- The terpenes present in the cannabis plant are directly responsible for the aroma as for the flavor of the flowers you consume. In addition, several recent scientific studies, demonstrate that they also play a complementary symbiotic role with the different phytocannabinoids contained in the plant, especially in terms of effect.
- Some fairly recent scientific studies gradually demonstrate that these chemical compounds also have health benefits in humans.
- During this article, we bring you everything you need to know about the importance of the presence and influence of the different terpenes of cannabis.
What are cannabis terpenes?
This is a subject that currently raises many questions within the international cannabic scene, with a certain relevance. From a chemist's point of view, cannabis terpenes are simply made up of a molecular repetition named Isoprene of 5 carbons. This molecular profile acts directly on aromatic properties And taste of all the plants that produce them. But not only, because it has recently been discovered that terpenes are able to generate beneficial symbiotic interactions with the phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.
We can evoke here the phenomenon "Effective effect", as has already been observed as part of the analysis of a multitude of varieties with various and varied cannabinoid profiles. Nowadays, the antagonism of CBD on the THC is something that has been clearly demonstrated in a scientifically formal way. More clearly, this means that if a variety of cannabis contains THC like CBD, even in unequal proportions, the CBD has the capacity to cancel the effects produced by the THC. It seems incredible, and yet it is a fact.
All this to make you understand that according to the profile of phytocannabinoids And terpenic content by any cannabis plant, THE scent, THE taste like the effects will be oriented according to the composition of the latter. All this generates interactive mechanisms between these different elements, which make it possible to obtain strong variations concerning the properties mentioned. It is concretely this great diversity, which offers us multiple possibilities and whose different virtues are still to be discovered.
We are talking about hemp or cannabis terpenes, but in reality we can find these same terpenes in many food intended for humans, and especially in fruits, THE vegetables, THE spices and the aromatic herbs.
What are the real properties of terpenes?
For many years, a multitude of exhaustive scientific studies have been carried out to discover the effects such as the properties of the different phytocannabinoids (especially for the THC and the CBD) of our favorite plant. However, many mysteries remain concerning terpenes. There too, a certain number of rigorous investigations have been carried out, however the scientific evidence collected remain insufficient to be able to withdraw formal conclusions concerning the beneficial properties or benefits of terpenes.
Some of these studies confirm that terpenes actively contribute to "The entourage effect" mentioned a little higher. Which concretely means that they reinforce or amplify the action of the benefits which are directly produced by the different cannabinoids present in the plant. This is how neuroscientist Ethan Russo, has demonstrated through a study that terpenes could reduce the opposing effects of THC, by increasing its therapeutic efficiency at the same time. Russo comes to the conclusion, that this close relationship between cannabinoids and the terpenes, significantly increases the therapeutic power of Cannabis in the face of different pathologies.
As we have known for some time now, all of the cannabinoids act directly on the receptors of Endocannabinoid system present in our organization. It seems that it is the same regarding terpenes, we can even say that the latter could play the role of amplifiers according to the composition in active ingredients contained in the plant.
We therefore gradually realize the evidence of virtues or therapeutic properties that each terpene potentially contains, like anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce pain for example. We realize concretely that these molecules present in hemp, are responsible for the nature and expression of different perfumes, such as the aroma and taste of the vast majority of our food, but that they ultimately ultimately An important role in the health of our organization. It also seems logical, which they actively participate in the benefits of aromatherapy.
It would even seem that certain terpenes, would be able to modify the quantity of THC crossing the Hémato-Encephalic barrier (part that separates the brain from the blood, to prevent potentially harmful substances from being able to reach the brain). It is concretely in this way, that terpenes act in terms of the effect of cannabis on the human organism. Other parallel studies, claim that these same compounds could also act on our internal production of dopamine and of serotonin.
The effects produced by a terpene are variable, such as the myrcene which can produce a relaxing effect And narcotic, THE silt improves mental acuity and the concentration. Fairly recent studies, say the terpene β-Caryophyllène would have Neuroprotective properties which can contribute beneficial to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson disease.
Even if there are still certain questions, Terpenes could cause significant therapeutic value, acting in complementarity with the various phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Basically, complexity remains precisely on this point, because there are so many possible combinations in terms of availability or presence of different cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as the proportion of each of these elements at the same time. This is the reason why it is necessary to pursue many investigations in this sense, in order to discover new concrete therapeutic possibilities and certified by the medical profession.
-It exists 3 major categories to classify phytotoTepens :
1) Primary monoterpenes : They are made up of 2 isoprene units, in other words, two blocks of 5 units. The best known monoterpenes are the myrcene, Alfa-Pinène (has-pinene), THE silt, THE Beta-Caryophyllene (β-caryopphyllene), THE Terpinolène And Ocimène.
2) Secondary terpenes Or Sesquiterpenes : they are made up of 15 carbon atoms. THE Sesquiterpenes that we find most often in cannabis are the CARENE (Delta-3-Carène), karyophyllène oxide, THE fenchol, Humulnene, THE linalool, Eucalyptol, bisabolol, THE nerolidol (Or Peruviol), Alpha-Phellandrene (has-phenlandrene), the camphoron, THE Beta-Pinène (β-pinène), thealpha, beta And Y-Terpinène (a- β-y-terpinène), THE Farnesnes or the Terpineol.
3) Tertiary terpenes or those found small in the cannabis plant are: the bounded, THE Guaiol, THE ceded, THE camphor, THE phytol, Acetate of geranyle, THE pullegone, THE cymene And Isopulegol (Menthyle acetate).
What is the role of terpenes for the cannabis plant?
The production of terpenes of a cannabis plant is always concentrated in terms of flowers of the latter. Which is completely logical, because the flowers are in a way "Precious fruits" of the plant. THE terpenes, in addition to phytocannabinoids which are also located and produced in the same place, that is to say inside glandular trichomeshave a protective function against potential threats from bacteria, of mushrooms, insects or many other factors of environmental stress.
The concentration as well as the composition of the terpenic profile expressed by each plant vary strongly, depending on cultivated genetics and associated culture parameters. In addition to their repellent Against the various scourges mentioned above, the terpenes are also used to attract pollinating insects, thus facilitating the reproduction of the plant world. For the same genetics, there are different factors that can lead to certain variations during the production of these compounds such as: the climate, The duration of the maturation period, fertilizers, The substrate And also the time of the day during which the harvest is carried out.
All this lets us understand that the terpenic composition of a plant is almost unique, depending on the observation of these different variations. However, the aromatic profile of a set of plants from an identical variety, demonstrates strong similarities and therefore allows the concrete identification of the cultivated variety. This offers us such a result, because the terpenic combination between parents of the same genetics is strongly marked, as a characterized olfactory imprint. This is the reason why we can easily distinguish a Amnesia Lemon of a L.A. Vanilla Cake, For example.
Terpenes and cannabinoids: a fusional relationship
There are many people who convince that terpenes are directly involved in the production process of cannabinoids, considering that the latter are made up of blocks of terpenes and groups of phenols.
A correlation between the level of terpenes and cannabinoids would have been found, during a study carried out using standard culture conditions. This is what could explain the strong presence of monoterpenes, as Sesquiterpenes which form and store inside glandular trichomes in which the cannabinoids are produced.
How to get the essential oils of cannabis?
We can get cannabis essential oil using a method of traditional steam distillation. The latter passes through the vegetable matter, driving the essential oil of the plant because the terpenes are soluble in the water, unlike cannabinoids.
This is the reason why at the time of distilling cannabis, only withdrawing the terpenes, The essential oil ultimately obtained will not produce any psychoactive effect.
The protocol is quite simple, because it is enough to place the cannabis in a test tube with water, and then heat it so that the water turns into steam at a temperature of 100 ° C. In this way, the terpenes are captured and then transported by steam to a second glass test tube, in which it will be cooled and liquefy again. In the liquid state, the essential oil collected and containing the terpenes floats above the water, thus facilitating the separation of the two liquids.
It is necessary to know that it is necessary to have a large quantity of cannabis flowers, in order to finally obtain a fairly modest quantity of essential oil. This is what can explain his high cost like that low availability on the market.
What are the different applications of cannabis essential oil?
Cannabis essential oil can be used for:
- Aromatherapy or as part of the development of various and varied cosmetic products (creams, lotions, soaps, massage oils, etc.)
- Improving aromatic qualities, taste, in also optimizing "the entourage effect" of your flowers and cannabic extractions
- The development of various edible products (drinks and foods)
The different possibilities mentioned here are still largely underestimated. The cannabis plant still retains many secrets to date, we will certainly discover new virtuous uses of cannabis essential oil in the near future.