The compounds found in cannabis plant are called cannabinoids, and they have numerous health benefits.
It continues to be prescribed by healthcare professionals across the world.
One emerging area of research concerns terpenes, a broad term used to describe the largest class of organic compounds found in cannabinoids as well as other plants.
While research is still in its early stages, there is an emerging consensus that these compounds may hold the key to a number of medical and health benefits.
Here is everything you need to know about cannabis terpenes and their medical potential.
1. Their Main Health Potential May Be Therapeutic
Much of the early research into these terpenes suggests that their key health application is of a therapeutic nature. According to the leading authorities on terpenes, their strong aromas have a significant potential to complement existing aromatherapy treatment. Trials have been conducted that suggest that they can be used to alleviate anxiety and depression, as well as boost general wellbeing when taken in appropriate amounts.
2. Some Cannabis Terpenes Have Been Shown to Alleviate Pain and Inflammation
One of the most common types of terpenes in cannabis plants is myrcene, which is most commonly found in strains with high THC content such as Indica.
Numerous studies have shown that myrcene may be the active ingredient when it comes to using cannabis to treat physical pain and inflammation, which is why one of the most common conditions reported by medical marijuana recipients is arthritis.
It is also thought that myrcene contains antispasmodic qualities, meaning that it may emerge as a treatment for conditions such as epilepsy in the future.
3. Cannabinoid Terpenes May Reduce Cancer Cell Growth
The impact of cannabis terpenes on cancer sufferers has been a hugely popular area of research. One compound which has attracted intense attention from researchers is humulene, which is thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
The way that this is thought to happen is via apoptosis, which is when the humulene, once consumed, oxidizes cancer cells, which prevents their growth and spread. This is a currently emerging area of medical research but remains one of the most promising.
4. They May Also Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Borneol is a terpene present in wormwood and cinnamon, as well as cannabis. It has long been a staple of traditional Chinese medicine, largely due to the belief that it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent research appears to back this up, with a 2014 study in which borneol was administered to rats over an extended period of time may have been responsible for significantly lower rates of heart problems in the control group.
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