The role of Terpenes in Cannabis:
Terpenes are volatile components produced by many plants as well as by some insects. Plants that produce terpenes often have smells and flavors that we know and perceive as nice, such as aromatic herbs. These herbs were always grown worldwide, not only for perfumery and cooking, but also for medical purposes. The distinctive flavor and smell of each aromatic plant corresponds to a unique mixture of terpenes.
More than 120 individual terpenes are produced by cannabis, with individual relative concentrations varying greatly among the 700 distinct varieties currently on the market. Beyond taste and differences in odor between these varieties, their factors provide a wide range of medical applications to cannabis. Several laboratory tests have shown that the full range of the medical effects of cannabis cannot be simply recreated with medication type cannabinoids, pure or from synthesis. For example, Marinol and Dronabinol, two synthetic THC-containing drugs that have shown their medical limitations, compared with cannabis oil that contains the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes. These observations indicate that in cannabis (including hemp), more cannabinoids, secondary components including terpenes can modulate the cannabinoids.
Essential oils, mainly composed of terpenes, have a long history of medicinal uses. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are chemically classified as Terpenoids, meaning that they are taken from terpenes themselves. Essential oils are still traditionally used as a treatment for skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, such as antibiotic agent or to improve traffic. In addition to these current uses, we now know that the terpenes in cannabis have neurological effects, changing the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and the seratonine. Cannabinoids are directly modulated by the terpenes, referred to as synergy. Myrcene and several other terpenes may act as agonist/antagonist receptor cannabinoid, modulating the effects of THC in a manner similar to the CBD (cannabidiol).