What are terpenes?
Terpenes belong to a large class of volatile aromatic secondary metabolites naturally produced by a diverse group of plant species
Where are terpenes produced?
Plants produce terpenes in specialized cells or resin glands. Terpenes can also be created synthetically or semi-synthetically in a laboratory using a natural molecule as the modifiable building block.
When are terpenes produced?
Plants can produce terpenes at different stages of their life cycle. Scientists can also organically synthesize terpenes on demand in a laboratory.
Why are terpenes produced?
Terpenes are classified as secondary metabolites, meaning their production is not directly involved in the growth, development or reproduction of the plant. Depending on the plant species, terpenes may assist in survival through pesticidal effects or increasing reproductive rate. Terpenes can also be naturally extracted or organically synthesized for human and animal use.
How are terpenes produced?
In nature, terpenes are derived biosynthetically from activated forms of the isoprene molecule. Terpenes are also commonly extracted from plants by various extraction methods. They can be further refined into the state of a single isolated terpene. Isolated terpenes can be organically synthesized in a laboratory setting.
What is the entourage effect?
The entourage effect describes the synergistic interaction between the phytochemicals contained in cannabis. One review article has specifically investigated the synergy between cannabis terpenes and cannabinoids. The author makes the case that cannabis terpenes augment and balance the effects of cannabinoids, and references numerous research studies to support his case. The entourage phenomenon is seen throughout the plant kingdom and is not exclusive to cannabis.
Can infusing isolated terpenes into cannabis oil create the entourage effect?
Currently, there is no scientific evidence or clinical studies that show this to be true.
Types of Terpenes
Natural sources: conifer trees, rosemary, frankincense, eucalyptus, tea tree
Aromatic Characteristics: Pine trees
Physiological effects: anti-inflammatory, bronchodilatory, memory enhancement
Natural sources: hops, mango, bay laurel, lemongrass, thyme, myrcia
Aromatic Characteristics: balsam, peppery, rich, earthy
Physiological effects: analgesic, sedative, muscle relaxant
Natural sources: hops, sage, ginger, ginseng, spearmint
Aromatic Characteristics: Hoppy, bitter, sour
Physiological effects: anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, analgesic, anoretic
Natural sources: black pepper, clove, hops, basil, lavender, rosemary
Aromatic Characteristics: clove, spicy, sweet, woody
Physiological effects: CB2 receptor agonist, anti-malarial, gastroprotectant
Natural sources: citrus
Aromatic Characteristics: sharp tangy, zesty
Physiological effects: immunostimulant, antimicrobial, anti-anxiety
Natural sources: lavender, basil, thyme, mugwort, bay laurel, palmarosa
Aromatic Characteristics: sweet, floral, woody, spicy
Physiological effects: analgesic, anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety, sedative
Natural sources: conifer trees, petitgrain, tea tree
Aromatic Characteristics: pine, citrus, woody, floral
Physiological effects: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, sedative, anti-tumor
Natural sources: lemongrass, rose, neroli, ginger, lavender
Aromatic Characteristics: citrus, floral, woody
Physiological effects: sedative, antimalarial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotectant