Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants
They are responsible for the unique flavors and aromas associated with different strains of cannabis, as well as many other plant species. They play a crucial role in the entourage effect, where the combination of different cannabinoids and terpenes can enhance the therapeutic potential of cannabis. This study aims to explore the current scientific literature on live terpenes and their effects on the human body.
A comprehensive review of the scientific literature was conducted using various databases, including PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar. The search terms used were “terpenes,” “live terpenes,” “cannabis terpenes,” “terpenes and human health,” “terpenes and pharmacology,” and “terpenes and toxicity.” The studies selected were limited to those published in English and conducted on humans, animals, or cell lines.
Pharmacological effects of terpenes:
Terpenes have been found to have a wide range of pharmacological effects, including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and antidepressant effects. One study found that limonene, a terpene found in citrus fruits, could reduce anxiety in mice by activating serotonin receptors in the brain. Another study found that beta-caryophyllene, a terpene found in black pepper and cannabis, could reduce pain and inflammation by activating CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
Terpenes and the immune system:
Some terpenes have been found to modulate the immune system. For example, beta-pinene, a terpene found in pine trees and cannabis, has been found to enhance the activity of natural killer cells, which are important in fighting cancer and viral infections. Another study found that myrcene, a terpene found in mangoes and cannabis, could suppress the inflammatory response in mice with sepsis.
Toxicity of terpenes:
While terpenes are generally considered safe, some can be toxic at high doses. For example, alpha-pinene, a terpene found in pine trees and cannabis, can cause respiratory irritation and inflammation at high concentrations. However, the toxicity of terpenes is generally low compared to other plant-derived compounds.
Terpenes are a diverse group of organic compounds found in plants that have a wide range of pharmacological effects. They have been found to modulate the immune system, reduce pain and inflammation, and have anti-cancer properties. While some terpenes can be toxic at high doses, their toxicity is generally low compared to other plant-derived compounds. Further research is needed to fully understand the therapeutic potential of terpenes and their mechanisms of action.