The normalization of cannabis is bringing more and more cannabis success stories to the surface. By now, most of us have heard of tumors reducing, seizures subsiding, and depression easing. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement. But the truth is, not all cannabis is going to work for you. This treatment, like all others, does not come with a guarantee. The good news is, there are A LOT of combinations to try before settling on “cannabis just isn’t for me”.
Part of the reason cannabis treatment seems to work so well for so many different issues are the medicinal terpenes found within. Terpenes, similar to essential oils, are the oils inside cannabis plants that give each chemovar it’s different smell and medicinal effects. Terpenes are not exclusive to cannabis, they are also found within fruits, herbs, trees, flowers, and vegetables.
Terpinolene is known for its sweet, pine-like aroma and somewhat sweet, citrus flavor. In addition to cannabis, terpinolene is found is allspice, apple, cumin, citrus, tea tree, and in large amounts in parsnip oil (40%-70%).
Interestingly, while research from 2013 shows Terpinolene to have sedative properties, this terpene is found primarily in more uplifting cultivars, commonly known as “Sativa”. Monikers such as “Indica” and “Sativa” are helpful for new patients to get an idea of the type of medicine they are consuming, however at this point (with thanks to the United States Government for sending cannabis-grow operations underground for the better part of a century) nearly all cultivars are hybrids, containing both uplifting Sativa and sedating Indica effects.
We may have only reached the tip of the iceberg with the beneficial properties of Terpinolene. In a study published earlier this year, Terpinolene showed promising potential for future wound healing and anti-inflammatory treatments. A paper from 2017 examined the effects of Douglas Fir Essential Oil (major components: beta-pinene (23%), sabinene (17%), terpinolene (14%), delta-3-carene (11%), and alpha-pinene (9%)) by measuring bio-marker levels linked to wound healing, inflammation, and immune function. Douglas Fir Essential Oil showed strong anti-proliferative and immune modulatory activities.
Terpinolene has also shown anti-cancer potential. A separate study from 2013 found Terpinolene to be an anti-proliferative (reduction) agent for brain tumor cells in mice. Researchers also ponder Terpinolene’s potential as an anti-cancer agent.
Cannabis is an awe-inspiring and mysterious plant. Its many cultivars offer potential in treating many different issues for different people. It is thrilling to be alive in such exciting times as these with more research into the cannabis plant and its properties. With more research will undoubtedly come more knowledge and finally a better understanding of this majestic flower.
About The Author
As a medical cannabis patient, advocate, and the co-founder of Ounce Magazine, Courtney Boze has dedicated her life to helping others educate before they medicate.