How many times have you gone to your doctor and left with a prescription? Even for minor ailments, there seems to always be a pill for that. But with detrimental side effects and hefty price tags, many people are interested in alternative medicines.

“As more scientific information becomes available on the medical benefits of cannabis, people are discovering the importance of the plant’s naturally occurring terpenes and the best ways to consume them for maximum results.,” One World Pharma claims. 

Lavender, pine, basil, mangos, and clove; what do these plants and hundreds of others have in common with cannabis? It is their naturally occurring terpenes, also known as the plant’s essential oils. All plants have them, and some are highly medicinal. In fact, the cannabis plant has over 200 naturally occurring terpenes. 

Terpenes are so common, you’re probably ingesting more than you even realize. Between the lemon you squeeze into your water and the lavender in your shampoo, these beneficial and natural oils are everywhere and have been used for centuries to treat ailments from sore muscles to sleeplessness.”

cannabis plants

The cannabis plant has over 200 naturally occurring terpenes. is a great resource for diving deep into the world of these different types of terpenes. Knowing what each terpene is used for can be incredibly helpful for picking the right cannabis strain or other essential oils you find helpful.

Exploring this option could help reduce your dependence on the expensive, and sometimes harmful, prescription and over-the-counter drugs we all are so used to taking.

How To Use Terpenes for Medicinal Purposes

Of course, you always want to consult with your doctor before introducing new supplements or other natural remedies into your routine to see how they will react with other medications.

As with all types of cannabis products, smoking is usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, if that’s not your style, there are plenty of ways to consume terpenes without smoking.

Inhalation and diffusion of these oils directly can be a hassle-free and relaxing way to enjoy the benefits of terpenes. Either from your hands, a cotton ball or an oil diffuser, inhaling the vapor of myrcene, a terpene known to have relaxing to sedating effects that can help treat insomnia and anxiety, or linalool, found in many products used to ease tension, could be an alternative to filling those prescription insomnia and anxiety meds each month.

Using a lotion or serum infused with a-Pinene, a powerful anti-inflammatory terpene, on sore muscles or minor injuries could be the key to avoiding over-the-counter pain relievers that are hard on your stomach. 

Oral consumption is also an option. Whether it’s a sublingual or tincture with Limonene, shown to have uplifting and euphoric effects, or a capsule or edible with a combination of terpenes to fit your specific needs, that trip to the pharmacy may not be as essential as you think it is.

The manner in which you consume terpenes also plays a role in how your body metabolizes the compound. If you take it topically, you will have a different result than if you consume it through vaping, smoking, or even with tinctures and edibles.

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Plus they’re completely safe to consume.

According to One World Pharma, “There’s no amount of terpenes that could cause an overdose.  The worst that could happen is you fall asleep, get a little headachy, or feel jittery depending on which terpenes you ingest. So just make sure you know how strongly they affect you before experimenting with strong doses.

Each individual terpene will have a specific effect. For example, linalool is soothing and often found in baby products. Lavender, too. That’s what makes the fragrant little flower so sedating. Limonene and a-pinene are both energizing, though too much can cause anxiety and may often be the culprits in cannabis strains that cause paranoia to some people.”

The Bottom Line

Obviously, modern medicine has its place — this isn’t an attack on Big Pharma (well, maybe a little). But the fact that just about every part of the cannabis plant has been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of ailments shows us that terpenes can be as beneficial, if not more, than some of their over-the-counter and prescription counterparts.