Terpenes and cannabinoids are phytochemicals that are synthesised by plants for their metabolic needs. Both terpenes and cannabinoids are bioavailable in animals and humans and when absorbed they, along with their metabolites, can have effects on the central nervous system. Both terpenes and cannabinoids have been shown to improve mood disorders such as anxiety and depression when supplemented into the diet of mammals. The endocannabinoid system in mammals is understood to interact directly with cannabinoids produced by plants. Terpenes in contrast may interact indirectly with the central nervous system through their antioxidant mechanisms. It has been suggested that the addition of terpenes to cannabinoids is more effective as a treatment for mood disorder than either compound alone, and based on their very different mechanisms of action, this seems plausible. The best way to ensure that optimal amounts of mood elevating chemicals are consumed is by eating a plant rich diet.
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