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the anti inflammatory properties of terpenoids from cannabis

The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Terpenoids from Cannabis

Affiliations

  • 1 The Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology, The Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • 2 Department of Medicinal and Natural Products, Institute for Drug Research, The Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • PMID: 30596146
  • PMCID: PMC6308289
  • DOI: 10.1089/can.2018.0014

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The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Terpenoids from Cannabis

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Authors

Affiliations

  • 1 The Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology, The Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • 2 Department of Medicinal and Natural Products, Institute for Drug Research, The Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • PMID: 30596146
  • PMCID: PMC6308289
  • DOI: 10.1089/can.2018.0014

Abstract

Introduction: Cannabinoids are well known to have anti-inflammatory effects in mammalians; however, the Cannabis plant also contains other compounds such as terpenoids, whose biological effects have not yet been characterized. The aim of this study was to compare the anti-inflammatory properties of terpenoids with those of cannabidiol (CBD). Materials and Methods: Essential oils prepared from three monoecious nonpsychoactive chemotypes of Cannabis were analyzed for their terpenoid content and subsequently studied pharmacologically for their anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo. Results: In vitro, the three essential oils rich in terpenoids partly inhibited reactive oxygen intermediate and nitric oxide radical (NO • ) production in RAW 264.7 stimulated macrophages. The three terpenoid-rich oils exerted moderate anti-inflammatory activities in an in vivo anti-inflammatory model without affecting tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) serum levels. Conclusions: The different Cannabis chemotypes showed distinct compositions of terpenoids. The terpenoid-rich essential oils exert anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities in vitro and in vivo, which vary according to their composition. Their effects seem to act independent of TNFα. None of the essential oils was as effective as purified CBD. In contrast to CBD that exerts prolonged immunosuppression and might be used in chronic inflammation, the terpenoids showed only a transient immunosuppression and might thus be used to relieve acute inflammation.

Keywords: CBD; anti-inflammation; antinociceptive; cannabis; terpenoids.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Figures

GC/MS spectra of essential oils…

GC/MS spectra of essential oils from three different chemotypes of Cannabis—Tisza (T1), Felina…

Zymosan-induced generation of ROIs by…

Zymosan-induced generation of ROIs by RAW 264.7 macrophages was inhibited by essential Cannabis…

LPS-induced generation of NO •…

LPS-induced generation of NO • by RAW 264.7 macrophages was inhibited by essential…

Anti-inflammatory (A) and antinociceptive (B)…

Anti-inflammatory (A) and antinociceptive (B) effects of intraperitoneally injected CBD or essential oils…

TNFα in the sera of…

TNFα in the sera of mice treated with zymosan and essential oils. Twenty-four…

<span><b>Introduction:</b> Cannabinoids are well known to have anti-inflammatory effects in mammalians; however, the Cannabis plant also contains other compounds such as terpenoids, whose biological effects have not yet been characterized. The aim of this study was to compare the anti-inflammatory propert</span> …

Anti-Inflammatory Cannabis Terpenes: What They Are, Why You Need Them

We know you’re well-versed in the beneficial properties of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) . You know that they can help with stress, anxiety, pain, and inflammation. But, did you know that cannabis terpenes work together with CBD and THC to fight inflammation? Let’s dive into what anti-inflammatory cannabis terpenes are, what they do, and how they can benefit your customers.

Anti-Inflammatory Cannabis Terpenes

Effects of Terpenes

Some terpenes balance the less-desirable psychoactive and physiological effects of cannabis and provide therapeutic qualities not found in products that only contain CBD. One such terpenoid (a terpene that has been dried and cured and therefore undergone chemical modification) is beta-caryophyllene, or BCP. Cannabis contains a large amount of BCP, as do some food plants, legal herbs, and spices such as black pepper. It exists in some leafy green vegetables as well and acts essentially like a non-psychoactive anti-inflammatory.

The FDA has recognized terpenes and terpenoids as safe, though more research is necessary before professionals can adequately predict how cannabis terpenes can be used to treat various health conditions. The research so far is promising: cannabinoid terpenoid interactions have been shown to be effective treatment for inflammation, addiction, depression, anxiety, epilepsy, bacterial and fungal infections, and general pain.

Approximately 200 terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant so far. Each plant strain is made up of a unique combination of these terpenes, which affects the different tastes, smells, and effects of the different strains. The fact that terpenes can produce such a wide variety of tastes and smells is impressive enough on its own, but what’s even more interesting is that doctors, patients, growers and sellers can test samples of a strain to verify which terpenes it contains. With this information, they can have more control over what kind of buzz or therapeutic effects they receive.

Popular Anti-Inflammatory Cannabis Terpenes

While there are too many terpenes to list here, let’s consider a few of the most popular:

  • Limonene. As you may have guessed from the name limonene has a citrusy smell. What you might not know is that they have potential anti-carcinogenic properties, among many other benefits.
  • Myrcene. This is the most prevalent terpene in cannabis varieties and is thought to increase the psychoactive effects of THC. It can also be used as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
  • Linalool. Linalool, a terpene with citrusy lavender smell, has tranquilizing effects and can help those with psychosis.
  • Caryophyllene. This terpene has a smell reminiscent of black pepper and is being studied for potential benefits in diabetes reduction and autoimmune disorders.
  • Alpha Bisabolol. This terpene is also found in chamomile, and also has a floral flavor and scent.
  • Borneol. Borneol smells similar to camphor and mint and can potentially help reduce fatigue and stress.
  • Delta-3 Carene. This terpene has a piney scent and has been found in 80 different strains in 162 cannabis plants.
  • Eucalyptol. Eucalyptol, predictably, smells like eucalyptus. Only small levels of this terpene are found in cannabis.
  • Nerolidol. This terpene smells like tree bark and has potential as a sleep aid.
  • Pinene. Pinene, like delta-3 carene, smells like pine. It is mostly found in citrus fruits and pine woods and has medical potential as an expectorant.

While this is far from all of the information available on terpenes, it’s a good place to start. If this piques your interest, join us for a CannaCon event in your area to learn more!

Cannabis terpenes work together with CBD and THC to fight inflammation. Learn what anti-inflammatory cannabis terpenes are and why you need them!