As the use of medical marijuana increases in Florida, patients are learning that the Cannabis plant is a complex and ancient natural remedy. Often, patients are prescribed opioids and other pharmaceutical medications. Cannabis can alleviate the side-effects from those medications. From PTSD to cancer to insomnia, medical marijuana is an effective method of improving one’s mental and physical health and improving health-related symptoms.
There is archeological evidence that proves that humans have used cannabis for at least 10,000 years; recorded history, for at least 5,000 years. Cannabis has been a source of food, fuel, paper, and building materials, a textile fiber, and a folk medicine remedy for thousands of years.
The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors all over the body. This system enables a connection between body and mind, signaling to all other systems when something feels good or bad.
Essential Oils have become commonplace and accepted as a supplement to an individual’s health care routine. Even drugstores, grocery stores and everywhere in between carry variations of plant essential oils and products containing oils to improve health. Just like all other plants, the Cannabis plant produces and excretes beneficial essential oils. These essential oils are called Terpenes, and while research is still evolving, science has proven that these oils can drastically improve a patient’s quality of life.
Terpenes appear in abundance within nature, and it’s estimated that over 20,000 terpenes exist within our ecosystems. Every single plant, herb, flower, vegetable and fruit possess terpenes; and each terpene serves a very specific purpose. Terpenes contribute to the characteristic odor and flavor of any plant.
Hundreds of different terpenes have been discovered within the Cannabis plant, and they are generally classified as primary and secondary terpenes, based on how frequent they occur in cannabis. The odor represents a distinction between cannabis varieties which indicates that different plants can offer different benefits.
Cannabis and its Terpenes synchronize their chemical effects by working concurrently. There are over 200 confirmed (although scientists believe there are potentially tens of thousands of terpenes yet to be classified). Terpenes within the plant world, and each plant variety produces a unique effect. Because of Terpenes, each cannabis strain possesses a distinct taste and scent.
Terpenes are aromatic molecules which are produced within the glands of cannabis flowers and buds. Some scents are considered sweet and fruity while other Terpenes are woodsy, pungent, earthy or skunky. While Terpenes give each cannabis strain a unique scent and flavor, these chemical compounds also contribute to the therapeutic effects that patient’s feel.
The cannabis plant emits odors that actually help to distinguish the variety and strain. The beneficial parts of the Cannabis plant go beyond THC and CBD cannabinoids. Cannabinoids and terpenes influence activity of one another, resulting in strain-specific characteristics, effects and responses. Terpenes are the source of flavors, aromas and other characteristics that help differentiate cannabis strains.
Ben Shabat and his team determined in 1988 that Cannbinoids and Terpenes work together. They termed this the “Entourage Effect.” The European Journal of Pharmacology stated that this effect “may represent a novel route for molecular regulation of endogenous cannabinoid activity.” This means that as a team these compounds make cannabis stronger and more efficient. This efficacy translates to better medicine and better treatments for patients.
Delta-3-Carene is a terpene that is typically found in basil, pine, bell pepper and Cannabis. Carene produces anti-inflammatory effects and is known to aid in bone repair. This sweet and woodsy-smelling terpene is recommended in aiding patients with arthritis, fibromyalgia and osteoporosis. Scientists have also begun to evaluate the efficacy of the Delta-3-Carene in the treatment of memory conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Some medical marijuana strains that possess Delta-3-Carene terpene are:
When terpenes and cannabinoids interact together, there is a heightened efficacy for medical marijuana patients. Patients should speak with their certified medical marijuana physician to determine which strains and methods of consumption are most appropriate for their medical conditions.