All About Terpenes
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are responsible for the different flavour notes of cannabis, and to an extent, its effects. The tastes and smells of the terpenes in cannabis have a diverse range of aromas. Strains can produce a terpene profile that is earthy, woodsy, herbal, spicy, diesel or cheesy, all the way to citrusy or sweet.
Through learning about terpenes and their smell and taste, you’ll be more informed, making it easier for you to discover the cannabis strains you’ll enjoy. We have put together a comprehensive list of common terpenes, the aromas, flavours and potential benefits. Enjoy!
Limonene is an aromatic cannabis terpene that produces a fresh and zesty citrus aroma. Limonene is found in citrus fruits as well as juniper, peppermint, and rosemary. Limonene has been said to aid in digestion, anxiety, depression, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis and it produces earthy, spicy, and clove aromas. Myrcene is found in basil, hops, parsley, and mango and can offer a sedative effect.
Linalool has a floral and lavender aroma and offers a calming, relaxing effect. Linalool is found in other plants, including mint, scented herbs, citrus, and birch trees. This terpene has been used to treat anxiety, depression, pain and stress.
Beta-Caryophyllene is a common terpene offering a sweet & spicy aroma. Beta-Caryophyllene is also in black pepper, oregano, cloves, basil, and rosemary. Beta Caryophyllene has been used as an anti-inflammatory and to alleviate pain, anxiety and depression.
Humulene gives cannabis its fundamental aromatic profile. This terpene is also found in hops, which is what gives beer a distinct taste and aroma. Humulene is also found in ginseng and black pepper and offers a woody, spicy and earthy smell. Humulene has been used for centuries in Eastern holistic medicinal practices. Research has shown it to be an effective anti-inflammatory and has been used for relaxation.
Valencene is a terpene that offers a sweet, citrus aroma and flavour. Valencene can be found in valencia oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Terpinolene is a terpene that offers a piney or woodsy aroma with hints of citrus & herbal spice. This terpene can also be found in sage, rosemary, apples, lilac, cumin & nutmeg. The strong aromatic properties make it a common ingredient in soap, perfumes and lotions. . As an essential oil, terpinolene may have anti-bacterial and antifungal qualities.
Camphene has pungent odours of damp woodlands and fir needles. It is a minor component of many essential oils such as camphor oil, citronella oil and ginger oil. It is used in food additives for flavouring and in fragrances.
Geraniol is a terpene that produces a sweet smell similar to roses, peaches and plums. Popular in many bath and body products, scientific literature suggests geraniol has many therapeutic uses. It seems the terpene boasts antioxidant, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Nerolidol is a terpene that produces a smell similar to fresh bark and is often referred to as woodsy or fruity. This terpene can also be found in citronella, ginger, jasmine, lavender and tree oil. Nerolidol has also been shown to have sedative properties.
Carene offers a sweet, pungent odour and is found naturally in essential oils such as cypress oil, juniper berry oil and fir needle essential oil. Is also present in pine extract, bell pepper, basil oil, and citrus peel oil from fruits like lemons, limes, and tangerines. Carene is believed to promote memory retention and alertness and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Menthol is not the most common cannabis terpene but is certainly well-known. Its commonly found in mint plants such as spearmint and peppermint. Menthol is said to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and aids in boosting the immune system. This terpene is recognized by its minty flavour and cooling sensation.
Ocimene is a terpene that offers sweet and herbaceous flavours with citrusy and woodsy undertones. Ocimene is found in mangoes, basil, bergamot, lavender and pepper. Typically used in the perfume industry for its sweet, floral and aromatic profile and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Eugenol is a terpene that offers a spicy and wood odour and a pungent and spicy taste. This terpene is most commonly associated with clove oil, but also naturally occurs in clove, turmeric, cinnamon, bay leaves, and basil. Eugenol is known to help reduce pain, fight infection, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.
A-Bisabolol is a terpene that has a delicately sweet and floral aroma with hints of citrus and spice. This terpene is found in chamomile flower and other plants such as candela tree. Bisabolol is widely used in cosmetics, fragrance and skin care products. It offers a soothing effect with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
B-Cymene is a terpene which exudes a sweet flavour profile with notes of aged wood. This terpene is found in 100 different plants, including oregano, thyme, eucalyptus, cilantro and cumin. B-Cymene is shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial benefits.
Borneol is a terpene that is a staple of Asian traditional medicine which offers a spicy and woody aroma. Borneol is found in thyme, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon and sage. It has anti-inflammatory benefits and has also been used as a topical pain reliever.
Sabinene is a terpene that is derived from plants and trees, most notably the holm oak & Norway spruce. It can also be found in nutmeg. This terpene has a spicy scent & flavour profile and has possible antioxidant and antimicrobial usages.
Isopulegol is a terpene that offers a distinct & potent minty aroma and taste. This terpene is the chemical precursor to menthol and is also found in lemongrass and geranium. Some potential health benefits include anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective and antiviral effects.
Phytol is a one of the less aromatic terpenes with a light, grassy aroma. This terpene naturally occurs in green tea and is frequently included in fragrances, cosmetics, shampoos, household cleaners, and detergents. Phytol is known for its antioxidant properties and has shown to fight inflammation.