The conclusion of a new Italian study on cannabis essential oil (CEO) and the human nervous system indicates subjects were “more energetic, relaxed, and calm,” when exposed to small amounts,” inferring “neuromodular activity in cases of stress, depression, and anxiety.”
The results, potentially limited by the study’s population size (five volunteers; two females and three males), discovered “some support for including CEO in a perspective integrated therapy aimed at relieving stress or depression.”
A terpene-rich study that focused on human brain wave activity and the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the Italian researchers reported, “These results indicate that CEO inhalation increases the level of relaxation and general well-being as assessed through our test subjects’ self-evaluation. This relaxing and anxiolytic effect on ANS could be explained by the abundance of limonene, myrcene, and β-caryophyllene.” The study also suggests “that b-caryophyllene has an anxiolytic and antidepressant activity in a CB2 receptor-dependent manner.”
For the study, “five healthy volunteers” between the age of 30 and 57 were examined and monitored. By scrutinizing the participant’s “brain wave activity and ANS parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and skin temperature, as well as the assessment of mood states through comparative measures,” the study made some groundbreaking observations with regards to terpenes.
“The changes in ANS parameters (heart frequency, skin temperature, and diastolic blood pressure) can be explained by the α-pinene activity on the parasympathetic system and limonene activity on the sympathetic system action. Komiya et al. found that limonene increases serotonin in the prefrontal cortex, and dopamine (DA) in hippocampus mediated via 5-HT1A. This determines the direct activation of the sympathetic system. At levels of CNS [central nervous system] activity, alpha and theta waves increased indicating a relaxing effect and antidepressant and antianxiety effect due to the β-caryophyllene and limonene.”