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Terpenes: What Are They and What Do They Do?

Most plants have built-in defense mechanisms that protect them from deterring herbivores. Terpenes, a class of organic compounds, play a key role in this process.

These substances occur naturally in the cannabis plant. They are also found in rosemary, peppermint, lemongrass, and evergreen shrubs.

In addition to their protective role, terpenes give plants their distinctive aroma. Due to their therapeutic properties, they may help with pain management, stress relief, inflammation, and more.

You might have heard about linalool, myrcene, limonene, and other terpenes. Myrcene, for example, occurs naturally in sweet citrus fruits, cannabis, and other plants. Due to its analgesic effect, it may help reduce pain and promote relaxation.

Cannabis terpenes are particularly beneficial for human health. These aromatic compounds may improve sleep, decrease anxiety, and relieve depression. They’re also responsible for the so-called entourage effect — but more on that later.

But how do terpenes work? Most importantly, which ones are best for you? Here’s what you should know about these fragrant compounds and their surprising health benefits!

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