All around you, at all times, there is a furious war happening. You
probably can’t see it unless you’re cosmic. And you may not be able to smell it. If you were a bug, however, you’d likely be able to inhale what’s happening in your community. You could also be annihilated by a shoe, but that’s a different story. The unseen battle that’s going on is mammoth and a sizeable chunk of the instigation and the armaments are coming from plants. The plant’s fragrant weaponry can be manufactured to bolster its armory against insect and mammalian herbivores or fungi.
Terpenes are not just strictly phyto-weaponry, however. Some plants require a mutual relationship with other species, such as the pollination of various plants by bees. Terpenes tempt pollinators and insectivores to come visit the plant, and spend some quality time imbibing what the plant has to offer. Thus, it’s been said that terpenes can serve as a means of communication. Acting as a chemical radio wave propelled across space-time, the terpene
carries a message.
These aromatic molecules have been adorned in the scientific literature as providing therapeutic properties for us from studies on chronic pain, mood/depression, anxiety, insomnia, respiration, gastrointestinal conditions, and as having anti-cancer applications, to name an ultra-limited few.