Terpenes: The Complete Buying Guide 2023

Many people associate terpenes with the characteristic smells associated with different types of cannabis. As the plant matures, more terpenes will be produced and contribute to its unique aroma profile.

For example, one type of cannabis may have an earthy smell due to high levels of myrcene while another may have a citrus scent from limonene. Knowing which terpene profiles exist within a strain can help you to understand what kind of experience you might expect when using it.

What are terpenes?

Cannabis is one of the most complex plants out there. Every now and then we learn new things about this plant and the great news is that most of these things are usually very beneficial. Today, we will be discussing terpenes. This is a very common term in the cannabis industry but not many people know what exactly it is and the effects it has on your body. With the following information, you should understand everything about Terpenes and this should help you get the right terpenes products out there that will benefit your health.

  • Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants that give them their distinctive aroma and flavor.
  • There are over 200 different terpenes, each with its own unique benefits.
  • They include monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, and others.
  • Terpenes interact with cannabinoids to produce the entourage effect by providing additional therapeutic effects for users.
  • Different plant species may have similar terpene profiles due to convergent evolution or genetic adaptation to their environment.
  • Some of the most commonly known terpenes are limonene (citrus), pinene (pine), myrcene (musk), linalool (lavender), and caryophyllene (pepper).
  • Terpenes can be used to modulate the effects of different cannabinoids, providing a more balanced experience with less psychoactive impact.
  • They also act as powerful anti-inflammatories, reducing inflammation throughout the body.
  • They may provide neuroprotective properties, helping protect against the development of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

The difference between terpenes and terpenoids

Terpenes and terpenoids are both compounds found in a variety of plants, herbs, and spices. They share certain similarities but also have distinct differences. While they are often used interchangeably, it is important to understand the key differences between these two substances.

  • Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons that are composed of repeating isoprene units, while terpenoids contain additional elements such as oxygen or nitrogen atoms.
  • Terpenes have a strong scent, whereas terpenoids lack the same intense aroma.
  • Terpenes are typically more volatile than terpenoids and can quickly evaporate in air, making them ideal for providing aromatherapy benefits.
  • The most common types of terpene molecules found in nature are monoterpenes, sesquiterpene and diterpene molecules – each with slightly different structures and characteristics – while the most common types of terpenoid molecules are known as phenylpropanoids and tannins.
  • Both terpenes and terpenoids serve important roles in plants, helping protect them from pests or diseases, attracting pollinators, and even influencing our perception of taste and smell when we consume them.
  • Terpenes can also be found in some animals as a means of protection or communication. For example, the defensive secretions of skunks contain thiols – sulfur-containing compounds that are derived from terpene molecules.
  • In addition to their natural roles, both terpenes and terpenoids have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicines around the world – particularly those focused on respiratory health, such as aromatherapy.
  • More recently, terpenes and terpenoids have become increasingly popular due to their potential therapeutic effects in humans when taken orally or applied topically. Research has suggested that they may be beneficial in treating a variety of conditions, such as inflammation, anxiety, depression, pain and acne.
  • However, it is important to note that more research is needed to better understand the efficacy of these compounds and any potential side effects. Furthermore, not all terpenes and terpenoids are safe for human consumption – some can be toxic at certain doses or simply irritate sensitive skin if used topically.. As such, it is always best to check with a healthcare professional before taking them internally or applying them externally.

Medicinal properties of terpenes

Terpenes are a type of molecule found in plants that are responsible for their characteristic aroma and flavor. They can also interact with the human body in various ways. Terpenes have multiple medicinal properties that can be beneficial to the user. These include

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Antiviral
  • Antitumor
  • Analgesic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anxiolytic
  • Antidepressant
  • Anticancer
  • Neuroprotective

Types of terpenes and their effects

So far, over 100 different strains of marijuana terpenes have been identified. Some of the most common terpenes include:

  • Pinene

This terpene is secreted from pine trees, balsa trees, some citrus fruits, and other conifers. It has a distinct pine scent and is also one of the most reactive terpenes in the market. Pinene can also be mixed with other marijuana terpenes to create a new variety with other medicinal benefits.

Pinene is beneficial in various ways, and the most popular of them is its remarkable ability to boost one’s memory and their alertness. It has excellent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Pinene has also been seen to perform really well as a bronchodilator where it helps in opening up airways in the lungs. There are also reports that it has been used in the Chinese medicine industry as an anti-cancer.

  • Myrcene

Myrcene is very popular for its earthy scent of musk and cloves. This terpene is found in almost all strains of marijuana, and that is why it is widely studied helping us to understand the full extent of its effects. This terpene is also responsible for the “Couch-lock” effect associated with most indica varieties.

Myrcene helps with sedation and relaxation. It also tends to enhance the effects of THC psychoactivity. It allows THC to travel to your brain at a much faster rate. The terpene has also been used in medical settings where it functions as an anti-bacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory agent.

Myrcene is found in strains of Blue Dream, Green Crack, Northern Lights, Granddaddy Purple, and Alien OG. The terpene is also present in bay leaves, lemongrass, citrus, thyme, and mangoes.

  • Limonene

Limonene is very common in grapefruit varieties of cannabis. This terpene has a unique citrus scent, but it may also smell a little like orange or lemon.

One of the biggest benefits of this compound is how fast it is absorbed into the body. Limonene only takes a few moments to get into your system thus allowing you to enjoy its benefits in no time. It will also promote the absorption rate of any other terpene that you might be using.

Using Limonene has been linked to an enhanced mood, and it also acts as a stress reliever. The terpene also has antidepressant, anti-cancer, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Limonene helps in easing gastrointestinal reflux, dissolving gallstones and relieving heartburns.

Limonene can be found in strains of Bubba Kush, Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Super Lemon Haze, and Trainwreck. You can also get it from citrus rinds, peppermint, and juniper.


Caryophyllene has a pepper, wood or sweet aroma. Caryophyllene doesn’t have any detectable effects, and this makes it one of the few non-psychoactive terpenes in the market.

Clinical studies show that Caryophyllene is a great antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compound. It can also help with inflammatory bowel disease and easing autoimmune disorders.

Caryophyllene can be found in GSC, OG Kush, White Widow, Chemdawg and Bubba Kush. It is also present in pepper, oregano, basil, hops, and cloves.

  • Linalool

Linalool has been used in aromatherapy for years. The terpene has a classic lavender scent that has been associated with a wide variety of benefits.

Using this Linalool will lead to calming and sedating effects. The terpene is also full of medicinal benefits such as; anti-convulsant, anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety. You can also apply Linalool on your skin where it helps in dealing with severe burns and acne. There are also reports that it is an active cancer treatment compound.

Linalool can be found in strains of Lavender (i), headband (h), Skywalker OG (h), Pink Kush (h) and Ingrid (i). It’s also present in rosewood, birch, laurel, lavender, and citrus.

  • Humulene

This spicy and hoppy terpene is linked to quite a number of benefits, but the most surprising of them all is its appetite suppressant abilities. Yes, contrary to what you would expect from cannabis, Humulene will reduce your appetite, and this may be very beneficial to individuals trying to avoid weight gain. The terpene also has pharmacokinetic properties that promote the movement of drugs through the body and the brain. Humulene is also an incredible anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial agent.

Humulene is present in hops, cloves, and basil.

Using Terpenes

Terpenes are best utilized through inhalation. This way, you will enjoy their vast benefits at a faster rate and in a much safer way. You are discouraged from smoking terpenes as this generates byproducts that can irritate your throat and lungs and could even lead to severe medical conditions.

You should also know that terpenes have different molecular structures and hence their boiling points are different. This means that you will have to adjust the temperatures of your vaporizer depending on the specific terpene you are using for it to yield the desired effects. The good news for you is that most vaporizers in the market at the moment allow for customization of the temperatures. Some of these vaporizers can only be customized on the item while others can be linked to your smartphone which will enable you to adjust the temperatures remotely. The ability to regulate the temperatures is very beneficial as it allows you to use different terpenes with the same vaporizer.

Buying terpenes

Before purchasing a particular concentrate, we encourage you to test them out lightly. Remember that these compounds don’t react in the same way to everyone. While some people could be enjoying a specific compound with no adverse reactions, others may experience a few undesirable side effects. It’s for this reason that we encourage everyone to test them out by smelling them before they start using the compounds on a regular basis. Take note of the scent, flavor and how you feel afterward. Make sure that you take at least a minute or so testing out each strain. This will help you determine whether your body can tolerate the strain or not.

Final words

Terpenes have been used for thousands of years where they have offered incredible medicinal benefits to so many people. These compounds are still undergoing clinical trials, but from the few reports that are currently available, we can see how beneficial and promising they are. We will continue gaining more knowledge and insight on the full benefits of terpenes and cannabis as more and more scientists committing their resources in studying them. For the consumers, the most crucial part is understanding what you want and being keen while looking for the terpene that will deliver the needed effects.

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