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Inflammation may be a natural immune response, but sometimes it’s a pain in the butt. Read on and discover how to boost the anti-inflammatory powers of your products with terpenes.
Consumers often go to great lengths to find products that will help them manage inflammation. Some prefer topicals like muscle salves or balms, while others prefer supplements or even inhalable products. Regardless of the type, consumers are looking for products that work. That’s because these consumers are looking for relief, and the value they place on effective products is no small thing.
If you want to create the next go-to anti-inflammatory product, you have to boost the effectiveness of your product. Today, that means strategically using terpenes. While some are under the impression that terpenes only infuse products with scent or flavor, that’s actually just a tiny part of their appeal.
Terpenes influence our bodies in several ways and can have a variety of effects. Some of them elevate our moods, some relax us, and some have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Read on and discover which terpenes will help you create more effective anti-inflammatory products.
Create Anti-Inflammatory Products Using These Terpenes
Just how your customers are looking for relief NOW, you’re probably anxious to get to the good stuff right this second. Here’s a breakdown of what we’ll cover today.
- Terpenes interact with our bodies in various ways to promote different anti-inflammatory effects. Some influence our CB2 receptors, others suppress specific types of proteins that can cause inflammation. Plus, some terpenes have multiple mechanisms for reducing inflammation.
- Alpha-Caryophyllene (humulene) is common in hops and research indicates it may have potential as a treatment for certain inflammatory diseases.
- Beta-Caryophyllene has powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. If you’re looking for a blend that’s dense in this particular terpene, definitely check out GSC.
- Terpinolene might be able to provide some of the relief that NSAIDs offer without the unwanted side-effects.
- Myrcene has the potential to reduce inflammation in several ways, and no blend illustrates this better than Green Crack.
- Topicals, inhaleables, supplements, edibles, and even aromatherapy products can all benefit from these anti-inflammatory terpenes.
How Do Terpenes Provide Anti-Inflammatory Effects?
If you’ve ever wondered why people swear by lavender pillow sprays to help them sleep, terpenes are a big part of that. In this particular example, the lavender plant contains LOTS of a terpene called Linalool. Yes, this terpene imparts a scent, but it also happens to have soothing, sedative effects that make it particularly useful for those who need help winding down before bed. This is just one example of how terpenes, and their effects on us, are already a big part of our lives.
But what about anti-inflammatory effects? How can a flavor or scent help relieve inflammation?
First, it’s not just about the flavor or scent. If that were the case, then synthetic flavoring agents might be able to impart some of these same effects…but they don’t. That’s because terpenes are organic hydrocarbons that influence our bodies in very particular ways. In fact, different terpenes have different mechanisms for reducing inflammation.
Alpha-bisabolol, for example, can help reduce skin inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines. That means it reduces a particular type of protein in the skin that sometimes promotes inflammation. It also has a “strong binding affinity to the active site of the pro-inflammatory proteins.” Alpha-Pinene, on the other hand, reduces inflammation by suppressing “mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway…”
What’s even more amazing is that some terpenes have multiple mechanisms for reducing inflammation. If we look at alpha-pinene again, it can also help reduce arthritis-related inflammation by influencing chondrocytes (the cells that maintain the matrix inside cartilage).
For you, this means you can boost the effectiveness of your anti-inflammatory products by using specific terpenes. Plus, while you can use terpene isolates, your customers may benefit even more from blends that use a complex ratio of terpenes. Let’s take a look at some specific isolates and blends…
Create Anti-Inflammatory Products Using These Terpenes
While the list of terpenes that have anti-inflammatory effects is quite long, here are some of our top choices when it comes to anti-inflammatory isolates and blends.
Alpha-Caryophyllene Has Well-Studied Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Also known as humulene, the aroma of this terpene will probably be familiar if you’re a fan of beer. That’s because the hops plant has a large amount of alpha-caryophyllene in it. You can also find it in sage and ginseng, but it’s potent earthy, woody flavor is pretty recognizable.
One study showed that alpha-caryophyllene has the potential to manage and/or treat certain inflammatory diseases. When taken orally, this terpene, “…displayed marked inhibitory effects in different inflammatory experimental models in mice and rats.”
If you’re looking for a humulene-dominant blend to boost the anti-inflammatory powers of your products, you should definitely check out Super Lemon Haze. This blend uses over thirty different terpenes, but roughly 11% of it is made up of alpha-caryophyllene. Its absolutely mouthwatering, citrus flavor doesn’t hurt either. If you take a look at its terpene chart, however, you’ll notice one or two other isolates this blend is dominant in…
Beta-Caryophyllene Provides Anti-Inflammatory & Analgesic Properties
When it comes to inflammation and pain, beta-caryophyllene is your new best friend. This insanely powerful terpene is found in black pepper, basil, oregano, and several other spices, but it’s most notable for its effects.
One of its more well-understood anti-inflammatory responses happens in the colon. Research published by Life Science indicated that Beta-Caryophyllene may have potential as a treatment or management tool for colitis (inflammatory reactions in the colon). Mice were given a colitis-inducing compound, but when they were given 300mg/kg of beta-caryophyllene, it “significantly suppressed the shortening of colon length and slightly offset the loss of body weight.” There was also a significant reduction in overall inflammation of the colon. This is just one of the ways, however, that beta-caryophyllene helps to reduce inflammation.
We already know that Super Lemon Haze has a good amount of this terpene, but another popular beta-caryophyllene heavy blend is GSC. Over 30% of this blend is made up of beta-caryophyllene, but its flavor is still surprisingly sweet, earthy, and mildly floral. As an added bonus, the other terpenes in this blend give it an energetic, uplifting experience.
Terpinolene May Change the Face of NSAIDs
While it might be more known for its anti-fungal or antioxidant effects, terpinolene has lots of potential when it comes to managing chronic inflammation. You can find this terpene in cumin, apples, and even tea-tree, so it should be no surprise that its scent is woody with subtle hints of sweet citrus.
A 2016 study looked at both the anti-inflammatory and analgesic potential of terpinolene. It found that when combined with diclofenac (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) they worked synergistically together to have even more powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. “These data suggest that the association of clinical drugs with natural products might be a pharmacological alternative in clinical use, avoiding expected adverse reactions.” Basically, this might be a novel way to provide pain-relief and anti-inflammatory effects without the unwanted side-effects sometimes associated with NSAIDs.
For a terpinolene-heavy blend that packs an anti-inflammatory punch, look no further than Ghost Train Haze. With an aroma that’s somehow piney, gassy, and herbal with citrus and floral notes (talk about complex), this blend has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Not only is it made up of roughly 20-50% terpinolene, but it also has high amounts of beta-caryophyllene, alpha-caryophyllene, and myrcene. Speaking of myrcene.
Myrcene is an Anti-Inflammatory Heavy-Hitter
Myrcene is an insanely important terpene. Found in a wide variety of plants (from mango and ylang-ylang to bay and wild thyme), myrcene has a surprisingly sweet, minty flavor with leafy balsam notes. Plants that are dense in this terpene have been used for hundreds of years to treat a wide variety of ailments, particularly those related to inflammation and pain.
Several studies with mice have indicated that myrcene has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In one study looking at the effects of this terpene on acute inflammation, mice that had previously been given an irritant showed “inhibited mobilization of cells, particularly of leukocytes.” A different study published by the European Journal of Pharmacology said “…that myrcene has significant anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic effects in human chondrocytes and, thus, its ability to halt or, at least, slow down cartilage destruction and osteoarthritis progression warrants further investigation.”
Create the Next Go-To Anti-Inflammatory Product with Terpenes
This is by no means a complete list. Seriously, there are a LOT of terpenes and many of them have anti-inflammatory effects. These are just a few of our current favorites, but we seriously think you should give them a look!
Whether you’re creating a relaxing muscle balm, a soothing vape, or even a supplement or edible, terpenes can raise your products above the competition. Plus, depending on the type of product you’re creating, your customers will appreciate the addition of mouthwatering flavors and aromas. Truly, when it comes to your products, you can’t afford to sleep on terpenes. These functional flavors will boost the effectiveness of your products and add phenomenal flavor.
We want to remind everyone that our botanical terpenes are cannabis free and 100% legal. However, we do work very hard to isolate the specific terpene profiles of popular strains so both cannabis consumers and non-cannabis consumers can enjoy and benefit from them.