Cannabis Aromatherapy – How effective is it?

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Cannabis Aromatherapy – How effective is it?

As many of you may already know, the fragrant essence of plants, including cannabis, comes from terpenes. Terpenes are naturally occurring molecules, or compounds, produced by plants. These cannabis aromatherapycompounds are varieties in all kinds of combinations that have evolved in plants to keep predators away and attract animal and plant pollinators.  Read on to learn more about the effectiveness of cannabis aromatherapy.

The essential oils used in conventional aromatherapy are derived from the extraction of these terpenes into oils. The National Institutes of Health says that “aromatherapy is the inhalation of the scent of essential oils that are extracted from plants, often from under the surface of leaves, bark, or from peel”.

When these terpenes are inhaled, they travel into the limbic system, which is a primitive brain structure which regulates behavior, emotion, and mood.  Otherwise known as cannabis aromatherapy.

Note: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved cannabis as a treatment for any medical condition so you should consult your doctor for all health recommendations.

How Terpenes Can Help with Relaxation and Insomnia

There are many plants such as lavender, citrus, hops, black pepper and pine have scents which can make people feel more relaxed or help promote sleep. The scents that will be most effective in providing help with insomnia and relaxation can be found in terpenes that have been used over the years in herbal and folk medicine. These are considered the primary terpenes in cannabis, which include linalool, limonene, and a-pinene. Cannabis flower oil and hemp essential oils properties are considered calming, uplifting and relaxing. Using hemp essential oil in a diffuser is thought to aid in concentration and clear thoughts. These are the properties that are used in aromatherapy to encourage the emotions. While hemp oil is not made from the cannabis flower, it is often used as a carrier oil for the cannabis flower essential oil.

  Based on a large amount of research into cannabis research, we cannabis therapyhave come to a more clear understanding of the exact way terpenes affect the human body. This research also has shown how they interact with the more well-known molecules of the cannabinoids CBD and THC. As mentioned earlier, terpenes have been used for many years in folk medicines and continue to be used in today’s herbal medicine practices. One study found that “lavender can help people relax and limit the agitation of Alzheimer patients”1. You can read more on the subject of dementia and essential oils on one of my earlier posts from 2016. 

What Are the Differences between Cannabis Essential Oils and Hemp Seed Carrier Oils?

Cannabis Essential Oil is produced by the steam distillation of the cannabis flower. The active components are myrcene and caryophyllene, which are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. These come in several different formulations. Listed below are the types of essential oil formulations available from Eden’s Garden 2., one of my favorite sources for essential oils. Here is an extract of Eden’s Garden’s recent post discussing these differences:

CBD – Extracted from the Hemp Plant, Cannabidiol is a potent phyto-cannabinoid that is non-psychoactive.

Cannabis CO2 Total –  A concentrate extracted from the flowers of cannabis by the use of carbon dioxide and a great amount of pressure. Typically, CO2 Totals have a thicker semi-solid consistency, often referred to as cannabis “mud”. The process produces an extract that contains the highest amount the plant’s heavier extractable components which are typically the most medicinally valuable, and a minimal amount of the volatile aromatic essential oil components. 

Cannabis CO2 Select – Closer to an essential oil than the CO2 total, the select is extracted from the flowers of cannabis using relatively lower pressure. Generally, the CO2s select is comprised of the plant’s most volatile essential oil components in addition to a smaller amount of the heavier molecules which cannot be steam distilled.  The cannabinoid content of the cannabis select is typically cannabis therapyin the 3-5% range. As the cannabis essential oil basically has no significant level of cannabinoids, one can think of the CO2 select as sort of a hybrid between the CO2 total and the essential oil.  In general, all CO2 selects are chemically closer to the essential oil profile but almost always having a richer, fuller, higher quality aromatic profile than the essential oil, due to the inclusion of the heavier components that the standard essential oil production methods cannot access.

Hemp Seed Carrier Oil – Filled with vitamins and antioxidant properties, Hemp Seed Oil is produced through a cold pressed method. The oil is pale to golden yellow. Hemp Seed Carrier Oil can help reduce toxins, clear skin and improve overall health.”

Properties of Myrcene and Caryophyllene

Listed below are the properties of the terpenes of myrcene and caryophyllene so you can see how the medicinal values match up. You can mix the cannabis essential oil with either single essential oils, or one of your favorite blends and take advantage of the increased medicinal value and create your own cannabis aromatherapy! 

Caryophyllene

Scent – Spicy, Woody, Black Pepper, and cloves

Most Common Effects – None detected

Medicinal Value – Autoimmune disorders, anti-inflammatory; good for arthritis.  Also found in black pepper, cloves, and cotton.

Myrcene

Scent – Musky, cloves, earthy, herbal with notes of citrus and tropical fruit.

Most Common Effects – Sedating, relaxing

Medicinal Value – Antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic; good for muscle tension, sleeplessness, pain, inflammation, depression.  Also found in Mango, lemongrass, thyme, and hops.

cannabis aromatherapy

If you want to learn more about terpenes click HERE.

Practical Uses for Cannabis Oil

Make You Own Scents

Try this recipe for a wonderful, relaxing non-chemical scent that is helpful in promoting relaxation after any stressful situation or to help get you through a tough day.

cannabis aromatherapyMix a few drops of lavender essential and a few drops of a citrus-scented essential oil of your choice with cannabis essential oil in a small dark bottle to form a calming, refreshing perfume. Add a few more drops of hemp carrier oil and store the bottle in a dark, cool place for a few days. As with any essential oil, make sure you rub a small amount of cannabis essential oil on the inside of your wrist to test for sensitivity. In most cases, cannabis oil can be applied directly to your skin, but you can use it with hemp seed carrier oil to get maximum fragrance and effectiveness. Shake the bottle before application and viola, your own personal perfume!

Using Cannabis Essential Oil in Your Home

This versatile oil can also be a good replacement for those insect repellants which are full of toxic chemicals.

Since cannabis oil is made from the flowers of the plant, it contains the properties of limonene, which is similar to the properties of citronella. Citronella is a very common insect repellant on its own and can repel any number of insects, such as gnats, mosquitoes, and other common annoying flying insects. That makes it a perfect oil to add to your portable diffuser to make your deck or patio a much more pleasant place. If you have no skin sensitivity, you can also use as a personal repellant to rub on your skin! You can read more about using essential oils as natural insect repellents here

Some research has shown that essential oils carry anti-fungal properties which can be effective in treating plant fungi which attack your garden and patio plants. If you are currently fighting Cannabis aromatherapywith this problem, you can try mixing cannabis essential oil with lemongrass oil with water and spraying on your plants.   Make sure you repeatedly shake your container to keep the oils from separating.

In answer to our initial question, “How Effective is Cannabis Aromatherapy”?  My answer is:  Highly Effective.  I would love to hear your comments and thoughts.  Leave me a comment or question below and we can further discuss!

Sources:

1. National Institute of HealthEfficacy of aromatherapy (Lavandula angustifolia) as an intervention for agitated behaviours in Chinese older persons with dementia: a cross-over randomized trial.

2. Eden’s GardenWhat Is Cannabis Essential Oil


 

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10 Replies to “Cannabis Aromatherapy – How effective is it?”

  1. Hello here. I heard about cannabis as miraculous plant. Cannabis brings many benefits, especially to those who have seizures, headaches, autoimmune disorders.
    I never read about cannabis essential oil. I am nicely surprised.
    I wonder about buying this oil? Do we need recipe for it or ee can just order online?
    Did you try this oil by yourself?
    My friend has a daughter with epilepsy.I wonder if she could benefit from this wonderful plant?
    Thanks for informative read, all the best, Nemira.

    1. Hi, Nemira!

      The cannabis essential oil, the hemp seed essential oil as well as the hempseed carrier oils are all extremely low in levels of THC, which is the property which gets one “high” on cannabis so they are available commercially without a problem. They are available from Amazon.com and other online stores in the US. You can also purchase the actual cannabis oil that contains the THC in a few states, for medicinal use My state, GA, is on that list. You can read more @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis_in_

      Thanks for your kind comment,

      Kathy

  2. This is an interesting article. I remember some of our traditional medicines used plant extracts that are now classified as ‘drugs’ and therefore illegal to use. So this traditional medicine dies a slow death. All because the government is influenced by external bodies such as FDA and the big pharmaceutical boys.
    But it is slowly coming back but I am not sure if the cannabis essential oils are available off the shelf here.
    Will have to buy through Amazon and try your cannabis, lavender and citrus recipe.
    Thanks for this awesome article.

    1. Indeed, wagreatstuff. It has been a long hard fight to get this far. I also read a great article not long ago about how the small farmers in California are struggling to keep their cultivars away from the government and big pharma. I can only speculate that some of the quality will be lost once the government gets involved in production.

      Thanks for the comment,

      Kathy

  3. Hello! I just wanted to tell you that you have a very beautiful and informative site. It is also quite far along, so I assume it is a completed site? I was an aromatherapy teacher for many years, and so can relate to some of the things you are saying. I applaud the inclusion of cannabis oil into the wide spectrum of essential oil usage now.

    I like the look and layout of the page, and I think it will draw many people in. I wish you success and good luck with your website and business! Pat

    1. Hi, Pat!

      Yes, it has been up for a few months. I try and keep the content fresh, which is a task because I have a full-time job.

      I am glad you enjoyed the article. The subject matter is truly a hot topic these days. I also am happy to incorporate cannabis into my essential oils routine since I have to have prescription sleeping aids to sleep for extended hours.

      Thank you for your comment!

      Kathy

  4. Hello, This post is very interesting, I have heard of all types of aromatherapy but I did not know that cannabis was used also for this kind of therapy.
    Thank you so much for this review and your recommendations, they are very helpful, I will surely share this with people suffering from these conditions.

    I did not know anything about terpenes either, I guess you learn something new every day.

    With respect

    Santiago

    1. Hey, Stantiago!

      This is one of the hottest trends right now. Especially since more and more states in the US are allowing the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

      Thank you for your kind comment,

      Kathy

  5. I didn’t know you could get cannabis at Amazon, lol…

    My wife is one of those who has been brain washed all her life, I’m afraid. As a result she demonizes anyone who uses cannabis in any form. She believes it turns men into rapists and murderers.

    However, I do like a bit from time to time to relax, ease pain and reduce stress. I can go overboard though and have too much, which does cause paranoia and the occasional panic attack. This is when I have to lay off it for a while.

    I know why it’s illegal, I know there are stories of it being a wonder drug in terms of treating cancer, seizures, and many other ailments…and I know that big pharma doesn’t like this.

    I also know that much of the prison population in the US is made up of non violent cannabis smokers. It’s a rotten state of affairs where people can get years in jail for smoking a plant that heals, whereas the same government approves of tobacco, which kills millions…

    Yes, I have very strong opinions on this matter. Don’t get me started. 🙂

    1. Hey, Jimbo!
      The reason it can be purchased at Amazon.com is because the actual essential oil doesn’t contain any THC. It contains the scent properties. Big difference. However, it DOES do a great job of providing relaxation just like any other essential oil. I completely agree that there is no reason to keep natural based medicines from the public. Aside from tobacco and alcohol, other prescription drugs are LOTS more addictive and dangerous than cannabis, but they are controlled by the government and big pharma because of the dollars they rake in. I too could rant about it. But that may be another post….LOL
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Kathy

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