120 terpenes have been identified in cannabis. Terpenes are Phyto compounds found in the plant’s sebaceous glands known as trichomes. Terpenes are responsible for the scent of marijuana. Terpenes constitute for 10-20% of the resin found in trichomes. The majority of the terpenes exist in minuscule percentages. Biologically, terpenes are meant to veer off possible threats ensuring their survival in nature.
The most abundant terpenes found in the cannabis species is β-myrcene. This terpene can make up 60% of the plant’s total terpenes. The medical properties of this terpene have been observed to increase the saturation of CB1 receptors which is the receptor that THC binds to, hence creating a stronger psychoactive effect. Myrcene has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antimutagenic properties.
Pinene can bind with other compounds to create new create new terpenes such as limonene. It has anti-inflammatory, expectorant and bronchodilation properties
Beta-caryophyllene is the only terpene that has been observed to bind to CB2 receptors. The terpene possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties which suggest the possible treatment for arthritis and neuropathic pain such as fibromyalgia.