Cannabis Components Terpenes Tested for Neuropathic Pain Interview with:
John M. Streicher, PhD
Member of the Graduate Faculty
Professor, Neuroscience – GIDP
Professor, Pharmacology
College of Medicine, Tucson
University of Arizona What is the background for this study?

Response: Cannabis has many chemical components that have potential therapeutic benefits, however, the great majority of research to date has focused on the major cannabinoids THC and CBD. In the past, different groups have tested the pharmacological effects of terpenes, which are small aromatic compounds in Cannabis and other plants that impart taste and aroma. They found pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, in both pre-clinical and clinical studies. However, those studies mostly did not test the therapeutic aspects of terpenes like side effects and dosing routes, and the mechanism of action in pain is also mostly unclear.

We thus began our studies by comprehensively testing a set of 5 terpenes for their pharmacological and therapeutic effects. In 2021, we published a paper showing the terpenes had cannabinoid-like behavioral effects, and also worked through the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 and the Adenosine A2a Receptor to carry out these effects. We also found that they had stronger effects when combined with a cannabinoid.