I know more than likely you’re probably thinking right now along the lines of magic mushrooms, otherwise scientifically known as psilocybin. I’m a TerpNerd. Why would I bring up mushrooms?

Would you be surprised if I were to tell you that, yes indeed, the mushrooms we encounter on almost a daily basis also contain terpenes.

That’s right, the fungi kingdom is littered with terpenes. These are not your stereotypical terpenes like linalool or limonene.

Rather, they are a class of compounds called “triterpenes” (contains six isoprenes or 30 hydrocarbons) that have several biological activities: anti-cancer properties, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.

All animals, yes, humans too, plants and fungi produce triterpenes, including squalene, which is the precursor to all steroids.

OK, that’s enough super-scientific breakdown.

One reason I would like to bring awareness to the mushroom world and its newly developing research is because I strongly believe we are on the verge of the next industry in the health and wellness world. I have recently been diving into the studies of triterpenes specifically for their potential cytotoxic (cancer cell killing) value.

Research has suggested it could become an alternative method for treating cancer without all the harsh side effects of something such as chemotherapy. But that’s just one.

The potential is there for not only cancer but also many conditions: diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, cognitive support, immune support.

As we’re all becoming more aware and educated on the various levels of compounds found in all living organisms, it is our responsibility to come together to reach out, inform, support, and share this wealth of information.

This is your local TerpNerd signing off this month’s issue of the amazing Alaska Cannabist magazine and reminding you all that sometimes ignorance is not bliss.

Anthony Dellapietro lives in Wasilla. He owns NuLyfe Labs LLC.

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