I think we can all agree; it’s time for the cold and flu season (also looking at YOU, Coronavirus) to ride off into a pretty spring sunset. Unfortunately, some viruses don’t know when to call it a night (or season). With that in mind, we compiled a list of our favorite immunity-enhancing terpenes and nutrients with ideas on how to use them, plus, a special guest: CBD.
Eat the Rainbow
First thing’s first: there is no amount of terpenes or supplements you can take that will offset some of the unhealthy snacks you may have purchased while panic shopping. I’m right there with you, I never thought Flamin’ Hot Cheetos would be my 3 pm go-to, but here we are.
However, that STOPS TODAY. Mostly, because I ate all my snacks and I’m honoring social distancing. So a trip to the store for munchies is off the table indefinitely.
Fortunately, the produce drawer in our refrigerator resembles a rainbow right now, filled with ingredients experts say have significant immune health benefits. Eating the rainbow basically means fill up on fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats. The idea is to load up on some essential nutrients to promote overall wellness; here are some of the heaviest hitters:
Vitamin C (found in broccoli, cauliflower, and citrus, to name a few)
- Helps your immune system stay healthy and can quell the onset of a common cold1
Vitamin D (found in salmon, cheese, and egg yolks – also from the sun)
- Helps your body battle bacteria and viruses2
Zinc (found in meat, shellfish, and eggs)
- Can defend against toxins and help your body produce virus-fighting cells3
Turmeric (often found in curry powder)
- Can support your immune system and promotes healthy inflammation response4
Terpenes for Immunity
Now that we’ve covered what you’re eating let’s talk about what you’re smoking, vaping, or diffusing: Terpenes. When you’re aiming for a healthy immune response, terpenes – the compounds that create scents and flavors in plants – can help. Many have anti-inflammatory properties, and others even have anti-viral and anti-cancer benefits. Here are some of our favorites and where to find them:
Linalool (found in lavender, birch bark, basil)
- Anti-inflammatory and activates immune system5
Caryophyllene (found in cinnamon, parsley, holy basil)
- Anti-inflammatory and can reduce chemicals that cause oxidative stress (antioxidant)6
- Beta-Pinene (found in parsley, celery, rosemary)
- Anti-stress, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory7
Myrcene (found in mangoes, hops, lemongrass)
- Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer8
Humulene (found in hops, sage, cardamom)
- Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory9
Limonene (found in citrus, dill, mint)
- Anti-viral and anti-inflammatory10
How To Enjoy Terpenes
You don’t have to consume these terpenes to experience their benefits. Just inhaling them via aromatherapy or in essential oils can be helpful. That said, some studies show that having direct contact with terpenes (consuming them) can have even more positive effects on the body (https://www.medchemexpress.com/alpha-pinene.html).
Related Article: How To Enjoy Cannabis Without Getting High
The good news is if you’d like to enjoy these terpenes with cannabis, just ask your Budtender for a strain that includes a few of them. Generally, myrcene will make you more tired than other terpenes, and limonene will give you an energy boost, these are the two most common terpenes in cannabis, so after you establish how you’d like to feel when using cannabis, then you can fine-tune the experience by finding a variety of terpene profiles that work for you.
CBD For Immunity
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the potential immune-enhancing benefits of one particular cannabinoid, CBD. First, some bad news: an article was circulating in mid-March that CBD could actually treat coronavirus. This is patently false, AKA Fake News. Also, as with most things cannabis, A LOT more research needs to be conducted to say conclusively that CBD can bolster immunity.
That said, CBD does have anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies have shown it can also work as an immune suppressor. This means it can affect your immune system if it is hyperactive or weakened. CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits can help create homeostasis or overall balance in your body. CBD’s anti-inflammatory power can reduce pain and sinus pressure and support your endocannabinoid system with helps your immune system.
Back away from the Flaming Hots, enjoy anti-inflammatory terpenes and CBD (talk to your doctor before trying CBD), and wash your hands.
Related Article: Got Anxiety? Terpenes and Meditation Can Help