Expert Insights: Do terpenes in cannabis relieve pain?

Many people are familiar with cannabis, but John Streicher, PhD, takes a closer look at the plant’s aromatic chemical compounds called terpenes. These compounds may be a novel way to treat pain without the negative side effects of cannabinoids or opioids.

As an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, he is also a member of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center with an interest in understanding the link between drugs and the effects they have in the human body. Recent research by Dr. Streicher and his team revealed that cannabis-based terpenes, most commonly known in the form of essential oils, have pain-relieving properties without mood and behavior altering effects.