What Are Terpenes?

What Are Terpenes?

Whether you know it or not, you have experienced terpenes.

Terpenes are what give lemons the citrusy smell.

They are natural compounds which are found all throughout nature and determine how things smell.

Its been discovered that terpenes play a big role in the therapeutic effects of cannabis and hemp. Cannabinoids and terpenes work together in something called the “entourage effect”

The entourage effect is when different compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce a stronger effect than when each is taken alone. In other words, they boost each other’s effects when taken together.

One single compound is good but the whole plant together produces the most benefits because it maintains most of the plants compounds including terpenes and cannabinoids.

There are over 20 thousand terpenes in nature and cannabis/hemp has more than 100 terpenes in higher concentrations that in most other plants.

Here are the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis/hemp.

Myrcene terpene: Found in mangos

Many cannabis plants have up to 65 percent of their terpene profile made up by this terpene. The presence of myrcene is what will usually determines whether a specific strain is considered to be an indica or sativa. Plants with more than 0.5 percent myrcene are said to be indica. Myrcene is responsible for giving marijuana its distinctive aroma, and has relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Limonene terpene: Found in citrus fruits

Limonine is responsible for the citrusy smell for many cannabis strains.

It is a powerful anti fungal and antibacterial compound that is commonly used as an additive for household cleaning and cosmetic products.

Limonene supports a positive mood and alleviates anxiety..

Pinene terpene: Found in pine trees

Pinene is found in two forms, alpha, which is responsible for the pine aroma, and beta, which has a scent similar to rosemary, dill, or parsley. Pinene is a potent bronchodilator, but also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects on the body.

Linalool terpene: Found in lavendar

Linalool is known for the stress-relieving, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant effects. Linalool is believed to help balance out the anxious side effect sometimes produced by THC.

Caryophyllene terpene: Found in black pepper and cinnamon

Caryphyllene is known for its powerful ability to relieve stress, antianxiety, depression, and inflammation.

Humulene terpene: Found in hops, cloves, and basil

While most cannabis strains help to increase appetite, strains that contain high levels of humulene may actually help to decrease appetite.  Humulene is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.


Although some of the terpenes may have similarities, they each bring have their own distinct qualities. Combined with the cannabinoids and other terpenes, the future of cannabis is in breeding for diverse terpenes and cannabinoids to create strains and products tailored to produce specific effects.