First discovered in 1866, terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons that give many plants and flowers their scents, colors, and tastes. Terpenes have gained attention in the cannabis industry not only for their flavor and smell but for their effects on their own and combined with cannabinoids. Read on to learn more, and check out our cannabis terpenes chart below.
BUT FIRST, WHAT ARE TERPENES?
Terpenes, also called “terps,” are found in essential oils of many plants. Thanks to their high vapor pressure and low boiling point, terpenes produce strong, pleasant aromas. The tastes, smells, and colors of many of your favorite plants, fruits and flowers come from terpenes.
THC, CBD and other cannabinoids get all the attention, but cannabis growers and hemp researchers have discovered that terpenes may play an important role on their own or as part of an “entourage effect” when combined with CBD and THC in full spectrum extracts.
We need more research to fully understand the benefits of terpenes, but here is what we know so far about the most popular cannabis terpenes.
TERPENES AND THEIR EFFECTS
There are thousands of different terpene compounds that give plants their distinct smells, and terpenes may influence the effects of cannabis. We still don’t know the full effects terpenes have on the human body, or the way THC or other cannabinoids may alter the effects of terpenes. More research and evidence are needed, especially more studies on human subjects.
TERPENES IN INDICA VS SATIVA
Marijuana terpenes help to determine whether a cannabis strain is considered indica, sativa or hybrid. The terpenes provide the taste and aroma that characterizes a particular strain, and an increasing body of evidence suggests that the variation in effects between different cannabis strains is triggered largely by the interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids.
Indica terpenes promote a feeling of calm, relaxation, and tranquility and can be helpful for sleep.
Sativa terpenes provide the sociable, energetic, creative, and imaginative highs that are commonly associated with sativa strains.
TYPES OF TERPENES
There are thousands of types of terpenes found in nature. Some are very common while others are more rare. The terpenes in cannabis are classified into 2 types:
Primary terpenes are the most dominant terpenes found in a certain strain. These terpenes will have a significant impact on the plant’s appearance, flavor, and scent, and on the strain’s effects.
Secondary terpenes are found in lower concentrations and will place lower on a strain’s list of terpenes. But these terpenes give depth and texture to the cannabis experience and are as important as primary terpenes in giving a strain character.
MOST POPULAR TERPENES CHART
TERPENES CHART CONTINUED
MOST COMMON PRIMARY TERPENES
Pinene is the most common of all terpenes and gives scent not only to conifer trees, but also to herbs like rosemary, dill, and basil as well as hundreds of other plants. As you may have guessed from the name, pinene smells like pine and is found in pine needles and pine resin.
There are two types of pinene. Alpha-Pinene is found in rosemary, sassafras, and bergamot. Beta-Pinene is found in hops and cumin.
A 2021 review suggested that Pinene showed promise for improving mood.
Strains with Pinene at Mood
Our Orange Glaze Pre-Roll is jam packed with stimulating Pinene, calming Myrcene, and soothing Linalool. The combination provides a classic creative and happy cannabis high that is great for socializing, productivity or just having a good time.
Myrcene, also called beta-myrcene, has a peppery, spicy, balsam aroma, but myrcene-heavy strains of cannabis are known for causing “couch-lock.”
Myrcene is also found in mango, basil, lemongrass and hops and gives beer its distinctive earthy, musky taste. Myrcene helps your body absorb THC more quickly and helps you get maximum effect from your cannabis.
Myrcene has been used as a body soother since ancient times, and many who take myrcene report that they experienced greater relaxation and an increased quality and time of sleep.
Strains with Myrcene at MOOD
Our ACDC flower contains a high concentration of CBDA, myrcene and linalool, so you can expect a relaxing and chill high that’s great for winding down. Other myrcene-high MOOD strains include Sour Suver and Grapefruit Kush.
Limonene is the terpene that gives oranges, lemons, and limes their citrusy scent. But be careful, as not all lemon or citrus scents are limonene and some vendors will use synthetic cannabis terps instead of more expensive but healthier natural ones.
Limonene uplifts, brightens, and elevates your mood.
Strains with Limonene at MOOD
We have added some naturally extracted limonene to our Gushers to maximize their energy levels. And the limonene in our Citrus Berry flower makes it taste and smell great but also helps keep your high focused and energetic.
Humulene has a woody, complex scent and is found in sage, hops, and ginseng. It is also one of the more commonly found cannabis terps and gives flowers a pungent, crisp note that adds depth to the flavor and scent.
Humulene provides a relaxing mood while still giving way to a focused mood as well.
Strains with Humulene at MOOD
Beta-caryophyllene, which is also referred to as caryophyllene, is one of the marijuana terpenes that give cannabis strains a spicy flavor and aroma.
Beta-caryophyllene is found in black pepper, cloves, hops, rosemary, cinnamon, oregano, cloves, and several other plants.
Caryophyllene is known to put users in the mood for sleep.
Strains with Caryophyllene at MOOD
Our Cherry Creme Brulee and Paloma flowers are rich in caryophyllene and are a great choice for those looking for a good night’s sleep. These flowers soothe the body, calm the mind, and help you get the rest you need.
MOST COMMON SECONDARY TERPENES
Linalool is the terpene that gives lavender its calming and relaxing scent. Famous for its use in aromatherapy, a 2022 study found that patients exposed to lavender reported a significant increase in levels of relaxation.
While lavender has the highest concentration of linalool, more than 200 plants also contain linalool including hops, roses, mint, and cannabis. When found as cannabis terps, linalool produces a floral scent and flavor and interacts with the cannabinoids to shape the cannabis high.
While research into the effect of terpenes on cannabis continues, user reports suggest that linalool-heavy strains are good for mind relaxation, which make it good for a bedtime smoke.
Our Kandy Kush uses linalool and other terpenes to produce a soothing, tension-melting stone that is good for body relaxation.
Eucalyptol gives eucalyptus oil its bracing menthol scent and its cooling feel on the skin – making it popular in aromatherapy. Eucalyptol is a common secondary terpene in many cannabis strains, where it is sometimes referred to as “cineol.”
Our Bubba Kush flower contains eucalyptol that gives it a refreshingly pungent taste and a body high that is as soothing as a vapor rub.
Borneol oxidizes to another terpene, camphor, and can produce a cooling menthol-like feeling on your lips and skin. Borneol is also popular with perfumers who use it for its woody and camphor notes.
Cannabis strains with borneol terpene include LA Kush Cake, Purple Princess, and Orangina.
While it is one of the rarest terpenes in cannabis plants, strains with higher sabinene levels have strong spicy, citrusy, and piney terpenes flavors and a distinctive sharp aroma profile with woody and herbal notes.
Sabinene is found in Norway spruce, Holm oak trees, cardamom, carrot seeds, juniper, and nutmeg. Sabinene is also the terpene that gives black pepper its spicy bite. Because sabinene is produced in small quantities, it has not been studied as closely as other major terpenes.
Cannabis strains with higher sabinene levels include Haze strains, Garlic, KGB, and Pink Lady.
Phytol is commonly found in green tea plants as well as in cannabis. But phytol can be found in many other green plants, as it is a precursor to chlorophyll. Phytol has a grassy aroma with floral and balsamic overtones – leaving you with a mild, pleasant, and floral terpene flavor.
Cannabis strains high in phytol include Banana Kush and OG Kush. If you are looking for an active, giggly high, our Sour Diesel is rich in both phytol and fun.
HOW TO USE TERPENES IN CANNABIS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
There are many ways to take advantage of cannabis terpenes. Whether you are using cannabis for relaxation, recreation, or some other purpose, pick the terpene of your choice based on your desired effects. Once you do that, here are some ways to consume your cannabis to achieve the best effect.
The most conventional way to consume cannabis terpenes is by smoking flower. You can smoke your marijuana in a joint, pipe, roll-up, or bong and enjoy the cannabis effects quickly as the smoke goes from your lungs to your bloodstream and body.
Extracts are a great choice if you are wondering how to use terpenes in a vape. Terpenes make vapes taste and smell better, and give you more control over the draw and the amount used. No vape? No worries! You can also smoke extracts in a bong or pipe.
When you consume edibles with terpenes, you ensure flavor accuracy and enhance cannabinoid mood effects. But consume with moderation, as edibles can hit you hard if you are not used to them or if you overindulge.
HOW TO GET MAXIMUM BENEFITS FROM TERPENES
If you are just learning about cannabis terpenes, you may be wondering how you can improve your smoking experience. Here are some tips to get maximum terpenes benefits. Use our THC mg dosage chart first to determine how much THC you should expect to take for a desirable high.
Whether you are a newbie who is just starting or a seasoned stoner, always read the label of any cannabis product you are using. Look for products that provide you with terpene profiles and concentrations – 2% is a good number to start. And if you are confused about terpene effects, you can always check our cannabis terpene chart above!
When you are looking at cannabis products, always be sure to check the expiry date and buy the freshest products with the most recent date. Terpenes break down over time. This can change the taste and smell of your hemp products and lead to a diminished or less enjoyable effect.
Exposure to heat can have a damaging effect on synthetic terpenes and create harmful byproducts. To keep your cannabis terps at their freshest, always keep your hemp products cool.
Be Careful With Cannabis Oil
While there are many cannabis oils available on the market, many oil-based vaping products are made with synthetic terpenes that may not be as effective or safe as natural ones. Don’t fall for the marketing gimmicks: make sure you’re putting natural terpenes into your body.
Keep notes of what type of terps you are taking and how those terps affect your body. Putting your experiences down in a journal provides a record that will help you keep track of how terpenes affect you and guide you toward the terpene combinations that work best for you.
QUICK RECAP: COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT TERPENES AND THEIR EFFECTS
What Do Terpenes Do?
In nature, terpenes protect plants from harsh weather and predators. But they also draw pollinators and grazing wildlife to ensure their seeds are spread.
They can also have an influence on the effect of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabinoids and change the mood of the cannabis high.
Do Terpenes Make You high?
There is no euphoria associated with terpenes like that of a marijuana “high”. However, terpenes are psychoactive. And some terpenes have shown promise in alleviating a bad mood and soothing the body – two reasons many people turn to cannabis.
While many people focus on THC content, terpene profiles play a large role in the effects of different strains.
What Are Terpenes Used For?
Terpenes are used by plants to produce resin. Extracted from plants or synthesized in a lab, terpenes are heavily used in the fragrance industry. Terpenes are also used in the production of essential oils, aromatherapy, beauty products, and alternative medicine.
Do you like maple syrup? Natural maple syrup contains about 300 different terpenes. That’s why it tastes so good.
Terpenes get their name from turpentine, a concentrated solvent made with pine oil. And polyisoprene, the raw ingredient for natural rubber, is a terpene.
What Do Terpenes Look Like?
Terpenes are found in the cannabis trichomes. If you look at a bud through magnification, you will see tiny stalks with large bulbous gland heads that look like sticky, shiny mushrooms. These are the trichomes, and they contain the cannabinoids and terpenes that give cannabis its distinctive and enjoyable mood effects.
Cannabinoids vs Terpenes
Hundreds of different phytochemicals are produced by the cannabis plant, including both cannabis terps and cannabinoids.
An individual’s cannabinoid receptors react with cannabinoids. Some cannabinoids like THC can produce a state of euphoria when activating these receptors.
There are thousands of different terpenes, compounds, that give many plants their smell and taste. Terpenes do not affect cannabinoid receptors directly, but they can have an impact on your cannabis experience.
In addition to being a cannabinoid, caryophyllene is also a terpene.
What Temperature Do Terpenes Burn at?
Different terpenes burn at different temperatures. While some terpenes will begin evaporating into the air at temperatures as low as 70°F, most will begin to degrade at around 100°F. Check out our cannabis terpenes chart above for the vaporizing temperatures of some of the most common cannabis terpenes.
If you want to be an educated cannabis user, it’s important to understand how terpenes influence your experience and mood. Our cannabis terpenes chart is a good starting place, but new terpenes are found constantly, so look for new terpenes in the future and new strains created for desired effects.