Cannabis Terpenes

Call them terpenes, terpenoids, terps or whatever these compounds give the unique scents and flavors of cannabis.

Cannabis companies are showing their interest in terpenes and consumer products are popping up everywhere. In states where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use, you can find terpenes in beverages, foods, vaping oils, lotions, and anything in between. Some products are combined with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and other companies market the same product sans the THC and label it as a whole plant medicine.

The idea is to promote the magic of terpenes when combined with THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Terpenes alone have its own mild psychoactive effect and therapeutic value, add this to the beneficial use of cannabinoids. Voila! You have a product that is a level better than the traditional brands in the market.

Most market research has concentrated on the benefits to health gained from terpenes. Granddaddy Purple strain is rich in myrcene promotes sedating, relaxing feeling; Caryophyllene which is found in GSC will help ease anxiety and depression.

What are Cannabis Terpenes?

Cannabis aficionados have the ability to smell the assortment of scents that the plant’s flowers emit and identify the strain. The aroma and fragrance are produced by terpenes, the organic hydrocarbons found in the essential oil of plants.

Terpenes are created in the trichomes of cannabis. And trichomes are the minute, gluey, mushroom-like crystals that coat the leaves and buds. They protect the plant from creepy crawlers and animals by generating fragrances that repulse these threats. Consumers and patients associate the smell with the type of strain and the effects it provides. There are over 100 cannabis terpenes and different smells that they release, here are some popular ones:


Myrcene Blue Dream, Granddaddy Purple, OG Kush, Cherry Pie Cardamom, cloves, musky earthy, herbal
Limonene Strawberry Banana, White Fire OG, Do-Si-Dos, Wedding Cake Citrus
Caryophyllene GSC, Original Glue, Purple Punch Pepper, spicy, woody, cloves
Terpinolene XJ-13, Ghost Train Haze, Chernobyl, Jack Herer Piny, floral, herbal
Pinene Big Smooth, Snoop’s Dream, Critical Mass Pine 
Humulene Gelato, Sherbet, GSC Hoppy, woody, earthy


What Do They Do?

Terpenes can go beyond delivering flavor and scent. They are mildly psychoactive and comes with their own medicinal benefits. When combined with THC and other cannabinoids they produce better results, also known as the entourage effect.

Consumers and patients consume cannabis for the same purpose – the effect. The entourage effect presents an opportunity to mix the right concoction of cannabis that is more powerful and effective than a single strain.

The cocktail of terpenes and cannabinoids can either increase or decrease each other’s effects, depending on the combination of cannabinoids and the response of the taker. Research point to a significant role of terpenes in moderating the intoxicating results of THC, and also to increase the therapeutic value when mixed with cannabinoids.

Here are the prominent terpenes in cannabis:

Myrcene Sedating, relaxing Antioxidant, medication for insomnia, pain, and inflammation
Limonene Elevated mood, stress relief Medication for anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain, and cancer
Caryophyllene Stress relief Medication for pain, anxiety, depression, ulcer
Terpinolene Uplifting Antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer
Pinene Alertness, memory retention Medication for asthma, pain, inflammation, ulcer
Humulene Sedating, relaxing Anti-inflammatory, pain

A caution to dabbers, cannabis concentrates with terpenes used in vaporizers produce smooth, tasty cannabis flavors. A heads up, at high temperatures terpenes produce toxic chemicals that produce certain cancers. So, vape at low temperatures as possible without overheating the terpenes to toxicity and stay safe.

The Difference Between Cannabinoids and Terpenes

You’ve heard cannabinoids and terpenes which are the two popular buzzwords in the cannabis landscape. Both have the same recreational and medicinal purposes, but they are two different elements. Learn how these elements work separately so you will sound like an expert in your next weed party.


You know terpenes because of your daily exposure to things that gives out scent; a lemon has a citrusy aroma, the sweet smell of roses, and Blue Dream is musky. Terpenes is associated with the type of cannabis strain and can change the THC influence of the plant.

The scent of cannabis and the psychoactive effect can be determined by the terpenes in a strain. Consumers are becoming wary of terpenes and are inquiring about the content in products.

My experience, the staff at the dispensary near me was very knowledgeable about his wares, I told him my nose likes the fresh scent of pine he gave me Big Smooth strain to smell.


Cannabinoids are derived from marijuana which work with the cannabinoid receptors found in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates a range of the body’s functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility. Cannabinoids control the communication between cells like how a message is sent, received, and processed.

There are about 100 cannabinoids produced by marijuana, each strain has different types of cannabinoids producing various benefits.

Terpenes vs Terpenoids

Terpenes and terpenoids are compounds found in weed and gives the plant’s flowers a variety of fragrances and different flavors. They are essential oils emitted from the tacky trichomes of the flower. Regular users often relate the cannabis strain with the aroma that they smell from the buds.

The words Terpenes and terpenoids are often used alternately but they have different meanings. Terpenes are organic HydroCarbons while terpenoids are terpenes that have been chemically altered. Some atoms in terpenoids were dissolved such as cannabis that was dried, terpenes are classified as wet.

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