The therapeutic benefits of CBD are well studied and documented with new research uncovering new benefits of the cannabinoid seemingly daily. Of growing interest recently is the effect that different terpenes found in the cannabis plant can have on the consumer in addition to and combined with CBD. The science behind the therapeutic capacity of pairing CBD alongside different terpenes is still young but new analyses are uncovering the potential relationship these compounds have in conjunction with one another.
Terpenes are plant derived essential oils that are often associated with the distinctive smell and/or taste of a certain plant. There are over 1000 known plant terpenes and cannabis possesses over 100 of these. From an evolutionary perspective, terpenes were developed and refined over time to attract pollinators and detract potential predators to ensure the success of a plant. The discovery of so many varying terpenes and the ability to isolate each individually has led to a greater understanding of the effects these compounds have within the human body.
Linalool is one terpene found in the cannabis plant that may help aid the calming and stress reducing effects of CBD. This specific terpene is prevalent in the lavender plant and its aromatic essential oil has been used for generations to calm nerves and promote relaxation. Pinene is another common terpene found in cannabis that may aid the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. Pinene and linalool combined have been shown to exhibit strong anti-depressant properties through their interactions with the monoaminergic system, the system responsible for psychostimulant activity in the brain .
The direct relationship between CBD and various terpenes is still in need of further research to fully understand how these compounds interact and aid one another in maximizing the therapeutic potential of the cannabis plant. The complimentary effects of certain terpenes with cannabinoids such as CBD can be seen on an anecdotal level, but further research is needed to fully understand how these compounds actually interact and influence one another as they work within the human system. Current research does indicate that therapeutic benefits seem to increase when using cannabis products derived from the entire plant, or rather when terpenes and cannabinoids are kept together instead of isolated. This full-spectrum approach is leading to a better understanding of how the many compounds found in the cannabis plant cooperate to unlock its healing and restorative capabilities.
- Guzmán-Gutiérrez SL, et al. Linalool and b-pinene exert their antidepressant-like activity through the monoaminergic pathway. Life Sci. 2015. 128:24-9