In a previous blog, we defined plant-based therapies as simply adding in the use of natural medicines derived from plants to treat and/or supplement treatments for health conditions. There are many plants, herbs, spices, seeds, and roots in the world that have amazing health benefits. Some plants contain compounds called cannabinoids that help replenish the natural resources that our bodies produce which makes them exceptionally therapeutic. So why are Plant Based Therapies so important? Because of the Endocannabinoid System and Terpenes!
In 1994, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) was officially discovered, and as explained by Chip Paul of GnuPharma: “The endocannabinoid system is thought to help regulate a wide range of bodily functions, particularly in the nervous system and immune system. Meaning it is involved with and manages almost every function of our bodies and is the acting mechanism to balance the body to homeostasis. The ECS is fed and driven by natural resources.” Not only do cannabinoids affect the Endocannabinoid System, but also terpenes which are found in natural products like herbs and spices.
THC and CBD are perhaps the best-known Cannabinoids in the world. Yet, there are several “minor” Cannabinoids that have their own distinct impact on the ECS. Scientists are learning that CBG, or cannabigerol, can inhibit cancer cell growth and reduce intraocular pressure. Cannabichromene, or CBC, is “nonpsychoactive” and has been shown to have a unique affect on anandamide, an endocannabinoid associated with numerous therapeutic effects, from alleviating depression to inhibiting cancer cell growth.
While you may not know you know what terpenes are, you in fact do! Put simply, terpenes are the primary organic building blocks of the essential oils—these oils produce the odors we associate with plants, especially fruits and flowers. For example, terpenes are what gives an orange its citrus smell or what gives pine trees their unique aroma. The scientific understanding of how terpenes affect the human body is still developing; but it is known that terpenes have a direct impact on human physiology. Beta-Caryophyllene is a terpene found in black pepper, clove, and cinnamon, as well as the Cannabis plant. It has a peppery, spicy, earthy aroma and its medical properties include epilepsy relief, anti-anxiety, chronic pain relief, muscle spasms, and insomnia.
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