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Cannabis Terpenes: What are They, exactly?

17 November 2022 / Category: Blog
Cannabis Terpenes_ What are They, exactly

You may have recently come across the less frequently used phrase “terpenes” in addition to more typical cannabis terminology like cannabinoid, indica, and sativa. Terpenes are another substance found in marijuana.

What do we really need to know about terpenes? Cannabis terpenes are aromatic oils that are produced by the cannabis plant. These oils give cannabis its unique smell and flavor. Terpenes are also found in other plants, fruits, and herbs.

Terpenes are important to understand because they can affect the smell, taste, and overall experience of consuming cannabis. They can also contribute to the therapeutic effects of cannabis. Some people may want to purchase a cannabis product with a high concentration of a certain terpene if they are looking for a specific desired effect.

As described by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis. Together with the cannabinoids, terpenes illustrate synergic and/or entourage effect and their interactions have only been speculated in for the last few decades.”

What exactly do they do?

It is believed that terpenes protect plants against predators and bad weather. What they do in people is still somewhat of a mystery. Terpenes, however, are becoming a more popular method for cannabis consumers and researchers to categorize cannabis products and forecast their effects.

Several hundred terpenes can be found in a single cannabis flower. Here are some of the most well-known cannabis terpenes now in use, most of which may be found in locally available, legal cannabis products.


With its spicy and floral undertones, this terpene is primarily to blame for the scent that makes marijuana so distinctive. Lavender, mint, cinnamon, and coriander all contain linalool. It’s intriguing since it shares these aromatic herbs’ potent hypnotic and calming qualities.

Linalool-containing cannabis may be of interest to those who enjoy using lavender in aromatherapy since it may help reduce stress.

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

These two cannabis terpenes have a pine tree scent, which is another plant in which they are abundant. Rosemary, orange peels, basil, parsley, and cannabis are among the other plants high in pinene.

If you’ve ever taken a stroll through a redwood grove, you’re familiar with the scent of beta-pinene, which may also have anti-cancer and anti-depressant qualities.


Given that all citrus fruits contain significant amounts of this chemical, limonene provides strains with a zesty aroma reminiscent of lemons. Both cleaning goods and cosmetics include limonene.

Limonene, one of the most widely distributed terpenes, has distinct citrus undertones and may have anti-cancer qualities. It has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects in mice.


The most prevalent terpene in cannabis, and the one that is most frequently encountered in nature, is myrcene. In fact, according to one study, some strains’ overall terpene profiles contain as much as 65% myrcene. Myrcene smell frequently conjures up earthy, musky overtones reminiscent of cloves.

Myrcene, which can be found in mangoes, has antifungal, antibacterial properties, and could contain sedative, effects.


The first terpene discovered in hops was humulene. Its perfume features tones of wood, earth, and spice. In addition to cannabis, it is present in clove, sage, and black pepper and has several medicinal qualities. Humulene is anti-proliferative, which means it stops the growth of cancer cells, according to a preliminary study.

It has also shown to fight bacterial infections, lowers inflammation, and soothes pain, just like many of the other cannabis terpenes discussed above.

Terpenes are essential for a cannabis strain’s flavor and aroma. They may cause euphoric effects in concert with cannabinoids and other elements found in the cannabis plant.

Please keep in mind that this content was published for informational purposes and is not intended to provide legal or medical advice.

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