“Cannabis sativa” is an annual, flowering, and herbaceous plant that has gathered much attention of the researchers over the years. This is because of the variety of chemical compounds it produces. These compounds are generally named as “Cannabinoids”. Almost over 80 cannabinoids have been extracted from the cannabis plant. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is considered to be the major active ingredient and cannabidiol seconds it, making up about 40% of the cannabis extract. In addition, the cannabis plant is a rich source of esters, lactones, ketones, and fatty acids.
However, research has recently discovered a new, non-psychoactive, medicinal compound called Terpenes. Terpenes constitute a class of beneficial compounds. They are found in an array of strong-smelling plants including citrus fruits, rosemary, frankincense, and cannabis.
Cannabis plant contains over 200 different kinds of terpenes. However, most of the healing plants including lemon have only one or two terpenes to offer. This also indicates the strong healing power found within cannabis.
All of the compounds found in cannabis along with terpenes are interactive in nature. This synergistic potential of all the cannabinoids make cannabis a much more potent medicine than any of Big Pharma’s inventions.
Natural Health 365 explains that terpenes also offer a supporting or back up effect to the plants. It reports that the interactions of cannabinoids produce “Entourage Effect” of Cannabis Therapy. The Israeli scientists S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam of Hebrew University in Jerusalem coined this term for the first time in the 1990s. It refers to how terpenes and cannabinoids in cannabis combine, interact and work for the treatment of definite disease conditions.
Terpenes produce a pungent smell that the plant uses to ward off insects or pathogens. At least 15 different terpenes found in the cannabis plant have been credited with an array of benefits, including reducing inflammation and decreasing stress. In addition, research has found that terpenes in cannabis can potentially fight cancer as well.
Terpenes like limonene and pinene have both been revealed to possess anti-cancer effects. Limonene has been proven to cut down the sizes of tumor significantly. Moreover, it can reduce the risk of some cancers by up to 50 percent.
Many researches link cannabis to help prevent and even treat cancer. A current research shows that the compounds in cannabis help to jump-start the immune system too.
A German research team, led by Professor Burkhard Hinz, conducted a review to evaluate the anti-cancer effects of cannabis compounds. The team came from Rostock University Medical Centre in Germany. It analyzed over 100 different studies on cannabis and concluded that the variety of the compounds found in the plant contribute to its anticancer activity.
Professor Hinz commented that analyzing the data from pre-clinical models suggests that cannabinoids exhibit anti-cancer effects on several levels of cancer succession. In addition to this clinical research, there are many subjective accounts of cannabis that prove its anti-cancer potential when most of the customary medicines failed.
A woman from the United Kingdom named Joy Smith recently came forward and revealed that she had cured her “terminal” cancer with cannabis oil. Smith was 52 years old and was given six weeks to live after being diagnosed with stomach and bowel cancer. After her chemotherapy failed, she tried cannabis oil as a last resort. She further added that cannabis oil should be legalized for medical purposes.
However, there is still a need for extensive clinical research regarding the subject.