes. In the natural world, terpenes also offer plants protection from predators. As far as humans are concerned, however, there are a variety of potential health benefits that terpenes may have for us.

What Are the Health Benefits of Terpenes?

The terpenes found in cannabis plants and other plants on this planet have a wide variety of potential benefits, so let's take a quick look at what exactly these might be.

Sleep Aid

One of the biggest purported benefits of terpenes is that they may act as sleep aids. Various terpenes, such as myrcene, linalool, terpinolene, and caryophyllene may all help you get a good night's sleep. Most of these terpenes, in one way or another, have a sedating effect. They may also increase the levels of adenosine in your blood and brain, which may make you a little bit drowsy. Many terpenes are ideal for combating insomnia.

Anti-Inflammatories

Another one of the biggest benefits of terpenes is that many of them are anti-inflammatory in nature. Terpenes such as myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, linalool, and ocimene, as well as humulene, may all be able to help alleviate inflammation in the human body. Exactly how these terpenes eliminate inflammation from your body somewhat varies from one to another, although the result is more or less the same across the board. Some terpenes can take care of acute inflammation (which is onset inflammation), usually caused by something like an injury. There is then also chronic inflammation, which is long-term inflammation that can last for years. The bottom line is that many terpenes can decrease inflammatory markers in the body. For instance, some of these terpenes decrease nitrous oxide in the blood which is produced by inflammatory cells. In essence, your immune system produces inflammatory substances as a response to various pathogens, invaders, and other issues. Terpenes may be able to help stop your immune system from creating these inflammatory substances, therefore preventing or relieving inflammation.

Pain Reduction

One of the biggest benefits that some terpenes may have is the management of chronic pain. There are some terpenes, such as linalool, myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene, and limonene, which are known for having potential painkilling properties. Most of these terpenes interact with your cannabinoid receptors in one way or another and may act as analgesic agents. In other words, they may be able to block pain signals from getting from your nerves through your brain. Some of these terpenes may also increase the levels of adenosine in the brain, which can also lead to pain relief.

Concentration and Memory

There are then also a select few terpenes that may be able to help increase concentration, memory and focus. Pinene, linalool, and limonene, may in their own ways all be able to help make you feel more alert. Now, here we are talking more about memory and concentration in terms of long-term health, such as acting as potential treatments for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. In other words, various terpenes may be able to help prevent or at least slow down cognitive and neural decline.

Antimicrobial Benefits

One of the lesser-known benefits of terpenes is that they may also have antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties. Yes, that is right, some terpenes may be able to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Some of the terpenes that are believed to be able to do this include caryophyllene, limonene, ocimene, and pinene. Therefore, terpenes may show some promise in terms of relieving symptoms related to various bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

Stress and Anxiety Relief

Furthermore, we then have terpenes that are effective at relieving various degrees of stress, anxiety, and depression. Some of the terpenes that are believed to help on this front include limonene, pinene, myrcene, linalool, and caryophyllene. For the most part, this has to do with how these terpenes interact with the neurotransmitters in your brain, specifically those related to serotonin, dopamine, and cortisol. It is believed that various terpenes may be able to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, while simultaneously decreasing cortisol levels. The ultimate result here is that you should feel much happier, calmer, more relaxed, and less stressed out, depressed, and anxious.

Are Terpenes Effective in Treating Inflammation?

Based on various studies and pieces of research, it is shown that terpenes are indeed effective at relieving and treating inflammation, both acute and chronic inflammation. Now, terpenes on their own often won't have a huge effect, but when combined with cannabis, particularly THC and CBD, their efficacy increases significantly. This is generally related to the entourage effect, which is how cannabinoids interact with terpenes in the human body. That said, terpenes on their own may still have a variety of health benefits, mainly the ones as listed above, but those health benefits are usually much greater when combined with the cannabinoids contained in cannabis. Let's move on and talk about how exactly anti-inflammatory terpenes work.

How do Terpenes Alleviate Inflammation?

Although more research is required on this front, there are a variety of ways in which they may be able to help alleviate inflammation. First and foremost, terpenes may be able to help reduce inflammation by suppressing the production of cytokine in the body. Cytokines are inflammatory markers that the immune system produces when it senses some kind of threat. Cytokines that cause inflammation to occur, with the hope of fighting off said pathogen or invader. However, this inflammation is generally just uncomfortable and painful. There are a variety of other inflammatory markers that various terpenes may be able to help reduce in your body. Strictly which inflammatory markers are concerned with depends on the type of inflammation you have. For instance, some terpenes may be able to help reduce the amount of nitrous oxide production by various inflammatory cells. Nitrous oxide is an inflammatory substance, so reducing it should in theory also reduce inflammation. It is also believed that some terpenes may be able to help inhibit cell proliferation, specifically the proliferation of inflammatory cells. It may also be the case that some terpenes can induce what is known as apoptosis in inflamed cells, which in simplest terms is the death of cells. We realize that most of this is extremely dense and scientifically heavy, but the bottom line is that terpenes may be able to help alleviate inflammation and pain in a variety of ways.

What We Know About Terpenes for Inflammation

Let's just do a quick summary of exactly what we know about terpenes and inflammation.
  • There are various terpenes that may be able to help reduce inflammation, including myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, pinene, linalool, terpinolene, and humulene.
  • These cannabinoids on their own may be able to help reduce inflammation. Although, they usually work better when combined with cannabinoids, mainly THC and CBD, which is then known as the entourage effect.
  • Terpenes may be able to help reduce inflammation by inhibiting the proliferation of inflamed cells, inducing apoptosis, suppressing cytokine production, and through the induction of T-regulatory cells.

Best Anti-Inflammatory Terpenes

Now that we know how terpenes may be able to help alleviate pain and inflammation, let's take a look at some of the top contenders for the title of the best anti-inflammatory terpene.

Myrcene

First on the list, we have myrcene. This is one of the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis, and it can also be found in thyme, bay, parsley, sweet basil, lemongrass, eucalyptus, mangoes, melons, and more. Some of the best strains that contain this terpene include Grape Ape, White Widow, Pure Kush, and Mango Kush, along with OG Kush, and Blue Dream. Myrcene has a spicy, peppery, and earthy odor, with hints of fruitiness and cloves. This particular terpene is known for having strong anti-inflammatory properties. It is also thought to be a sedative, an analgesic, and an antibiotic as well. This may just be the number one best terpene for anti-inflammatory properties.

Limonene

We then have limonene, which is another terpene known for having potential anti-inflammatory properties. Along with having potential anti-inflammatory properties, this terpene may also have analgesic pain-killing effects, it may act as an antioxidant, it could be beneficial for your cardiovascular health, it may be beneficial for your respiratory tract, and it could also help support healthy digestion. Limonene can be found in Berry White, White Widow, Sour Lifter, Banana Kush, Lemon Skunk, Purple Hindu Kush, and in other strains. In nature, limonene is most often found in various citrus fruits. As you can probably tell, it has a very lemony and citrusy flavor profile. It may also be found in a variety of trees, such as aspens, as well as in Rosemary.

Caryophyllene

Then we have caryophyllene, which is yet another terpene that has supposed anti-inflammatory properties. This terpene is usually found in cloves, black pepper, spinach, hops, cinnamon, Rosemary, allspice, chamomile, oregano, and more. This terpene features a spicy, herbaceous, and woody flavor profile. Some strains that caryophyllene is commonly found in include Crescendo, Do Si Dos, Gorilla Grapes, Pineapple Express, Sour Diesel, and Pink Lemonade. This terpene has great potential as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent, and it may even be beneficial for bone health. It also may act as a reliever of stress and anxiety.

Pinene

Next on the list is pinene, which as you can guess closely resembles pine trees in terms of aroma. This terpinene has an aroma similar to pine needles, rosemary, basil, hops, dill, and parsley, all rolled into one. As you can probably guess, pine needles, orange peels, lavender, pine nuts, basil, parsley, and more, all contain this terpene. There are also many strains rich in pinene, including Island Sweet Skunk, OG Kush, Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream, Cannatonic, and more. Pinning is believed to be a fairly powerful anti-inflammatory. It may also help with memory, anxiety, and more.

Linalool

Linalool is yet another terpene that is believed to have a variety of benefits. These include being an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, and an antimicrobial. It may also have various benefits for allergy sufferers, for your hair, and anxiety. Some of the most common foods and plants that contain linalool include lavender, roses, and many other flowers. Little unusual features a combination of spice, wood, and floral notes. Some common strains that contain linalool include Master Kush, OG Shark, LA Confidential, Pink Kush, and Amnesia Haze.

Terpinolene

Terpinolene has an extremely woodsy, floral, herbal, and sometimes citrusy smell. It is commonly present in various trees, particularly coniferous trees such as pine trees. It can also be found in tea trees, cumin, rosemary, nutmeg, and sage. As far as cannabis strains are concerned, ones that are rich in terpinolene include Grape Gum, Utopia Haze, Fire Angel, and Juicy Fruit. Besides being an anti-inflammatory agent, terpinolene is also thought to be a powerful antibacterial agent, a good sedative, an antifungal, and more.

Humulene

Finally, we have humulene. Besides being an anti-inflammatory, this is also believed to be an analgesic, antibacterial agent, and insect repellent, and may also help to combat allergies. Humulene can be found in hops, black pepper, coriander, basil, cloth, sage, and the balsam fir tree. Humulene is quite subtle and features a combination of earthiness, woodiness, spiciness, and an undertone of herbal notes. Some humulene-rich strains include Azure Haze, Lightsaber, Finola, and Citrus Fire. Interestingly enough, this terpene is often found in hemp plants.

Do THC and CBD Reduce Inflammation?

Yes, THC and CBD may also both reduce inflammation. In this sense, they function in very similar ways, by binding and interacting with the CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors in the human body. By interacting with these receptors, it allows these cannabinoids to regulate immune responses related to inflammation, as well as the perception of pain. In simplest terms, just like terpenes may be able to help reduce inflammatory markers in the human body, so can cannabinoids.

What is Better for Pain and Inflammation, CBD or THC?

More research is required on this front to determine exactly which of these two cannabinoids is better for pain and inflammation. With that being said, there are some indications that CBD may be the better option for chronic inflammation, whereas THC may be the better option for pain. THC appears to have a much greater effect on the way that our minds perceive pain, whereas CBD appears to be a bit more effective at controlling localized inflammation. On that note, we do need to consider the entourage effect here. Remember that the entourage effect refers to how these various substances work together, and produce additional effects when combined. This entourage effect doesn't just apply when cannabinoids are mixed with terpenes, but also when various cannabinoids work together, such as THC and CBD. What it all comes down to here is that your best bet at relieving both inflammation and pain is to combine all three together, THC, CBD, and the various terpenes we have discussed today.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line here is that terpenes may very well help relieve inflammation, pain, and so much more. You can buy pure terpene sauce that doesn't contain any cannabinoids, or you can of course also purchase various hemp and cannabis products that contain both cannabinoids and terpenes. In the grand scheme of things, if you have severe inflammation and pain, your best bet is likely to combine cannabinoids with terpenes.

Where to Buy Terpene Rich Live Resin Tincture Online

If you are looking for a great place to buy some live resin rich with terpenes, right here at Botany Farms is the best place to be. For instance, this Live Resin CBD Tincture is a perfect example. If you are all about flavor, then our own Botany Farms Delta-9 Microdose Blue Raspberry Gummies might be right for you. Thanks for stopping by. Why not give something from our Farm a try?

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