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Terpenes, which are produced and secreted by the same glands that make CBD and THC, are the key components that give cannabis its signature scents, including pine, mint, berry, and other types. Cannabis is not the only plant that contains terpenes. Terpenes are also found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, as well as in other flowering plants and medicinal plants. Some of these oils are even used in perfumery and alternative medicine like aromatherapy.

The terpenes found in cannabis can be used therapeutically. Natural terpenes, such as *-myrcene, have anti-inflammatory properties. There's also D-linalool, a terpene that can treat seizures. Due to limited research, it is difficult to determine how each terpene can affect your health holistically.


According to some people, terpenes can affect your experience with marijuana, but in a positive way. Terpenes are present at every inhalation, creating a miscellany of effects. It is believed that they balance out the effects of THC, making you less paranoid. People who often suffer from a variety of unfavourable side effects of cannabis, such as anxiety, will appreciate this.


Terpenes also have the benefit of being pungent, which can help fight off herbivores with an appetite during flowering. With the abundance of terpenes, growers have created a helpful wheel that allows consumers to find specific strains based on aromas and claimed therapeutic effects.


Citrus terpenes such as limonene are best known for their zesty citrus scent, but also lime, orange, and grapefruit. In citrus peels and some cannabis varieties, limonene is present. The most abundant terpene to occur in cannabis is limonene, along with myrcene. Various potential medical uses of terpenes have also been investigated, such as their anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.  

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Known as beta myrcene, myrcene is a monoterpene present in many plants and fruits. Among them are cannabis, ylang-ylang, bay, parsley, wild thyme, lemongrass, hops, cardamom, and mango fruit. Many plants contain myrcene, however, its commercial production comes from beta-pinene, another terpene that is found primarily in turpentine. Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis,  it comprises up to 65% of the terpene content in a cannabis plant.

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Humulene, also known as a-humulene and alpha-humulene, is a terpene classified as a monocyclic sesquiterpene. Humulene terpene is a key component of the essential oil produced by the hops flowering cone. Humulene is found in high concentrations, sometimes as high as 40 percent, in marijuana plants and cannabis-derived essential oils. Currently is being investigated for its potential use as an anti-inflammatory agent and for treating allergies.

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The second most crucial terpene is linalool, which gives off a floral scent with a hint of spice. In addition to working as an anti-inflammatory, linalool is excellent at treating insomnia, depression, and plenty of other conditions. The strain where this terpene is most present, in particular, is Amnesia Haze, a best-seller that's praised for packing psychedelic power.

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This terpene found in cannabis is known for its herbal spiciness with hints of wood. Most commonly found in black pepper, cinnamon, and hops. Caryophyllene is an important component of anti-inflammatory salves and topicals and also has potential anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. After being consumed orally, caryophyllene has unique properties in that it can bind to CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system.

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Pinene comes in two forms: beta and alpha. In addition to offering a lovely pine aroma, some studies have shown that pinene may have anti-inflammatory effects. 

Image by La Partida Eterna
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