Science Terpene Thursday

Terpenes for Anxiety

Cara Wietstock
Written by Cara Wietstock

For centuries holistic medicine practitioners have been using the powers of aromatherapy to inspire healing in their patients. Most essential oils are made up of around 80% terpenes and have been commonly used to relieve symptoms of common qualifying conditions for cannabis patients.

While anxiety isn’t a common qualifying condition in US medical programs, many studies and personal testimonies show that cannabis has anxiolytic effects. Many other classifications of plants have been found valuable for patients who suffer from anxiety as well. This connection is widely due to their terpene composition. These are some go-to terpenes that are a great addition to a diffuser when we’re beginning to feel that anxiety spiral creeping in.

Linalool

Its pleasant floral aroma makes Linalool a popular additive in perfumes, there are also some public studies available on how inhaling this terpene will affect anxiety. One study conducted on mice showed that inhaling linalool decreased aggressive behavior and increased social behavior. A dab of lavender or linalool heavy essential oils on the wrist can be a quick help with anxious behavior. Some in the diffuser can inhibit a socially pleasant event and a cup of lavender tea, as most of us know, can be valuable in times of high stress and anxiety.

terpenes

β-Caryophyllene

This terpene reveals itself through a black pepper scent and is a CB2 receptor agonist. The CB2 receptor has been implicated in anxiety and depression disorders in a few studies with laboratory animals. They were tested while going through a maze and some other methods and it was found that this terpene reduced the anxiety levels in the rodents. These terpenes respond to non-psychoactive receptors like Cannabidiol (CBD). β-Caryophyllene can be found in rosemary, hops and black pepper essential oils.

The two popular terpenes are commonly found in cultivars that are promoted for the anxious medical cannabis patients. To find strains with Linalool or β-Caryophyllene, ask for cannabis from companies that test their terpene profiles.

About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

Leave a Comment

3 Comments

  • Doesn’t Limonene have similar effects? And how about the entourage effect? Which terpenes go together well to enhance anti-anxiety?

    • Those are both relevant points, Dr. VonHuben. Thanks for bringing them up. This post is focused on individual terpenes, eventually, Limonene will be in the mix as well. That is a great point on how the terpenes are working together to enhance these effects and will definitely be on our list of things to cover in the future.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Could you also do a post on A-Pinene benefits? Since it’s found in lavender strains it reminded me of it while reading this post. This one, however, is the opposite. Its effects are supposed to boost energy and improve focus. Would love to see a post on it.

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