“Terpenes can help my pain?”

Absolutely! Research strongly suggests that not only can terpenes play a role in your pain relief, but they can contribute to more than a dozen other therapeutic and health benefits with anti-anxiety, anti-insomnia and even anti-cancer properties.

Hello fellow Alaskans, it’s your local “TerpNerd” tuning in to this month’s edition of Alaska Cannabist magazine to talk about a couple of my favorite “Go-to terpenes” when it comes to trying to alleviate aches or pains.

Before we start, I would like to disclose something I feel is the single most important thing to know when using isolated terpenes for therapeutic benefits: It’s to ALWAYS dilute with a carrier agent, such as MCT, coconut oil, or even your favorite cannabis concentrates if that’s your preferred method. In their pure form, terpenes can be toxic if over-consumed. Though levels of toxicity vary from terpene to terpene, as a rule of thumb, I never go over 1% of volume when mixing, though some levels can go up to 6%. I personally tend to use between 0.3% to 0.5% by volume to leave a little wiggle room to add more if desired.

The first terpene I would like to talk about is probably one many casual cannabis consumers may be aware of: myrcene. Myrcene is common and regularly noticed as the most abundant terpene found in the cannabis plant family. However, it can be derived from sources such as mangoes, lemongrass, basil and a variety of hops as well.

Acting as a major contributor to the sedative effects in most indica strains, myrcene plays a notable role in the transportation of phyto-cannabinoids into the blood brain barrier, as well as assisting in binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors to help directly promote anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits.

Myrcene has also shown potential therapeutic value in the treatment of cancer by helping promote reduction in tumor cell size by suppressing excessive cell growth. My personal opinion, myrcene makes an excellent terpene additive to any botanical sublingual oil due to its very subtle, yet pleasing palatability.

The next terpene I would like to focus on, I feel is often overlooked and plays one of the biggest roles in pain relief the terpene world has to offer: beta-caryophyllene.

This particular botanical terpene is a special one, simply because it is one of the first and only non-cannabinoids to directly activate CB1 and CB2 receptors that make up our endocannabinoid system, allowing the endogenous cannabinoids we as mammals naturally produce to do their jobs more efficiently. Not only does this beautiful terpene pull more weight than most primary terpenes, but it goes as far as carrying its own anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic (helps with seizures) properties, and even helps prevent plaque build-up in our arteries.

Did you know, simply cooking with spices such as black pepper or cloves, you are releasing b-caryophyllene emissions into your living quarters, helping promote health benefits?

I personally like to bond it in some avocado oil and use it when cooking roasted potatoes to give it the hint of that black pepper kick.

Make sure you check out next month’s issue of Alaska Cannabist to see some of your local TerpNerd’s favorite terpene blends and hear how you can utilize terpenes to help promote a better night sleep without having to use synthetic chemicals or prescription drugs. Remember, safety first. ALWAYS DILUTE when using terpenes. Until next month, best of vibes your way!