Overview of Terpenes

What Are Terpenes And What Do They Do?

Terpenes are the aromatic elements of a cannabis flower that we are able to smell - the fragrant, organic molecules that are produced by the flower's resin glands, secreted from the plant in the form of an oil. Taking form in much the same way as THC and CBD, Terpenes are chemically similar to cannabinoids. They are volatile at room temperature, which is what allows us to detect them via our olfactory sense.

Hundreds of distinct terpenes have been identified in cannabis. They are categorized as "primary" or "secondary" and the medical community has long acknowledged their distinct, therapeutic values. Terpene analysis has proven critical in distinguishing among cannabis strains, as terpenes have been shown to play a major influence on a strain’s medical and psychological effects. It is the relationship between cannabinoids and terpenoids, called “the entourage effect,” that ultimately distinguishes one strain of medical cannabis from another. And as our understanding and scientific know-how increases, we are entering a world where cannabis users can actively optimize their strain selections based on terpene profile, in accordance with their medical needs, personality types, or simply their palates.

"cannabis users can actively optimize their strain selections based on terpene profile"

Terpene analysis is beneficial for patients, vendors, and breeders alike. It is essential to helping patients identify the right strain for their symptoms. Terpene analysis allows collectives and budtenders to customize treatment programs for their clients and optimize a strain’s pharmacological effects. Through understanding terpenes, breeders can selectively modulate the terpene ratios of their strains, in order to maximize desired benefits.

It is important to also consider that a plant’s terpene profile is highly dependent upon growing, harvesting, drying, and storage conditions. If 2 strains from the same genetics are grown and manufactured similarly, consumers can expect that both products will to accomplish the same effect. If treated differently, the terpene profile will differ.

Primary Terpenes


    Pinene enhances focus, promotes alertness and exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Read more

    Linalool is a terpene frequently used in aromatherapy for its calming properties. Read more

    Myrcene is one of the most abundant terpenes and has the distinguishing smell of hops. Read more

    Strains are qualified as sativas based on the presence of limonene at high concentrations. Read more

    Terpinolene is a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, and cancer-fighting benefits. Read more

    Geraniol repels mosquitos, attracts bees, and has tremendous therapeutic value. Read more

    Ocimene is a decongestant with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Read more

    Caryophyllene is the only terpene that can interact with the endocannabinoid system. Read more

    Valencene is an anti-inflammatory agent with great medical potential. Read more

    Terpineol is for having relaxing effects, but it also has the potential to induce couchlock. Read more

    Humulene is noted for having antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Read more