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October 05, 2020
Terpenes are remarkable compounds that plants use to attract pollinators, repel pests, repair cell damage, and manage other crucial functions. They are powerful plant healers. In addition to performing specific actions, each terpene has a distinct aroma and taste.
Like cannabinoids, terpenes activate receptors in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of neurotransmitters that stretches from head to toe. The ECS system is important because it balances the immune system, regulates brain signaling, maintains body temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate, and plays a role in digestion, mood, and memory.
These impressive molecules, called terpenes, are already used in medication, perfumes, cosmetics, beauty products, food flavorings, and cleaning solutions. They are particularly abundant in cannabis and hemp plants. Research into many terpenes is just beginning.
Here are the terpenes we use in our Jampha CBD collections. We've gathered some of the research on each one. There are additional benefits and plant sources for each terpene since the body of research is always growing. Terpenes are found in many plants, with as many as 300 terpenes found in hemp.
Sources: Cannabis, Chamomile
A frequent ingredient in personal care products due to its skincare benefits, studies on alpha-bisabolol reveal its anti-oxidant, anti-aging, and wound healing properties.
A-bisabolol provides a sedative effect that is mentally calming. It also works to reduce inflammation and fight infection.
Preliminary studies with terpene a-bisabolol show it inhibited tumor growth and induced cell death in pancreatic cancer. When tested on leukemia cells, a-bisabolol was effective in killing and slowing them.
Sources: Cannabis, Eucalyptus, Mint, Parsley, Dill, Cinnamon
Found in various natural sources including eucalyptus, turmeric, and cannabis, a-phellandrene is gaining recognition for potential anti-cancer applications, including against breast and prostate cancer cells. It may protect the lungs from cancer.
Alpha phellandrene also boosts immune function. When tested on leukemia cells, a-phellandrene boosted the immune response and increased B- and T-cell proliferation.
In human liver tumor cells, it induced cell necrosis, which means it damaged the cancer cells.
Studies also show a-phellandrene works as an anti-fungal. It severely disrupts the integrity of the fungal cell membrane.
A-phellandrene is an effective anti-fungal that tears down the integrity of the fungal cell membrane. It also enhances immune function and
Plants containing this terpene were commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat fungal and bacterial infections and reduce phlegm and increase energy.
Sources: Cannabis, Pine Needles, Basil, Rosemary
Responsible for the fresh, piney scent in cleaning products, pinene is found in cannabis, pine needles, eucalyptus leaves, and lemon peels.
Multiple studies show pinene fights infection, reduces inflammation, and can inhibit cancer and leukemia cells.
These remarkable terpenes also may help treat and prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Specifically, pinene helps manage the levels of oxidants and anti-oxidants in your nervous system.
Pinene also increases airflow to the lungs, gives some patients asthma relief, and can reduce allergy symptoms like a runny nose or itchy eyes.
Studies show that alpha and beta-pinene can reduce antibiotic resistance.
If you've ever enjoyed a stroll through a forest of pine trees, you've sampled this terpene's refreshing molecular magic.
Sources: Cannabis, Hops, Black Pepper, Cloves, Cinnamon, Rosemary
Found in ginger, oregano, sage, and thyme, any herbaceous meal you eat likely contains some of the terpene beta-caryophyllene.
This powerhouse terpene is abundant in hemp and cannabis plants. Preliminary medical studies show it fights inflammation, helps reduce anxiety and depression, reduces the tumor necrosis factor, and accelerates cell healing.
B-caryophyllene is an effective anti-bacterial and is useful against the airborne bacteria Streptococcal. It does more than protect against bacteria; it increases the speed of cell healing.
In two types of colon cancer, b-caryophyllene significantly decreased proliferation. It also fights inflammation in the colon and may be useful to combat inflammatory bowel disease.
B-caryophyllene shows promise as a neuroprotective agent with possible applications for Alzheimer's patients.
Sources: Cannabis, Juniper, Nutmeg, Sesame
A widely occurring terpene, cadinene's woody scent is commonly used in fragrances.
Preliminary studies show cadinene fights inflammation, kills bacteria, including the streptococcus bacteria responsible for pneumonia and respiratory infections, and provides anti-oxidants.
Cadinene inhibits cancer growth. It interrupts the cell cycle in mutated cells and encourages cell death.
Sources: Cannabis, Chrysanthemum, Rosemary
Camphene's aroma is described as pungent and herbal with undertones of pine. Inhaled, it helps clear congestion and acts as a bronchial stimulant.
Studies so far show it helps prevent heart disease, treat athlete's foot and other fungal infections, and clear and heal the respiratory system.
Sources: Cannabis, Camphor Laurel Tree
Pungent camphor is also found in herbs like rosemary, basil, and mint but is most abundant in laurel trees.
Ancient Japanese and Chinese medical practitioners have long used camphor to treat pain, swelling, and inflammation. Today, camphor is combined with menthol for topical pain relief. You'll also find camphor in lotions and creams to reduce inflammation. It is easily absorbed through the skin.
Studies indicate that camphor plays a role in healing allergy rashes, reducing migraine pain, and relieving respiratory congestion.
Sources: Cannabis, Lemongrass, Lemon Fruit, Lemon Verbena
With its citrusy aroma, citral adds scent to a range of beauty products, perfumes, and suntan lotions. It is also an ingredient in desserts and soft drinks.
Like CBD and many plant terpenes, citral fights cancer. In one study, citral reduced the weight and size of breast cancer tumors.
Other studies indicate that citral can reduce inflammation and help manage immune-inflammatory conditions, including some forms of dementia.
In support of digestion, citral is shown to relieve diarrhea and improve metabolic rates and glucose management.
Citral is an effective sedative and exhibits anxiety-relieving properties.
It also shows promise as an antimicrobial. It suppresses the growth of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, fungi, and other hazardous microbes.
Candida is a fungus that commonly overgrows in the intestinal tract due to processed foods, coffee, alcohol, and antibiotics. It can be difficult to kill once established. Left unchecked, candida can travel into the lungs and cause pneumonia. Citral and geraniol both prove effective against candida infection.
Sources: Cannabis, Lemongrass
Citronellol has a floral and citrus scent. It repels some bugs and is used as an ingredient in some insect repellants.
Citronellol has been shown to be effective against lung cancer cells. It also shows promise as an antimicrobial and antibiotic to promote wound healing and reduce convulsions.
Citronellol and geraniol demonstrate neuroprotective properties. Researchers say they provide a natural template to treat neurological diseases.
Sources: Cannabis, Rosemary, Basil, Pepper, Cedar, Pine
The sweet and woody odor of delta 3 carene is evident in familiar sources like rosemary, cedar, and pine.
Studies show delta 3 carene can reduce mucus in the lungs. It is an anti-inflammatory with applications for fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other painful chronic conditions. It's also shown to kill gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria and candida species.
Sources: Cannabis, Bay Leaves, Tea Tree, Sage, Cardamom
Found in camphor laurel, bay leaves, tea tree, sweet basil, rosemary, sage, and cannabis, eucalyptol has a minty scent, with a little spice and honey.
Studies show eucalyptol works as an anti-oxidant and provides relief from inflammation-causing pain.
Eucalyptol shows promise to treat pancreatitis and multiple respiratory conditions, and its potential is still under study. Seventy-five percent of bronchial asthma patients dependent on steroids could reduce steroid use through long-term therapy with eucalyptol.
Additional studies reveal how it can help repair colon damage and support cardiovascular health.
Eucalyptol has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
It also has mental benefits and enhances memory and mood.
Eucalyptol is a systemic anti-inflammatory that reduces oxidative stress and fights neurodegenerative diseases.
Sources: Cannabis, Turmeric, Ginger, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Oregano, Thyme
Since it protects against food-borne pathogens, fragrant and spicy eugenol is added to food preservatives, beauty products, toothpaste, and mouthwash.
Because it works as a gentle local anesthetic and antiseptic, eugenol used to be common in dentistry. It also works as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant.
Eugenol was shown to kill cancer cells in several forms of cancer, including melanoma, osteosarcoma, leukemia, gastric, skin tumors, and mast cells.
Eugenol lowers serum cholesterol levels and supports healthy liver activity.
Eugenol also protects the kidneys and helps them recover after injury.
Sources: Cannabis, Parsnip, Green Bell Pepper, Turmeric
Because of its strong lemon odor, gamma-terpinene is an ingredient in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and tobacco.
Research on gamma-terpinene shows anti-oxidant activity and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Sources: Cannabis, Catnip, Lemongrass, Beebalm, Grapes
Thanks to a rose-like aroma, geraniol is widely used in perfumes and toilet solutions.
The therapeutic applications are extensive, including antiviral, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
Researchers have found the geraniol to possess anti-tumor properties on skin, oral, breast, lung, colon, prostate, pancreatic, kidney, and liver cancers.
Geraniol not only fights several types of cancer, including lung cancer, it also improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments. Studies also indicate it has potent anti-tumor properties with no damage to surrounding healthy tissue. It makes tumor cells more vulnerable to commonly used chemotherapy agents and limits their adaptive resistance.
Studies show it protects your liver and may assist in its regeneration. It also supports optimal kidney function.
It works as a neuroprotectant and reduces depression.
Sources: Cannabis, Sage, Ginseng, Hops
Through its sources like ginseng, humulene has been used in Chinese medicine for generations.
Research shows it works as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It offers the potential to treat arthritis, bursitis, fibromyalgia, and any condition that benefits from reducing inflammation.
Humulene is very effective against bacteria, including staph infection. It also inhibits the proliferation of carcinoma cells and helps the body produce chemicals that induce apoptosis and slow tumor growth.
It has been useful in some countries for treating malaria and dengue fever.
Sources: Cannabis, Orange Rind, Dill, Cardamom, Marigolds, Nutmeg
Limonene has a growing list of researched benefits. It acts as a natural insecticide, antiviral, and antimicrobial.
After a heart attack, limonene may help protect and repair cardiovascular tissue. It also alleviates insulin resistance for patients with chronic liver disease. Limonene helps heal the stomach's mucus lining and may act similarly in the lungs.
In studies on colon cancer, d-limonene effectively fought cancer cells. Specifically, it signals the immune system to target and eliminates those cells. It is also toxic to malignant tumor cells. It also increased the survival of lymphoma-bearing mice.
To improve mood and enhance well-being, limonene is a powerful sedative, reduces anxiety and depression, and fights stress.
Limonene reduces brain inflammation and protects the brain against toxicity.
Multiple studies also show d-limonene supports the lymphatic system and helps regulate immune function.
Sources: Mints, Cinnamon, Rosewood, Citrus, Lavender
Linalool's aroma is floral with a hint of spice and citrus. It is used as a food additive to enhance flavor and as part of the scent profile in cleaning, cosmetic, and hygiene products.
Studies so far show applications to reduce anxiety, relieve stress, ease depression, reduce epileptic seizures, reduce pain, and fight cancer. Linalool is proving useful in inducing apoptosis in several types of cancer cells, including leukemia and cervical cancer.
Linalool also works as a muscle relaxant, mosquito repellant, and sleep aid.
Linalool is not just a potent anti-inflammatory; it can help the immune system heal and repair after illness or disease.
The plant terpene linalool has been effective against seizures in several animal studies.
In a preclinical study on Alzheimer's, linalool reversed both neuropathological and behavioral impairments.
Sources: Cannabis, Hops, Mango, Basil, Lemongrass
Myrcene is a dominant terpene in the world of cannabis research. It works as an analgesic to reduce pain and bodily discomfort and an effective sedative. Myrcene works as a muscle relaxant with an application to treat sleep disorders like insomnia.
Like many terpenes, it is a useful anti-inflammatory.
In Brazilian traditional medicine, it's been used for treating diabetes, diarrhea, and hypertension.
In a study on breast cancer, myrcene impaired cancer's ability to grow and induced cell death.
Myrcene acts as a neuroprotective. It reduces oxidative damage and slows cell death in the brain.
Sources: Cannabis, Neroli, Ginger, Jasmine, Tea Tree
Woodsy, floral, and lightly citrusy nerolidol is used in shampoos, perfumes, detergents, and cleansers. It's an FDA approved food flavoring agent.
Nerolidol's sedative properties were first documented in 1972. It is currently under testing as a skin penetration enhancer for the transdermal delivery of therapeutic drugs. Research already shows it works as an anti-oxidant, kills bacteria, parasites, and insects, reduces ulcers, fights tumors, and reduces inflammation.
It's also an anti-oxidant, which supports heart health and helps the body fight the biochemical changes resulting from stress. Nerolidol's robust anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties reduced the inflammation in rats' brains and protected them from oxidative stress.
In cancer studies, nerolidol reduced both benign and malignant tumors of the gallbladder.
Sources: Cannabis, Allspice, Parsley, Marjoram, Tarragon, Mango
Because of its pleasant, herbaceous aroma, ocimene is used in many perfumes.
Ocimene is a decongestant and expectorant that helps clear airways and improve respiration. It is shown to work as an anti-bacterial and kills fungus.
Other medical applications include reducing seizures and fighting cancer tumors.
Ocimene, derived from basil and sage, as well as hemp, works as an anticonvulsant.
Sources: Cannabis, Cumin, Thyme, Oregano, Anise, Eucalyptus
With a sweet and citrusy taste and scent, para-cymene makes a popular flavoring agent. It's also used in make-up, perfumes, and cleaning products.
Studies show p-cymene to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial properties. It helps repair cells, reduce inflammation, and kill bacteria.
Emphysema reduces lung capacity with no cure, so efforts are focused on halting the disease's progression. Studies show p-cymene reduces lung emphysema and inflammation.
Sources: Cannabis, Chlorophyll
Phytol is released during chlorophyll breakdown. It's used in many fragrance compounds as an aromatic ingredient.
Medically, research so far shows it to act as an anti-oxidant, reduces inflammation, and fights cancer. Phytol enhances the natural killer cells that fight cancer while also strengthening immunity and reducing inflammation.
It is under study as a possible alternative treatment for Alzheimer's patients because it disrupts the amyloid proteins that accumulate with that disease.
Sources: Cannabis, Pennyroyal, Catnip, Peppermint
Pulegone has a pleasant, mint-like odor and is used as a flavoring agent and in perfumes.
Preliminary research shows its benefits as a muscle relaxer.
It also helps the brain and nerve cells to communicate more effectively and improves your memory.
Pulegone is an anti-oxidant and supports immune function by suppressing allergic and inflammation responses.
It also works as an antihistamine to reduce the symptoms of allergic reactions, including nasal congestion, sneezing, or hives.
Found in camphor, mint plants, and hemp, the plant terpene pulegone helped subjects fall asleep more easily.
The terpene pulegone improves cognitive function and memory and helps your brain make new neural connections.
Sources: Cannabis, Lilacs, Pine Trees, Clary Sage, Coriander, Mandarin Orange
Terpineol has a pleasant forest-like and floral aroma. Used as a flavoring in sweets, beverages, and condiments, you can also find terpineol in soaps, candles, perfumes, and lotions.
Research shows it kills bacteria and fights fungus.
For patients with epilepsy, it can reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures.
Terpineol offers multiple therapeutic benefits, including potential in treating cancer, inhibiting tumor growth. It fights cancer by suppressing the signaling pathways tumor cells use to grow.
As a gastroprotective, it helps protect our digestive system from acid damage.
It also is one of the molecules responsible for the sedative properties of some cannabis. Studies show it can reduce withdrawal symptoms during addiction recovery.
Sources: Cannabis, Lilac, Tea Tree, Nutmeg, Apples, Cabbage, Carrots, Conifers, Sage
Terpinolene has a woody aroma that is often accompanied by citrusy and floral tones.
This fresh-tasting compound is a natural insect repellent.
It reduces anxiety and treats insomnia and panic attacks.
Studies show terpinolene may slow down the growth of brain cancer cells.
Sources: Cannabis, Valencia Oranges
With a sweet and citrusy aroma, the terpene valencene is a highly valued flavor additive.
Valencene reduces inflammation. It also can help treat allergies and lower the intensity of a reaction.
Valencene shows the potential to fight damage made to the skin due to sun exposure.
It also inhibits the growth of cancer cells. This citrusy terpene was shown to reduce proliferation in several types of cancer, including ovarian and colon.
Essential oils contain terpenes mixed with other compounds. If you diffuse a rose or lavender essential oil, terpene molecules in the air create the floral aroma. Essential oils have a mix of terpenes with other concentrated plant compounds.
As is the case with powerful medicine, the correct dose is beneficial, but an overdose can be harmful. This is particularly true with essential oils. People tend to think, "it's just plants," without realizing the remarkable impact of plant molecules on the body.
While terpenes are safe to eat, and some are FDA approved as food additives, a few can be toxic in high quantities. CBD is carefully crafted with a healthy level of the right terpenes.
Most essential oils are best used by diffuser and should not be consumed. Some can cause a rash on the skin or be poisonous if swallowed, so users should carefully investigate each oil before use.
Some are so potent they need to be diluted to be safe to use. Popular essential oils that must be diluted include:
Next time you catch the scent of fresh orange, pine, or garden flowers, take a deep breath. Those are terpenes, and they are good for you.
Cannabis and the industrial hemp plant have a remarkably high concentration and variety of terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD harnesses the power of these plant molecules, individually and together, in an entourage.
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