As interest in the medical cannabis industry grows, science is dissecting the cannabis plant even further to understand just how the complicated plant can heal humans, and animals. 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.
While the research catches up to the legacy of the cannabis plant, science is confirming what people have known and understood for centuries. Cannabis is a sophisticated plant, one that defends itself against pests, produces multiple chemical compounds and can heal a variety of ailments.
Cannabis has been a source of food, fuel, paper, and building materials, a textile fiber, and a folk medicine remedy for thousands of years. THC and CBD are two popular cannabinoids, and have been used medicinally for centuries. But now, science has proven that there’s far more to the cannabis plant than just those two beneficial compounds.
Cannabis also has terpenes. Terpenes can be thought of like the essential oils of the cannabis plant. These oils emit scents and flavors which contribute to the plant’s efficacy. This 1993 report titled “The Ecology of Plants” explains the wide variety of functional roles terpenes play.
Terpenes: Flavors, Fragrances, Pharmaca, Pheromones written by Eberhard Breitmaier explores the significance of terpenes and how terpenes are used in a variety of industries. Breitmaier explains that terpenes not only benefit humans, but also plants themselves receive the benefits from their own terpenes. Some plants, through their terpenes, attract specific insects for pollination. Some plants and their terpenes signal to other insects to stay away.
Terpenes are found throughout the the plant world. 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. Every plants in the world has the capacity to produce a wide array of terpene compounds. According to Trends in Plant Science, these “compounds that provide ecological and physiological benefit to plants. Terpenes also have important practical applications such as flavors, fragrances and medicines.”
Over 140 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.
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.
Some of the medicinal properties of the terpene Valencene are that it aids as an anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator and increases alertness. Valencene is a terpene commonly found in Valencia oranges, citrus and mangoes.
Some strains of medical cannabis which may contain traces of Valencene:
Patients should speak with their certified medical marijuana physician to determine which strains and methods of consumption are most appropriate for their medical conditions. The Medical Marijuana Treatment Center staff are trained to answer your specific questions once your medical marijuana card is approved and active. It is important that patients find a medical cannabis routine that is effective in treating a patient’s ailments and concerns.