Terpenes are a special type of naturally occurring compound that can be found in many different types of plants and organic seeds. These plants include, but are not limited to flowers, trees, vegetables, fruit, and various types of natural herbs. According to research, these extracts are the cause of aroma and scents of nearly everything we smell and consume.
Since their discovery, many people have made use of terpenes to enhance the flavors and smells of day-to-day products. These include infused goods such as food, essential oils, candles, tinctures, and many more. Apart from this, terpenes also help people gain the various health and wellness benefits that come from introducing them to their lifestyles, with most people opting to use them for their therapeutic benefits.
In the modern world, medical research has contributed a great deal to researching the many possible effects terpenes have on the human mind and body, along with what it could mean for our future. While not many of their secrets have been unlocked, they are often as a medical aid to help with common issues such as inflammation, pain relief, stress, etc. But that’s not all they can do.
If a patient were to take terpenes along with a psychoactive extract, the result can be more potent or enhanced. This phenomenon is often referred to as the entourage effect, which implies that certain terpenes can work together with other therapeutics to produce more favorable effects. Researchers can look at this opportunity to learn more about the various types of terpenes and how it affects the mind and body.
From what science can gather at the moment, there are several methods that can be applied to help more patients deal with issues regarding their physical and mental health. Introducing terpenes to the body can cause quick but effective chemical effects in the brain that can treat mental and physical conditions such as depression, inflammation, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and many more. In some cases, it may also be used as an aid for dealing with damage caused to the brain by issues such as cardiac arrest and stroke.
In an attempt to dig deeper into this subject, this article will discuss the key ways that terpenes can affect the human body. These discussions will include the effects that this compound has on medical, psychological, and physical aspects.
How Terpenes Affect You Medically or Pharmacologically
According to research, certain types of terpenes have unique chemical signatures that can help provide several kinds of helpful benefits. Below are some examples on how using these composites can affect users in both medical and pharmacological contexts.
Behavioral and mood changes
In 2009, a published review by the International Journal of Neuroscience stated that terpenes can have a number of pharmacological effects on the mind and body of the user. With this statement, the review argues that the aromatic elements of the compound can directly affect the user’s body by causing changes in their hormones and nervous system. As such, these chemical interactions can cause noticeable changes in the user such as their behavior, mood, and physiology.
Increase in serotonin levels
Terpenes are found to have synergistic effects when they are introduced to the human body. This reaction leads to increased levels of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity. Among the many available variations of these compounds, scientists have discovered that Limonene is synonymous with these effects when ingested. This terpene is common in the peels of fruits high in citrus and as well as in other plants used in medicine.
Some types of terpenes, such as linalool, are known to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. This is caused by certain characteristics which exhibit antifungal properties that help with reducing redness and swelling. Because of this, linalool is often seen as a potential candidate in treating inflammatory diseases.
In the field of medicine, terpenes have been used as an alternative to pain relief for many years. This effect is possible by activating the receptors known as CB1 and CB2, which are involved in nociceptive pain and inflammatory hypersensitivity respectively. Depending on the type of terpene used, the intensity and effectiveness of pain relief may also vary. Variants can include pinene, limonene, caryophyllene, and myrcene.
Anticancer or cancer treatment aid
Terpenes have several potential uses in clinical settings which can help treat diseases and alleviate discomfort. Among these common practices include anticancer treatments, which is possible because this compound can help suppress the migration, proliferation, and invasion of cancer cells found in the body. For example, humulene is capable of displaying cytotoxic effects as well as increasing ROS production. However, it has yet to be discovered if it can also induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, much like limonene can.
How Terpenes Affect You Psychologically
Terpenes contain a unique natural extract that exhibits different kinds of chemical reactions when exposed to the human body. These responses can result in various types of psychological effects as the compound triggers receptors in the user’s brain and nervous system. According to scientists, using them to improve one’s state of mind can be beneficial because of the following effects.
A study conducted in 2003 stated that the scent of a particular terpene could illicit different reactions from different people. If a person finds a certain smell to be pleasant and relaxing, their mood can significantly improve while decreasing feelings of pain or discomfort. However, if the compound gives off a particularly unpleasant aroma to them, their moods can worsen along with any feelings of pain or discomfort. As a result, scent alone can trigger different moods and emotions depending on how it is associated.
Several studies have stated that terpenes can improve one’s general mood and reduce stress levels by triggering the CB2 receptors in the body. Caryophyllene has been found to cause a chemical reaction in the endocannabinoid system which then leads to a more relaxed state.
Terpenes are often infused into different types of products, such as essential oils, to help increase the impact of their scents. Not only that, but they can also boost the effects of certain products that promote several different health benefits. Aromatherapy treatments can activate certain areas of your brain, including your limbic system (emotions), and hypothalamus (hormones), to create feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin.
Anti-anxiety and sleep regulator
There are several modern approaches that can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Among these natural treatments, terpenes have been identified as potentially beneficial due to their anxiolytic properties. When introduced to the body, the chemical flow within the nervous systems can be altered, helping to lower physical and psychological signs of anxiety such as shaking and muscle tightness. Commonly used terpene sources with this trait include caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene.
According to experts, there are three known types of terpenes that can help provide users with more energy and the ability to focus. These include limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-caryophyllene, all of which are widely used for a variety of other purposes. In most cases, these compounds are considered generally safe for consumption, where other varieties may also be naturally found in common everyday foods such as herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables.
How Terpenes Affect You Physically
Apart from affecting a person’s mental state, terpenes can result in physical changes that may affect how people function. However, some people may be unable to experience the same intensity of the effects or experience none at all as results can widely vary. Here are a few of the most common physical effects that terpenes have on the human body.
A few studies have shown that some variants of terpenes may be able to help reduce antibody levels in a patient. This is because the compounds can easily oxidize when exposed to air, which allows them to readily transform into allergenic composites, especially in high concentrations. While they can cause sensitivity, they can also treat certain allergies. It all depends on how sensitive a particular person is.
Another notable aspect about terpenes is that some variants contain anorectic properties that help a person suppress their appetite. At the same time, the effects can also cause a surge of energy that can act as a motivational factor for them to get through the day. Because of this, these compounds become a great aid for people struggling with their weight loss or diet programs.
Terpene infused products have grown in popularity among many people over the years thanks to the several beneficial effects it has on their skin. More commonly, these compounds can be found in daily skin care necessities such as creams, oils, and capsules, which can have a detoxifying effect along with controlling sebum levels in the skin. A few variants of terpenes to take note of are pinene, humulene, and myrcene.
In the field of medicine, terpenes have been used as another alternative source to help alleviate pain and put patients to sleep due to sedative effects. When administered, the compound can quickly reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep or reduce the amount of pain that they feel. Variants of terpenes such as alpha-terpinene, linalool, and pinene can also be used as a form of anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and locomotor inhibitor.
Terpenes such as caryophyllene can act as an alternative to anti-nausea medication. They produce this effect by blocking the binding of dopamine and serotonin. This binding is also related to the endocannabinoid receptors inside the pathways of the emetic reflexes which make them a great option to control induced vomiting from procedures such as chemotherapy.
While terpenes are able to provide numerous health benefits to the human body, there can still potentially be risks involved. In some scenarios, such as pregnancy in women, consumption of this compound could lead to several different types of complications with the development of the unborn child, especially during the first trimester.
Safety Reminders About Terpenes
Throughout time, many types of terpenes have been proven to be greatly beneficial when introduced to the human body. Depending on how they are applied, these compounds can be used in both medical and therapeutic ways to help alleviate pain, stress, inflammation, symptoms of depression, and more. As such, the results can affect users in physical, psychological, and medical ways.
Scientists believe that there may be other uses and benefits that terpenes have in store for its users. However, more research and data need to be gathered first in order to create definitive evidence that supports these claims.
Before jumping right in, it’s important to know how to properly introduce this compound into the body in a responsible manner. Users should take note that they should only consume the recommended amount during a certain period of time.
For more information about the subject and for high quality food-grade terpenes visit Medical Terpenes today!