What Are Terpenes: THC terpenes definition.

A list of same-named chemicals that contribute aroma and flavor to cannabis and a variety of other species, such as plants. Terpenes are responsible for the fragrance and flavor of cannabis, as well as its effects, by interacting with cannabinoids. Terpenes are created within cannabis trichomes, and their concentration is directly impacted by the spectrum and amount of light exposure.

Terpenes, according to science, are molecules composed of five-carbon isoprene units combined to create a wide range of skeletons. These fundamental chemical “skeletons” are then activated by various enzymes to generate effects.

More About Terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic chemicals that contribute to the distinct scent of each cannabis strain. The pleasant odors and tastes we enjoy after smoking marijuana are all due to terpenes. Because each cannabis variety contains its own unique terpene content, it has its own distinct aroma. These molecules are hard at work, whether you smoke flower, dab concentrates, or vaporize either product, delivering delicious citrus, diesel, woody, pine, skunky, coffee-like aromas to your palate.

Why Does the Plant Produce Terpenes?

Terpenes are produced by plants to defend against herbivores, insects, and other external factors. They’re also involved in a plant’s regeneration and oxygenation. It makes sense that some terpenes serve as potential immunity boosters in humans, considering their functions. Terpenes appear to be offering immunological protection in both those who consume these fragrant chemicals and the plants that produce them.

There are more than 200 terpenes in the cannabis plant, but most of them are only present in tiny amounts that testing laboratories cannot detect. So, why does the cannabis plant manufacture them all?

There are a variety of reasons why terpene diversity occurs. Terpene synthases (TPSs) — enzymes that build the terpene structure — may produce many terpenes from the same rudimentary structure, or they may create pathways for the synthesis of whole new terpenes.

Finally, it’s conceivable that terpenes will continue to diversify in order to combat natural predators and develop counter-defenses in the future. Terpene diversity may also be a consequence of human intervention. Alternatively, the chemical distinctions we observe in cannabis plants may be due to years of intensive cultivation and selection for several traits.

How Growing, Harvest, and Curing Conditions Affect Terpene Expression

Terpene preservation has never been more essential to the cannabis market than it is now. Terpenes are affected by a variety of factors, including growing, harvesting, and curing conditions.

Indoor cannabis farming gives a grower more control over environmental variables that either enhance or stifle the plant’s terpene expression. Indoor producers will be competent hydroponists, or growers of plants in a system of nutrient solution and water rather than dirt.

A hydroponic garden, on the other hand, won’t necessarily keep terpenes from expressing. Growing in traditional soil is a simpler method to ensure a prominent terpene profile than growing in a hydroponics system. Terpenes may be suppressed by overfeeding nutrients, which growers can avoid by cutting nutrient consumption down to the last few weeks before harvesting.

Producers who want to produce a rich terpene profile in their plants should not harvest too early or too late. Harvests that are too early may damage trichomes, preventing them from reaching full cannabinoid and terpene development. Trichomes that have been harvested incorrectly will be pale, translucent, and faint on the plant’s surface. They’ll also be loaded with terpenes.

There are several other variables to consider while developing terpene-rich cannabis. Growing at just the right temperature (77-80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25-26.67 degrees Celsius, during the day and roughly 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit colder at night) and drying under just the correct conditions might help reduce terpene evaporation. Finally, being as mild as possible when handling cannabis flower throughout the growth process increases a grower’s likelihood of producing a terpene-rich final product.

Cannabis has a distinct odor. Some find it repulsive and overwhelming, while others regard it as soothing and pleasant. The aroma and taste of marijuana are caused by components similar to those found in other plants.

The components in this strain are called terpenes, aromatic chemicals produced by cannabis plant resin glands.

Terpenes contribute to the flavor and aroma of various strains, some having fruity and sweet characteristics while others smelling and tasting like lavender. Some strains, on the other hand, have a cheesy scent. However, it’s not simply about the fragrance.

Terpenes are an interesting group of chemicals that have a variety of medicinal properties. There are at least 80-100 terpenes unique to the cannabis plant, and their interactions with other chemicals and cannabinoids go toward making up the overall success of the marijuana plant as we know it.

What are terpenes and what is their use?

Terpenes are organic chemicals created by most plants and some insects, such as swallowtail butterflies and termites. Terpenoids, which are oxygenated derivatives of terpenes, are sometimes referred to as terpenes.

The easiest method to comprehend them is to consider of them as volatile aromatic molecules. What distinguishes these chemicals is that they contribute to the distinct fragrance of plants.

Terpenes are produced from isoprene, which replicates to form terpenes. These chemicals have two key functions in every plant’s existence: protection of the blooms against predators and the production of resin.

Terpenes are a major component of resin and are extensively utilized in the production of essential oils, making them an excellent match for medical and beauty items. As a result of this, terpenes entered the fragrance industry as well as conventional and alternative medicine. They’re mostly used in aromatherapy, but they’re also produced synthetically as flavors and scents, as well as food additives.

There are a few more interesting facts about terpenes: natural rubber is made of terpenes, as well as many steroids. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to know that an organic and entirely natural maple syrup has about 300 terpenes, making it delicious in the first place.

But what about cannabis?

Each strain has its own unique fragrance and flavor because of terpenes. They not only give each strain its distinct smell and taste, but they also help to modulate how we process cannabinoids.

How terpenes work with cannabinoids?

The flower is usually what we consume from cannabis.

Cannabis flower, like any other flower, has its own unique scent.

There are around 120 terpenes in cannabis, with varying amounts of cannabinoids and non-cannabinoid chemicals. They coexist with cannabinoids like THC and CBD (sometimes even assisting them), but they are not psychoactive like THC.

While each strain’s terpene profile is unique, many of them share common components. Some of those terpenes can be found in various plants, while others are cannabis-specific. However, it isn’t only about the scent. Terpenes also have therapeutic qualities and may help with plant medicines’ neurological benefits:

  • Cannabidiol interacts with our endocannabinoid system and helps cannabinoids to enter the circulation, exhibiting what is known as the entourage effect.
  • Cannabigerol, for example, enhances permeability and allows cannabinoids to be absorbed more rapidly than they would if taken alone.
  • The psychoactive chemical in marijuana, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC), is also present in lemons and melons. It’s responsible for raising serotonin levels, which has an impact on how cannabis makes us feel. Because of this, these terpenes may affect neurotransmitters in our brains, which means that different strains might have varied mood-boosting effects.

Terpenes and the “Entourage Effect” explained

The biological synergy of cannabinoids and other compounds such as flavonoids, and, of course, terpenes is known as the “Entourage Effect.”

Chris Emerson says that these chemicals work together to produce “the magic, or the power of cannabis, as a whole.” Terpenes combine with cannabinoids like CBD and THC to create a synergy that generates more powerful and better effects than either one would on its own.

The synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes that results from this symbiosis enhances cannabinoid absorption, overcomes bacterial resistance mechanisms, and minimizes any negative effects.

Research on medical properties of terpenes in cannabis

Some terpenes are great for relieving stress, while others are ideal for unwinding. There are some that improve attention and others that aid with relaxation. Because you’ll have a variety of possibilities to examine,

Myrcene makes us sleepy, while limonene uplifts our spirits. Terpenes have been the focus of significant scientific study in recent years.

Jürg Gertsch was the first to identify beta-caryophyllene’s CB2 receptor affinity, calling it “a dietary cannabinoid.” He also arrived at the conclusion that all foods containing this terpene are highly beneficial for human consumption.

Cannabidiol is not the only cannabinoid in marijuana. A number of its other components have been studied with various endpoints, and many are still being researched. Terpenes, for example, are becoming more common knowledge among medical professionals as cannabis continues to grow in popularity. (3)

Dr. David Casarett, a prominent cannabis researcher and writer, made the following statement: “It’s like having a cannabis-derived pain medication that targets the endocannabinoid system without THC.”

Cannabis sativa, specifically its terpenes and terpenoids, has been shown in further studies to be able to destroy respiratory infections like MRSA. That’s not even half of the story, though. Terpenes have a slew of health benefits we’ll get into later.

15 terpenes in cannabis explained

There are more than 100 different terpenes in one cannabis flower. Here are some of the most well-known terpenes right now, with many of them being present in legal cannabis goods in your region.


The most common terpene in cannabis is myrcene, which may be found in nature. In reality, one study found that as much as 65 percent of the total terpene profile in certain strains was composed of myrcene.

Clove-like aromas are associated with myrcene, which has an earthy, musky scent reminiscent of cloves. It also has a fruity, red wine-like fragrance.

The strain called Blue Widow is a hybrid of the OG Kush and Afghanica strains. It has a pleasant blueberry skunk odour, with a moderate- to high-THC content. When smoked, it induces relaxation and reduces anxiety, making it an indica with sedative effects. It has also been reported that myrcene helps to reduce inflammation and chronic pain, which is why it’s frequently advised as a vitamin during cancer therapy.

Strains that are rich in myrcene are Skunk XL, White Widow, and Special Kush.

Bonus tip: If you want to experience a stronger buzz from marijuana, get yourself a mango and eat it about 45 minutes before smoking.

Mango contains a significant amount of myrcene, so eating it before consuming cannabis will strengthen the effects of THC and increase its absorption rate.


Limonene is the second most common terpene in cannabis strains, although not all strains have it. Limonene, as the name implies, has a citrusy odor that resembles lemons. Limonene is found in cosmetics and cleaning supplies.

Limonene is a potential therapeutic compound that is used to treat anxiety, depression, and stress. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, according to studies, and one study even suggests it may help reduce tumor size.

Strains named “lemon,” “sour,” or that contain the word “limonene” in their name are usually high in limonene.

Limonene is present in strains such as O.G. Kush, Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, Durban Poison, Jack Herer, and Jack the Ripper at high levels.


The chemical responsible for the distinctive marijuana odor is linalool, which has spicy and floral undertones. Linalool can also be found in lavender, mint, cinnamon, and coriander. It’s fascinating that it has similar sedative and relaxing effects to those aromatic plants.

Linalool is a beneficial terpene that has been found to aid individuals with arthritis, depression, seizure disorders, sleeplessness, and even cancer. Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, Lavender, LA Confidential, and OG Shark are all well-known linalool strains.


Caryophyllene is a chemical that occurs in the leaves, stems, roots, seeds of hemp plants. Caryophyllene comes from cannabis plants and is also found in black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and herbs such as oregano, basil, and rosemary.

Beta-caryophyllene binds to CB2 receptors, making it an ingredient in anti-inflammation topicals and lotions. Caryophyllene is the only terpene that binds to cannabinoid receptors.

Some studies have revealed that caryophyllene has useful properties in the treatment of alcoholic addiction. A group of researchers studied mice and discovered that this terpene lowers voluntary alcohol intake. They even suggested caryophyllene for alleviating symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Strains like Super Silver Haze, Skywalker, and Rock Star can help you get the most out of caryophyllene.

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

The terpenes in this combination smell like pine trees, and they can also be found in substantial amounts. Rosemary, orange peels, basil, parsley, and cannabis are all examples of plants high in pinene.

Like many other, pinene terpenes have an anti-inflammatory effect on humans.

CBD oils are rich in cannabinoids which help improve airflow and respiratory functions while also assisting with memory loss associated with THC. This may seem weird because we’re talking about cannabis, but if the strain is high in alpha and beta pinene, it can aid in the treatment of asthma.

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

You can find pinene in strains like Jack Herer, Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream, Island Sweet Skunk, Dutch Treat, and Romulan.


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.

It can be found in strains like Harle-Tsu, Pink Kush, Headband, OG Shark, and ACDC.


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 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 of research, this terpene has shown some promising effects on Alzheimer’s as well.

Eucalyptol can be found in Super Silver Haze and Headband.


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 antiparasitic, antioxidant, antifungal, anticancer and antimicrobial properties.

Strains like Jack Herer, Sweet Skunk, and Skywalker OG are rich in nerolidol.


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 terpenes mentioned above, it also reduces inflammation, relieves pain and fights bacterial infections.

You can find humulene in strains like White Widow, Headband, Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, Pink Kush and Skywalker OG.

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 most 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.

Camphene is present in Ghost OG, Strawberry Banana, Mendocino Purps.


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 for 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.

Strains high in borneol are Amnesia Haze, Golden Haze, K13 Haze.


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.

It can be found Girl Scout Cookies, Jack Herer, and OG Kush strains.


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 repellant, too.

Valencene can be found in strains like Tangie and Agent Orange.


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.

It’s present in strains like Amnesia Haze, Great White Shark, Afghani, Headband, Island Sweet Skunk, OG Shark and Master Kush.

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