Trying to boost the pain-relieving effects of your products? You’re not alone. Keep reading to learn about the best terpenes for pain-relief.
When it comes to products designed to relieve pain, customers won’t become repeat buyers unless those products actually work. That’s why having the right ingredients is so important. But did you know the compounds you use to flavor your products can help boost their pain-relieving effects? That’s right, the flavor and aroma of your products can actually increase their analgesic properties. Well, so long as you’re using high-quality terpenes anyway.
For those of you just now checking us out, terpene science is what we do best. We pioneer terpene driven sensorial experiences and, in doing so, we’re reshaping the landscape of scent and flavor. One of the most fascinating parts of what we do, however, is discover different ways our bodies interact with terpenes. Some terpenes boost your mood, relax you, and some can even reduce pain.
In fact, there are five terpenes in particular known for their soothing, pain-relieving properties. And if your brand isn’t using these terpenes, your products are seriously missing out.
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The 5 Best Terpenes For Pain-Relief
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- Beta-Caryophyllene can relieve different types of pain because of the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
- Linalool influences certain brain functions to relax muscles, soothe the mind, and ease pain.
- Myrcene boosts the effectiveness of other compounds while decreasing our perceptions of pain.
- Limonene can ease surface level pain and pain related to digestive issues.
- When it comes to painful skin irritations, bisabolol is subtle yet powerful.
Beta-Caryophyllene May Relieve Different Types of Pain
This particular terpene is what gives us the spicy, peppery taste of black pepper and the woodsy smell of plants like basil, hops, oregano, lavender, rosemary, and true cinnamon. As a flavoring agent, beta-caryophyllene is popular for its spicy, herbal notes. But how exactly does it provide pain relief? Well, it has to do with how it interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS).
This system helps to regulate various physiological and psychological functions. The two main receptors of the ECS are the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which you can find throughout your entire body (although the majority of CB1 receptors are in your brain and spinal cord). Research has shown that when beta-caryophyllene binds to CB2 receptors, it provides therapeutic benefits for things like inflammation, pain, and even osteoporosis. But that’s not all.
Over the last few years, beta-caryophyllene has gained massive popularity in the scientific community because it’s one of the first non-cannabinoid compounds that’s still able to directly activate cannabinoid receptors like the CB2 receptor. This is great news for anyone wanting relief from cannabis without actually having to use cannabis.
However, for cannabis brands, this is an opportunity to boost the pain-relieving properties of their products. Even full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD products can reap the benefits of this terpene.
Regardless of whether or not your products include cannabis, the anti-inflammatory properties of beta-caryophyllene combined with its ability to ease neurological pain and cutaneous pain make it a must-have for pain-relieving products.
Linalool Soothes Muscles and Relaxes the Mind
If you’re a fan of lavender, then you’ve already encountered this floral-scented terpene. Linalool isn’t just found in lavender though, you actually can find it in over 200 different plants. From mints, laurels, and rosewood to several citrus fruits, birch trees, and even some fungi. Its delicate aroma has a touch of spiciness that’s made it popular in aromatherapy, skincare, and a wide variety of bath products.
You might have noticed that many products with linalool in them are advertised as being soothing or relaxing. That’s because this terpene has several different properties that induce a sense of calm and comfort. Research suggests that its effect on brain cells influences certain functions that dull both muscle contractions and arousal.
On top of that, it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Studies suggest that its anti-inflammatory properties might be useful for overreactive bodily responses to injury or sickness. In addition to that, it’s also believed that linalool may directly help to block pain signals in the brain.
For any product designed to reduce pain, relax, or soothe, linalool is pretty much a no-brainer.
Myrcene Relieves Pain and Gives Other Compounds a Boost
Also known as β-Myrcene, this terpene is one of the most abundant terpenes found in nature. You can find myrcene in hops, wild thyme, ylang-ylang, mango, and more. Its scent is fruity and clove-like, but it’s particularly interesting for anyone interested in cannabis or cannabis products.
The blood-brain barrier keeps out any foreign substances that may change the environment surrounding the brain. It’s important to the overall health and wellness of your brain, but it’s kind of a prickly barrier. Basically, it’s very selective with what it lets in. Myrcene, however, has a special relationship with this barrier.
When myrcene is ingested or inhaled, it travels to the brain and essentially increases the permeability of this barrier so that additional terpenes or cannabinoids can cross that barrier as well. In doing so, it increases the effectiveness of other compounds and how they interact with your brain. This is just one example of how terpenes and cannabinoids can work together to be stronger than they would on their own--aka the entourage effect. And we haven’t even mentioned how amazing myrcene is on its own!
When used in high enough concentrations, myrcene can be a powerful analgesic. There’s actually a long history of plants like hops, lemongrass, cardamom, and mango being used for their pain-relieving properties. All of these plants have high myrcene levels, which probably explains their success.
There’s also the possibility that myrcene decreases our brains’ perception of pain. One study showed decreased pain perception in mice when they were injected with myrcene. What’s even more interesting is that it inhibited pain for both the Central Nervous System and in peripheral analgesia.
If all this wasn’t enough, myrcene is also a powerful anti-inflammatory making it one powerful terpene.
Limonene Absorbs Quickly to Ease Irritation Inside and Out
Limonene, or D-Limonene, is kind of a super-hero when it comes to pain. It’s found in many citrus fruits like limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. It’s often used as a flavoring agent, dietary supplement, aromatic oil, or even in skincare products because of its pleasing citrus smell and taste. One of it’s most unique features, however, it how quickly it absorbs and metabolizes.
When the body metabolizes limonene, it turns into perillyl alcohol and is rapidly absorbed and excreted. While this may not sound like a good thing at first, imagine how much nicer it would be if pain-relieving products kicked in just a tad bit faster. Because limonene absorbs so quickly, it’s pain-relieving properties can kick in that much faster.
Another unique feature of this terpene is the way it interacts with the digestive tract. When limonene is ingested, it coats both the stomach lining and the large intestine. This coating, combined with limonenes anti-inflammatory properties, make it a useful compound for anyone suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC).
In fact, one study even showed reduced UC damage and increased antioxidant levels in rats who were given 50-100mg of D-Limonene. Oh, and did we mention that limonenes’ ability to coat parts of the digestive tract extends to the esophagus? That means it can also reduce heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux.
Limonene is also particularly helpful when it comes to skin issues. Some dermatitis symptoms are caused by pro-inflammatory cytokine production, which limonene is thought to reduce. This makes limonene helpful for soothing, aching, and burning skin while boosting wound-healing. Plus, it’s ability to quickly absorb make it particularly useful in topical products.
D-limonene has applications across a wide variety of industries, making it one of the most useful terpenes available (not to mention totally mouthwatering).
Bisabolol Soothes and Protects Skin
Similar to limonene, this terpene absorbs quickly through the skin and, in doing so, increases the penetration of other cosmetic ingredients. That, along with its delicate chamomile-like scent, has made it popular in as a skincare ingredient. Honestly, when it comes to skin irritation, Bisabolol is subtle but wildly effective.
Found in German Chamomile and the bark of the Candeia tree of Brazil, alpha-bisabolol has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In the past, plants high in bisabolol were used as anti-irritants, anti-inflammatories, and even as antimicrobials. The majority of the research surrounding this terpene supports its effectiveness as a treatment for skin issues.
This terpene has a large amount of panthenol, a B vitamin. This particular vitamin helps to heal and moisturize both skin and hair. Reports of reduced dryness, flakiness, and more supple healthy skin are quite regular with skincare products infused with bisabolol. It may be subtle, but it’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it the perfect terpene for treating a wide variety of skin issues including sunburns and dermatitis.
Create Powerful Pain-Relieving Products with Terpenes
Now, more than ever, consumers are interested in natural products without harsh chemicals and additives. That’s why we recommend using our botanically derived terpenes to create more effective analgesic products for your customers.
We want to remind everyone that our terpenes are cannabis free and 100% legal, but using terpenes in cannabis products can greatly enhance their effectiveness. If you’re interested in partnering with us, or if you just have a few questions, feel free to contact us today to get started.
We hope this gave you some great ideas for how to use pain-relieving terpenes in your products! Let us know how your terpene adventures go by tagging us the next time you experiment with any of our terpenes.