Over four hundred chemical compounds-- including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids-- interact with each other in the cannabis plant to provide a wide variety of therapeutic benefits (Whiteley,2017). This synergetic interaction is commonly known as the Entourage Effect (Russo, 2011).
Cannabinoids and Terpenes are produced alongside the glandular trichomes of the cannabis flower. Terpenes determine the smell and taste of different strains and play a crucial role in the cannabis experience (Witheley, 2017).
The most common commonly known terpenes are pinene, humulene, ocimene, limonene, myrcene, linalool, terpinolene, and caryophyllene. Still, many others also have many healing benefits like a-Phellandrene.
a-Phellandrene is a secondary terpene found in several eucalyptus plant species. Its aroma is described as herbaceous, woody, minty, and mildly citrus and has been used in holistic medicine for its antibacterial properties.
This article will explore the latest evidence supporting the potential of the terpene a-Phellandrene, its uses, and its benefits within the Cannabis Plant.
What is a-Phellandrene?
In the past, phellandrenes --a-phellandrene and beta-phellandrene-- were often misidentified as pinene and limonene. After testings eucalyptus oil, researchers discovered that they are two distinct isomeric compounds instead of one.
A-Phellandrene gets its name from Eucalyptus phellandra. Although it is most prominent in eucalyptus plants, A-Phelnadrene can be found in Dill, Black Pepper, Mint, Parsley, Cinnamon, Lavender, Pine, Ginger Grass, and water fennel, among others.
Among its properties, A-Phellandrene is known to increase energy levels, reduce pain, and as an anti-cancer. In addition, it a common additive in cosmetic products and perfumes due to its pleasing aroma, and easy absorption in the skin.
a-Phellandrene Rich Cannabis Cultivars
Strains with high levels of a-Phellandrene include:
This terpene was discovered in the 1900s, and like many other terpenes, it can enhance the cannabis experience through its flavor and aroma. Many patients see the potential of a-phellandrene for cancer and pain management. Besides, these are some of its benefits studied so far:
Antifungal: a recent study published in 2017 by Ji-hong Zhang, shows the benefits of alpha-phellandrene as an antifungal. Researchers concluded that this terpene could control Pennicilium cyclopium fungus in tomatoes by measuring the ability to inhibit or prevent fungus growth. (Sun, Chen, Zeng, & Wang, 2017)
Anticancer: in 2014 a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer showed how this terpene could decrease the viability of human liver tumor cells. (Hsieh SL; Li YC; Chang WC; Chung JG; Hsieh LC; Wu CC; 2014) In addition, recent research found comparable results in leukemia models. (Lin JJ; Hsu SC; Lu KW; Ma YS; Wu CC; Lu HF; Chen JC; Lin JG; Wu PP; Chung JG; 2016)
Anti-inflammatory: as other terpenes, a-phellandrene has anti-inflammatory properties.
Antihyperalgesic and Anti-depressive properties: a study published in 2015 showed stimulating properties of this terpene along with limonene. (Piccinelli AC; Santos JA; Konkiewitz EC; Oesterreich SA; Formaggio AS; Croda J; Ziff EB; Kassuya CA; 2015)
Analgesic: recent studies suggest that this terpene has the ability to reduce and relieve pain. Either as a major constituent or alone, a-phellandrene outcomes showed analgesic properties. (Lima DF; Brandão MS; Moura JB; Leitão JM; Carvalho FA; Miúra LM; Leite JR; Sousa DP; Almeida FR, 2012)
a-Phellandrene in a Nutshell
Like many other chemical compounds that we are just starting to know, a-Phellandrene still needs more research. This terpene has tremendous potential without a doubt and can significantly improve the cannabis experience.
**Note: As always, with medical conditions and symptoms, please consult with your doctor for personalized medical advice. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements made regarding these products. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Russo, E., (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology. (163)7: 1344-1364.
Sun, H., Chen, S., Zeng, L., & Wang, T. (2017, December). Antifungal activity, mechanism studies on α-Phellandrene and Nonanal against Penicillium cyclopium. Retrieved January, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5430584/
Hsieh SL;Li YC;Chang WC;Chung JG;Hsieh LC;Wu CC;. (2014). Induction of necrosis in human liver tumor cells by α-phellandrene. Retrieved January, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25077527
Lin JJ;Hsu SC;Lu KW;Ma YS;Wu CC;Lu HF;Chen JC;Lin JG;Wu PP;Chung JG;. (2016). Alpha-phellandrene-induced apoptosis in mice leukemia WEHI-3 cells in vitro. Retrieved January, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26174008/
Piccinelli AC;Santos JA;Konkiewitz EC;Oesterreich SA;Formagio AS;Croda J;Ziff EB;Kassuya CA;. (2015). Antihyperalgesic and antidepressive actions of (R)-(+)-limonene, α-phellandrene, and essential oil from Schinus terebinthifolius fruits in a neuropathic pain model. Retrieved January 14, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24661285/
Lima DF;Brandão MS;Moura JB;Leitão JM;Carvalho FA;Miúra LM;Leite JR;Sousa DP;Almeida FR;. (2012). Antinociceptive activity of the monoterpene α-phellandrene in rodents: Possible mechanisms of action. Retrieved January, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22221105/