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When looking for the best medical cannabis product to alleviate the symptoms of an illness, we almost always pay attention to the CBD and THC content – and nothing else. After all, they are the more popular heavy-lifting cannabis competitors.


But what if we tell you there is more to cannabis potency than cannabinoids? Yup, while cannabinoids are like the powerhouse, there are terpenes, too! And today, we will be taking a look at terpenes — the best terpenes for nausea and inflammation, especially. 


You are probably thinking, whoa whoa, not so fast! What are terpenes? What do terpenes have to do with nausea and inflammation? But, what terpene is good for nausea? What terpenes are good for inflammation? 


Don’t worry. In this post, you’ll learn about terpenes, their importance in cannabis, their effects, which terpene is good for nausea, and the best terpenes for pain and inflammation. 


Picture of mangos, marijuana nuggets, and marijuana leaves.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are natural compounds responsible for the unique smell of most plants, including cannabis. As a matter of fact, cannabis has some of the most abundant supplies of terpenes. Consequently, the terpenes are responsible for the unique smell marijuana possesses.


Almost all the fruits and plants you have been across contain terpenes. Terpenes are also abundant in other plants, such as conifers, lavender, mangoes, and so much more. In natural environments, it is believed that aside from offering plants a unique smell, terpenes also help protect some plants from germs and animal grazing – just like stink bugs that repel other animals with a strong almond smell. 

Terpenes in Cannabis

There are over 100 terpenes (also known as terpenoids) found in the cannabis plant. As already indicated, terpenes also provide other functions in the different plants that contain them. According to medical studies, there are numerous medicinal and health benefits associated with terpenes. Expectedly, cannabis terpenes also play various functions in cannabis plants.


Here are just some of the importance of terpenes in cannabis:

  • Terpenes determine the flavor and scent of cannabis strains. Cannabis strains have different combinations of several terpenes. Therefore, different strains have different tastes. 
  • As a component of CBD oils, terpenes improve the body’s absorption of beneficial chemicals. 
  • Terpenes work in synergy (in a process called the entourage effect) with cannabinoids to improve the absorption and efficacy of cannabinoids. 
  • They work hand in hand with other compounds to boost the physiologic effects of each strain. 
  • These compounds help break down the defense mechanism put up by various bacteria. 
  • Terpene profiles help determine if a strain is Sativa, Indica, or hybrid.


Interested in learning more about terpenes and how they relate to cannabis? Check out our YouTube video!



What are the Best Terpenes for Nausea and Inflammation?

Note that terpenes help improve the efficacy of cannabinoids and boost physiologic effects. Invariably, terpenes deliver a variety of effects, including anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea effects. Cannabis extracts that are void of terpenes or with fewer terpenes often do not have as much efficacy as those with rich terp profiles.


The best terpenes for nausea are sometimes also the best terpenes for inflammation. Although, some terpenes can offer one of these functions alongside other beneficial effects. So, what terpene is good for nausea?


Of the over 100 terpenes found in cannabis, let’s take a look at the very best terpenes for nausea and inflammation. 


LEARN MORE: Terpenes for Anxiety, Depression, and Overall Zen


If the name “limonene” is making you think of lemons, you are on track. This terpene has a citrusy smell that tilts more towards a lemony aroma. Although it is mainly associated with citrus fruits, it’s also abundant in cannabis. It is, in fact, the second most abundant terpene in cannabis. In some strains, limonene could exhibit a peppery scent similar to bergamot. 


It stands out as one of the best terpenes for nausea. A study showed the incredible effectiveness of limonene as an anti-nausea agent in pregnant women dealing with nausea and vomiting. Medical cannabis users have also found limonene-rich strains to help control various instances of nausea. 


Additionally, this terpene has anti-cancer, anti-depressant, relaxant, and anti-anxiety properties. It provides your answer to, what terpene is good for nausea? As one of the best terpenes for nausea, you can find it in some strains, like Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, Jack Herer, O.G. Kush, and Lavender.


Most cannabis strains that have peppery and spicy notes contain caryophyllene. Given its unique spicy aroma, it is no surprise that this terpene is commonly found in cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, rosemary, and oregano. 


It is the only terpene known to bind directly to cannabinoid receptors in the human body. More specifically, it binds to CB2 receptors, most known for their roles in neuroinflammatory conditions. Consequently, caryophyllene is exceptional as an anti-inflammatory agent, and many people utilize it as an active ingredient in anti-inflammatory topicals and creams. 


Additionally, it’s useful as an anti-nausea and sedative agent. Cannabis strains with caryophyllene include Skywalker, Blueberry Diesel, Rock Star, Chocolope, and Super Silver Haze.


An illustration showing the Terpenes of Myrcene which includes a marijuana leaf, vaporizing levels, and the flavor and health effects.

This terpene is also known as alpha-myrcene or beta-myrcene. It is the most common terpene found in cannabis. You’ll mainly find this terpene in cannabis plants over other pieces of botany. In some strains, myrcene could make up over 60% of the terpene profile. It has a rich, earthy, and musky aroma, blended with hints of red-grape-like aroma. 


Generally, it is famed for its anti-cancer properties and is sometimes used as a supplement in cancer treatments due to its antitumor effects. 


Myrcene has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, it is effective as a muscle relaxant, pain reliever, and sedative. 


It is undoubtedly one of the best terpenes for inflammation. Hence, if you are looking for terpenes for pain and inflammation, you should be looking for myrcene-rich strains such as Blue Dream, Durban Poison, Northern Lights, White Widow, and Skunk XL. 

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

Pinene terpenes (alpha-pinene and beta-pinene) are among the best terpenes for inflammation. They have a distinct smell that reminds you of pine trees — where you’ll find these terpenes in abundance. You’ll also come across these terpenes in cannabis, parsley, and basil. 


As natural compounds in cannabis, they have anti-inflammatory effects, providing significant inflammation relief in humans. Patients with arthritis or Crohn’s disease notice a reduction in inflammations when they use pinene-rich cannabis strains such as Blue Dream, Strawberry Cough, Island Sweet, Jack Herer, etc. 


These terpenes have other impressive effects, including antimicrobial, antimalarial, anticoagulant, antioxidant, and analgesic effects. All of this caused a medical study to refer to them as the “Miracle Gift of Nature.”


Humulene, also known as alpha-caryophyllene, is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory terpenes available in cannabinoids. It’s most abundant in hops and has a blend of spicy, earthy, and woody aromas. Researchers believe that this terpene is behind the distinctive taste of beer. 


In cannabis, humulene can give off a beer-like scent. Hence, most people find it easy to detect strains that contain it. This terpene potency as an anti-inflammatory agent is so pronounced that a study published in the National Library of Medicine compared it to dexamethasone. And WHO lists dexamethasone as one of the world’s most essential medicines. 


You can find humulene in cannabis strains like Girl Scout Cookies, Pink Kush, Skywalker OG, Original Glue, and Death Star. 

Nausea, Inflammation & Elevate Holistics

If you are seeking a better understanding of terpenes and how to choose the one that will best alleviate the symptoms of your nausea or inflammation, Elevate Holistics is here for you. We are a telemedicine company that’s here to provide you with all the help you need as you leverage the many benefits of cannabis, mainly to relieve your nausea, inflammation, or any other condition. 


From getting an MMJ card to prescribing the perfect dosage or finding a dispensary near you, Elevate Holistics is your go-to expert.

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About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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