What Are Terpenes?
By now, you’ve heard about terpenes. Even individuals who are not frequent cannabis consumers are becoming aware of terpenes–those magical compounds found in plants. As a cannabis user, you might have heard a friend say, “Eat a mango before you smoke to really supercharge your high,” only to find out that mangos contain a fair amount of naturally occurring myrcene. Myrcene is just one of hundreds of terpenes, but it’s one of the more well-known varieties and is found in cannabis sativa. Why have terpenes gotten so much buzz over the last few years though?
Why Terpenes Are Important
Terpenes have generated so much conversation recently because they are important! As a matter of fact, they’re a HUGE factor in how a cannabis strain makes you feel and how that cultivar interacts with an individual’s endocannabinoid system. The entourage effect is one of the primary reasons why terpenes play such a crucial role in the effects of cannabis. Here at Seed & Smith, we are true advocates of the entourage effect when it comes to assessing a strain’s use characteristics and profile. Terpenes and cannabinoids work together to interact with your endocannabinoid system in a one-of-a-kind way–go ahead, feel special! Each person’s experience with a cannabis cultivar is different and truly unique, largely thanks to terpenes.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis and some of the most common effects they are known for. Keep in mind though, each terpene is capable of interacting with others and producing special results dependent on the user and the strain.
Most Common Cannabis Terpenes
At the top of our list is caryophyllene, an incredible terpene with a bit of a spicy side. Literally, caryophyllene is found in black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and a bevy of other spices. Also known as beta-caryophyllene, this unique terpene has a larger molecular structure than most other terpenes and is the only terpene able to directly bind to CB2 receptors in humans. Caryophyllene is known for mitigating inflammation.
Commonly found in: Cookies N Cream
We bet you can guess where you can get a natural dose of limonene…lemons! Other citrus fruits also contain limonene and one should be able to detect hints of limonene in strains that have a burst of citrus flavor. As one of the most commonly found terpenes, limonene has been noted to aid in improving one’s mood and reducing stress. Sign us up!
Commonly found in: Super Sour Lemon
Eucalyptol is a terpene found not only in the eucalyptus tree, but also in cannabis and many other plant species. With attributes like helping reduce sinus issues, alleviating pain, decreasing blood pressure, and aiding cognitive function, this terpene is widely appreciated by medical marijuana users & those who seek the help from oils like eucalyptus and tea tree. When observing a strain’s aroma, a minty, fresh scent may be a sign that it is eucalyptol.
Commonly found in: Girl Scout Cookies
No terpene guide would be complete without Myrcene. It is the most commonly found terpene in cannabis and it certainly packs a punch too. Cultivars with high levels of myrcene are known for their sedative effects as well as the ability to reduce chronic pain and inflammation. Myrcene might trigger your olfactory orb and create the sense of an earthy, musky smell. There’s a good chance that whatever strain you are consuming, there’s some trace amounts of myrcene in it.
Commonly found in: Midnite
Terpineol is another terpene sometimes known for its ability to put one to sleep or lock them into the couch just like myrcene. Terpineol has an interesting aroma to it: floral with a hint of a citrus smell; many say it reminds them of a lilac flower. This terpene is not just known for its relaxing effects, it is also known as a potent antibiotic and has properties that act like an antioxidant.
Commonly found in: Jack Here
Floral, yet spicy, linalool is a terpene that is commonly found in cannabis, lavender, coriander, and mint. Many will detect linalool with an aroma they relate to lavender. Others can pick up on linalool in a cultivar by how it makes them feel: very relaxed! Linalool is known as a potent sedative and medical marijuana patients struggling with insomnia and arthritis can benefit from its effects.
Commonly found in: Dosidos
If the smell of fresh pine is overpowering your nose after evaluating a strain, there’s a strong chance that strain contains alpha-pinene & beta-pinene. Touted for anti-inflammatory effects, pinene also seems to aid in reducing memory related to THC consumption. Lastly, small studies have shown that cultivars rich in pinene can actually help ward off asthma symptoms.
Commonly found in: Blue Dream
Earthy and woody in scent, humulene is a terpene that is also found in hops. Not to worry though; if you had a hop-forward beer and a humulene-heavy strain at your disposal, you could expect plenty of benefits from this terpene. Humulene is known to prevent cancer cell growth, fight bacterial infections, and even suppress one’s appetite. Humulene is also found in spices like black pepper and sage.
Commonly found in: Headband
Delta 3 Carene
So you’ve heard of Delta 9 & Delta 8, but what about Delta 3 Carene? This powerful terpene is most known for aiding in bone recovery after a fracture. Delta 3 Carene has also been researched for improving memory function and increasing memory retention. The only thing sweeter than these positive benefits is the smell of Delta 3 Carene itself. Next time ask your budtender if they can smell it too!
Commonly found in: AK-47
Camphene has an aroma that is sometimes mistaken for myrcene. The smell it airs out can be described as a musky, damp, wooded area. That earthy scent camphene gives off can also hint at pine needles. Camphene, interestingly enough, has been found to aid in lowering cholesterol levels.
Commonly found in: Mendocino Purps
Terpenes: We can’t live without them!
We listed 10 very common terpenes above, but there are hundreds of known terpenes. Not all terpenes are found in cannabis; these natural compounds can be found in plants, flowers, and even the fruits that you eat. With purported benefits tied to each terpene, not to mention terpenes combined with other compounds, why not get your daily dose? We’re not implying you need to smoke 6 different strains a week, but hey, if that’s what you like doing then you’re welcome to toke with us. Eat a variety of fruits, veggies, and experiment with cannabis products to see which ones jive with your endocannabinoid system the most. That’ll be a safe bet to make sure you are chock-full of terpenes and feeling great!
If you have any specific questions about terpenes found in any of our strains, definitely drop a comment or send us an email to let us know!