To say that cannabis is a complex plant is an understatement. From cannabinoids, to CBD, to Moon Rocks, and terpenes, there’s so much more to marijuana than the munchies and the ability to get high (but, of course, it does that too).

We love empowering and educating our patients on the benefits, uses, and uniqueness that can only be found in cannabis. That brings us to terpenes, pronounced “tur-peens”. If you’re in the cannabis community, it’s a term you’ve likely heard but may not be familiar with. Let’s talk about terpenes.

Terpenes 101

Terpenes, of which there are more than 200, are fragrant, naturally occurring oils that give cannabis flower strains their distinctive scents (citrus, pine, etc.). Think of it as cannabis aromatherapy. That skunky smell coming from your Jack Herer? Believe it or not, that’s not actual skunk scent, it’s a terpene called Pinene. These oils are secreted in the cannabis flowers’ sticky resin glands, which also produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. However, terpenes are not unique to cannabis; terpenes can be found in virtually all herbs, fruits, and plants, and come with their own set of medical benefits. For example, the terpene Linalool is a terpene found in many flowers and spices, including lavender, and lavender is a widely popular scent used to aid in relaxation.

Common Terpenes Found in Cannabis

(s) sativa, (h) hybrid, (i) indica

Pinene

  • Aroma: Sharp, sweet pine
  • Effect: Memory retention, alertness
  • Medical benefits: Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. Helps with memory retention. Boosts energy. Opens airways in the lungs, acting as a bronchodilator. Is said to aid in killing some cancer cells.
  • Found in Strains: Jack Herer (s), Dutch Treat (h), Romulan (i), Blue Dream (h), OG Kush (h)
  • Also found in: Pine needles, sage, conifers

Linalool

  • Aroma: Spicy, floral
  • Effect: Sedating, calming
  • Medical benefits: Anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-convulsant. When applied to the skin, it can heal acne and severe burns. Possibly used as a cancer treatment.
  • Found in Strains: Lavender (i), Skywalker OG (h), Headband (h), Ingrid (i), and Pink Kush (h)
  • Also found in: Lavender, citrus, laurel, birch, rosewood

Caryophyllene

  • Aroma: Sweet, pepper, wood
  • Effect: No detectable effects (non-psychoactive)
  • Medical benefits: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant. Helps with autoimmune disorders. Helps with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
  • Found in Strains: GSC (h), White Widow (h), OG Kush (h), Bubba Kush (i), and Chemdawg (h)
  • Also found in: Cloves, hops, basil, oregano, pepper

Myrcene

  • Aroma: Earthy, musky, citrus, herbal
  • Effect: Sedating, relaxing, enhances THC psychoactivity
  • Medical benefits: Anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial. Aids in pain relief and suppresses muscle spasms. Helps THC to travel to the brain at a fast rate.
  • Found in Strains: Blue Dream (h), Green Crack (s), Alien OG (h), Granddaddy Purple (i), and Northern Lights (i)
  • Also found in: Mango, thyme, citrus, lemongrass, bay leaves

Limonene

  • Aroma: Citrus, lemon, orange
  • Effect: Elevated mood, stress relief
  • Medical benefits: Potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, antidepressant. Dissolves gallstones, and relieves heartburn and gastrointestinal reflux (acid reflux).
  • Found in Strains: OG Kush (h), Sour Diesel (s), Super Lemon Haze (s), Trainwreck (h), Bubba Kush (i)
  • Also found in: Juniper, peppermint, citrus rinds

Terpenes are a great feature to focus on when searching for quality and effective products. For more information about terpenes, come chat with one our awesome budtenders, or contact us today!