Myrcene is the most prevalent terpene and is found in most varieties of cannabis. Myrcene concentration dictates whether a strain will have an Indica or Sativa effect. Strains containing over 0.5% of myrcene produce a more sedative high, while strains containing less than 0.5% myrcene have an energizing effect. Myrcene is also present in thyme, hops, lemongrass, and citrus, and is used in aromatherapy.
Limonene is a dominant terpene in strains with a pronounced Sativa effect. It is also found in the rinds of citrus fruits. Limonene aids in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and mucous membranes, and has been used to treat anxiety and depression.
CBD is a natural chemical derived from the cannabis plant. The compound belongs to a classification known as cannabinoids, which are found both in cannabis (phytocannabinoids) and the human body (endocannabinoids).
Your body has an endocannabinoid system, which in short means that it has receptors for cannabinoid compounds like CBD and THC. CBD and THC both interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system, a biological communication system that regulates a wide array of functions, like:
• Immune response
CBD and THC have chemical structures similar to the body’s own endocannabinoids, which allows them to interact with the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors.
The main difference between CBD and THC? THC causes euphoria and other mind-altering effects, CBD doesn’t. Not even a little bit. Also, THC is in high quantities in marijuana, and CBD is abundant in hemp.
The most abundant cannabinoid present in marijuana, THC is responsible for cannabis’ most well-known psychoactive effects. THC acts as a partial agonist at the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The compound is a mild analgesic, or painkiller, and cellular research and shown that it has antioxidant activity.
Other research has noted that THC also interacts with receptors in the hypothalamus of the brain – possibly releasing the hormone ghrelin, which is in charge of stimulating hunger.
By manipulating this pathway and the olfactory bulb simultaneously, THC can “trick” the brain into thinking it’s hungry. It does this by mimicking the sensations the brain and body feel when hungry, through manipulation of the proopiomelanocortin (POMC).
The POMC refers to the neurons in the hypothalamus that tell the body when it’s full. Scientists in a 2015 study led by Tamas Horvath of Yale discovered that not only did THC fail to turn off the POMC, it actually flipped its function.
Under the influence of THC, the POMC does not tell the body that it’s full, but rather that it’s hungry. Therefore, the body experiences all the same feelings of hunger, along with an enhanced sense of smell and taste. It’s no wonder marijuana creates the perfect storm for stimulating appetite.