President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. It is estimated that nearly three million Americans are currently addicted to opioids. A report released by the White House stated, “the opioid epidemic we are facing is unparalleled. The average American would likely be shocked to know that drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined.” But there is evidence that CBD for opiate withdrawal can help with this health crisis.


With the opioid crisis at such a deadly climax, it is clear that important steps must be taken to help curb opioid addiction. Preventative care to dissuade people from becoming addicted to opiates is the logical first step. However, helping current users recover from their addiction cannot be neglected. Recent research seems to suggest that both THC and CBD – which are the most prominent active compounds found in cannabis – can help addicts recover from their opiate withdrawal symptoms.


There is still limited evidence to definitively suggest that cannabis can help people recover from opioid addiction. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t promising data that CBD for opiate withdrawal can be a viable treatment, In fact, a study conducted in 2014 found that states with medical marijuana laws had addiction rates that were 25% lower than states where cannabis was illegal. While THC and its pain-relieving properties can be useful for some people battling opioid addiction, it is CBD that may help treat the aggressive withdrawal symptoms.


CBD is non-psychoactive, which opioid addicts would find more desirable than THC. CBD will not give an individual a high. However, CBD does have anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic and neuroprotective qualities which greatly help aid in the recovery process. CBD will help limit depression and hallucinations that the patients may experience during opioid withdrawal.

More research is needed to determine which ratio of CBD/THC works best in addiction recovery. What we do know is that current scientific and anecdotal evidence proves combining these two cannabis compounds may be useful alternative to slowing down the opioid crisis in America.



In what is seen as an alarming wake-up call, prescription drug overdose deaths among women in the United States have QUINTUPLED – or have become five times as common since 1999.

By Catholic Online

Prescription pain pill addiction in the U.S. became a national epidemic among workers doing backbreaking labor in the coal mines and factories of Appalachia.

Today, the typical death from prescription drugs in the U.S. is women who are abusing pain medications.

Deaths from such overdoses have now overtaken cervical cancer and murder as a cause of death in U.S. women.

Some women are blaming the changing nature of American society.

The rise of the single-parent household has thrust immense responsibilities on women, who are not only mothers but the primary breadwinners.

Some women described feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities that they craved the numbness that drugs bring.

“I thought I was supermom,” one 42-year-old recovering addict. “I took one kid to football, the other to baseball. I went to work. I washed the car. I cleaned the house. I didn’t even know I had a problem.”

For years, drug overdose deaths in the U.S. were seen as mostly an urban problem that hit blacks the hardest. Opioid abuse, which exploded in the 1990s and 2000s and included drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet, has been worst among whites, often in rural places.

The Centers for Disease Control analysis found that the overdose death rate for blacks in 2010, the most recent year for which there was final data, was less than half the rate for whites. Asians and Hispanics had the lowest rates.

One surprising statistic found was the while younger women in their 20s and 30s tend to have the highest rates of opioid abuse, the overdose death rate was highest among women ages 45 to 54, a finding that surprised clinicians.

Findings indicate that at least some portion of the drugs may have been prescribed appropriately for pain, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says.

If death rates were driven purely by abuse, then one would expect the death rates to be highest among younger women who are the biggest abusers.

C.D.C. Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said the problem had gone virtually unrecognized.

The study offered several theories for the increase. Women are more likely than men to be prescribed pain drugs, to abuse them chronically as well as get prescriptions for higher doses.

The study’s authors hypothesized that it might be because the most common forms of chronic pain, like fibromyalgia, are more common in women. A woman typically also has less body mass than a man, making it easier to overdose.

In addition, women are also more likely to be given prescriptions of psychotherapeutic drugs, like antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, Volkow says.

That is significant because people who overdose are much more likely to have been taking a combination of those drugs and pain medication.




The number of overdose deaths involving opiates and heroin has almost doubled around the country since the year 2000. In 2014, 547 New Mexicans died of a drug overdose. Drug overdoses killed more New Mexicans than firearms, motor vehicle crashes, and falls combined. This statistics have New Mexico policy makers asking for marijuana to fight the opioid epidemic.

Pain specialists, people recovering from addiction, community members, and drug policy reformers came together to call for the allowance of medical cannabis to treat addiction.

“I am trying to save my hometown and my state with something that works,” said Anita Briscoe, M.S., A.P.R.N.-B.C, “As a medical practitioner I’ve seen evidence over the years of medical cannabis working to help people stop or reduce opioid use. We have to make this option accessible to prevent needless deaths and patient suffering. Our communities are broken and in desperate need responsible solutions.”

In the midst of the opioid crisis, lawmakers have been trying to find an alternative solution that treats drug use as a public health issue. The laws and policies in New Mexico remain on criminalization of drug offenses, and deaths from opioid related drug overdoses have not fallen. Research has shown that medical marijuana is not only an effective pain treatment, and it can lower the amount of opioids people take.


Statistics have shown that States with medical marijuana as an option have a significant reduction in mortality from opioid abuse. There was a  25 percent reduction in opioid overdose deaths, resulting in 1,700 fewer deaths in 2010 alone. Similarly, another recent report by Castlight Health, found almost double the occurrence of opioid abuse in states that did have legal medical marijuana. Specifically, in those states, 5.4 percent of individuals with an opioid prescription qualified as abusers of the drug, whereas only half or 2.8 percent of individuals with an opioid prescription living in medical marijuana states qualified as opioid abusers. Used in combination with opioid pain medications, marijuana can lower opioid side-effects, cravings and withdrawal severity as well as enhance the pain relieving effects of opioids, thereby allowing for lower doses and less risk of overdose.

From Castlight Health

“The bottom line is making medical cannabis accessible to New Mexicans who are dependent on opioids for pain management or who are struggling with opioid or heroin use will save lives,” says policy coordinator Jessica Gelay.


“Cannabis and cannabis-derived products have been found to be safe and effective for treating certain types of chronic pain conditions, with over 9,000 patient/years of data from modern clinical studies in existence (Russo & Hohmann, 2012). A lethal toxic overdose of cannabis has never been documented because, unlike opioids, cannabis derived compounds, such as THC, do not depress respiration due to sparse receptor density in medullary centers ofthehumanbrain(Glass,Dragunow,&Faull, 1997; Herkenham et al., 1990). Furthermore, lifetime use is not significantly associated with increased morbidity, brain damage, or cerebral atrophy (Karst et al., 2003, Weiland et al., 2015, Russo et al. 2002).

Researchers have found that THC works in concert with opioid-based painkillers, to increase their combined effectiveness, particularly in cases of neuropathic pain. In addition to enhancing the pain relieving effects of opioids, THC also serves to lower the dose of an opioid necessary for relief thus minimizing the inherent risks of opioid use (Abrams, et al., 2011; Abrams et al., 2007, Desroches & Beaulieu, 2010; Lucas 2012; Wallace et al., 2007; Welch & Eads, 1999). Research in animals has also demonstrated that the addition of cannabinoids to opioids enhances analgesic efficacy, helps diminish the likelihood of the development of opioid tolerance, and can prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms (Morel et al., 2009).

Data gathered from states that have medical cannabis programs has shown a 24.8% reduction in deaths attributed to opioid- related overdose compared to states without programs (Bachhuber, Saloner, Cunningham, & Barry, 2014). Examination of the association between state medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the program showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time.” Safe Access Now

Learn more about Opioids and Medical Marijuana with our 100% Online Pain Management Course

Sources: Drug policy Alliance 






Israel Approves MMJ Export Plan

Israeli Finance and Health ministers have approved a plan allowing medical cannabis to be exported from the country in a move that is estimated to bring in between NIS 1 billion ($279 million) to NIS 4 billion ($1.1 billion) in revenues, the Jerusalem Post reports. Exported products will include all forms of medical cannabis produced in Israel and so far more than 500 farmers have applied for an export license.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the plan represents “significant economic potential” for the country “and will strengthen Israeli agriculture in general and agriculture in the Arava region in particular.”

“It will serve as an opportunity for the country to exploit its relative advantage in developing medical products from medical cannabis,” he said in the report.

Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, who opposes the exportation plan, said he agreed to the request due to “international interest in Israeli medical cannabis” adding that officials “will ensure” that the health sector benefits from the state revenue increases.

The system includes several restrictions – the exports will be closely monitored by the state; exports will only be allowed to nations that have medical cannabis regimes that explicitly allow imports from Israel, and farmers must obtain a license from the Health Ministry to cultivate and export medical cannabis products.

Currently, there are eight licensed growers in Israel who produce about 10 tons per year.







Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary sells out in days

The state’s only licensed lab is the bottleneck

By The Associated Press

WAILUKU, Hawaii — Less than a week after it opened, Maui’s first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary is reworking its opening hours as demand for its product outstrips supply because of a backlog.

Maui Grown Therapies says it had expected its most recent batch of flowers to clear state lab certification by Saturday, but that didn’t happen, The Maui News reported. Company officials said it sold out its first batch of certified flowers Saturday.

Maui Grown Therapies opened for business Tuesday. Company officials say the dispensary could only sell flowers — resulting in depleted flower stocks on Maui and “disappointed patients.”

The company said it needs the Department of Health’s State Labs Division “to help unclog a backlog of products so Maui patients can have access to quality-assured medicinal cannabis products.”

“It’s unfortunate that an administrative hindrance of this magnitude prevents patients from getting the help they need,” said Christopher Cole, director of product management for Maui Grown Therapies. “We had planned to open with a full range of derivative products such as concentrates, oils, capsules and topical products, but at the eleventh hour we discovered that the State Labs Division had failed to certify a lab to conduct testing of manufactured products.”

State offices were closed Saturday, and state Health Department officials could not be reached for comment.

“We could serve thousands of patients with the amount of manufactured product we currently have available for final compliance testing,” Cole said. “Even though we were approved by the Department of Health on May 24 to manufacture cannabis products, the restrictions placed on the state’s only licensed lab have prevented us from offering these products to our patients — and it is entirely unclear to us when this will change.”

The dispensary’s initial posted hours were 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Dispensary hours have been changed to noon to 6 p.m. until further notice.




Le mafie tagliano la cannabis in modo sempre più nocivo (e ringraziano il proibizionismo)

Non solo lana di vetro, lacca per capelli o metadone, nella cannabis prodotta dalla malavita organizzata potrebbe esserci anche l‘acido delle batterie per auto, sostanza che se inalata ha effetti nocivi pesantissimi. A confermare una eventualità della quale si vocifera da tempo sono state fonti investigative campane raccolte dal Fatto Quotidiano.

Le sostanze da taglio verrebbero inserite per due ordini di ragioni: alcune, come la lacca, semplicemente al fine di aumentare il peso dell’erba (e quindi il suo valore), altre come il metadone anche per aumentare gli effetti della cannabis, provocando assuefazione nei clienti che le centrali dello spaccio vogliono fidelizzare.

Il problema è che non c’è uno straccio di analisi attendibile. Non un laboratorio pubblico che analizzi la composizione della cannabis sequestrata per mettere in guardia i consumatori, non un servizio dove (come avviene in altri paesi) lo stesso acquirente possa fare analizzare la sostanza acquistata per sapere se è tagliata con sostanze nocive.

Questa sarebbe vera “riduzione del danno”. Ma in Italia vige ancora il proibizionismo più bieco ed oscurantista: “se fumi la droga devi accettare che ti puoi far male e noi non ti aiuteremo di certo a fartene di meno”, è più o meno il discorso tipico che regola la prevenzione in questo paese.

Per questo è impossibile sapere con certezza quali siano le sostanze da taglio contenute. Occorre affidarsi ai dispacci diffusi dalle forze dell’ordine, non nuove a confezionare bufale clamorose, o agli articoli troppo spesso sensazionalisti dei giornali, che ancora confondono la cannabis nociva della malavita con l’Amnesia Haze, una varietà di cannabis olandese che non ha nulla a che vedere con queste dinamiche.

Sull’esistenza di nuovi tagli sempre più nocivi esistono comunque ormai una quantità di informazioni che ci inducono a credere che qualcosa di vero ci sia, e non sia solo allarmismo: non solo le testimonianze dirette di alcuni ragazzi raccolte dal quotidiano Il Mattino di Napoli (sulla cui veridicità piena è sempre bene conversare una parte di scetticismo), ma anche le dichiarazioni di operatori deiSert che hanno dichiarato di aver rintracciato tracce di metadone in ragazzi che fumavano solo droghe leggere e delle analisi di laboratorio condotte in Svizzera che hanno rivelato tagli nocivi nella cannabis.

Ad ogni modo siamo di fronte a un’ulteriore prova di come il proibizionismo della cannabis nuoce innanzitutto alla salute pubblica, vietando l’autocoltivazione ed imponendo ai consumatori di rivolgersi al mercato illegale, acquistando erba potenzialmente nociva e priva di ogni controllo.

I rischi sanitari della cannabis risiedono nelle sostanze chimiche con cui è tagliata, in misura enormemente maggiore rispetto ai trascurabili rischi insiti nel Thc. Solo la legalizzazione dell’autoproduzione può permettere ad ogni consumatore di cannabis di porsi al riparo dai pericoli per la salute.




Could Trump’s declaration of opioids as national emergency be used for Sessions’ war on drugs?

“We need to be cautious about the intentions of this administration,” said Grant Smith of the Drug Policy Alliance

By Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he considers the opioid crisis to be “a national emergency,” starting a process aimed at giving the federal and state governments more resources and flexibility to deal with the epidemic.

“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

The president did not offer details of what his emergency declaration would entail, and he said his administration is working on the paperwork needed for the emergency declaration to take effect.

From a strictly practical standpoint the emergency declaration would have two main effects, according to Keith Humphreys, an addiction specialist at Stanford University (and frequent Wonkblog contributor) who worked in the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Barack Obama.

“First, it lets states and localities that are designated disaster zones to access money in the federal Disaster Relief Fund, just like they could if they had a tornado or hurricane,” Humphreys said. States and cities would be able to request disaster zone declarations from the White House, which would enable them to use federal funds for drug treatment, overdose-reversal medication and more.

“Second, declaring an emergency allows temporary waivers of many rules regarding federal programs,” Humphreys said. “For example, currently Medicaid can’t reimburse drug treatment in large residential facilities (16 or more beds). That could be waived in an emergency.”

Trump’s opioid commission recommended he make the emergency declaration, but his statement Thursday was an abrupt reversal from 48 hours ago, when Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, after meeting with President Trump, said at a press briefing that such a declaration was unnecessary. He added, however, that all options including a declaration of emergency were still on the table.

Groups advocating for a public health-centered approach to the epidemic are worried about what powers an emergency declaration would grant an administration with a fondness for “tough on crime” law enforcement tactics.

“We need to be cautious about the intentions of this administration,” said Grant Smith of the Drug Policy Alliance. “An emergency declaration can be used for good. It can help free up federal resources, help prioritize responses by the federal gov, help give the administration leverage to request legislation from Congress.”

On the other hand, Smith said, “all of those things I just mentioned could be used to further the war on drugs. It could give the administration leverage to push for new sentencing legislation. Or legislation that enhances [drug] penalties or law enforcement response. It could give [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions more leverage to push the agenda that he has been pushing.”

Humphreys points out that Congress could have addressed any of these issues legislatively in recent years, and it could have allocated billions in funding for the opioid crisis as well. But, he said, “the reality is that they have spent this entire year trying to cut spending on the opioid epidemic” via drastic cuts to Medicaid contained within the various GOP-supported Obamacare repeal bills that nearly became law.

In 2016 Congress did approve $1 billion in funding over two years for state grants to fight the opiate epidemic as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. But the epidemic shows no sign of relenting. The latest federal estimates released this week suggest the pace of drug overdose deaths accelerated last year.





HEALTH Feds to Study Medical Marijuana’s Effect on Opioid Use

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded a five-year, $3.8 million grant to researchers for the first long-term investigation to see if medical marijuana reduces opioid use among adults with chronic pain.


The study will use real medical cannabis from New York dispensaries, not low-quality NIDA product.

The federal grant, given to scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System, could provide peer-reviewed evidence of the widespread but anecdotal phenomenon of chronic pain patients stepping down from opioid use to a safer reliance on medical cannabis to manage and alleviate their pain. Notably, the study will use real medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in New York State, not the lower-quality “research grade” cannabis grown by federal contractors in Mississippi.

How Cannabis Could Turn the Opioid Epidemic Around 

Over 18 months, the study subjects will complete web-based questionnaires every two weeks, which will focus on pain levels and the medical and illicit use of marijuana and opioids. They’ll also provide urine and blood samples at in-person research visits every three months. In addition, in-depth interviews with a select group of these participants will explore their perceptions of how medical marijuana use affects the use of opioids.
Compared to the general population, chronic pain and opioid use is even more common in people with HIV. Between 25 and 90 percent of adults with HIV suffer from chronic pain. Previous studies have reported that despite the high risk for misuse of opioid pain relievers, adults with HIV are likely to receive opioids to help manage their pain. In recent years, medical marijuana has gained recognition as a treatment option. Twenty-nine states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized its use; in those states, chronic pain and/or HIV/AIDS are qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use.

Medical vs. Adult-Use Budtenders: What’s the Difference?

Researchers have never studied—in any population—if the use of medical marijuana over time reduces the use of opioids. Additionally, there are no studies on how the specific chemical compounds of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), affect health outcomes, like pain, function, and quality of life. Most studies that have reported negative effects of long-term marijuana use have focused on illicit, rather than medical, marijuana.
“As state and federal governments grapple with the complex issues surrounding opioids and medical marijuana, we hope to provide evidence-based recommendations that will help shape responsible and effective healthcare practices and public policies,” Cunningham said.

Leafly Staff





Alcoholism is a horrifying disease that kills nearly 100,000 Americans each year. Alcohol abuse can permanently damage much of the body including the heart, brain, and liver. According to the National Institute of Health, “Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health.”

For many alcoholics, the only choice in battling their addiction is to quit drinking alcohol entirely. Quitting cold turkey is not easy for alcoholics and withdrawal can be a life-threatening ordeal. Doctors often prescribe addictive painkillers like benzodiazepines to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Traditional models of treatment have very low success rates. In fact these traditional treatments only have a success rate of 50%. People often end up relapsing within six months. Recent studies have shown how effective cannabis treatment for alcoholism can be.

Marijuana maintenance is the term associated with using cannabis to treat alcohol abuse. When someone is using marijuana maintenance, they replace alcohol with marijuana and either continue to use cannabis or ween off of cannabis once their alcoholism withdrawal symptoms are relieved. According to those who believe in the idea’s efficacy, cannabis can be consumed when a craving for alcohol arises. It can also be used as a less-harmful and natural alternative replacement for prescription medications for alcoholics.

There is of course the argument that marijuana maintenance may just be replacing people’s alcohol addiction with a cannabis addiction. While this is a concern for some, evidence suggests that cannabis is not nearly as addictive as alcohol. Also, using cannabis during a marijuana maintenance program is intended to be limited, responsible, and monitored by a treatment professional. Marijuana maintenance programs are typically accompanied by the traditional non-medical forms of treatment- like the 12-step program.

At this time, there is not enough scientific evidence to conclusively prove that using cannabis will make quitting alcohol an easier ordeal. However, there are many anecdotal accounts of marijuana maintenance programs working well. No matter what, it is clear that using cannabis as a replacement for the dangerous prescriptions and addictive painkillers often given to alcoholics is a safer and healthier alternative.






The endocannabinoid system consists of a group of molecules “cannabinoids” as well as the cannabinoid receptors that the cannabinoids bind to.

Although marijuana is a source of over 60 cannabinoids (including THC and CBD), the human body produces a number of cannabinoids as well which make up what is known as the Endocannabinoid System. These endogenous cannabinoids include anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and are present in all human beings.

Decades of scientific research on the endocannabinoid system has resulted in the discovery of two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in various parts of the body, but are most prominent in the brain and immune system.

Cannabinoid receptors act as binding sites for endogenous cannabinoids as well as cannabinoids found in marijuana. When cannabinoids bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors, they act to change the way the body functions.

While cannabinoid receptors are primarily expressed in the brain and immune system, researchers have identified cannabinoid receptors in a variety of other places as well, including the peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, and gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. Cannabinoid receptors continue to be identified in unique parts of the body as research on the endocannabinoid system progresses.


Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system is not unique to the human species. Rather, research has shown that this system is common to all humans and vertebrate animals – and even some invertebrate animals – suggesting its significance in the process of evolution. Experts believe that natural selection has conserved the endocannabinoid system in living organisms for 500 million years.

Although the endocannabinoid system affects a wide variety of biological processes (such as appetite and sleep), experts believethat its overall function is to regulate homeostasis.

Homeostasis is a key element in the biology of all living things and is best described as the ability to maintain stable internal conditions that are necessary for survival. Disease is simply a result of some aspect of failure in achieving homeostasis, making the endocannabinoid system a unique target for medical applications.



Cannabinoids work best together. For example, CBD can actually help mitigate the effects of THC thus reducing the odds of a panic attack.

A primary example of

the endocannabinoid system’s role in homeostasis comes from research that has identified an overexpression of cannabinoid receptors in the tumor cells of various cancer diseases, including lung cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Research has also shown that tumor growth can be inhibited and even reversed when cannabinoids such as THC are administered.

Experts believe that the overexpression of cannabinoid receptors is an indicator of the endocannabinoid system’s role as a biological defence system, providing strong support for the use of medical marijuana.

Human Endocannabinoid System

Downloadable Graphic

Research suggests that this defense system is not only useful in treating cancer, but may also be beneficial in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions. Current evidence points to the endocannabinoid system as being a potential therapeutic target for the following list of disorders:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sleep disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • And many more


In recent years, researchers from all parts of the world have come to acknowledge the vast medical potential of the endocannabinoid system. Summarized in a 2006 review by the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

“In the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs… modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few…”

Excerpt from Pacher P., Batkai S., Kunos G. (2006). The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy. Pharmacol. Rev. 58, 389–462. doi: 10.1124/pr.58.3.2.





Ever wonder why Orange Kush smells so citrisy or why Blueberry actually tastes like blueberries? The unique aromas and flavors of different cannabis strains are a result of compounds known as terpenes.

Smell and taste happen to be two of the most distinctive features of many cannabis varieties, yet neither has anything to do with their cannabinoid content. As it turns out, the unique aromas and flavors of different cannabis strains are a result of compounds known as terpenes.

But terpenes are not just good at stimulating your senses. In fact, terpenes are common to many dietary plants and have been linked to a wide variety of health benefits as well.



Terpenes make up 10% of trichomes

Terpenes (also known as terpenoids) are the largest group of chemicals found in the plant kingdom and are best known for being strongly scented.

Terpenes are found in a wide variety of aromatic herbs, spices and food plants, ranging from cinnamon and ginger to eucalyptus and pine tree oils. Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, and vitamin E are all examples of well-known dietary terpenes.

Terpenes also play a role in aromatherapy, as they are the primary component of essential oils and are known to possess numerous health benefits, which is why some are even used as food additives.

The terpenes found in cannabis are important from a health perspective. Not only do they offer unique benefits on their own, but terpenes are believed to alter certain effects of cannabinoids.

What’s more, studies show that terpenes can even bind to the same receptors as cannabinoids, which makes them the only ‘dietary’ cannabinoids to ever be discovered (although cannabis can be eaten as well).



Besides cannabinoids, terpenes are the second most common class of compounds found in cannabis. Terpenes tend to make up only 1% of the whole plant weight, but around 10% of trichomes.

Over 200 different terpenes have been identified in the essential oils of cannabis, although some are found at much higher concentrations than others. The production of terpenes depends on a plant’s genetic make-up, meaning that different strains of cannabis are likely to have different terpene profiles.

Growing conditions – such as lighting and soil – are also believed to influence terpene production.


Myrcene (or β-myrcene) is typically the most concentrated terpene in cannabis. Myrcene is used as a sleep aid in some countries and is believed to contribute to the ‘couch-lock’ effect that is usually associated with THC.

Myrcene is widely used in the perfume industry due to its pleasant smell, but can also be found in hops preparations.

Effects of Myrcene

• Anti-inflammatory
• Sedative/hypnotic
• Analgesic (Painkiller)
• Muscle relaxant


Caryophyllene (or β-caryophyllene) is another highly concentrated terpene found in cannabis. Caryophyllene is also one of the only terpenes that is known to act on the endocannabinoid system. Research shows that caryophyllene tends to bind to CB2 receptors but not CB1 receptors, suggesting that it lacks psychoactive properties.

Caryophyllene is also found in black pepper and is believed to contribute to its spiciness.

Effects of Caryophyllene

• Anti-inflammatory
• Analgesic
• Gastrointestinal protection
• Fights malaria



α-Pinene is found in cannabis in smaller amounts but happens to be the most widely encountered terpene in nature. Research suggests that α-Pinene is good for memory and may even counteract THC’s impairment of short-term memory.

α-Pinene is found in many species of coniferous trees, including pine trees.

Effects of α-Pinene

• Anti-inflammatory
• Bronchodilator (at low levels)
• Antibiotic
• Aids memory


Limonene is another terpene present in lower concentrations, but is the second most widely encountered terpene in nature. Limonene is found in lemons and other citrus fruits.

Limonene is also a common ingredient in cosmetics as well as natural health products, most commonly for heart burn and acid reflux relief.

Effects of Limonene

• Anxiolytic (fights anxiety)
• Anti-depressant
• Anti-oxidant
• Treats acid reflux and heart burn
• Fights acne

Source: (Russo, 2011)