Terpenes are a specific class of organic chemical compounds found in Cannabis that contribute strongly to giving each strain its own signature regarding the smell, flavor, and color of the flower. There are many factors that can influence the development of terpenes in cannabis and include climate, environmental conditions, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil composition, and harvest times. Individual strains contain different combinations of the nearly 150 terpenes and are the main building block of any plant resin or “essential oils” and contribute to the scent, flavor, and colors.
Terpenes are believed to have a synergistic effect with cannabinoids, binding themselves to receptors in the brain. That being said, different combinations of terpenes yield different tastes and aromas, which can assist consumers with choosing products suited to their specific needs and preferences.
Alpha-Bisabolol is a versatile terpene known for its fresh, sweet, and floral aroma.
It has been reported that alpha-bisabolol has anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and anti-microbial properties; because of this, Alpha-Bisabolol is widely used in cosmetics for its skin healing attributes.
A terpinene group of isomeric hydrocarbons that are classified as monoterpenes. Alpha-terpinene (a-terpinene) derives naturally from cannabis and other plant sources, including cardamom, marjoram, and oils of juniper and eucalyptus.
Best known for its spicy and peppery note, caryophyllene is also found in black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and spices like oregano, basil and rosemary. Beta-caryophyllene binds to CB2 receptors, which makes it an ingredient in anti-inflammatory topicals and creams.
Pinenes of course smell like pine trees. Other plants rich in pinene include rosemary, orange peels, basil, parsley and cannabis. Like many other, pinene terpenes have an anti-inflammatory effect on humans.
This terpene is found mostly in flowers like jasmine, lemongrass, and tea tree oil. The smell of trans-nerolidol reminds of a mixture of rose, citrus and apples and can be described in general as woody, citrus and floral.
Trans-nerolidol is best known for its antiparasitic, antioxidant, antifungal,
anticancer and antimicrobial properties.
One of the most commonly occurring terpenes in cannabis. Pinene is currently under investigation for its potential to treat numerous conditions including inflammation, cancer, and respiratory conditions.
Limonene is the second most abundant terpene in all cannabis strains, but not all strains necessarily have it. As its name says, limonene gives strains a citrusy smell that resembles lemons, which is no surprise as all citrus fruits contain large amounts of this compound. Limonene is used in cosmetics and also in cleaning products.
Humulene was the first terpene found in hops. Its aroma contains earthy, woody and spicy notes.
Besides cannabis, it can be also found in clove, sage, and black pepper. Like many other terpenes, it reduces inflammation, relieves pain and fights bacterial infections.
Commonly found in mangoes, hops, thyme, and lemongrass, myrcene is said to be one of the most abundant terpenes in cannabis. Myrcene is important because its presence determines whether a strain is indica or sativa.
This terpene is the most responsible for the recognizable marijuana smell with its spicy and floral notes. Linalool is also found in lavender, mint, cinnamon and coriander. What’s interesting is that just like those aromatic herbs, it has very strong sedative and relaxing properties.
A terpene found in the cannabis plant, camphene is most known for its pungent aroma and potential therapeutic benefits; studies indicate that camphene may be effective in treating cardiovascular disease and, when mixed with vitamin C, camphene can be a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress in cells.
A terpene present in cannabis, distinctive for its potent minty aroma and taste. Isopulegol is the chemical precursor to menthol and is also found in lemongrass and geranium. Some potential health benefits of isopulegol include anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective and antiviral effects.
A monoterpenoid and alcohol that is a primary component of citronella oil, rose oil and palmarosa oil. Geraniol occurs naturally in the essential oils of geranium and lemon as well as numerous fruits, flowers and vegetables. The geraniol terpene has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antibacterial and antifungal properties in addition to a host of purposes in personal and industrial products.
A very common terpene with a variety of biological activities, most notably its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial effects. In addition to its presence in certain cannabis cultivars, cymene is found in more than 100 different plants.
Terpinolene has a sweet, pine-like aroma. It is mostly used to add pleasant scents to industrial fluids but is also used for perfume, soaps, creams, and more, along with being used as a flavoring agent.
Primarily, this terpene is naturally found in plants such as apple, cumin, cypress, hemp, lemon, lilac, marjoram, pine, rosemary, sage, and tea tree.
One of the primary reported benefits of terpinolene is its sedative effects–this is especially true when inhaled as a vapor. Another reported benefit of terpinolene is its ability to serve as an antimicrobial.
Delta-3-carene is a bicyclic monoterpene with a pungent, sweet-citrus aroma. It is most often valued for its anti-inflammatory, bone-strengthening, and mosquito-repelling properties. Carene is also known to dry teary eyes and runny noses, as well as reduce menstrual flows.
A sesquiterpenoid alcohol found in plants including cypress pine and cannabis, as well as the oil of the guaiacum plant from which it derives its name. Sometimes referred to as champacol, the guaiol terpene possesses a floral, woody scent profile, and has been researched for potential anticancer and antibacterial benefits.
Eucalyptol, also known as 1,8-cineole, is a popular terpene that posses a refreshing, minty scent and is naturally found in eucalyptus, tea tree, and many other plants.
Eucalyptol is a popular terpene for its refreshing, minty scent that is effective at clearing airways and improving breathing. It is the primary terpene in Eucalyptus but is also found in many other plants such as tea tree, and bay leaves. Studies have shown eucalyptol to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory (particularly for sinuses and the digestive system).