Terpenes play a key role in differentiating cannabis strains. The distinct aroma you smell (whether sweet, skunky or otherwise) in each different strain is due to which terpene combination is in that particular strain. Aside from the smell, each different terpene also promotes different outcomes, such as stress-relief, relaxation or focus to name a few.

 

What are terpenes?

Terpenes can be defined as aromatic compounds found in the essential oils of plants and fruits. Different terpenes can make you feel stimulated, sedated, relaxed and so much more. So far, over 100 different terpenes have been discovered in the cannabis plant.

Terpenes are secreted in the same plant glands that produce cannabinoids (THC and CBD for example). They give cannabis strains distinct smells and flavours, such as citrus, mint, pine and more.

 

The entourage effect  

Not only do terpenes provide scents and tastes to cannabis, they also interact synergistically with other compounds in the plant, specifically, cannabinoids. While each terpene has its own unique properties (for example, limonene is known to elevate mood), they also interact with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD to help strengthen their effects.

The effect of any given terpene can actually change when used in harmony with other compounds and cannabinoids. We call this the entourage effect. This is why we differentiate single molecule and full spectrum CBD, for example.

 

Common cannabis terpenes

To help break down some of the most common terpenes, we’ve collected some amazing infographics from Leafly to share with you:

 

Alpha-Pinene

terpene

Aroma: Pine

Vaporizes At: 311ºF (155ºC)

Potential Effects: Alertness, memory retention, counteracts some THC effects

Potential Medical Value: Treatment of asthma, pain, inflammation, ulcers, anxiety, cancer

Also Found in: Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, dill

 

Mycrene

terpene

Aroma: Cardamom, cloves, musky, earthy, herbal

Vaporizes At: 332ºF (167ºC)

Potential Effects: Sedating “couchlock” effect, relaxing

Potential Medical Value: Antioxidant; treatment of insomnia, pain, and inflammation

Also Found in: Mango, lemongrass, thyme, hops

 

Limonene

terpene

Aroma: Citrus

Vaporizes At: 348ºF (176ºC)

Potential Effects: Elevated mood, stress relief

Potential Medical Value: Treatment of anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain, and cancer

Also Found in: Fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, peppermint

 

Linalool

terpene

Aroma: Floral

Vaporizes At: 388ºF (198ºC)

Potential Effects: Mood enhancement, sedation

Potential Medical Value: Treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disease

Also Found in: Lavender