AromaChill: New Terpene Delivery Method Aims To Sniff Out Insomnia With Cannabis
Editors note: Robert Bornn & Laura Worth are President & Vice President of LifeSense Technologies. They are the creators of the AromaChill relaxation system, a direct-delivery aromatherapy device.
As we know, the fragrant essence of plants, including cannabis, comes from naturally occurring molecules, called terpenes. There’s more than 2,000 terpene varieties in all kinds of combinations that evolved in plants to keep predators away and attract animal and plant pollinators.
Essential oils used in conventional aromatherapy derive from the extraction of these terpenes and their infusion into oils. National Institutes of Health says that aromatherapy is the inhalation of the scent of essential oils that are extracted from plants, often from under the surface of leaves, bark, or from peel. The term essential oil in this context means the “fragrant essence” of the plant.
When terpenes are nasally inhaled they cross the blood-brain barrier into the olfactory bulb where nerve pathways allow chemical reactions to travel into the limbic system. This primitive brain structure regulates emotion, mood, and behavior.
Terpenes & Their Effect On Relaxation, Insomnia
Many plants (ex. hops, lavender, citrus, pine, black pepper) have a reputation for fragrance that can make people feel more relaxed or help promote sleep. The scents that will most likely help with relaxation and insomnia are found in certain terpenes that have been used for years in herbal medicine. In cannabis, these primary terpenes include myrcene, linalool, limonene, a-pinene, and beta caryophyllene.
Most cannabis cultivars exquisitely combine these relaxing, sleep promoting terpenes into a unique bouquet. One promise from the explosion of cannabis research in 2014 includes a better understanding of how cannabis terpenes affect the human body, both separately and in combination with other cannabis molecules such as the better-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD.
Many terpenes have been used over the years in folk medicine (from the East and West) and are incorporated into the practice of herbal medicine today. In fact, a small study funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests that lavender can help people relax and limit the agitation of Alzheimer patients.
Aromatherapy: Flaws In Traditional Terpene Delivery
Aromatherapy is typically delivered by infusing an entire room with essential oils, applying an essential oil topically in bath salts or in a lotion, or using a personal inhaler that typically delivers terpenes to room air when the user waves a tube containing essential oil near the face or under the nose.
“Over-exposure to lavender by spa workers was associated with a higher incidence of elevated blood pressure for many of the spa workers even though more limited exposure was beneficial.”
These approaches are not optimal for many situations. It may not be cost-effective or desirable to infuse an entire room with a scent. Oversaturation may result in loss of effectiveness when a user becomes too acclimated to the terpenes for them to remain effective.
Fragrance from the application of an aromatic lotion or from a personal inhaler can also linger or permeate a room unpleasantly when it’s not appropriate.
In addition, results from a study published in 2012 seemed to send a cautionary message about overexposure to lavender: over-exposure to lavender by spa workers was associated with a higher incidence of elevated blood pressure for many of the spa workers even though more limited exposure was beneficial. This would indicate that a means of controlling the length of time exposed to certain terpenes may be important.
Overheating of terpenes may occur when cannabis is smoked or vaped, rendering the terpenes impotent. When plants are exposed to sunlight, heat, and oxygen, decomposition and oxidation may also result in the deterioration of terpene potency.
AromaChill Aims To Revolutionize Relaxation, Improve Aromatherapy
With this in mind, the AromaChill relaxation system – a new direct delivery method for aromatherapy – aims to improve on these methods. It is currently available through crowdfunding on Indiegogo.
In this new method of consuming cannabis terpenes, nasal inhalation of chilled air can draw powerfully relaxing terpenes into the nose from a cannabis bud or cannabis-infused oil. Care can be taken to preserve the terpene, protecting it from overheating and oxidation from the environment.
The AromaChill relaxation system uses a unique airflow system that can be used with cannabis and other herbs or flowers to deliver the power of aromatherapy to your nose, not the whole room!
In this new system, three factors work together to stand up to stress and insomnia: relaxing terpenes, pleasantly chilled fragrant air, and mindful breathing.
As a powerful option to increase effectiveness of relaxing terpenes, this new system can deliver slightly chilled air when it is stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Simply breathing slightly chilled air through the nose seems to help limit over-active, stressed and sleepless states of mind.
Further, AromaChill offers a simple, but sophisticated wellness aid to encourage a few moments — or more — of mindful breathing. It allows the mind to focus on the sensation of chilled, fragrant air passing through the nose into the lungs where it is warmed and then exhaled through the mouth.
The AromaChill relaxation system is hand-held and huggable, the first-of-its-kind. You simply hold the system’s soft mask to your nose and inhale slowly and deeply, exhaling through your mouth. Air passes into the nose through the system’s small aroma-chamber that is filled with your favorite cannabis cultivar or other herb.
The next morning when it’s time to replace the flower, you can still vape or smoke it! The next time you’re stressed out or can’t sleep, consider a whole new way to stop and smell the terpenes. You can enjoy deep, fragrant inhalations of chilled, aromatic cannabis terpenes and know that they’re more than just another pretty smell!
Based in Washington State, LifeSense Technologies is a privately held, limited liability company founded by Robert Bornn and Laura Worth in 2011. It was established to develop and commercialize their proprietary AromaChill relaxation invention.