How to Use Spearmint Essential Oil with Cannabis – Terpene 101

Learn how Spearmint essential oil, with its unique terpene profile, complements many of the terpenes in cannabis. Click here to read more.

Spearmint Essential Oil is one of the most commonly known essential oils thanks to its extensive use in the food and drink industry. Most people tend not to think of it beyond toothpaste, but there is a lot of therapeutic value to the oil. In fact, it benefits us in ways that may surprise you.

Extraction is obtained by steam distillation of the dried tops and leaves of the herb. The essential oil extract is a pale yellow oil that is thin and fluid. It has a fresh, minty aroma that is sweeter than Peppermint. There are several varieties that are all usable, so don’t be surprised if the INCI has different names.

The INCI of Spearmint Essential Oil is usually Mentha Spicata Oil, but you may also see other names like Mentha Viridis Oil. INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, whereby ingredients used in cosmetics are identified and categorised. It is widely adhered to in the EU where the CosIng website gives free information. 

INCI’s original function was to make sure that, if you knew you were allergic to a certain product such as peanut oil, that oils could be called several different things locally in different countries. By using the INCI, there is only one name for that ingredient and if you see it on the label of the product you are looking at, you would know that it contains that ingredient, and you wouldn’t buy it.

History of Spearmint Essential Oil

This goes back for centuries. Possibly the oldest recorded use is from Ancient Greece, where the fresh herb was used to clean the teeth as a paste. Even then, the compounds and molecules of the plant species had a medicinal value to keep the gums and mouth clean, as well as have a fresh, minty aroma.

There was a fashion in the era to scent different parts of your body with different herbs by rubbing the herbs in. The “correct” place to apply Spearmint was on the arms. You know what fashions are like now? Well, it seems we haven’t changed too much in thousands of years with many people all wanting to be doing the latest thing.

The Bible mentions it as a high-quality and high value herb. The plant was spread from Rome to the rest of Europe by the Ancient Romans. Growing Spearmint was easy, as it grows like a weed. It can be quite invasive and does not need lots of cultivation to survive.

In Medieval times, macerated Spearmint was often added to milk, as it seemed to stop it curdling and going sour for a few days longer than normal. This was in the days before refrigeration, of course.

Spearmint tea has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive disorders and headaches.

Chemical Profile of Spearmint Essential Oil
Chemical Profile of Spearmint Essential Oil

Chemical Profile of Spearmint Essential Oil

Spearmint essential oil is primarily composed of monoterpenes and their derivatives, making up to 76-90% of the oil’s composition. Here are the most important ones.

Carvone is the major constituent, depending on the plant source. It acts more as a ketone than a terpene, and it’s what gives the plant its signature aroma, as well as having some potent medicinal properties. Carvone is antibacterial and antioxidant, which also makes it a good anti-inflammatory agent. It’s also an amazingly effective antifungal agent. It is also a relaxant, expectorant, carminative, and a diuretic.

Limonene helps other compounds and cannabinoids penetrate the skin in topical applications, which boosts the overall efficacy of a blend. It’s a good antioxidant (therefore a good anti-inflammatory agent), antifungal, and a stimulant.

1,8-Cineole is a monoterpene alcohol that is a potent analgesic, which is why Spearmint is used for toothaches and muscle rubs.  It is also known as Eucalyptol that helps to clear chest congestion and help you to breathe deeper. It’s a good anti-inflammatory agent, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. That’s quite a powerful terpene!

Caryophyllene is a wonderful terpene that is a good antiseptic and works synergistically with the small amount of menthol in the oil to inhibit the growth of bacteria and reduce skin infections. The oil does have a good reputation as a wound healer and is anti-inflammatory. There is research ongoing about its efficacy as a skin treatment for various skin conditions, including eczema and acne.

Myrcene is sedative and anxiolytic, which makes it a very calming oil when applied in a dilution topically. This terpene also works when the oil is inhaled when using a diffuser. There is an irony that the effects of Myrcene terpene from essential oils are far less researched than the Myrcene terpene from cannabis! It’s a good analgesic as well as being anti-inflammatory, which makes it cooling and refreshing to tired muscles.

Pinene covers both Alpha-Pinene and Beta-Pinene terpenes. It’s quite a blockbuster combination that you will recognise for their refreshing, soothing smell, commonly used in fragrances, household products, food flavourings, and cleaning products. It relieves congestion in the respiratory tract and reduces inflammation there. This helps with asthma. It’s a good expectorant, making it easier to shift mucous and phlegm.

It’s calming and reduces stress and anxiety. This in turn improves the immune system. It boosts your mood and engenders positivity and happiness. It will boost mental clarity and cognitive function. As a good analgesic, it helps to soothe headaches and migraines.It reduces inflammation in the gut such as with IBS and improves digestion and nutrient absorption. 

In skincare products it calms down itchy skin and an irritated scalp while helping to speed the healing process.

Linalool reduces inflammation and eases pain. It calms down anxiety and reduces stress. This helps massively with relaxation. This terpene is known for its sedative effect and improves sleep quality by helping you get to sleep, stay asleep and then wake up the next day feeling refreshed.

Safety Considerations with Spearmint Essential Oil

It is considered to be a very safe oil to use when diluted correctly with a carrier oil. Just add a few drops to start with. Always read up first to check for contraindications and use safely. If you know you have sensitive skin, do a patch test and check for a reaction after 24 hours.

If you use way too much (which you should never do with any essential oil), it can irritate the mucous membranes. Even a deep sniff directly from the bottle may make your nose itchy.

The other adverse effect is if you take homeopathic remedies, Spearmint Essential Oil may antidote the remedy. Peppermint Essential Oil is more likely to do that, but there is still a chance with Spearmint Oil.

Cannabis Strain to Complement Spearmint Essential Oil

There are several cannabis strains that will complement Spearmint essential oil and most strains will contain Myrcene as it is the most abundant terpene in the cannabis plant. However, Blue Dream is a very well-balanced hybrid cannabis strain, being 50/50 sativa and indica. The flower is known for being mentally stimulating whilst physically relaxing, alleviating anxiety, stress and mild pain. 

It has a THC content of about 17% to 24%. The CBD content can vary depending on where it is grown but can vary from 1% to 10%. Vaping your cannabis flower while using a Spearmint-infused skincare product like a body lotion or hand cream is a straight forward idea, or you could decarboxylate the cannabis buds for either CBD or THC and then use it in a formulation of your own. This blog post shows you how to make your own amazing cannabis-infused lotion.

Another way to concentrate cannabis flowers is to make a tincture. The POT by NOIDS is the best machine overall in my opinion, and will not only decarboxylate your cannabis for CBD or THC to use in capsules, but also make an oil infusion as well as a tincture. It will safely evaporate the alcohol off for you to use again another time. 

POT by NOIDS Herbal Decarboxylator
POT by NOIDS Herbal Decarboxylator

Therapeutic Uses Of Spearmint Essential Oil

Spearmint Essential Oil uses are numerous, so here are some suggestions.

Dermatitis: It really soothes itchy skin and can take the heat out of a hot, irritated rash on the skin. This makes it useful for eczema, especially itchy eczema. You can even add a few drops of the oil to your shampoo to soothe an itchy scalp. Adding essential oils like Roma Chamomile to the blend will make it even more effective.

Acne: The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of the oil help to clear up acne and stop spots from getting infected. It will also help the spots to heal better, reducing the likelihood of scars of pockmarks. Lavender essential oil will work very well with Spearmint for helping with acne.

Sebum Reduction: It will help to balance sebum production, reducing oily skin. Great news if you suffer with acne. Adding it to Hazelnut Oil will make this effect even stronger.

Gym Performance Gels: It is frequently used in sports gels and massage lotions for pre gym warm up as well as post workout. It also works well as a topical oil when mixed with a carrier oil like Coconut oil. If it comes to a decision between Spearmint vs Peppermint, why not combine both? Peppermint essential oil is more cooling because Spearmint contains less menthol, but they both work well together. Adding Rosemary essential oil will further enhance this blend for easing tight muscles.

Foot Creams: Spearmint is cooling and antifungal. That’s going to help clear up athlete’s foot between the toes. It’s also wonderfully refreshing if you get hot or sweaty feet. It works great in foot gels as well.

Room Fragrancing: Using it in an essential oil diffuser cleanses the air in a room and is calming. Many parents know that a drop of Spearmint oil in a room diffuser is a safe way to inhale the oil. It helps to get the children settled down for the night. This diffuse is a good one

Loxim essential oil diffuser
Loxim essential oil diffuser

Combining Spearmint and Cannabis

This can be done in a few different ways.

One way is to decarboxylate the cannabis and then infuse it in oil. The oil can be used as it is directly on your body. Another way is to incorporate the cannabis-infused oil into a cream or lotion for a more elegant application that has additional benefits.

Another way is to use a CBD Isolate which is a water-soluble concentrate that can also be added to gels, creams and lotions. These are so easy to make yourself at home.

Esoteric Aspects and the 7 Chakras

My training was in Clinical Aromatherapy was truly holistic and brought in herbalism and the esoteric aspects, which I really resonated with. If you work with the chakras, Spearmint Essential Oil resonates with;

  • 4th Chakra / Heart Chakra – this is about emotional healing, good mental health and unconditional love.
  • 5th Chakra / Throat Chakra – this is about voicing your personal truth and being creative.
  • 6th Chakra / Third Eye Chakra – this is about self-learning apart from the physical world.

If you are feeling passionate about learning more about essential oils and making your own professional skincare products, Purodem is the ONLY school that 100% I recommend. Based in the UK, their online classes are available to you wherever you are in the world.  The course content is not only highly researched and informative but, just as importantly in my opinion, comes from first hand experience.

The course director has run her own highly successful spa, made all the products, produced white label products for other companies and is fully accredited school with the International Federation of Aromatherapists. You will be fully insurable for working as a therapist as well as formulating skincare products for retail sale.

Conclusion

As you have seen,  Spearmint Essential Oil is much more than a common ingredient in toothpaste. With its rich history and extensive beneficial properties, it offers numerous advantages in skincare. Its fresh, minty aroma and various chemical compounds provide powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Whether used for soothing dermatitis, enhancing gym performance, or promoting relaxation through aromatherapy, Spearmint Essential Oil proves to be a versatile and valuable addition to any wellness routine. By understanding its full potential, we can appreciate the ways this essential oil can contribute to our overall health and well-being.

glass laboratory flask with cannabis leaves

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