Terpenes are organic aromatic compounds produced by a variety of plants
Cannabinoid: compounds found in hemp plants-CBD is the most dominate.
The aromatic compounds found in cannabis, called terpenes, have an increasingly appreciated role in the plant’s medicinal benefits. These terpenes fall into a different class than cannabinoids (e.g., THC, CBD), and perhaps for that reason, have received substantially less research attention.
4 TERPENE QUICK LINKS
- Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Reducer: Linalool can be useful for dampening overractive responses to injury or sickness.
- Anti-Epileptic: Linalool has been known to be “very powerful in it’s anticonvulsant quality.”
- Stress Reducer: Linalool inhalation has been shown to act as an anxiolytic (anxiety reducer) and may boost immune system performance.
- Vampire Deterrent: Linalool can deter mosquitos with 93% efficiency.
- Sedative: Linalool can improve sleep and increase energy the following morning!
- Anti-Microbial Modulator: Linalool may improve anti-microbial properties.
What is Linalool?
Like most botanical terpenes, Linalool is not specific to any one plant. You’ve no doubt encountered linalool if you’ve ever smelled lavender, either fresh, dried, or in the form of an essential oil. Linalool can be found in upwards of 200 plants, ranging from:
- Lamiaceae (lavender, mints, scented herbs)
- Lauraceae (laurels, cinnamon, rosewood)
- Rutaceae (citrus fruits)
- Birch trees
Linalool has a floral aroma similar to lavender with a touch of spiciness that lends to its many commercial applications in creams and oils.
Researchers suggest linalool affects brain cells and receptors to influence our brain functions.
Many of the positive effects we experience likely stem from linalool’s ability to dull the strength of brain chemicals involved with muscle contraction and arousal.
1. Linalool as an Anti-inflammatory and Pain-Reducer
Inflammation, characterized by redness, swelling, pain and a sensation of heat, is one of the body’s self-defense systems. Although the inflammation response sometimes plays a beneficial role in our bodies, it can also lead to chronic inflammatory diseases when left untreated.
Studies suggest linalool has anti-inflammatory properties potentially useful for dampening an overreactive response to injury or sickness. Plus, research suggests it may help block pain signals to the brain.
2. Linalool as an Anti-Epileptic
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 450 million people in the world have suffered mental, neurological, or behavioral problems at some time in their life.
Luckily, researchers focusing on plants and their derivatives uncovered potential therapeutic benefits for terpenes like linalool when used to treat diseases of the central nervous system.
Epilepsy could be one of these diseases. It’s a group of disorders characterized by recurrent spontaneous seizures, and about 1–2% of the world’s population struggles with them. Up until recently, pharmacological solutions seemed to be the only answer to these symptoms.
But researchers found linalool-present in plants that may help reduce seizures and convulsions by reducing the activity of brain chemicals involved in muscle contraction. A study on anticonvulsant activity of linalool in 2010 deemed linalool “very powerful in its anticonvulsant quality” when used to treat seizures brought on by trans-corneal electroshock.
3. Linalool to Reduce Stress
Kick back and relax with this terp.
In a study on the effects of linalool inhalation, researchers found it acted as an anxiolytic (anxiety reducer).
Scientists tested in stress-inducing restraints for two hours. After exposure to linalool through inhalation, the results showed the stress levels dropped near to healthy, non-stressed baseline measures. Results of reduced stress-expression in both blood profiles and genes suggests a healthier immune system better prepared to fight infection and disease, as well.
4. Linalool as a Mosquito Repellent
Mosquitos are one of the most prolifically breeding insect species on the planet, but you can keep these pesky insects at bay using linalool for peace of mind to enjoy your fair summer night.
In a 2009 study testing the efficacy of various botanical repellents against mosquitoes, linalool served as an effective mosquito repellent both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, 20g of 100% linalool placed in a diffuser repelled mosquitos by 93%, while outdoor diffusers repelled the potentially harmful insects by 58% within a 6m distance of the diffuser.
5. Linalool for Sedative Effects
People tend to use lavender essential oils to help them sleep, as studies suggest it increases slow-wave sleep. This is instrumental in muscle relaxation and heart rate reduction, which you’ll need to drift off. In a study of 31 American men and women, researchers found simply sniffing lavender oil before bed increased sleep quality and increased their energy the morning after.
Peanut stems and leaves also have high concentrations of linalool, and studies suggest this terpene is one of the main components responsible for producing sedative effects.
6. Linalool May Increase Anti-Microbial Properties
Cosmetics and medicines usually require high concentrations of essential oils to maintain their microbial purity. These high levels can cause users with sensitive skin or allergies to suffer reactions and become irritated.
But studies suggest when you increase the amount of linalool to an existing oil, you can increase its anti-microbial properties without causing these effects.
One study found that anti-microbial effectiveness of oils like S. aromaticum oil and T. Vulgaris oil increased against harmful bacteria like P. aeruginosa, A. brasiliensis, S. aureus, E. coli, and C. albicans when combined with additional linalool.
Researchers believe this is because of the synergistic entourage effect that occurs when effects are greater from combined compounds ( like terpenes ) than when we use compounds individually.
What is Myrcene?
Myrcene is a prevalent terpene in hops, mango, bay leaves, lemongrass, and eucalyptus. The flavor is a strong sweetness with minty balsam and a vegetal leafy feel.
Abstrax terpenes are sourced from naturally derived ingredients and do not contain CBD, THC or any illegal substances.
Beer and Mangoes.
What do these have in common (besides the fact they should be on your list of Friday night must-haves)?
Myrcene, a monoterpene, has a fruit and clove-like odor. It gets its name from a Brazilian shrub, the root of which natives believe treats various ailments like diabetes, dysentery, and hypertension.
Studies suggest this primary terpene boasts various medical benefits like improved sleep and muscle relaxation, as well as anti-inflammatory and antimutagenic effects.
Here’s an in-depth look at what makes the myrcene terpene so powerful.
Myrcene, also known as β-Myrcene, is one of the most abundant terpenes found in many plants and foods, including:
- Wild Thyme
- Fresh Mango
Its clove-like smell mixes with fruity muskiness, which gives it a prominent and recognizable smell in various strains like white widow and kush.
Myrcene: The Entourage Effect
While all terpenes found in strain give each its distinctive smell and taste, myrcene is one that appears to play an important role in enhancing the effectiveness of certain compounds. We call this the entourage effect. Basically, myrcene increases activation of the CB1 receptor and enhances the quality of the experience.
PRO TIP: Anecdotal evidence claims eating fresh mango, which has “high concentrations” of myrcene, approximately 45 minutes prior to consumption may increase the effectiveness and experience.
It’s thought the myrcene terpene content helps speed up certain compounds’ entry through the blood-brain barrier resulting in a faster onset of your sensation. But while mangoes may contain higher levels of myrcene in comparison to other fruits, these levels may still not be enough to get credit for the effect. Plus, myrcene levels vary by harvest.
Skip the guesswork and opt for an oil the contains it so you know the exact levels you’re getting.
What’s the Strain?
Myrcene also seems to play a key role in determining whether the plant will be Indica or Sativa.
Research suggests most strains with high concentrations (.05% +) of myrcene become Indica, which gives many people relaxed feelings.
Myrcene also seems to have properties capable of increasing your sleep and relaxing muscles.
Let’s take a look at other therapeutic benefits of myrcene.
Potential Medical Benefits of Myrcene
MMJ gets some help from myrcene. Here’s how:
1. Sedative Effects (Sleep Aid)
As the means to stay reachableat all times increases, so does screen time-a social stress this cute koala will never know (sigh). This crushes our sleep quantity and quality.
While there are over-the-counter synthetic sleep aids, remedies are gaining popularity as the go-to method for falling and staying asleep.
Myrcene is one of those derived remedies.
In a study performed on mice, myrcene increased sleep duration by around 2.6 times.
But some doctors have a hard time prescribing their patients as a sleep aid, citing inexperienced patients who use too much and end up in the hospital.
This doesn’t mean doctors should avoid it, however.
In fact, leading terpene researcher Dr. Ethan Russo says:
Almost every clinical study that’s looked at based medicines has shown an improvement in sleep… to say otherwise would be to be staring in a deep hole — a deep hole of ignorance.
Instead, you can add non derived myrcene to your products to reap the benefits.
As Russo explains:
The sedation of the so-called Indica strains is falsely attributed to certain compounds content when, in fact, said compound is stimulating in low and moderate doses! Rather, sedation in most common strains is attributable to their myrcene content, a monoterpene with a strongly sedative couch-lock effect.
And myrcene is not the only terp to make you sleepy.
A study showed citral and limonene also presented sedative and motor relaxant effects.
2. Analgesic Effects (Pain Relief)
“Analgesic” describes drugs that relieve pain. While myrcene isn’t a drug, this powerful terpene may relieve pain when used in high concentrations.
In fact, there’s a long history of indigenous peoples using plants like hops, lemongrass, mango, West Indian bay tree, and cardamom-all of which are high in myrcene-for their pain relieving qualities.
Sure, you can shrug this aside as anecdotal evidence.
But the research on terps continues to grow.
One study suggests injections of myrcene significantly inhibited pain perception in tests of both peripheral analgesia and Central Nervous System (CNS) modulation.
That’s solid news for those of you looking to move away from hardcore drugs like opiates for pain relief.
Plus, myrcene may also help reduce a symptom that often accompanies chronic pain:
3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Researchers evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of myrcene in multiple studies.
They used plants from different countries, like the Mexican yerba porosa and Korean mountain magnolia, both of which contain high doses of myrcene, to test for anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists administered yerba porosa orally to mice with inflammation in the lung lining (also known as pleurisy). The results showed myrcene inhibited the inflammation and slowed the production of nitrogen oxide (NO) and other interferons normally produced during lung inflammation.
Oil from Korean mountain magnolia, which contains 12.72% myrcene, was also capable of inhibiting NO production induced by endotoxins as a signal of inflammation. This suggests myrcene may play a role in the oil’s anti-inflammatory activity.
While the previous studies dealt with inflammation of the lungs, other plants containing myrcene may improve inflammation of the skin.
Spaniards use essential oils derived from the Distoselinum plant to treat dermatitis and skin infections, and myrcene is the main compound present in the oil. Christina Tavares published results of her study on the plant in a 2010 edition of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. According to the findings, myrcene inhibited nitrogen oxide production to reduce inflammation of the skin.
4. Antimutagenic Effects
Any Fallout fans here?
Whether you like post-apocalyptic video games or not, you at least know this about science fiction plots:
Mutations = bad. Preventing mutations = good. (And don’t even mention the Hulk. When he’s angry, we don’t like him either.)
The same tends to hold true in the medical world. For example, exposure to ultraviolet light can damage DNA and this makes sunscreen a form of antimutagen.
According to a study on mammalian cells, myrcene belongs on the list of organic compounds with antimutagenic properties. It reduced the toxic and mutagenic effects of a form of chemotherapy and reduced the medication’s ability to induce sister chromatid exchange (SCE). The abnormal occurrence of SCE is a potential marker.
What is D-Limonene?
Today we’re talking limonene. Specifically, what are the health benefits of limonene and where can you find them.
You might recognize the first part of the word limonene — limón — which is Spanish for “lemon.” Limonene is found in citrus fruits and this terpene is one of the most common in the world.
It’s not only one of the most common terpenes. It’s also one of the most useful. From potentially reducing heartburn and inflammation to lowering stress and anxiety levels, these are the seven most powerful potential benefits of Limonene:
- Reduces heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux
- Lowers inflammation and acts as an antioxidant
- Helps to dissolve gallstones
- Eases metabolic disorders and weight loss
- Helps to reduce skin inflammation
- Reduces Anxiety and Stress
As mentioned above, D-limonene is a major constituent of citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges. Because of its citrus smell and taste, it’s often used as a dietary supplement, flavoring agent, aromatic oil, or in skin creams.
D-limonene metabolizes to perillyl alcohol for rapid absorption and excretion by the body.
Although it doesn’t hang around long, this terpene still finds time to try to help your body cope with a variety of health issues.
Heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux
Excessive stomach acid is the major cause of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When the valve between the stomach and esophagus does not close, stomach acid seeps back into the esophagus.
So, as good as that killer hot sauce you dumped on your mahi-mahi street tacos tasted, you don’t want it coming back as part of a burning, regurgitated mess.
D-limonene oil is like a Swiss-army knife for stomach issues:
It coats the esophagus and may help neutralize stomach acid. It can assist in the body’s peristalsis (the waves in your stomach and intestines that push contents downward, rather than upward) to reduce GERD. And it may increases gastric mucus production to promote gut healing.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant for Your Digestive Tract
Not only can d-limonene coat your stomach lining, but it can also coats your large intestine in attempt to help ensure a healthy digestive tract.
In a study, scientists gave 50-100 mg of D-limonene to rats with ulcerative colitis (UC), a condition in which the large intestine becomes inflamed. The results suggest disease activity and colonic mucosa damage were greatly reduced by the anti-inflammatory effects of D-limonene. Plus, antioxidant levels increased.
While on the subject of D-limonene’s ability to reduce gastric acid:
D-limonene is a solvent of cholesterol, and doctors have used it to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. In post gallstone surgery patients, infusion of 20 mL d-limonene dissolved the painful clumps overlooked in surgery.
Metabolic Disorders and Weight Loss
Metabolic disorders are serious health problems which result in an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. High blood pressure and blood sugars, excessive body fat, and abnormal cholesterol all go hand in hand with these disorders.
A study in which scientists fed high-fat diets and then administered d-limonene showed a decrease in blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Another study demonstrated D-limonene supplementation reversed negative effects on liver and pancreas functioning caused by high-fat-diets. And D-limonene odor seemed to decrease appetite in flies when smelled, demonstrating the need for future studies.
Now this doesn’t mean you should triple up that order of street tacos and count on limonene to fix everything.
But it does suggest this flavoring agent might serve you better than over-the-counter drugs with potential side-effects.
For severe cases of psoriatic arthritis, doctors may prescribe painkillers (opioids). And every day, 115 people in the US overdose on these drugs.
It’s no wonder patients are seeking alternatives.
Luckily, studies suggest topically-applied D-limonene can soothe your aching, burning skin by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production (responsible for some dermatitis symptoms) while improving wound-healing.
D-limonene rejuvenates and heals skin, making it the perfect agent in your next moisturizing cream.
The antioxidant properties in D-limonene help explain how and why doctors may use this terpene to treat and Carcinogens cause cancer, and a large body of evidence point to oxygen free radicals (OFR) as attacking healthy cells, too.
While OFRs damage cells and cause cancer, antioxidants like limonene could suppress cell damage and promote carcinogen detoxification.
Evidence from a phase I clinical trial demonstrated a partial chemopreventive response in a patient with breast cancer (1).
Years later, scientists fed 2-6 grams of limonene to 43 woman with newly discovered breast cancer daily for 6 weeks before surgery to test limonene’s chemotherapeutic activity. Results indicated limonene supplementation reduced cyclin D1 expression, a protein associated with cancer, by 22% (11).
These studies provide hope doctors can slow cancer cell growth instead of using only toxic chemotherapy treatments.
Liver Cancer, Prostate Cancer, and Colon Cancer
You’re in a fist-fight with a bully who’s lightning quick. We’re talking Mayweather moves.
Then your boy tackles him out of nowhere, holds his arms back, and you get to knock him out with some free shots. (He forfeited his rights to a fair fight by picking on you, so don’t feel bad.)
In this scenario, you’re docetaxel (a form of chemotherapy). The bully is prostate cancer, and the friend who had your back is D-limonene.
A clinical study demonstrated adding D-limonene to docetaxel increased the effectiveness of the drug against prostate cancer cells without being toxic to normal prostate epithelial cells. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Stress is a major source of a number of inflammatory diseases and accelerated aging. Stress can trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone in our brain that can disrupt the parasympathetic nervous system, throw off our sleep cycles, and result in chronic pain.
While we mentioned d-limonene’s anti-inflammatory properties above, studies also show this monoterpene contains anti-stress properties.
Doctors subjected rats to non-pathological stress and split them into a control group and a group administered 10 mg/kg of d-limonene or it’s metabolite perillyl alcohol (POH). The results showed the rats administered d-limonene displayed fewer signs of stress and retained better activity-even more so than those given the perillyl alcohol.
Furthermore, the study showed inhaling d-limonene reduces anxiety, which suggests d-limonene could work well in aromatherapy.
What is Beta-Caryophyllene?
Beta-Caryophyllene, or BCP as its called for short, is claimed to be among the most effective terpenes when it comes to treating anxiety. A study published by Science Direct, which looked at the effects of BCP on treating anxiety, found that this terpene actually is incredibly efficient at calming feelings of anxiety and heavy stress.
The study found that CB2 receptors can be targeted by BCP in the treatment of anxiety and depression in an effective manner.
The hope is that with further scientific study, the impact of BCP on anxiety and depression disorders can be further monitored and, as the evidence stockpiles, that the terpene can be consistently used as a clinical treatment for patients. As a company which offers terpene in our products, we use this data to inform our customers of the potential benefits of BCP for treating their anxiety.
A prominent terpene produced in trichomes, Beta-Caryophyllene is also found in large quantities in traditional medicinal plants like black pepper, black caraway, cloves, basil, oregano, cinnamon, and many others. This is a uniquely spicy terpene. Beta-Caryophyllene is a core ingredient of many contemporary spices, fragrances, soaps, and lotions.
Our terpenes are sourced from naturally derived ingredients and do not contain CBD, THC or any illegal substances.
Beta-caryophyllene exists in large quantities in traditional medicinal plants like black pepper, black caraway, cloves, basil, oregano, and cinnamon. This is a spicy terpene (not like ghost pepper spicy, but Chai spice). Its analgesic (pain reducing) properties and antipyretic (think pyretic, pyro, fire, fever-reduction. You get the connection.) work in addition to anti-inflammatory qualities. Beta-Caryophyllene is a core ingredient of many contemporary spices, fragrances, soaps, and lotions.
- Common Name – Beta-Caryophyllene
- Sources – Black Caraway, cloves, hops, basil, oregano, black pepper, lavender, rosemary
- Taste & Smell (Organoleptics)- Spicy, sweet, woody
- Potential Therapeutic Uses – Anti-Inflammatory, anti-proliferate, anti-addiction (alcohol and tobacco), anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial.
- Boiling/Vaporizing Point – 268°C (514°F)