Scientists Find Pain Relief Properties Of Cannabis Terpenes

According to researchers, Cannabis terpenes, found in Cannabis Sativa, can result in similar effects as cannabinoids and that includes the reduction of pain sensations.

In a paper published by Scientific Reports, the researchers said that a mixture of the terpenes with cannabinoids amplifies the pain-relieving effects but doesn't cause any additional harm.

Terpenes are plant-based aromatic compounds that are used in essential oils. In the terpenes of Cannabis Sativa, researchers have found psychoactive components such as Cannabidiol or CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the two most prominent chemicals in cannabis.

Dr. John Streicher, lead researcher, PhD, a member of the Arizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center, and associate professor of pharmacology at the College of Medicine -- Tucson, said, "It was unexpected, in a way. "It was our initial hypothesis, but we didn't necessarily expect terpenes, these simple compounds that are found in multiple plants, to produce cannabinoid-like effects."

The focus of the research was four such terpenes alpha-humulene, geraniol, linalool, and beta-pinene. Researchers also concluded that the use of the terpenes activated CB1R, a cannabinoid receptor in the body that is responsible for the physiological process and behavior. THC also excites the same receptors.

In research conducted on mouse models, the scientists found out that the terpenes have the property to reduce pain sensations and also show similar effects of cannabis like lowered body temperature, catalepsy, and lack of movement.

Dr. Streicher's research is continuing on the usage of terpenes with opioids to reduce cancer-related pain and come up with a strategy to achieve the same pain-relieving effects with a low dosage and fewer side effects.

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