Cannabis 101

Understanding Olfaction Terpenes

To become an expert in terpenes, you must first understand olfaction.

There are many scientists and cannabis practitioners that welcome increased research in the terpene sciences as even more important than the research into cannabinoids. When you begin to understand the power of olfaction, you will understand why these feelings are based in good cause. Few substances can create most lasting change, more quickly than are terpenes.

A terpene is a volatile aromatic molecule that is produced by flowers and plants, including hemp/cannabis. There are over 200 terpenes present in hemp while there are over 50,000 additional, different terpenes that exist in the natural plant world. The science of Olfaction has proven that terpenes have powerful effects in activating various receptor groups in the brain and body, controlling a variety of physiological and psychological events. For example, the inhalation of specific terpene blends can quickly create a calm, relaxed mental state while a different terpene set can create an aroused, highly energetic mind state.

It all starts with a Biological Target. By definition a Biological Target is anything within a living organism to which some other entity like a drug or signal triggering molecule (odor), is directed and/or binds. Examples of Biological Targets are receptors and enzymes.

When the Biological Target is reached, it triggers a response in the organism. All responses either occur in the brain or are processed through the brain.

The fastest known way of reaching a Biological Target is through odor given the fact that the olfactory bulb is the closest functional part of the brain to the outside world. In fact, of the 12 cranial nerves the olfactory nerve is the shortest (therefore the fastest) and only one of two nerves (the optic nerve being the other) that does not end in the remote area of the brain known as the brain stem.

That should be simple to understand for everyone. This is part of the body of proven scientific knowledge called Olfaction (The Science of Smell).

Let’s use the example of Relaxation. Using a combination of PET Scans and fMRIs science can easily map the area of the brain that induces relaxation. Most fundamentally those areas are the anterior ventral cingulate cortex and the prefrontal cortex. Those are the bright yellow areas in the front of the brain. Triggering those areas generate calming signals sent out to the body. So, the Biological Target for Relaxation is the receptors in those specific areas of the brain.

Given the fact that we know the Biological Target, all we need to do is discover how to activate it. We can learn this through meditation practice which often times takes years or through behavior modification techniques with a trained psychologist which often times take months. Or we can rely on the drug companies for solutions which may only take 20-30 minutes after oral ingestion of a compound but there are a slew of potential negative side effects to the body. Finally, we can rely on olfaction science which takes seconds and has no negative side effects whatsoever.

The choice is yours; in each case the Biological Target will be hit. Logically, though, olfaction is the obvious choice.

In our example case of relaxation after years of study we uncovered the exact aromatic triggers for Biological Target associated with relaxation in the brain. When that target is reached, impulses are sent out to the various parts of the brain and body allowing you to feel relaxed or even blissful.

It’s that simple.

We chose relaxation as our example because the Biological Target is very close to the Olfactory Bulb and Olfactory Nerve in the front part of the brain. In other words, you don’t need a powerful aromatic trigger to hit the Biological Target. The triggering aroma can be placed in a very powerful stimulus device like a vaping pen or far less powerful devices like air diffusers or perfumes.  

Let’s look at how things change a bit when we deal with a very remote, hard to reach area of the brain like the Ventral Tegmental Area which is the reward center of the brain for certain substances. As an example, we will use nicotine. Science knows that the Biological Target involves excitation to GABA and Dopamine receptors in the VTA and an inhibition of Glutamine receptors in the VTA.

Here is a picture of the VTA. See how deeply it is buried in the brain.

It can still be reached with the proper aromatic trigger but the stimulus device must be stronger. Exciting that area with diffuser is far harder than with a vaping device which delivers the aromatic trigger powerfully to both the epithelial cells of the nose and more direct nasopharynx in the back of the throat at the base of the olfactory bulb. In other words, it is possible to find relaxation through a weaker aromatic stimulus due to the proximity of the Biological Target to the Olfactory Bulb than more remote areas like nicotine reward or hunger suppression which lie deeper in the brain.

Vaping Terpenes

The Oxford Dictionaries word of the year for 2014 was "vaping"  In 2013, it was "selfie" so that is pretty nice company to keep. The Oxford people might not have known it but there was actually great scientific validity for selecting a word dealing with olfaction, as the entire field will soon explode with interest. Every day we breathe over 23,000 times and move over 400 cubic feet of air. Aside from the intake of oxygen, in the two seconds it takes to inhale, molecules of odor flood through our systems. Potentially, some of these molecules are capable of triggering biochemical changes in the brain and body. You simply need the right odor molecules in the proper intensity to create the stimulus that leads to the desired change.

For certain behavioral results (i.e. smoking cessation, mood elevation, etc.), olfaction is stronger than most oral or injectable drugs and virtually every herb. In fact, overall, the most powerful brain stimuli are now known to be of an olfactory nature, due to the direct proximal connection that the brain has with the olfactory bulb and related olfactory areas. In order to create lifestyle improvement and/or harm reduction you simply must know what specific area of the brain is responsible for the desired behavior and present the appropriate olfaction stimulant that turns on (or off) the targeted area. Extremely effective, incredibly fast and completely benign – olfaction is the future of consumer care products.

The Complexity of Olfaction

The sense of smell is highly complex. This can be demonstrated in dozens of ways. Here are my four favorite ways:

First, the blueprint of the human body is considered by all of science to be the human genome. In the genome, the more genes that are associated with a function, the more the complexity and biological importance of that function.

#1 is the Immune System

#2 is Smell

Interestingly and shocking to everyone back in the early 2000’s when the results of the Human Genome Project was announced, Smell was more important than even Reproduction. Through important research now we understand why. In the case of Reproduction which is obviously very important genetically, we have learned that the sperm cell actually uses smell to find the egg cell to begin the process. Uncovering facts like this about smell drive home the reality that the smell is as important as any system in the body.

Second, you would probably guess that vision is far more complex and important than smell. You would be very wrong. Vision is about perceiving colors and all colors seen by the eye actually link back to recognizing three primary colors. The brain however can detect up to 10,000 distinct odors through use of an extensive number of the body’s most important type of receptor – the G protein coupled receptor. Put simply, 10,000 is larger than 3.

Third, staying with the highly critical G Protein Coupled Receptor, although these receptors are scattered throughout the body and associated with nearly every bodily system, there is evidence that over 40% of these receptors are attached to smell. Interestingly, all cannabinoid receptors in the Endocannabinoid System are G protein coupled receptors.

A fourth really interesting area of study demonstrating the complexity of olfaction involves the existence of neurogenesis in the adult brain, the process through which new neurons are produced and integrated throughout the course of life. For the most part, the brain is incapable of making new neurons in adulthood. In fact, neurogenesis only happens in two very important areas of the brain. First, it occurs in the hippocampus where new neurons are formed and integrated in the process of creating memory. Memory is such a dynamically, complex process; this makes perfect sense. The second area is the olfactory bulb (OB). Does that surprise you? Don’t feel badly if it did since the world’s top neuroscientists still don’t understand why. But there was a very recent hint that set off a wildfire of interest in the scientific community. A study was published in May of 2015 in Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, a scientific Journal, showing that depressed and suicidal adults have virtually no neurogenesis in the OB as compared to normal, healthy adults. There is speculation now that olfaction might play a prominent role in preserving mental health and life itself.

The bottom line is that smell holds as important a role in the body as walls due in the blueprint of a home. If we want to perform optimally and live epically then we should harness the power of smell to create fast, complete and safe changes in our lives.

The Sense of Smell is Very Important in Unusual Ways

1. Sniff and Swim: For years scientists have wondered how exactly sperm cells find an egg to enable conception. It turns out that sperm cells smell the aroma of the ovaries and egg cells and then begin their mad swim toward them. It is a process now referred to as attraction chemotaxis. Interestingly it turns out that as good as mice are at smelling cheese in a maze and finding it, experiments in scent dilution show that mice sperm are even better at finding mice eggs than are adult mice at finding cheese.

2. Sniff and Suck: The sense of smell is the first of all our senses to develop. Even before we are born, our sense of smell is fully formed and functioning. Within a couple minutes of birth, newborn infants follow the breast odors emanating from their mother's nipple/areola region causing a head turning of the baby for the nipple and helps guide the baby to successful sucking for milk. Shortly thereafter newborns are able to easily recognize their own mother's unique odor signature which builds mother-infant attachment.

3. The Fine Smell of Old Age: Age smells better in things other than cheese. In most of the animal kingdom, females prefer the smell of older males. While science has yet (I stress the word yet) to definitively identify the role of sexual attraction pheromones in the world of humans they are the most essential aspect to most all mammal mating. Take pachyderm love for example. Female elephants much prefer the scent of older males to their younger counterparts. Given the choice, female elephants nearly always choose the scent of the older male. As technologies improve for identifying scent, there is no doubt that a rather subtle but complex human pheromone taxonomy will be discovered. It is interesting to speculate if a good smell and wrinkles will be chosen over muscles and a full head of hair.

4. Book ‘em Danno: Forget fingerprints, criminals will soon be identified by the scent that they leave behind. New crime scene analysis techniques are proving that human scent can remain at the scene of a crime for days or longer and that the unique chemical signature of an individual’s smell is far more complex and identifying than is their fingerprint.

5. What the TSA Nose: We are only a step or two away from a person’s passport being imprinted with their individual, unique smell. Science has proven that a person’s individual scent is a more complex and accurate identifier than is their finger print or retinal pattern. Trials are underway now mapping passports with scent and providing TSA officials with training on scent detection equipment.

6. A New Nose Monthly: You scent cells are renewed every 28 days. So in reality, you get a new nose every month.

7. Smell is Smart and Sensitive: Smell is the most sensitive of the senses. People can remember smells with 65% accuracy after a year, while visual recall is about 50% after three months.

8. Women Smell Better: A woman’s sense of smell is much stronger than a man’s. It is heightened even more in the first half of the menstrual cycle and reaches its peak when she is most fertile.

9. Smell is Everywhere: Historically, scientists believed quite logically that all our odor receptors were located in the nose and olfactory system, the same was our vision receptors are found in the eye and visual systems. Scientists around the world are now finding that odor receptors are not confined to the nose, they are actually located all throughout the body. Several papers have been published during the last few years, revealing olfactory receptors in skin, testes, lungs, liver, heart, kidneys, muscles, colon, sperm, and the list goes on. Another study suggests that odor receptors are a necessary component of the system that causes stem cells to morph into muscle's cells and replace damaged tissue.

One of the more interesting applications of olfaction and terpenes is The Ning™

The Ning™ is a tiny, very flexible, colorless, medical grade metal free, hypoallergenic, biocompatible plastic ring that looks a bit like a tiny horseshoe. You will barely feel The Ning™ against your nasal septum and since it is colorless you need to look hard to find it.

The Ning™ comes impregnated with different blends of terpenes found in cannabis and others found more generally in nature. Simply tear open the little pack and place the ring against the bridge of your nose. While difficult to feel or see The Ning™, the olfactory effects will be felt within the first few seconds.

Live the Ning Life™ and join the movement toward terpene-based products which represent the fastest, most effective and safest method of achieving true lifestyle change.

The science team at Mist Health Systems have uncovered and manufactured 16 different lifestyle formulas that are based in the terpene sciences. In fact, one of the earliest terpene-based products that they manufactured was Sensa®. Sensa® remains the best-selling natural weight loss product in the history of nutritional supplements.

Some formulas deal with concentration and memory while others enhance happiness or promote relaxation. There are formulas that stimulate male and female sexual function and others to help you gain weight or lose weight. There are terpene formulas dealing with energy, boosting the immune system, helping control pain or stabilize blood pressure – even one to promote harm reduction for those addicted to smoking.

Find Your Perfect Ning™

Cognitive and Affective Functions

Memory: is a lemon citrus scent. It supports and maintains memory responsiveness, increases cognitive function and controls negative thoughts and sadness.

Awake: is available in a citrus blend scent. It increases energy and alertness and gives hours of energy without caffeine or sugar crashes.

Chill: is a pleasant floral aroma. It is intended to reduce stress, reduce anxiety and give feelings of calmness and relaxation.

Focus: is a fresh earthy scent. It increases and maintains attention, increases focus and mental clarity and increases productivity and effectiveness.

Cheer: comes in a vanilla scent. This formula stimulates Dopamine production naturally so that you can get happy and stay happy. Enjoy life!

Smartzzz: is a rose like, light floral scent. Smartzzz supports in improved consolidation (average of 40% more) of memory during sleep.

Physical Functions

Gain: is a spicy, sweet scent. This formula helps increase appetite naturally to cause weight gain for those who are recovering from illness or injury.

Headache: is a rich zesty scent. It is a natural pain reliever for headaches or migraines and stimulates natural body healing.

BP: comes as a deep lavender scent. This formula stimulates natural body and brain health to lower blood pressure.

Immune: comes as oriental scent. It is intended to boost the immune system and promote natural health defenses to maintain healthy muscles and organs.

Smoke: is a lemony pepper scent. It helps prevent nicotine cravings and increases positive GABA and Dopamine production. Stop smoking the fast and easy way!

Eve: has an exotic scent. It stimulates female arousal and responsiveness and increases sexual desire and lubrication.

Adam: is an autumn fresh scent. It improves male sexual performance along with increased pleasure and sensation. Stay harder, stronger, longer.

Burn: comes as a citrus scent. This formula helps boost metabolism and burns more calories resulting in weight loss.

Thin: comes as a peppermint scent. This formula suppresses appetite and aids weight loss.

Hangover: is a rich citrus scent. This formula helps to quickly reduce fatigue, cognitive impairment, headaches and nausea common after drinking alcohol.

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