Terpenes are a plant’s “essential oils,” or the primary building blocks of any plant resin, and they are largely responsible for the scents, flavors and colors of plants.  Modern research will continue to dive deeper into how terpenes influence the effects of cannabis on the human body as some terpenes have been found to have medicinal benefits. That means, there are non-psychoactive compounds that can be used to safely treat an array of medical conditions.

While there are many different terpenes in cannabis, here are 11 profiles you should know about:


1. Limonene

Flavor + Aroma Citrus.

Medicinal Uses Limonene can be used to help promote weight loss, prevent and treat cancer, and treat bronchitis. It can also be used to make ointments and medicinal creams that penetrate the skin better.

Strain Shishkaberry and Cold Creek Kush

2. Myrcene

Flavor + Aroma  Earthy and musky with a hint of fruity flavors.

Medicinal Uses  Myrcene has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory . It also works as a sedative and muscle relaxer. This could possible contribute to the tired/stoned feeling often attributed to indicas.

3. Linalool

Flavor + Aroma  Floral with a hint of spice. In addition to cannabis, linalool can be found in an array of flowers, mint, cinnamon, and even some fungi.

Medicinal Uses  Can be used as an anti-inflammatory. It also helps to modulate motor movements. Another study found that Linalool could be used to help treat liver cancer.

4. Alpha Bisabolol

Flavor + Aroma  Floral.  Alpha bisabolol is also found in chamomile.

Medicinal Uses  Can be used to heal wounds, fights bacteria, and can be used a deodorizer. Research suggests alpha bisabolol has been effective in treating a variety of inflammations.

5. Delta 3 Carene

Flavor + Aroma Piney and earthy.

Medicinal Uses  Studies have found Delta 3 Carene to be an effective anti-inflammatory. It is also known to dry fluids like tears, running noses, and menstrual flows.

6. Borneol

Flavor + Aroma  Earthy and camphor.

Medicinal Uses  Borneol can be used as an analgesic, anti-insomnia, antiseptic, and bronchodilator.

7. Alpha-Pinene + Beta-Pinene

Flavor + Aroma  Pine. This is, of course, partially where pine trees get their scent from.

Medicinal Uses  Pinene has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

8. Eucalyptol

Flavor + Aroma  Spicy. Eucalyptol is used as a cooking spice and fragrance.

Medicinal Uses  Eucalyptol is used in a variety of products including cough suppressants, mouthwash, and body powder.

9. Terpineol

Flavor + Aroma  Pine, clove.

Medicinal Uses  Studies suggest cannabis-extracted terpineol contains antioxidant properties.

Strain  CBD God’s Bud

10. Caryophyllene

Flavor + Aroma  Hoppy. Cannabis and hops are basically cousins.

Medicinal Uses  Studies suggest that caryophyllene may help treat anxiety and depression.

11. Camphene

Flavor + Aroma  Herbal.

Medicinal Uses  Camphene has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antibiotic characteristics.

Terpenes are also responsible for the fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity. 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. Stay curious as science continues to research how terpenes influence the effects of cannabis on the human body.  

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