Terpenes are the fragrance molecules that emanate from all plants. The terpenes in cannabis are responsible for the differences in aroma, flavor and color in each unique strain. Terpenes are believed to exhibit medicinal properties independent from those of cannabinoids. The terpenes in cannabis help contribute to a strain's particular psychoactive influence–a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. Explore our list of cannabis terpenes so you can find and shop your favorite.
β-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene found in numerous plants such as Thai basil, cloves and black pepper. It has a spicy rich odor and is known for its antiseptic, anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that in cannabis this terpene has an affinity for the CB2 endocannabinoid receptor.
Terpinolene is a monoterpene which is part of the terpinene subfamily of terpenes. It has antioxidant, immune-modulating and anti-fungal properties and has historically been used to treat insomnia. Terpinolene is found in oregano, marjoram, cumin, lilac, some citrus rinds and even conifers.
Linalool is a simple terpene alcohol, best known for the pleasant floral odor it gives to lavender plants. It is also known as β-linalool, licareol, or linalyl alcohol. Linalool has been used for thousands of years as a sleep aid, but it’s also critical for the formulation of vitamin E. Today it’s often used to relieve pain and treat psychosis, anxiety, and epilepsy.
β-Myrcene is one of the most important compounds in this list of cannabis terpenes as it helps in the formation of other terpenes. This terpene is common in cannabis, fresh mango, hops, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and more. β-Myrcene is known to be an antitumor, anti-inflammatory and can be used in the treatment of spasms, insomnia, and pain. One of β-Myrcene’s more unique effects is how it helps chemicals access the brain more easily which allows cannabinoids, like THC, to take effect more quickly.
D-limonene is a cyclic terpene that has a strong citrus scent and bitter taste. It has been used in medicine, food, perfume, and even citrus-based cleaners. D-limonene has very low toxicity which means humans are rarely allergic to it. This allows it to be effective in the treatment of gastric reflux, depression, and anxiety. Recently D-limonene has been shown to have antitumor and immunostimulant properties.
Humulene, like β-caryophyllene, is a sesquiterpene commonly found in aromatic plants such as hops, cannabis sativa strains, Vietnamese coriander, and more. This compound is what gives beer its hoppy aroma. It has antitumor, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anorectic (which means it suppresses the appetite) properties. In Chinese medicine, Humulene is commonly blended with β-caryophyllene to treat inflammation.
Understanding the unique terpenes in cannabis can be a bit confusing, but start paying attention to the different aromas and tastes of your favorite cannabis products and you’ll notice which ones you’re more drawn to. Use this list of cannabis terpenes to shop for terpene-specific products. Or, if you’re still not sure, contact our team of experts for advice on how to be mindful of the terpenes in our cannabis products.