A Simple Guide to Cannabis Terpenes

Aug. 2020 | By 514 Editorial Team

A Simple Guide to Cannabis Terpenes A Simple Guide to Cannabis Terpenes
Terpenes explained

A Simple Guide to Cannabis Terpenes

Aug. 2020 | By 514 Editorial Team

Terpenes 101

It is well-known that cannabis has a unique, uncommon smell that many can easily recognize. Some say it soothes the mind and body, while others associate it with a particular state of mind. Either way, the flavourful bouquet of smell you experience when consuming cannabis is due to the presence of terpenes, and with well over 100 different terpenes identified in the cannabis plant the range of aromas is vast. Today’s article focuses on this healing, soothing part of the cannabis plant. Here’s your easy to understand, useful terpene guide.

You may already be aware of this, but cannabis isn’t the only plant to produce terpenes. These are organic hydrocarbons found in plants’ essential oils, such as citrus fruit rinds, black pepper, pine needles or pine tree sap. According to the Center for Medical Marijuana Research SCLabs, terpenes are “secreted by the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Terpenes are aromatic oils that color cannabis varieties with distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint and pine”. The terpenes are also created by plants to protect against herbivores, insects, and other environmental dangers. Do you remember that heavenly blueberry smell and taste you experience when eating a hand-full? Well, it is all related to terpenes.

Terpenes affect your mood and body in different ways

Hence why many use essential oils for productivity, sleep or anxiety relief. It has been demonstrated that certain scents trigger mixed emotions and feelings in our bodies. Not surprisingly, cannabis works in the same way.

Like with many other fruits and plants, terpenes are the essential oils that give cannabis its distinct smell. They have also been associated with some potential health benefits. The number of distinct terpenes found in cannabis can range between 100 to 200, depending on the various strains. Some smell more hearty, other floral, while a few give a slight peppery aroma to the mix.

Terpenes 101

The Right Terpenes for You

How you choose your essential oils is also how you want to go about with cannabis. Some terpenes are associated with relaxation and anxiety relief, while others may help with focus-oriented activities. Identify your need, then choose a strain that fits your requirements. If you are interested in relieving pain or inflammatory or nausea, there is a unique blend of terpenes that may be effective for each symptom.

Here is a list of the most common Cannabis Terpenes along with some of their properties.


Has a citrus, lemon aroma.

May help with:

  • Stress
  • Mood
  • Anxiety
  • Depression


This pine aroma is known to stimulate creativity and euphoria.

May help with:

  • Asthma
  • Inflammation


Musky and earthy, this one is all about relaxation and gives a body high.

May help with:

  • Insomnia


The sweet, floral one, which is also active in Lavender plant.

May help:

  • Provide a calming effect
  • Anxiety


Will remind you of wood and spices.

May help with:

  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia


With a citrusy aroma, this Terpene is also found in grapefruits, tangerines, oranges and some herbs.

May help as a:

  • Powerful tick and mosquito repellant


A piney aroma with notes of herbs & wildflower, this terpene is a useful insect repellant. It is also found in rosemary, sage and cypress.

May help as a:

  • Proliferative
  • Sedative


Due to its pleasant aroma reminiscent of lilac and flower blossom, it is often used in cosmetic products, It is often found in higher concentration along side pinene, which unfortunately may mask its sent

May help with:

  • Antibacterial
  • Anxiety
  • Immunostimulant


Found in a wide variety of botanicals, it is known for its sweet & woody scent. It is also found in mint, parsley, pepper, basil, orchids & kumquats.

May help as an:

  • Anti-fungal

Humulene Terpene

Another strong contributor to the sell-tale “earthy” aroma of cannabis, this terpene is also present in hops and coriander.

May help as an:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic


Creating a delightfully sweet smell akin to roses, this terpene is present in geraniums, lemons and tobacco and its often in perfumes and other cosmetics.

May help as a:

  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-fungal

Many of these scented compounds can be blended into a single product to target specific beneficial effects. Each product will have a unique taste and smell.

While the differences can be quite subtle, if you are an avid cannabis user you might want to dig deeper into the terpene world to discover the ones that suit you the best.

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