Categories
Education Terpenes

Terpene Profiles: Camphene, Cannabis’s Unique Heart-Health Booster

If you’ve spent any time at all perusing our website or our blog (or, better yet, visited our beautiful Oakland dispensary), you know that we approach cannabis a little bit differently than most. We’re of the opinion that a particular cannabis plant’s terpene profile determines its qualities, not only in terms of flavor or aroma but more importantly, its effect on our bodies.

How? Simple, really: Terpenes are a class of fragrant hydrocarbons (that’s “essential oils” for the non-scientific). They occur in huge abundance in the natural world, giving plant products like fruits, herbs, and spices their specific characteristics.

Camphene tinctures

We humans have known for eons that specific terpenes elicit particular effects. Since time immemorial, Chinese doctors have used borneol as a digestive aid and treatment for respiratory issues; limonene has imparted a general sense of uplift and mood enhancement since humans first cultivated the lemon.

Nor is this “mere” folk medicine. Whether or not you believe we have something to learn for thousands of years of medical wisdom, modern research is validating many of our hunches about plant-based medicines like terpenes. And that brings us to the star of today’s blog: Camphene, a musky and pungent terpene with some very potent implications for improved heart health.

What Does Camphene Do For Us?

As the name suggests, camphene has a strong camphor-like odor. Some compare its aroma with fir or other evergreen needles, and musky, damp earth. In this regard, it’s superficially similar to myrcene, the most abundant terpene in cannabis. However, camphene is typically present in far smaller concentrations, if at all.

If camphene isn’t that common in cannabis, it makes up for it in medical promise. A 2011 study on rodent models found that it reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels, two major factors in heart disease and stroke. Interestingly, the study was designed to compare the effects of terpenes; it found that camphene exhibited beneficial effects above many more common terpenes.

Camphene Heart in Flower

Another study in 2012 bolstered these findings, also finding that camphene reduced some types of pain. It could be used as an alternative to statins, currently one of the most common classes of cholesterol-lowering drugs. While they’re effective, they come with a host of serious side effects that can limit their long-term use.

How to Get Camphene from Cannabis

Camphene isn’t one of the “primary terpenes,” so finding it in concentrated doses here can be a challenge. A complicating feature is that the smoke produced by burning camphene can be acrid and irritating. We recommend that if you seek out camphene-rich cannabis strains, you try to obtain them in tinctures or some other form that doesn’t involve heating the material to high temperatures.

Camphene Ghost OG

Ghost OG: Derived from the popular OG Kush strain, its fans describe a balanced body / mind effect, and a marked ability to cut through pain, insomnia and anxiety.

Camphene Mendocino Purps

Mendocino Purps: With a “woodsy pine” aroma characteristic of camphene, this award-winning variety is linked with pain and insomnia relief. Be careful; some users report it has a heavy and immediate sedative effect.

Camphene Strawberry Banana

Strawberry Banana: A resinous and THC-heavy strain, this sweet-tasting variety is known for inspiring “happy, peaceful” effects and enhanced sensory awareness.

Stop by our Oakland dispensary to get help choosing the strain that’s right for you. Know what you want? Order online and skip the wait!

Categories
Education

Incorporating Cannabis For Wellness into Your Self-Care Routine

Because developments in the cannabis world move with such speed, it’s easy to forget that seemingly just a few years ago, cannabis use was portrayed as the antithesis of a healthy, active, and engaged lifestyle. Things are different now, and we’re grateful. We’re strong believers in the use of cannabis for wellness, whether it’s to deepen into physical practices like yoga, soothe the everyday aches and strains that are the cost of inhabiting a body, or to manage more chronic symptoms and conditions.

Cannabis for wellness topical balm

However you choose to incorporate cannabis into your life, we encourage you to do so with deliberate forethought and clear intentions. In our experience, that’s the best way to access the many benefits the cannabis plant offers our bodies and our minds.

To High or Not to High?

Perhaps the most important question to address when considering cannabis for wellness is psychoactivity. Many of us find being high excessively distracting and an impediment to activities like maintaining a productive work life, and even to connecting with others.

Cannabis for wellness joint and bud in hand

That’s one reason that interest in CBD—the cannabis plant’s second most abundant cannabinoid—is surging. Unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive, and it’s associated with a slew of beneficial effects, including:

  • Effectively fighting pain

  • Easing anxiety and depression

  • Addressing symptoms of conditions including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and others

If you find the psychoactivity of THC a detriment, we suggest asking your Experience Guide about high-CBD cannabis strains. They’re an increasingly popular way to access cannabis’ benefits with reduced or negligible psychoactivity.

Anxiety: The Sleeping Dragon

Whether they’re aware of it or not, many people develop a self-care practice in response to anxiety. And while the excess psychoactivity we referenced above is often cited as a cause of anxiety, lower-THC strains and products are often cited as safe, gentle, and sustainable responses to anxiety.

A Plant for Everyone, but Especially Women

The cannabis plant has countless applications for the human body, but as you’ve no doubt noticed, it doesn’t affect everyone the same way. And it turns out that it may have a special role to play in women’s health and wellness.

Cannabis for wellness, woman smoking a joint

In a survey of more than 1,000 women, BDS Analytics found some broad themes in the reasons women turn to cannabis for wellness:

  • 40% of respondents use cannabis to manage mood swings brought on by menstruation, menopause, or mental health concerns

  • 39% use cannabis to provide relief from premenstrual pain and cramps

  • 35% of menopausal women used cannabis to improve their sleep

  • 32% of menopausal women used cannabis for other symptoms

  • 27% of women use cannabis to enhance their sex life

Wrapping It Up

However you’re incorporating cannabis for wellness into your life, we recommend you start with the lowest useful amount possible. You can always up your dosage later, but by starting slow you’ll be better able to monitor its effect on your body and your mind. And as you already know: Being aware of your body in the present moment is perhaps the very definition of mindfulness.

There’s a lot we haven’t touched on, including the powerful potential of specific terpenes, or fragrant essential oils specific to different strains of cannabis.

Whatever your goals, we’re ready to help. Check out our dispensary online menu or stop by our Oakland Dispensary for high-quality products well-suited for your wellness needs.