What are terpenes and their potential therapeutic benefits?

Terpenes (pronounced tur-peens) are the fragrant essential oils found in all plants and are responsible for the different tastes and scents. The cannabis plant consists of a wide variety of chemicals and compounds. About 140 of these aromatic organic hydrocarbons are terpenes. 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.

We have researched the potential benefits of terpenes found in the oils of non-cannabis plants and have included links to the research articles in the terpene descriptions below. The studies are animal studies with no human studies available to date. As terpene research advances, we will update our information. Check back regularly. 

Common Terpenes

Primary Terpenes


Caryophyllene – Is a spicy, peppery terpene found in many different edible plants. Spices like black pepper, cloves, basil, rosemary, eucalyptus, 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 fresh citrus odour that is commonly found in lemons, juniper, rosemary, peppermint, and fruit peels. It also aids in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and mucous membranes. Limonene is best known for its 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, coriander, mint, and birch trees. 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 as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-fungal


Myrcene  – Is a terpene with a tropical, musky aroma that occurs often in highly fragrant plants and herbs such as mangoes, hops, bay trees, 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 pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill. Terpenes such as pinene are fragrant oils secreted in marijuana trichomes, and while they originally were developed as adaptive protection against predators, these compounds offer us, humans, a variety of benefits. This includes analgesic, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, antioxidant, and antibiotic. It also acts as an 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 several 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 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 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, antioxidant, antibiotic and anti-bacterial properties. 


Bisabolol – Is a sweet and floral terpene with hints of citrus and spice. Commonly found in German chamomile, bisabolol is widely used in cosmetics, fragrances, and skincare 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.