A 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20% of the U.S. population suffers from chronic pain . Unfortunately, the most common form of pain relief in western culture is prescription opioids. On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose; making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States . With cannabis legalization spreading throughout the country, more people are looking to natural alternatives to help them reduce pain and inflammation.
The cannabis plant has been used for centuries as a pain and inflammation aid. If you’ve used any kind of cannabis product for pain or other health issues, you’ve most likely benefited from terpenes. These tiny molecules are found in many plants, herbs, fruits, flowers, and of course, cannabis. Terpenes are one of the primary reasons why cannabis has specific and unique therapeutic effects.
In this article we will review a few of the isolated terpenes that are known to hold analgesic properties.
Terpenes with analgesic properties
Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons derived from plants. They are a primary ingredient in essential oils, and manufacturers often use them to enhance flavor and aroma in food, beverages, and other consumable goods. Terpenes have been useful in nature and to humans for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. With the legalization of cannabis, there has been a dramatic increase in the desire to formulate cannabis products with specific terpenes known to have unique effects on the human body. When looking to manufacture a product with terpenes that target physiological effects, the following will help allow you to make more informed decisions on three terpenes known to target pain and inflammation.
Borneol is known for its cool, minty, and spicy scent. More commonly found in camphor, it is also extracted from ginger, thyme, sage, cinnamon, mint, nutmeg, sunflowers, and cannabis. The perfume industry frequently utilizes this terpene as an ingredient in their best-selling fragrances. Aside from its favorable aroma and flavor, borneol also offers a wealth of potential healing attributes.
History has shown that the Chinese used borneol for chronic and acute pain since roughly 475 – 221 BCE. Through advancements in study and research, borneol continues to show potential healing applications through systemic and topical use to ease pain without drowsiness .
Borneol will be found in such cannabis strains as OG Kush, Amnesia Haze, Golden Haze, K13 Haze, Coconut Goji Berry, Sour Diesel, and Girl Scout Cookies.
This terpene is prominent in many essential oils such as cypress, nutmeg, rosemary, camphor, and ginger. Camphene is unique, as it is soluble in organic solvents and insoluble in water. It has a pungent camphor-like scent (woody/piney) .
In the past, this terpene had been used as fuel for lamps, but today it is more commonly used as a fragrance in perfumes and to enhance the flavor of desserts. What’s more, camphene is being researched for its potential use in the development of new therapeutic strategies based on its strong antioxidant effects. Studies demonstrate that camphene shows strong anti-inflammatory elements and could be utilized as a pain-relieving agent .
The cannabis strains more commonly associated with camphene are ACDC, Banana Kush, and OG Kush.
This terpene is most commonly found in the eucalyptus tree, as the name may suggest, although it can also be found in tea tree, bay leaves, sweet basil, rosemary, and cannabis. Eucalyptol comprises 80% of the total in essential oils from eucalyptus trees and is used as an ingredient in many consumable goods, including mouthwash, toothpaste, and cough suppressants due to its minty freshness.
This terpene is now being studied for it’s possible pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Eucalyptol is believed to alleviate pain and inflammation via its anti‐oxidative effects . Eucalyptol could represent promising therapeutic options for arthritis .
Several cannabis strains will produce eucalyptol, they are Headband, Super Silver Haze and Bubba Kush.
Therapeutic terpene blends
At Lab Effects, we extract and isolate each unique terpene and reconstruct the component parts to the exact ratios we choose. We then combine complimentary terpenes based on knowledge of their physiological effects. This allows us to further boost and control the desired therapeutic value of a product when formulating. We offer several customized blends to help support a consistent effect for the end user. Our ‘Pain/ Inflammation’ formula uses terpenes known to support chronic and acute pain.
Interested in custom blended therapeutic terpenes? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!