Cannabis is becoming more accepted as a medicinal aid especially as more research is conducted to understand the complexity and advantages of the plant. Its superiority in the plant world is due, in part, to its history. The Cannabis plant is believed to be one of the first plants known to humans. Cannabis has been used for centuries, and it has been well-documented in historical records.
The healing cannabis plant is most notably known for the compounds THC and CBD. As researchers dive into the depths of the cannabinoid system it is becoming clear that cannabis terpenes are just as vital to a plant’s efficacy as are THC and CBD.
Within the Cannabis plant there are terpenes, or natural essential oils which contribute to the plant’s efficacy and versatility. 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.
The terpenes, or terpenoids, form the largest group of phytochemicals, and account for some medicinal properties of cannabis, as well as many medicinal herbs, plants and essential oils. They are the source of flavors, aromas, and other characteristics that help differentiate cannabis strains. Furthermore, it is thought that the terpenes within plants aid in pest-control and as an antifungal agent. Terpenoids possess a broad range of biological properties, including cancer chemo-preventive effects, skin penetration enhancement, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic activities.
A 2011 report titled “Variations in Terpene Profiles of Different Strains of Cannabis sativa L” published in Acta Horticulturae, a journal produced by the International Horticultural Congress,; International Society for Horticultural Science and International Society for Horticultural Science, states that “The psychotropic effects of Cannabis, primarily due to the main psychotropic cannabinoid, THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol), have been intensely studied as pure compounds for medicinal activity. The pharmaceutical industry, however, is interested in the plant as a source of raw material and studying the variability and synergy among the various secondary metabolites.”
Eucalyptol is a beneficial terpene found in several plants. Where else Eucalyptol is found in nature:
- Bay leaves
- Sweet basil
- Tea tree
Typically, the essential oil Eucalyptol is used to treat:
- Muscle, joint & bone pain
- Cold/cough remedy
- Heals wounds/antiseptic
There is even evidence to support that Eucalyptol is an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s patients. A 2014 study published in Neurochemical Research concluded that “the protective effects of [Eucalyptol] on inflammation provides additional evidence for its potential beneficial use in therapy as an anti-inflammatory agent in neurodegenerative disease.”
Cannabis strains which exhibit the typical properties of Eucalyptol:
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.
Paduch, R., Kandefer-Szerszeń, M., Trytek, M. and Fiedurek, J. 2007. Terpenes: substances useful in human healthcare. Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis 55:315-327.