What are terpenes and how do they affect you?

The cannabis plant consists of a wide variety of chemicals and compounds. About 140 of these belong to a large class of aromatic organic hydrocarbons known as terpenes (pronounced tur-peens). Terpenes are the fragrant oils that give plants its aromatic diversity as well as the different smells and tastes of each cannabis strain. Terpenes bind to receptors in the brain and give rise to various effects. Terpenes may also modulate the effects of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD concentrations.

Common Terpenes

Primary Terpenes

Caryophyllene – Is a spicy, peppery terpene found in many different edible plants. Spices like black pepper, cloves, hops, rosemary, copaiba, as well as cannabis are known to exhibit high concentrations of caryophyllene. This zesty terpene is known for having anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, analgesicanti-oxidant, and antibiotic effects. 


Geraniol – Is a sweet aromatic terpene present in geraniums. Geraniol is commonly used in the fragrance industry with its rose and floral notes. This monoterpenoid exhibits analgesic, anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory properties. 


Humulene – Is a terpene that naturally occurs in clove, basil, hops, and cannabis sativa. It carries a subtle earthy, woody aroma with spicy herbal notes you might recognize in some of your favourite strains. Humulene is analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial relieving.  


Limonene – Is an aromatic dominant terpene in strains that have a pronounced sativa effect. It has a strong citrus odor and flavour and aids in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and mucous membranes. Limonene is best known for it’s anti-fungal treatment. The terpene is also anti-anxiety and anti-depressant. Along with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidantanti-spasmodic, anti-bacterial and antibiotic


Linalool – Is a naturally occurring terpene found in many flowers and spices including lavender and coriander. It gives off a complex yet delicate floral aroma, and while its effects are myriad, it is in particular one of the substances used most widely as a sedative. Linalool is also used in the treatment of anxiety, depression and epilepsy. As well analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-fungal


Myrcene  – Is a terpene that occurs often in highly fragrant plants and herbs such as mangoes, hops, bay laurel leaves, thyme, lemongrass, and basil. Myrcene is produced by numerous cannabis strains, and some have suggested that it lends sedative, indica-like effects to strains containing more than 0.5% of this terpene. This monoterpene is also analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antipeptic and antispasmodic


Pinene – Is an aromatic compound commonly found in cannabis that smells a lot like pine trees. But pinene brings a lot more to a strain’s experience than just flavour. Terpenes such as pinene are fragrant oils secreted in marijuana trichomes, and while they originally were developed as an adaptive protection against predators, these compounds offer us humans a variety of benefits. This includes analgesic, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, anti-oxidant and antibiotic. It also acts as a anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal


Terpineol – Is frequently used to create pleasant aromatic profiles in products like soap, lotion, and perfume. In addition to cannabis, it occurs naturally in lilacs, pine trees, lime blossoms, and eucalyptus sap. It is characterized by its ability to relax the consumer. Terpineol holds a number of therapeutic benefits including analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure


Terpinolene – Is an isomeric hydrocarbon, characterized by a fresh, floral, herbal, and occasionally citrusy aroma and flavour. It is found in a variety of other pleasantly fragrant plants including nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin, and lilacs, and is sometimes used in soaps, perfumes, and lotions. Terpinolene has sedative like effects. it’s also anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial

Secondary Terpenes 

Nerolidol – Is a secondary terpene found in many strong aromatics like jasmine, tea tree, and lemongrass. As such, it delivers a subdued and nuanced floral aroma with notes of fruity citrus, apples, and rose. This terpene is believed to produce sedating effects. It also exhibits analgesic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antibiotic and anti-bacterial properties. 


Bisabolol – Is a terpene with a sweet and floral aroma and hints of citrus and spice. Commonly found in German chamomile, bisabolol is widely used in cosmetics, fragrances, and skin care products. Bisabolol has been proven to work as an antibiotic, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and anti-bacterial. Along with antipeptic, antispasmodic, anti-fungal and analgesic characteristics.  


(All research is collected from animal studies.)