According to an article by Medical News Today, “Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, though many people commonly associate them with cannabis because cannabis plants contain high concentrations in them”. They play a vital role in plants by protecting them from infectious germs to help the plant to recover from damage, they do it all. They are also useful for repelling predators like insects and such.
Cannabis plants contain over one hundred cannabinoids like THC, which is responsible for giving you a feeling of being ‘high,’ and CBD, known for its abundance of medicinal properties that you can take benefits of, without retaining any psychoactive effects. In similarity, terpenes are also found in cannabis plants but are responsible for the aroma and flavor of most strains. They are also bioactive, which means they will affect your body depending on the type of concentration and how much you use it. There are 20,000 types discovered by scientists, and many are still undiscovered, so let us talk about some of the most common terpenes (in no particular order) and their properties:
Limonene- Like the name suggests, this terpene has a strong citrus aroma. It is known to be clean, fresh, and is found in citrus fruits such as lime, lemon, orange, and grapefruit. It is known for being one of the most common terpenes to be found in cannabis as well. Apart from its citrusy qualities, it can be used for anti-anxiety, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory purposes. It is also found in various cleaning products, certain cosmetics, and fragrances too (in less quantities).
Pinene- Also one of the commonly found terpenes, pinene is popular for its fragrance of a pine tree, which is quite easy to recognize because it is so strong and distinct. the aroma is more significantly found in dill, basil, rosemary, etc. The predominant type of pinene that is found in cannabis is alpha pinene, which also provides several medical benefits like antimicrobial, antidepressant, and anti-cancer properties, and can help with boosting memory too.
Myrcene- The aroma of myrcene can be experienced when you cook anything with parsley, sipping relaxing lemongrass tea, or eating a sweet juicy mango. However, in cannabis the taste is described as “spicy, musky, and earthy”. Apart from its aroma and flavor, myrcene is also known to have antioxidant properties, saving your skin from ultraviolet rays and aging. Cannabis strains that are high in myrcene could potentially put you in a “couch lock” feeling, and even increase your sleeping time. So, if you have a palette for earthy and fruity undertones, this might the perfect terpene profile for you.
Humulene- Humulene has a distinct flavor and aroma, just like other terpenes. It is popular for adding that bitter flavor in beer and found in various spices and herbs used in Asian cuisine like sage, coriander, and ginseng. It helps combat allergies, treatment of inflammatory diseases, and potentially kill cancer cells.
Caryophyllene- Caryophyllene has a strong, spicy, peppery aroma and can be found in essential oils with similar aroma profiles. It is also found in clove, basil, and rosemary. As far as therapeutic properties are concerned, caryophyllene is known for its sedative, pain relieving, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant properties, along with potentially balancing glucose levels.
The variety in terpenes is vast, and it can be overwhelming trying to find the right fit for your specific needs and preferences. We hope this basic guide helps you understand the world of terpenes and is a good kickstart to your journey of finding your favorite!
Johnson, J. (2020, March 6). What to know about terpenes. Retrieved from Medicalnewstoday.com: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-are-terpenes
Weedmaps. (2021, July 13). Caryophyllene. Retrieved from weedmaps.com: https://weedmaps.com/learn/the-plant/caryophyllene
Weedmaps. (2021, July 13). Humulene. Retrieved from Weedmaps.com: https://weedmaps.com/learn/the-plant/humulene
weedmaps. (2021, July 13). Limonene. Retrieved from weedmaps.com: https://weedmaps.com/learn/the-plant/limonene
Weedmaps. (2021, July 13). Myrcene. Retrieved from Weedmaps.com: https://weedmaps.com/learn/the-plant/myrcene
Weedmaps. (2021, July 13). Pinene. Retrieved from weedmaps.com: https://weedmaps.com/learn/the-plant/pinene