If you're familiar with cannabis, you've probably heard about terpenes and the way they affect your high. However, terpenes can affect the body in a number of different ways. Here's a breakdown of how terpenes affect the body.
Terpenes affect both the physical body and the mind by interacting directly with our endocannabinoid systems (ECS). The ECS is a system of receptors found in the brain and body that receives chemical information and helps the body to stay regular. It processes endocannabinoids which are naturally occurring chemical compounds responsible for things like mood, sleep, pain modulation, memory, reproduction, and more. It also processes cannabinoids found in cannabis, like THC, CBD, and CBN which also promote effects by mimicking our natural endocannabinoids.
Like cannabinoids, terpenes are processed by the ECS and can promote a ton of their own physical effects, such as reducing the side effects of medications, anti-inflammatory properties, improvements with digestion, lowering anxiety and stress levels, pain relief, acting as a sleep aid, increasing immune system function, and improving heart health by lowering triglyceride levels, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Some can even help reduce the risk of certain cancers and cause programmed cell death in others.
Since terpenes are processed in the ECS, they can also alter your mood. Terpenes are not psychoactive like THC but there is evidence that suggests terpenes have direct physiological effects on the mind and body. Linalool-rich strains, for example, are likely to have a calming effect and provide pain relief while limonene-rich strains are likely to be mood-elevating and energizing.
Terpenes have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, can promote short-term memory, and can be used for treating fatigue. Each terpene interacts with specific receptors in the endocannabinoid receptors within your brain to promote different effects. They affect the body through their interaction with the endocannabinoid system.