Terpenes

Myrcene

When you think myrcene, think mangoes. Its medical properties include anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and spasm treating benefits. But myrcene has two other bonuses. It lowers the blood-brain barrier for other compounds, like THC. And it increases the saturation level of the CB1 receptor, letting you get much higher. Strains that produce that indica-typical couch lock always have more myrcene that sativa-typical strains. Now you know why. This terpene boils at 168°C/334°F.

Pinene

This terpene acts as a bronchodilator, expanding airways. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, and gives that piney, sweet, aroma to your herb, when heated to 155°C/311°F

Limonene

This terpene acts as a bronchodilator, expanding airways. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, and gives that piney, sweet, aroma to your herb, when heated to 155°C/311°F.

Caryophyllene

This spicy terpene also resides in cloves and black pepper. It fights sepsis, bacteria, fungi, tumors, and inflammation. As a bonus, it also relieves anxiety. Boiling point= 160°C/320°F.

Linalool

Linalool gives lavender its pleasant floral fragrance. In cannabis, not only does it create flowery fragrances, but treats psychosis, reduces anxiety, aids sleep, and acts as an anti-epileptic and analgesic. To vape this terp, raise the dial to at least 198°C/388°F.

Terpineol

α-Terpineol, terpinen-4-ol, and 4-terpineol are three closely related monoterpenoids. The aroma of terpineol has been compared to lilacs and flower blossoms. Terpineol is often found in cannabis varieties that have high pinene levels, which unfortunately mask the fragrant aromas of terpineol.

Terpineol, specifically α-terpineol, is known to have calming, relaxing effects. It also exhibits antibiotic, Ache inhibitor and antioxidant antimalarial properties.

Phellandrene

Phellandrene is described as peppermint, with a slight scent of citrus. Phellandrene is believed to have special medicinal values. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat digestive disorders. It is one of the main compounds in turmeric leaf oil, which is used to prevent and treat systemic fungal infections.

Phellandrene is perhaps the easiest terpene to identify in the lab. When a solution of phellandrene in a solvent (or an oil containing phellandrene) is treated with a concentrated solution of sodium nitrate and then with a few drops of glacial acetic acid, very large crystals of phellandrene nitrate speedily form.

Phellandrene was first discovered in eucalyptus oil. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that it was constituted and shown that phellandrene from eucalyptus oil contained two isomeric phellandrene (usually referred to as α-phellandrene and β-phellandrene), and on oxidation with potassium permanganate gave distinct acids, concluding that the acids had been derived from two different isomeric phellandrene. Before that, phellandrene was mistaken for pinene or limonene. Today, we are aware of many essential oils where phellandrene is present. It is, however, a somewhat uncertain terpene as it can only be detected in the oils of some species, especially in Eucalypts, at times of the year.

Phellandrene can be found in many herbs and spices, including cinnamon, garlic, dill, ginger and parsley. Many plants produce β-phellandrene as a constituent of their essential oils, including lavender and grand fir. The recognizable odors of some essential oils depend almost entirely upon the presence of phellandrene. Oil of pepper and dill oil are composed almost entirely of phellandrene. The principal constituent in oil of ginger is phellandrene. Phellandrene, particularly α-phellandrene, is absorbed through the skin, making it attractive for use in perfumes. It is also used as a flavoring for food products.

Carene

Delta-3-carene is a bicyclic monoterpene with a sweet, pungent odor. It is found naturally in many healthy, beneficial essential oils, including cypress oil, juniper berry oil and fir needle essential oils. In higher concentrations, delta-3-carene can be a central nervous system depressant. It is often used to dry out excess body fluids, such as tears, mucus, and sweat.

It is nontoxic, but may cause irritation when inhaled. Perhaps high concentrations of delta-3-carene in some strains may be partially responsible for symptoms of coughing, itchy throat and eye afflictions when smoking cannabis.

Delta-3-carene is also naturally present in pine extract, bell pepper, basil oil, grapefruit and orange juices, citrus peel oils from fruits like lemons, limes, mandarins, tangerines, oranges and kumquats.

Carene is a major component of turpentine and is used as a flavoring in many products.

Humulene

Humulene is a sesquiterpene also known as α-humulene and α–caryophyllene; an isomer of β–caryophyllene. Humulene is found in hops, cannabis sativa strains, and Vietnamese coriander, among other naturally occurring substances. Humulene is what gives beer its distinct ‘hoppy’ aroma.

Humulene is considered to be anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anorectic (suppresses appetite). It has commonly been blended with β–caryophyllene and used as a major remedy for inflammation. Humulene has been used for generations in Chinese medicine. It aids in weight loss by acting as an appetite suppressant.

Pulegone

Pulegone, a monocyclic monoterpenoid, is a minor component of cannabis. Higher concentrations of pulegone are found in rosemary. Rosemary breaks down acetylcholine in the brain, allowing nerve cells to communicate more effectively with one another.

An ethnopharmacology study indicates pulegone may have significant sedative and fever-reducing properties. It may also alleviate the side effects of short-term memory loss sometimes associated with higher levels of THC.

Pulegone has a pleasant peppermint aroma and is considered to be a strong insecticide.

Sabinene

Sabinene is a bicyclic monoterpene whose aromas are reminiscent of the holidays (pines, oranges, spices). Results of an ongoing study by Valente et al suggest that sabinene should be explored further as a natural source of new antioxidant and anti-inflammatory drugs for the development of food supplements, nutraceuticals or plant-based medicines.

Sabinene occurs in many plants, including Norway spruce, black pepper, basil and Myristica fragrance (an evergreen indigenous to the Moluccas)—the Spice Islands of Indonesia. The seeds of the Myristica fragrans are the world’s main source of nutmeg. Sabinene exists as (+)- and (–)-enantiomers.

Geraniol

Geraniol produces a sweet, delightful smell like roses. This makes geraniol a popular choice for many bath and body products. It is also known to be an effective mosquito repellant. Medically, geraniol shows promise in the treatment of neuropathy.