Strengthening Cannabinoid Modulation With Terpenes

How Terpenoids Boost Cannabinoid Efficiency

You’d be hard-pressed to walk into any dispensary without being bombarded by flashy product advertising proclaiming the power of terpenes. Such claims suggest the flavor and aroma of their product is “enhanced” while others suggest their use of additional terpenes boosts its therapeutic value. As with many elements of advertising, it’s difficult to understand what claims are true and which ones are pure marketing hyperbole. While the saying “if it’s too good to be true, it is” is quite likely, recent research suggests the use of terpenes in cannabis products delves far beyond a spike in its aroma. In fact, terpenes may play an integral part in how the human body experiences other cannabinoids.

As extensive research shows, the recreational and therapeutic value of cannabis isn’t due to a single cannabinoid. Yes, individual cannabinoids may support specific biological reactions, however, it’s the interaction between multiple compounds that produce its desired value. Classified as The Entourage Effect, this scientifically-accepted theory suggests the overall impact of cannabis is modulated through other compounds. For example, the negative psychological effects of THC, such as paranoia or anxiety, are mediated when equal amounts of CBD are ingested (1). However, these findings delve far beyond the interaction of these two more popular cannabinoids. In fact, what’s suggested bleeds into an entire new understanding of how our bodies and cannabis interact.

Modulating The Benefits of Cannabis | The Role of Terpenes

Critical voices within the industry state the lack of hard evidence linking The Entourage Effect with therapeutic values. As with many theories and concepts involving cannabis, until the scientific community gains greater access to the plant, the majority of results are classified as anecdotal evidence. Yet, preliminary studies paint a much different picture; especially when it comes to modulating and/or prolonging the beneficial effects of cannabinoids.

As stated in the journal, British Journal of Pharmacology, studies suggest the terpene profile of a particular strain may play a direct role in how the strain interacts with the human endocannabinoid system and its degree of therapeutic value (2). To create a broader understanding of this chemical reaction, let’s take a look at how terpenes work with cannabinoids to mediate pain and inflammation levels.

As outlined in Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, researchers cite information stating the use of CBD to numb neuropathic pain was relatively unsuccessful when administered by itself. However, when used in conjunction with other phytocannabinoids and terpenes, its ability to numb nerve pain is substantially higher (2). Studies suggest the inclusion of terpenes allows for greater CB-2 receptor activation than cannabinoid-only administration. In essence, the inclusion of terpenes modulates the efficiency of other cannabinoids to work better and longer (2, 3).

Within the realm of cannabis extract processing, it’s essential to understand how all compounds within cannabis work together. It’s only with this understanding can we create masterful solutions capable of producing the desired recreational and medical effect sought by consumers. As our collective understanding of cannabis continues to evolve, so will product offerings. However, the heart of this evolution is based upon techniques and equipment used. Contact Us Today and explore our equipment offerings and how our advancements work synergistically with industry progress.

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Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft. -- Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

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