Cannabis Components Terpenes Tested for Neuropathic Pain What are the main findings?

Response: Moving forward, we wanted to further test the profile of these terpenes as a therapeutic. This meant testing their effects in a pain model relevant to actual pain patients, as well as other therapeutic variables like side effects and routes of delivery.

What we found is that all 5 terpenes showed very strong pain relief in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain, equivalent to morphine. They also produced stronger pain relief when combined with morphine (but not cannabinoid). They did so while not causing any sign of reward or addiction, and with modest to low other side effects. We further found that the terpenes acted to produce this pain relief via Adenosine A2a Receptors in the spinal cord. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Terpenes could be a potential new non-opioid, non-cannabinoid drug for the treatment of pain with low side effects. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We have a lot of work still to do on terpenes in pain. We need to test other relevant pain types like post-surgical pain and fibromyalgia. These studies are ongoing in our lab. We also need to understand how terpenes change the rewarding and addictive properties of opioids. We’ve found that at the same time while terpenes are enhancing opioid pain relief, they are blocking opioid reward. We need to further understand this interaction, with the potential to develop opioid/terpene combination therapies which might be more effective and less addictive. We also need to further develop terpenes as real patient therapies, which means figuring out how best to formulate and deliver them to patients. Lastly, we need to further understand their mechanism by which they produce pain relief.

Disclosures: I am an equity holder in Botanical Results, LLC, a cannabidiol company that makes products formulated with terpenes. The company had no role in funding, performing, or reporting our study.


Schwarz AM, Keresztes A, Bui T, Hecksel RJ, Peña A, Lent B, Gao ZG, Gamez-Rivera M, Seekins CA, Chou K, Appel TL, Jacobson KA, Al-Obeidi FA, Streicher JM. Terpenes from Cannabis sativa Induce Antinociception in Mouse Chronic Neuropathic Pain via Activation of Spinal Cord Adenosine A2A Receptors. bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Mar 29:2023.03.28.534594. doi: 10.1101/2023.03.28.534594. Update in: Pain. 2024 May 2;: PMID: 37034662; PMCID: PMC10081257.

The information on is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

Last Updated on May 30, 2024 by