WHAT IS A TERPENE?
Terpenes are compounds found in many plants. They are known for their unique smells and are a means of defense to repel predators and attract pollinators. In cannabis, terpenes have their own therapeutic and medicinal properties and are found in all strains. They are secreted in the same resin glands that produce cannabinoids. Their pungent oils give cannabis strains variety with distinct flavors like citrus, pine, and berry.
Sometimes used interchangeably, terpenes are not the same as terpenoids; terpenes are naturally-occurring in the cannabis plant, while terpenoids occur after oxidation.
There are an estimated 120+ terpenes and terpenoids found in cannabis, yet only a handful of the terpenes are found in the majority of cannabis products on the market.
POPULAR TERPENES FOUND IN CANNABIS
Bisabolol is a floral, fragrant compound. It is found in chamomile and is used frequently in the cosmetic industry. It is known to heal wounds, fight bacteria, as an anti-inflammatory, and analgesic.
Borneol has a menthol, woody scent and is commonly found in rosemary and mint. It is known for its soothing effects and stress-relieving properties. It is commonly used as an analgesic, anti-cancer agent, and anticoagulant.
Camphene emits a strong, pungent odor resembling fir and camphor. It is found in citronella oil, ginger, rosemary, and nutmeg. It has antibiotic, anti-tumor, cardiovascular, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is common in many indica strains.
Carene has a sweet odor and is found in many healthy oils including juniper berry, cypress, and fir needle. It is used as an antidepressant and anti-inflammatory. It is also used to dry up runny noses and menstrual flows.
Caryophyllene has a spicy, rich odor and is found in many plants including cloves, black pepper, and rosemary. This terpene is known to be an antibacterial, antifungal, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown this terpene helps treat anxiety and depression.
Eucalyptol has a eucalyptus, minty odor, and is found in eucalyptus trees, tea trees, and bay leaves. It is commonly used for digestive disorders and inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory properties help combat asthma symptoms.
Geraniol has a sweet, floral, pleasant smell, and is present in geraniums and lemons. It is sought after for its antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-spasmodic properties.
Humulene has an earthy, woody aroma. It is found in hops, ginseng, and sativa strains. This terpene has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Humulene is also used as an appetite suppressant.
Limonene is a terpene with a citrusy aroma, bitter taste, and energizing effect. It is known as an anti-fungal agent, possessing both gastrointestinal and anti-cancer benefits. Limonene is effective in treating depression, anxiety, inhibiting cancer cell growth, and aiding weight loss.
Linalool has a floral odor and is isolated in many different plants, like lavender, citrus, sweet basil, and rosewood. It is used as a sleep aid, anxiolytic, anti-cancer agent, anti-epileptic agent, and analgesic.
Myrcene is well known for its relaxing effects in several indica strains. It is found in mangos, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and many other plants. It has anxiolytic properties and is a powerful muscle relaxant used to treat spasms. Myrcene is an anti-inflammatory and helps with insomnia, diabetes, and cancer-related symptoms.
Pinene is found in conifers, most notably the pine tree, and in some citrus. It smells like pine, binds well with other compounds to create different terpenes, and is in many of the most popular cannabis strains. Pinene is used to promote focus, as an anti-cancer agent, and an anti-inflammatory. It can also relieve symptoms of asthma and serve as a bronchodilator.
Terpineol naturally occurs in lilacs, lime blossoms, and eucalyptus sap. It has anti-anxiety properties, and is used as an antibiotic, antioxidant, sedative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor agent.
Terpinolene is known to have a piney, floral aroma, tasting like citrus. It is used to promote sleep, reduce anxiety, and as an anti-cancer agent.
Valencene gets its name from Valencia oranges; it is also found in grapefruits and lemons. It has a sweet, citrusy aroma and possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.