Along with any array of cannabinoids we have learned to love in the cannabis plant, there exists a cosmic cocktail of flavorful and aromatic oils that contain medicinal benefits. These synergistic bursts of flavor and aromatic stimulation come from organic compounds called terpenes.
Terpenes give each and every specific strain its unique and identifying flavor and personality. One can identify and choose what cannabis flowers may be most helpful for specific ailments through the senses of smell and taste as each terpene influence the brain’s neurotransmitters in different ways to aid particular conditions.
The infamous earthly, musky “skunk” smell that is notorious for its loud presence in traditional strains and cultivated for decades all over the world, can be traced to the terpene Myrcene. Myrcene tends to give sedative effects causing a sense of relaxation which can be helpful with insomnia, chronic pain and tension from injuries.
Another common terpene that one might encounter is Limonene which has a strong citrus fragrance that invites an uplifted and euphoric mood that can help with mental focus. Like citrus, it is known for its anti-bacterial properties and can also be used as a natural defence against insects.
Another terpene, Linalool, pervasive in lavender that raises nostalgia for fresh flowers and sweet candy, can ease anxiety and promote a calm sense of well being that can be beneficial to combat stress, anxiety, nervousness and insomnia.
Pinene with the scent of pine and fir trees has shown to have anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties, promoting the reduction of swelling and secretion of mucus from the respiratory tract.
Through terpenes awareness and developing the mantra that “the nose knows”, patients can use their senses to identify which varieties of cannabis to supplement deficiencies within the body’s endocannabinoid system. The human brain is equipped with a cannabinoid receptor system that is involved in a variety of physiological processes. Don’t be afraid to discover new sensory realms within yourself and begin a sensory journey with this transformative plant.