If you are interested in the world of CBD, then you may have heard about terpenes. When people hear this word, they usually think about the compounds that are responsible for the way certain plants smell. It is true that these compounds can be directly related to the scent of a plant; however, a recent study reported that the genetic lineages of Sativa and Indica are not necessarily distinct. Instead, the differences between the two compounds boil down to terpenes. What exactly are terpenes, and what is their place in the world of CBD? They could play an important role in the experience you have when you take CBD.
One terpene that has been an active area of research during the past few years is beta-caryophyllene. You have probably tasted the terpene before, as it is responsible for the taste of black pepper. You can also find this very same terpene incloves, oregano, basil, cinnamon, and cannabis.
Research scientists have dubbed this terpene a dietary cannabinoid because it binds to the CB2 receptors. Multiple papers have been published recently exploring the healing powers of this terpene. For example, Italian researchers uncovered that a hemp flower that contains this specific terpene is toxic to breast cancer cells. Another research paper uncovered that the terpene could play an important role in cognitive function. The researchers reported that mice treated with this compound experienced improved cognitive effects. While there is still a lot of research that has to be done with regard to this terpene and its effects on humans, these results are likely to lead to more research.
Terpenes and Chronic Pain
Another active area of research involves terpenes and chronic pain. Chronic pain is one of the most pressing issues facing the healthcare system today. A few research papers have been published exploring the effects of a specific coffee terpene on individuals who suffer from chronic pain. This coffee terpene was discovered to bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system. The researchers discovered that when this terpene attached itself to these receptors, it inhibited the inflammatory response and improved neuropathic pain. Therefore, it is possible that some of the terpenes found in coffee could reduce chronic pain via their actions on the endocannabinoid system.
Terpenes and Antibiotic Resistance
Doctors are growing increasingly concerned about the growing antibiotic resistance of bacteria. Even though antibiotics are great because they can kill certain types of pathogens, they can also cause pathogens to evolve and resist those antibiotics moving forward. One example is MRSA, which is resistant to certain forms of penicillin. Recently, a research study uncovered that a few terpenes could kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Specifically, Salvia divinorum produces a terpene that could kill MRSA. Even though this is a possibility that has to be researched further before it can be administered to human patients, it could be a window of opportunity, helping doctors kill bacteria that are otherwise resistant to our other treatment options.