There is a lot to be said about a plant that can be grown to accommodate such a large number of patients suffering from so many different ailments. This is not to say every cultivar of cannabis is right for every single patient, but a little insight into the components of cannabis can make selecting the perfect medicine much easier.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are highly medicinal, but some of the true healing comes from the terpenes found within the cannabis buds. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis, they are found throughout the entire plant kingdom in flowers, vegetables, herbs, and trees.
Guaiol (also known as champacol) is a sesquiterpenoid alcohol with many interesting uses. Guaiol’s odor is described as woody, with hints of rose and violet. Its highest concentrations are found in Carribean guaiacum plants however, guaiol is also found in cypress trees, apples, sage, and many others, in addition to Cannabis Sativa.
Guaiol may offer many different medicinal benefits to many patients, its diuretic properties make it a great laxative. It has also been used to offer relief of menstrual symptoms. Guaiacum wood was used by early settlers as a treatment for syphilis.
Even more notable, a 2018 research article suggests guaiol could cause apoptosis (program cell death) in Non Small Cell Lung Cancer cells. Guaiol may even slow down the growth of new cells. More research is needed but, we may have only scratched the surface on the potential this robust terpene has to offer.
In addition to providing wonderful smells and healing benefits humans enjoy, terpenes also serve as a natural deterrent to predators in the garden. Research from 2013 suggests Guaiol at concentrations of 70 mg/L or higher to be a powerful deterrent for aphids.
One thing is for sure, there is sun on the horizon in terms of how we heal ourselves. Plant-based medicine has been serving humans since the beginning of time. Now we are uniquely positioned (with the help of the Internet) to find all the information we need and begin making informed choices about our health and wellbeing.