Not too long ago, marijuana was illegal and, all we knew about it was that it got us high when we smoked it. No one in their wildest dreams would have associated marijuana or cannabis with health benefits.
However, since cannabis has been legalized in multiple states all over the country, people have started to discover its hidden benefits and knowledge about cannabis has become widespread. But what garnered the most attraction was terpenes. Even though terpenes are found in many other plants, they were commonly associated with cannabis.
Keep reading this article to learn more about terpenes and how they affect our mental and physical health.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbon compounds that are found in most plants. Various types of terpenes differ in strength.
Strains that are rich in terpenes emit the strongest aroma. Every terpene has a different and distinct aroma; some terpenes may have fruity aromas, and others may have a spicy or strong pine aroma. However, the list doesn’t end here as there can be hundreds of different terpenes all with a different scent.
Terpenes are also used in certain foods and beverages to enhance the flavor and scent of the product.
Terpenes and Mental Health
Most terpenes are bioactive which means that they have an impact on our mind and body. Because of their vibrant and distinct aromas, terpenes are used to make essential oils which are used in various therapies such as aroma and massage therapies.
When we inhale these scents, they impact our mood and help to lower stress and anxiety levels as they have a relaxing effect.
Various studies show that something, known as the “entourage effect,” occurs when terpenes react with cannabinoid compounds, and this has a positive impact on our minds and bodies.
Recent research suggests that various terpenes may have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. The Japanese tradition of forest bathing in an environment rich with terpenes showed neuroprotective effects on our health.
They can also help to treat muscle spasms and provide relief from pain.
A study conducted in China also showed substantial results that terpene can be effective against Alzheimer’s disease.
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