Terpenes 101

Terpene may be a new and unfamiliar term for you, but it is an important part of your cannabis and hemp.

Cannabis diversity depends on terpenes for variety. Terpenes are fragrant oils that are secreted in the flower’s sticky resin glands. These glands not only produce the oils, but they make THC, CBD and other cannabinoids as well! (If you haven’t already, check out our article Cannabinoids 101 to learn more.) They can be found in lots of other plants, fruits and herbs, but they are what help make cannabis strains unique.

Myrcene

Myrcene smells like musk, cloves, herbs and citrus. It has a moderate boiling point of 168 degrees C (334 F). It enhances THC psychoactive properties, but it is also sedating and relaxing. Its medical benefits include being: antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Myrcene is also found in mangos, thyme, citrus, lemongrass and bay leaves.

Limonene

Limonene has a subtle fragrance of citrus, lemon and orange. It has a moderate boiling point of 176 degrees C (349 F). It can elevate your mood and works to relieve stress. Its medical properties help with depression, anxiety and gastric reflux. It also has antifungal effects. Limonene can be found in citrus rinds, juniper and peppermint.

Pinene

Pinene smells like pine, it is sharp and sweet. It has a low boiling point, at 155 degrees C (311F). It can help with memory retention and alertness. Medically, it can reduce inflammation and acts as a bronchodilator, which can help people who live with asthma. Pinene can be found in pine needles, conifers, and sage.

Linalool

Linalool has a floral, citrus and spicy fragrance. It has a high boiling point, at 198 degrees C (388F). It helps sedate and calms the body. Medically, it may help with insomnia, stress, depression, anxiety, pain and convulsions. It is also found in lavender, citrus, laurel, birch, and rosewood.

Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene has an earthy fragrance and smells of pepper, wood and spice. It has a low boiling point, at 160 degrees C (320F). It has no detectable physical effects, but it does have medical benefits. It has antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation. It can also help with muscle spasms, pain and insomnia. Caryophyllene also naturally occurs in pepper, cloves, hops, basil and oregano.

Humulene

Humulene has a woody and earthy fragrance. It has a high boiling point of 198 degrees C (388F). It helps to suppress appetite and pain. It is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Humulene can also be found in hops and coriander.