Terpenes, Nature’s language
All plants such as fruits, vegetables, flowers contain an aromatic compound known as terpenes. These molecules have the tendency to evaporate at room temperature and give any plant its unique “Scent”. There has been a lot of buzz about terpenes due to a recently discovered system known as “the endocannabinoid system”, because of their synergy with another molecule known as “cannabinoids”. Cannabinoids are signaling molecules that control all of our body’s internal systems and having a diet sufficient in terpenes allows these cannabinoids to be carried at a far superior rate and regulate all of our body to a homeostatic rate (balanced rate). In addition, recent studies show that terpenes are also the building blocks of cannabinoids and for this reason offer great medicinal potential.
Throughout the primitive history of human kind, our ancestor’s primary way of identifying whether a plant was edible, was through their sense of smell and taste. As the terpenes evaporate, they give a biologically unique scent, which if pleasant, is an indicator that the plant is edible. With this mechanism, the primates were able to properly source out which foods are edible, nutritious and beneficial to their body. This also indicates foods which lack a pleasant taste or smell, also lack a proper terpenoid build up, and fails to provide the body with any therapeutic effects. For example, eating GMO (genetically modified) fruits and vegetables, or consuming fruits and vegetables that have been sedimentary on a grocery shelf for too long lack the correct terpenoid makeup and therefore taste strangely unsatisfactory compared to an organic fruit or vegetable. In addition, eating fruits and vegetables without the proper terpenoid make up causes our internal cannabinoids to function improperly and our body to lose its homeostatic rate of function.
Hemp, also known scientifically as Cannabis Sativa, has been found to have many of the terpenes found in various fruits and vegetables. In addition, when applying the essential oil extract of other plants to hemp extracts research has shown significant increase in therapeutic effects. In the 1970s there was a distinct rumor that smoking cannabis and eating a mango doubles the high associated with cannabis. Recent studies have found Myrcene, an active terpene in mango to be the primary cause for this effect. Individually, myrcene is a carrier and causes the active cannabinoids in cannabis, such as CBD and THC, to bypass the blood brain barrier easier, thus allowing a significantly higher absorption of the cannabinoids.
Here are some of the other terpenes present in various plants and flowers that have distinct therapeutic potential.