Terpenes are fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity. They’re what give Blueberry its signature berry smell, Sour Diesel its funky fuel flavor, and Lavender its sweet floral aroma. These oils are secreted in the flower’s sticky resin glands, the same ones that produce THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Terpenes are by no means unique to cannabis; they can be found in many other herbs, fruits, and plants.
Medical Effects: Anti-inflammatory, Bronchodilator (assists respiratory system)
Notes: most common naturally occurring terpenoid
Odor: Hops, Mango
Medical Effects: Potent sedative, Anti-oxidant, Anti-inflammatory
Notes: Myrcene is the most prevalent terpene and is found in most varieties of cannabis. Myrcene concentration dictates whether a strain will have an Indica or Sativa effect. Strains containing over 0.5% of myrcene produce a more sedative high, while strains containing less than 0.5% myrcene have an energizing effect.
Medical Effects: Anti-fungal
Notes: Ocimene is frequently used in perfumes for its pleasant odor. In nature, this terpene contributes to a plant’s defenses and possess antifungal properties.
Odor: Woody or Floral
Medical Effects: Relaxing
Notes: Terpineol is known for its pleasant smell and is often used in soaps and perfumes.
Odor: Peppery, Cloves
Medical Effects: Most powerful anti-inflammatory terpene, pain-relieving
Notes: β Caryophyllene is the only terpene known to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (CB2). Very mild psychoactivity attributed to this terpene.
Odor: Earthy, Hops
Medical Effects: Appetite suppressant, potent anti-inflammatory
Odor: Floral, Lavendar
Medical Effects: Sedative, anxiety/stress/pain reliever, anti-epileptic
Notes: Linalool has a floral scent reminiscent of spring flowers, but with spicy overtones.
Medical Effects: Antidepressant, anxiety relieving, antifungal, antibacterial
Notes: Limonene is a dominant terpene in strains with a pronounced Sativa effect. It is also found in the rinds of citrus fruits. Limonene aids in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and mucous membranes, and has been used to treat anxiety and depression.
Odor: Sweet, Citrus, Pine
Medical Effects: Antioxidant, anticancer, antifungal, antibacterial
Notes: Terpinolene has been shown to exhibit antioxidant and anticancer effects in rat brain cells and is responsible for many of the floral notes found in Jack Herer varieties.
Odor: Sweet, Citrus
Medical Effects: Antidepressant, stimulates creativity
Notes: Valencene is present in Valencia oranges and contributes to cannabis’ citrus aroma. “Tangie” cross strains have this terpene.
Odor: Sweet, Floral
Medical Effects: Calming, mood uplifting
Notes: Also present in geraniums, geraniol emits a rosey scent that makes it a popular perfume additive. It is an effective mosquito repellent and shows a potential protective effect against neuropathy.
Odor: Floral, Citrus, Woody
Medical Effects: Sedative, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antifungal
Notes: Present in low levels in orange and other citrus peels.