16 December 2021

Top 5 Aromatic Substances in Weed and Their Health Benefits

The ongoing legalization of cannabis has changed the way we treat this substance. It used to be only THC and its concentration in buds—the higher the better—that smokers cared about. Then came the CBD craze when millions of people who wouldn’t touch weed with a ten-foot bong suddenly made cannabis, or hemp to be exact, the staple of their wellness routine. But the plant harbors even more surprises, and one of them is terpenes, weed’s aromatic constituents.

Actually, terpenes are not unique to the cannabis plant. These gaseous substances are produced by many species, including tea, thyme, and sage. But cannabis is a notoriously smelly plant, with its varied aromas really in your face, and its many terpenes can do so much more than be useful in training drug-sniffing dogs.

Weed enthusiasts know that each batch of buds is unique in its effects on the smoker, even if they were grown from the same cannabis seeds. It is also believed that this uniqueness is due to the so-called entourage effect when THC, CBD, as well as dozens of lesser cannabinoids and all the terpenes too, work together to produce a one-of-a-kind effect.

Of course, it goes beyond the recreational value and use of bubble hash. Cannabis has emerged as a powerful and versatile medicinal plant, with suppliers like Organic CBD Nugs offering a wealth of weed-based products. But terpenes play a big role in this because of their health benefits. Let’s look at the major terpenes that are abundant in modern cannabis strains and see how they can improve your well-being.


1. Pinene

Structurally, it is one of the simplest terpenes—monoterpene—and as such it’s also one of the smelliest. As the name implies, it has a strong scent of a pine tree. Pinene is a powerful antiplasmodial, meaning that it’s effective against a certain type of parasites, for example, the one causing malaria. In fact, pinene’s action is similar to that of the common antimalarial drug—chloroquine. As a bronchodilator, this terpene can be used to open restricted airways, e.g. in patients with asthma.


2. Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene has a peppery smell and it is, in fact, present in great quantities in black pepper. Some smokers swear that chewing black pepper helps when you’re panicking from THC-induced paranoia. And cannabis strains rich in caryophyllene supposedly don’t cause paranoia in the first place. This terpene is just as effective as pinene against malaria, and they both are abundant in marijuana grown from Gelato seeds. Interestingly, caryophyllene doesn’t just suppress the malaria bug carried by certain mosquitos. It also repels mosquitos, thus giving double protection from this severe disease.


3. Limonene

Limonene is yet another terpene with a strong antimalarial activity (duh, they all are). It smells of citrus fruit and, naturally, can be found in oranges, lemons, etc. Limonene is also the one responsible for the strong lemony aroma in many household products. The unique feature of limonene is that it boosts the action of other terpenes. The smell of citrus fruit usually invokes pleasant associations. Maybe because limonene is a mild anti-depressant.


4. Myrcene

Myrcene is the stuff of legends for cannabis users because they believe it significantly increases the effect of THC, making the high more overwhelming. For this reason, some die-hard smokers recommend taking a slice of mango with your bowl because there’s a lot of myrcene in mangoes. This terpene gives the buds the earthy smell generally associated with Indicas. And Indica is a go-to variety for those who seek pain relief from their buds. Myrcene has indeed analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and is also a sedative.


5. Linalool

Linalool is kind of rare in cannabis, but it’s what gives lavender its characteristic smell. Try to imagine how lavender smells, and you’ll probably feel calmer, less anxious, and more relaxed. That’s how linalool acts on you. It is the perfect candidate for aromatherapy if you have PTSD, depression, or even insomnia.

We have listed only five terpenes, but this is the most numerous class of naturally occurring substances. Even cannabis can produce dozens of them while others are found in other plant species and in animals as well. Besides those therapeutic uses that we have mentioned, terpenes have many more: antiviral, anticancer, antidiabetic, antioxidant, antiseptic, diuretic, the list goes on and on. And thanks to their extremely low toxicity, terpenes are well-tolerated by any kind of patient and absolutely safe.


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