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The use of terpenes in botanical medicine

Botanical Medicine

The use of botanical medicine is not new. Throughout human history we have been using plants as medicine. Terpenes are not a recent invention either, they are the latest adaptation of herbalism.

Herbalisim refers to the study of botany and the use of medicinal plants. Herbalisim originated from our powers of observation. We have been using nature as a source of bio-inspiration. 

Recognizable plants have been around 370 million years. They had a long period to adapt protective mechanisms. Archaeological evidence dates the use of plants in medicine to 60000 years, written evidence dates back to 5000 years. The Eygyption Ebers papyrus covers 700 Plant Derived medicinal compounds. The medication improved but its base is unchanged, deriving medicine from botanical sources. 

The use of these medicines has persisted. According to WHO 80% African, Asian countries presently use herbal medicine/plant extracts. In other countries the use of terpenes is becoming more popular as new evidence point to their benefits.

Herbal remedies are more prevalent in patients with chronic diseases; however, preventive medicine allows users to reap herbal benefits prior to getting sick. The preventative medicine trend is reflected when looking at the terpene market growth in the United States.

As more people find out about the Latest Research, the demand for pure terpene formulation is rising. These natural formulations are the very latest in herbalism. Incorporating ancient principles to improve lives today.  

The terpene industry originated by trying to mimic cannabis stains terpenes in order to enrich CBD and THC to a full spectrum formulation extract with similar bodily effects. In the process, new discoveries were made. These discoveries made the goals more ambitious. 

Today formulations are not made to mimic existing strains, but rather to formulate terpenes that achieve a desired effect. Mood enhancing formulations can treat physiological and psychological disorders. The terpene industry has truly brought herbalism to modern times. 

As long as we as a species stay on this planet, It is unlikely that we will ever stop using plants in order to cure ourselves. The ability to find effective cures makes us unique.

Cannabis And The Endocannabinoid System

If you ever smoked cannabis you understand that no two are alike. This is because cannabis is grown, and influenced by genetics. These genetics determine the chemical composition within the bud. 

In an attempt to scale and homogenize the industry new discoveries have been made.

Users reported different effects regardless of similar concentrations of cannabinoids.  This is due to different strain genetics producing different terpene compositions. These terpenes work within the endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoid System

To understand why we should first understand how cannabis works. 

THC and CBD are Cannabinoids, which bind to receptors in the human body, specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors control the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for regulating mood, immune function, and hormone secretion.

Think of the receptor like a Leggo, one piece connecting to the other. There is a limited amount of space on the receptors for binding. If CBD takes up the receptor THC cannot bind. In other words, CBD modulates the effects of THC. It does this by competing with THC for the available CB1 receptors. By binding first, it is able to block THC from binding. 

Terpenes and the Endocannabinoid System

It is now understood that these organic compounds naturally found in various plants work together to regulate and enhance cannabinoids. These compounds include terpenes. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as the entourage effect 

According to the entourage effect different terpenes change cannabonoids’s affinity to the cannabinoid receptors. It makes them bind at different levels and control their overall psychoactive effects. Some terpenes might promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others potentially promote focus and awareness. 

Terpenes in Plants

Apart from terpenes crucial role in the entourage effect they are also responsible for the distinct smell of plants. They often have a strong odor and protect the plants that produce them by deterring herbivores and by attracting predators. Some terpenes appear in higher abundance than others. Terpenes such as Linalool, Myrcene, Pinene and Limonene are particularly common in cannabis and their effects are well documented. There is an unimaginable number of terpene combinations that cause different effects.

Studying the entourage effect, specifically terpene interactions can ultimately produce effect-base terpene formulations. To regulate mood and immune functions. There are many benefits that have already come from researching terpenes. 

Botanical Medicine

The entourage effect helps maximize the therapeutic effects of CBD opening a new path in medicine terpene based treatments, backed by data. Terpenes will be a defining criteria for progress in the medical field.