Chronic pain affects millions of Americans each year, affecting their overall quality of life due to underlying causes such as injury and nerve damage. Throughout the years, medical professionals have largely relied on opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat this condition, but they’ve proven ineffective in some respects. As an alternative, some people turned to medical terpenes.
Treating chronic pain with terpenes is not new. Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Indian civilizations used these organic compounds as antiseptics for infections, wounds, and bleeding and as a sedative for other pains. Fast forward to today, scientists have discovered more ways in which various terpenes can treat chronic pain among adults.
If you’re looking for a natural way to treat chronic pain, terpenes may be your best option. This article will discuss how terpenes help with pain relief and what terpenes are best for pain management.
The Science Behind Terpenes’ Ability to Relieve Pain
Over the past few years, scientists have probed the ability of terpenes and flowers to treat pain. In 2021, researchers from the University of Arizona Health Sciences found that terpenes could independently produce the same pain-relieving effects as flowers. They also discovered that combining terpenes with psychoactive compounds creates an entourage effect, where their collective effects further reduce pain sensations.
Another study found that a specific terpene type, myrcene, can potentially reduce chronic arthritis pain and inflammation when applied topically. Researchers and terpene enthusiasts are continuously looking into the healing effects of terpenes, given that about 400 terpene types are available nowadays. However, the researchers have yet to determine exactly which terpene-flower combinations are most effective.
What Terpenes are Good for Pain?
Different terpene types produce different ways of relieving pain. Let’s look at some of the best terpenes for pain management below.
Pinene is a monoterpene typically found in aromatic plants and fruits like pine needles, rosemary, and orange peels.
Past studies have shown that pinene protects against oxidative stress, inflammation, and neuronal damage, reduces migraine-associated pain, and exerts longer-lasting analgesia. Researchers believe pinene may have broader, more effective pain-relieving outcomes than existing opioids.
Aside from physical pain, pinene has also proven effective in treating anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. It also works in conferring neuroprotection in stroke and ischemia and improves cognition.
If you’ve ever felt calm from sniffing lavender, it’s most likely the linalool working. This floral monoterpene has been used for traditional analgesic and anti-inflammatory remedies. Recent studies have also shown that linalool can produce sedative, antidepressant, anxiolytic, and immune-potentiating effects.
For instance, a 2021 study found that linalool can induce apoptosis or programmed cell death of cancer cells through oxidative stress while protecting normal cells. It can also exert antimicrobial effects and boost anticancer drugs or antibiotics due to its protective effects and low toxicity.
Myrcene is usually found in the essential oils of fruits like mangoes and plants like hobs, flowers, and lemongrass. Because of its spicy, peppery, and earthy fragrance, this terpene is usually infused into food and beverages and consumer products like cosmetics, soaps, and detergents.
Researchers have found that myrcene’s fragrance helps relieve inflammation, pain, and sore muscles throughout the years. They also deduced that it produces analgesic, sedative, antidiabetic, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anticancer effects.
Limonene’s citrus notes make it a large and popular component of many soft drinks, cosmetics, and other flavoring products we know today. However, researchers have also discovered that this terpene possesses chemopreventive, chemotherapeutic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
For instance, past studies found that inhaling limonene helps reduce peribronchial inflammatory cell infiltration, preventing bronchial obstruction. Limonene is also useful in treating chronic musculoskeletal pain due to its antihyperalgesic effects.
Among many terpenes, caryophyllene is the most sought-after compound for pain relief. Commonly found in herbs like rosemary, basil, and clove, caryophyllene activates the body’s CB2 receptors, which regulate inflammation. Several studies have also shown that it produces antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anxiolytic, anticancer, and analgesic effects.
For these reasons, caryophyllene has been useful in treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, and depression.
Humulene is found in sage and ginseng, which ancient civilizations used for various medical purposes. Today, researchers discovered that flower strains high in this terpene help reduce inflammation and induce analgesia.
Other studies have shown that humulene induces apoptosis and therefore possesses anti-cancer properties. It’s also proven useful in increasing a chemokine that ultimately helps heal wounds.
Relieve Pain with High-Quality Terpenes
Mankind has come a long way in developing various medications and treatments for chronic pain. However, it’s still worth relying on natural treatments like terpenes to reduce inflammation, relax muscles, induce analgesia, and more.
Use the list above to know which terpenes are best for pain management. The earlier you learn the benefits of these organic compounds, the better and faster you can treat your chronic pain.
If you’re ready to try terpenes, look no further than Medical Terpenes for top-quality terpene products at great prices. We offer botanically derived, strain-specific, full-spectrum pure terpene profiles in various quantities to accommodate different needs.