Terpenoids..what are they?

Terpenoids, sometimes called Terpenes are naturally occurring essential oils that are found in the cannabis plant, but also in other areas of nature such as trees, plants, flowers. Terpenes give plants its particular odor and flavor. How many terpenoids are found in the cannabis plant? According to Dr. Bonni Goldstein in her book "Cannabis Revealed" there are over 200 terpenoids in cannabis alone! Below she says some important facts about terpenoids:

* They are genetically controlled

*Production increases with light exposure

*Production decreases as soil fertility decreases

*U.S. FDA recognizes Terpenoids as safe

*Terpenoids vaporize near the same temperature as THC

*Concentrating cannabis into hash or wax may reduce the terpenes content and may cause medicinal effects to change

*Terpenoid lab analysis is the only way to know about a certain product's terpenoid levels.

Each terpene has its own effect. So for example the terpene "Limonene" is found in lemons and other citrus fruits. It it known to have powerful anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects as well as anti-tumor. Some other terpene effects are: anti-bacterial, Bronchodilator, anti-convulsant, sedating, anti-cancer, muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory and the list goes on!

Phytocannabinoids and terpenoids work synergistically to provide therapeutic effects and the terpenoids work synergistic with each other enchancing medicinal effects.  Below is a  page from Steep Hill Labs showing the terpenoids that they test for in cannabis and the relating effects of each one. Nature is truly amazing!!


Harvest time....

Flowering AC/DC strain

These are our AC/DC plants this month right before harvest..notice the little "crystals" on the leaves, these are trichomes, glistening translucent resin glands protruding from the buds, leaves, and just about everywhere else on the plant. The sticky coating of trichomes is home to the active ingredients in cannabis – the stuff that gets you high and has all the medical benefits – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabinoids. AC/DC has very little THC but very High in CBD!


AC/DC strain


The pistils on a female plant (in these photos, they are brown) are there to receive pollen from the male plant if it is available. When the plant flowers, the pistils start off a creamy color and as time goes on, they end up turning colors and dying. When they start turning brown, it is a time to watch closely in order to harvest it at it's peak. These plants contain very little THC, with a large amount of CBD (cannibidiol). The plants must go through a drying period for a couple of weeks before we can send it in for testing and start the tincture making process.

Photo of Trichomes

Trichomes act as an evolutionary shield, protecting the plant and its seeds from the dangers of its environment, allowing it to reproduce. These adhesive sprouts form a protective layer against offensive insects, preventing them from reaching the surface of the plant. The chemicals in the trichomes make cannabis less palatable to hungry animals and can inhibit the growth of some types of fungus. The resin also helps to insulate the plant from high wind and low humidity, and acts as a natural ‘sun-screen’ in protecting against UV-B light rays.

This article is from the online website ProjectCBD. It is important to know that even though CBD and THC are the top cannabinoids most people know about, there are many other compounds in the plant that work together and have healing properties......

Terpenes and the "Entourage Effect"

Most animal studies with cannabidiol utilize synthetic, single-molecule CBD produced by biochemical laboratories for research purposes. In contrast, whole plant extractions typically include CBD, THC, and more than 400 trace compounds. Many of these compounds interact synergistically to create what scientists refer to as an “entourage effect” that magnifies the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components—so that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is important to consider the entourage effect (or lack thereof) when extrapolating data based on animal studies: 100 milligrams of synthetic single-molecule CBD is not equivalent to 100 milligrams of a CBD-rich whole plant cannabis extract.

“Cannabis is inherently polypharmaceutical,” Dr. John McPartland notes, “and synergy arises from interactions between its multiple components.”


Consider the role of terpenes, for example. Terpenes are volatile aromatic molecules that evaporate easily and readily announce themselves to the nose. Various researchers have emphasized the pharmacological importance of terpenes, or terpenoids, which form the basis of aromatherapy, a popular holistic healing modality. Marijuana’s compelling fragrance and particular psychoactive flavor are determined by the predominate terpenes in a strain.

Around 200 terpenes have been found in cannabis, but only a few of these odiferous oily substances appear in amounts substantial enough to be noteworthy, or nose worthy, as it were. Among them are monoterpenes, diterpenes, and sesquiterpenes, which are characterized by the number of repeating units of a 5-carbon molecule called isoprene, the structural hallmark of all terpenoid compounds. The terpenes in marijuana have given the plant an enduring, evolutionary advantage. Pungent terpenoid oils repel insects and animal grazers; others prevent fungus.

Terpenes, it turns out, are healthy for people as well as plants. A September 2011 report by Dr. Ethan Russo in the British Journal of Pharmacology discussed the wide-ranging therapeutic attributes of terpenoids, which are typically lacking in “CBD-only” products.

Beta-caryophyllene, for example, is a sesquiterpene found in the essential oil of black pepper, oregano, and other edible herbs, as well as in various cannabis strains and in many green, leafy vegetables. It is gastro-protective, good for treating certain ulcers, and offers great promise as a therapeutic compound for inflammatory conditions and auto-immune disorders because it binds directly to the peripheral cannabinoid receptor known as “CB2.”

In 2008, the Swiss scientist Jürg Gertsch documented beta-caryophyllene’s binding affinity for the CB2 receptor and described it as “a dietary cannabinoid.” It is the only terpenoid known to directly activate a cannabinoid receptor. And it’s one of the reasons why green, leafy vegetables are so healthy to eat.

Terpenoids and cannabinoids both increase blood flow, enhance cortical activity, and kill respiratory pathogens, including MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that in recent years has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. Dr. Russo’s article reports that cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.”

Marijuana’s bouquet of terpenes—that “riot of perfumes,” as the poet (and hashish-eater) Arthur Rimbaud once said—plays another important role. Terpenes and CBD buffer THC’s tricky psychoactivity. Cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions amplify the beneficial effects of cannabis while mitigating THC-induced anxiety.

The terpenoid profile can vary considerably from strain to strain. Patients who abandon a suitable strain for one with higher THC and/or CBD content may not get more relief if the terpenoid profile is significantly different. The nose knows: Choose a cannabis strain that smells good to you.

Counteracting a too intense high....

Recently saw an article about 8 ways to counteract a too intense cannabis high, at Leafly.com

What surprised me was that Cannabidiol (CBD) was not even on the list. Cannabidiol counteracts any negative psychoactive effects of THC. For those of you who have never experienced this, some of the effects of taking too much THC can be rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, dizziness, inability to concentrate, increase or decrease in blood pressure, anxiety and paranoia...these can be very uncomfortable but fear not, there have been zero reported cannabis overdose deaths in the history of the plant. So remember no matter how freaked out you feel...you will be fine!!

Here is the list of 8 ways to counteract the uncomfortable effects according to Leafly.com:

1. Don't panic - the effects can last minutes to sometimes hours, but know that it will wear off, give it some time and the feelings will pass.

2. Know your Limits: don't feel pressured to consume more than you think you can handle, take it slow, especially if you are going to consume edibles. A standard dose of edibles is 10mg but I would start at 5mg and ease into it. You can always increase once you know how your body handles it. This goes for inhalation also.

3. Keep hydrated: This will help with the "dry mouth" feeling....do stay away from alcohol as it can increase THC blood concentrations.

4. Keep Black Pepper on hand: cannabis and pepper have very similar chemical traits; pepper has a “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid effect,” which is known to help with pain, depression, addiction, and anxiety. Combining the terpenoids (such as beta-caryophyllene) in pepper with the tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis has a synergistic chemical reaction on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. In layman’s terms, they both bind to the same receptors in the brain and, when combined, have a therapeutic, calming effect.

5. Keep calm and rest: Concentrate on your breathing and the sound of your breath. Sometimes sleeping it off can work, but it might be hard if you can't turn your brain off, but if you feel sleepy, then sleep!

6. Try going for a walk: If you can't turn your brain off, then try going for a walk, stick close to home of course, sometimes fresh air and distraction works. If you feel light headed, then its best not to walk.

7. Take a shower or bath:  If you are at home, try this to help you relax.

8. Distract yourself: listen to music, play a video game, talk to a friend, something that gives you positive feelings (like eating ice cream!)

So, some good tips, but my favorites are:

CBD: a cannabinoid that naturally counteracts the psychoactive effects of too much THC. I personally experienced taking too much THC oil and found myself pacing the living room with a increased heart rate, and a little bit of paranoia. Knowing that I would be alright I took a dropperful (about 20mg) of CBD tincture and within 3 minutes my heart rate started slowing, and within 5 minutes I was back in bed. Had I not taken the CBD, the uncomfortable feeling could have lasted 30-690 minutes. Keep some CBD on hand!!

Black Pepper: keep some peppercorns on hand and crunch on a few! Combining the terpenoids (such as beta caryophyllene and pinene ) in pepper with the tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis has a synergistic chemical reaction on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. In layman’s terms, they both bind to the same receptors in the brain and, when combined, have a therapeutic, calming effect.

Lemon peel- contains the terpene called limonene, which works on anxiety and calms.

Source: https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/8...

Terpenes, Brain Injury and HIV

For this blog I have pulled an article written by Bailey Rahn. She is a University of Washington graduate and works with patients and doctors as Leafly’s Patient Advocate and Engagement Specialist, and previously worked as an editor in the drug rehabilitation field. Leafly is the world's largest online community. This article is from 8/5/2014 and what I like about it is it is to the point and provides a link to the actual studies on PubMed (for those of you who like the scientific information)

Another historic month for cannabis is behind us: Washington state opened their recreational cannabis storesD.C. decriminalized marijuanaFlorida approved a medical marijuana program, the House of Representatives introduced the Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014, and the New York Times called for an end to prohibition -- and published their first ever cannabis advertisement (did you see, did you see?!).

Keep spreading the knowledge, good people of Leafly. It’s killing prohibition, and this week we have three new cannabis studies to help you fight the good fight. Yeah education! YEAH SCIENCE! #JustSayKnow

1. This Cannabis Terpene Reduces Anxiety and Depression

You’ve heard of cannabinoids like THC and CBD, but there are many other therapeutic compounds in cannabis you may not be aware of. Allow us to introduce you to terpenes, the aromatic oils secreted by cannabis that provide rich flavor profiles and a variety of medical benefits. According to a recent study, one cannabis terpene called Beta-caryophyllene (which is also found in spices like pepper) has been found to reduce anxiety and depression by activating CB-2 receptors. 

Strains like the unfortunately-named Cat PissPower Plant, and Thai Haze have been rated very effective for treatment of anxiety and depression. Could it be a coincidence that Leafly reviewers happened to tag these strains with a pepper flavor, or could Beta-caryophyllene actually be at work here?

2. Endocannabinoids Protect Brain Cells After Injury

For those who don’t know, endocannabinoids are natural compounds our body produces. They’re similar to the chemicals found in cannabis, so researchers suspect that deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system could be treated with compounds found in the cannabis plant. 

On this point, a new study has found that higher levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide correlate with improved functioning in mice with traumatic brain injury. By inhibiting the enzyme FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase), researchers noticed an increase in anandamide and thus improved motor function and working memory, while reducing anxiety and neurodegeneration.

3. Cannabinoids May Help HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders

HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND) is a condition in whichHIV enters the nervous system and affects nerve cell activity, resulting in impaired memory, attention, language, and other cognitive processes. Activation of the CB-2 system by way of cannabinoids, however, may slow the progression of these symptoms according to a study published in Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology. Researchers found that CB-2 activation was associated with reduced neuroinflammation, inhibited HIV replication, and suppressed activity of neurotoxic proteins. Given the fact that certain cannabinoids bind to these CB-2 receptor sites, it’s possible that cannabis compounds hold promise in treatment of HIV and related conditions.