All About Terpenes



 Terpenes are the compounds responsible for a  plant's scent and flavor. Unlike  other botanical species, each strain of  cannabis has a unique terpene profile. Terpenes and cannabinoids work together to develop a strain's particular flavor and resulting high, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.  



 Plants  consist of a wide variety of chemicals and compounds. Roughly  20,000  of these compounds reside in a category of essential oils  referred to  as terpenes. These organic agents are what give fruits,  herbs, and  flowers their own specific scent and flavor. Terpenes also  create a  synergistic alliance with compounds found in the human body as  well as  other chemicals within the plant, this union is know as the  “entourage  effect”, which magnifies the benefits of the plant’s  components.   



 Terpenes  can be used in foods, cocktails and other drinks, sauces, teas,   extracts, etc. to enhance the flavor or scent of the product as well as   the overall experience for the user. They are also used in the  pharmaceutical industries – as they appear in medicines.   Thanks to  their aromatic properties, terpenes are irreplaceable in cosmetics  industry – used extensively in the production of perfumes, they are an  essential part of the fragrances we use every day.  



  Anything  Food Grade or Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) terpenes are  safe to  use as flavor ingredients as long as they have been diluted  prior to  use. Our terpenes are highly concentrated, for this reason we  recommend  starting a 3% or 1-2 drops per gram.   



 Terpenes  work together with other compounds to provide not just a scent  or a  flavor, but anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. In some cases,  the  terpenes help to magnify the effects of other compounds involved.  



 Terpenes  work together with other compounds to provide not just a scent  flavor,  but anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. In some cases the   terpenes help to magnify the effects of other compounds involved.  

More Common Terpenes


Myrcene  is the most abundant terpene  in cannabis, which is where it’s mostly  found in nature. In fact, one study showed that myrcene makes up as  much as 65% of total terpene  profile in some strains. Myrcene smell  often reminds of earthy, musky notes, resembling cloves. Also, it has a  fruity, red grape-like aroma.

Strains   that contain 0.5% of this terpene are usually indicas with sedative effects. It has also been reported that myrcene is useful in reducing inflammation and chronic pain, which is why it’s usually recommended as  a  supplement during cancer treatments.


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.

For  therapeutic purposes, limonene is known to improve  mood and reduce  stress. Researchers also found it to have antifungal and  antibacterial  properties and one research even found it to have a role in reducing  tumor size.


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.

Patients suffering from arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia and even cancer, have all found aid in this amazing terpene. 


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. Caryophyllene is  the only terpene that binds to cannabinoid receptors.

Besides  its analgesic and  anti-anxiety properties, some studies have found  that caryophyllene has some very promising properties when it comes to  alcoholism  rehabilitation.

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

These two cannabis terpenes smell like pine trees and that’s also where they can be found in large amounts. Other plants rich in pinene include  rosemary, orange peels, basil, parsley and cannabis of course.

Like  many  other, pinene terpenes have an anti-inflammatory effect on  humans. But  more importantly, they help improve airflow and respiratory  functions,  while also helping to reduce memory loss related to THC. I  know that  this can sound weird because we’re talking about cannabis,  but if the  strain is rich in alpha and beta pinene, it can actually  help with  asthma.

Pinene also helps patients with arthritis, Crohn’s disease and cancer.


Alpha-bisabolol  (also known as  levomenol and bisabolol) has a pleasant floral aroma  and can also be  found in chamomile flower and candeia tree. This  terpene found its use  primarily in the cosmetics industry, but lately  it has caught the  attention of researchers since it showed medical  benefits, especially in  cannabis.

Alpha-bisabolol  proved to be effective in treating  bacterial infections and wounds and  is a great antioxidant with  anti-irritation and analgesic properties. 


Also  known as cineole, eucalyptol is the primary terpene of the eucalyptus tree. It has recognizable minty and cool tones in its smell but most cannabis strains do not contain  large amounts of it. It usually makes up around 0.06% of a strains complete terpene profile.

This  terpene has been used in cosmetics as well as medicine. When it comes  to its medical value, eucalyptol  relieves pain but also slows the growth of bacteria and fungus.

Although it is still in the early stages in research, this terpene has shown some promising effects on Alzheimer’s as well.


This  one is a secondary terpene  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 anti parasitic, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anticancer and antimicrobial properties. 


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. It  has  a variety of medical properties. Early research has shown humulene  to  be anti-proliferative, meaning it prevents cancer cells from  growing.  Also, it proved to be effective in suppressing appetite,  making it a  potential weight loss tool. Furthermore, like many other  cannabis  terpenes mentioned above, it also reduces inflammation,  relieves pain  and fights bacterial infections.

Delta 3 Carene

This  terpene is found in a  number of plants like rosemary, basil, bell  peppers, cedar and pine. Its  aroma is sweet and resembles the smell of  cypress tree. When it comes  to the medical side of carene, it seems to  be mostly beneficial in  healing broken bones. That gives hope to  patients suffering from  osteoporosis, arthritis and even fibromyalgia.

What  is also  interesting about this terpene is that it stimulates our  memory and  helps memory retention. This is a major point in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.


The  best way to describe the smell of camphene is fir needles, musky earth  and damp woodlands. Camphene aroma  is often mistaken with myrcene, which is that trademark marijuana smell  as most of us know it. From the  medical point of view, camphene has  great potential. When mixed with  vitamin C, it becomes a powerful  antioxidant.

It is widely used in conventional medicine as a topical for skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.

Its   greatest potential lies in its ability to lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, further lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.


Borneol, with its herbal minty scent, can be found in herbs like rosemary, mint and camphor.

This terpene is a good natural insect repellent which makes it great in  preventing diseases like the West Nile virus, being passed by ticks, fleas, mosquitoes etc. One study found that borneol kills breast cancer   cells. It’s also widely used in Chinese traditional medicine, in   acupuncture to be precise.


The  aroma of terpineol can be best  described as floral-like, reminiscent of lilacs, apple blossom, and a  little bit citrusy. Terpineol tastes  like anise and mint. Terpineol has a  pleasant scent, similar to lilac,  and is a common ingredient in  perfumes, cosmetics, and flavors.

It  relaxes heavily and it’s  usually the one responsible for the notorious couch lock effect. Medical  benefits of terpineol also include  antibiotic and antioxidant  properties.


This terpene got its name from sweet Valencia oranges — where it’s been found in large amounts. With its sweet citrusy aromas and flavors, it’s used as an insect repellent, too.


Besides cannabis, geraniol can be found in lemons and tobacco. Its smell reminds of rose grass, peaches and plums. It’s usually used in aromatic  bath products and body lotions. Geraniol has shown a lot of potential as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant.