What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are organic compounds produced naturally by plants like cannabis and certain insects. They give distinct flavor and aroma to fruits, herbs and flowers, making them unique. Terpenes found in cannabis act as a defense mechanism to put off insects from eating it. Important oils feature a variety of terpenes, giving them an attractive scent.

Terpenes are made in resin glands of cannabis, which appear sticky and where cannabinoids like THC and CBD are produced. Most people recognize terpenes from the concentrated scent in different flowers and insects. However, there is more to these cannabis compounds than an intense aroma. Since they are safe to use, these natural elements in cannabis are combined to produce fragrances and flavors to add unique aroma and scent. Fragrances of mint, lavender and cannabis are thanks to the exceptional terpene structures in cannabis.

How terpenes affect the body

These unique compounds mainly found in cannabis are beneficial to plants and the human body. While they are a defense mechanism to plants like cannabis, terpenes interact with the human brain’s neural and cellular receptors. Besides, they modulate levels of neurotransmitters and boost dopamine activities. Dopamine activities are known to regulate motivation, pleasure and reward or hinder the collapse of serotonin, also referred to as a feel-good neurotransmitter.

Like THC and CBD, terpenes interact with certain brain receptors, which helps boost different activities. Terpenes present in cannabis have endless health benefits in the human body. They act as anti-depressants and are more advantageous since they don’t have the devastating side effects that come with the use of tricyclic inhibiting or traditional re-uptake medications.

Why are terpenes important?

Cannabis terpenes, as well as other terpenes, come in handy in the medical world. They provide numerous medical benefits like antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-carcinogen effects. Due to this, cannabis terpene is often used to relieve pain, aid in better sleep, and reduce inflammation due to their excellent effects.

When it comes to cannabis effectiveness, these organic compounds common in cannabis have proved to be excellent, just like cannabinoids. A lab study conducted in 2011 in the United States proved that pinene, a type of terpene, helps treat bacterial and viral infections. Furthermore, other common types of terpenes have been identified to contain anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Others present in cannabis aid in digestion as well as depression.

Sources of terpenes

For every discussion involving cannabinoids products, cannabis and aromatherapy, terpenes must come up. These results from its incredible concentration in cannabis, which contains about 200 varieties of the organic compound. That’s the reason behind the super-powerful effects of CBD oil and cannabis. However, this should not mean that cannabis terpenes are the only beneficial compounds as other terpenes are also important. More than thirty thousand terpenes are found naturally in plants like cannabis, rosemary, mint, and lavender.

Common types of terpenes

Research shows that terpenes work better when combined with cannabinoids since they have unique effects. Pointedly, they play an important role in the effectiveness of cannabinoids products. Below are the most common terpenes found in the cannabis and other plants and their amazing effects.


Myrcene is another different type of terpene though less dominant in the cannabis. It has a spicy, earthy and herbal aroma similar to the scent of marijuana flowers and cannabis. Even though it is not so dominant in cannabis, it still delivers perfect relaxing effects in the body, causing drowsiness. In the medicine world, myrcene contains pain-relieving and antibacterial properties.


Limonene is generally found in citrus fruits. Its scent is suggestive of orange, lime and lemon. However, this type of terpene offers more than an attractive scent. Apart from the delicious flavor and refreshing scent, limonene contains excellent antifungal properties. Besides, it enhances your mood, combats cannabis strains and limits inflammation. Adding it to your cannabinoids oil increases the absorption rate of other present terpenes.


Linalool terpene is behind the floral scent produced by lavender. For this unique scent, manufacturers add it to cannabinoids oil to provide an extra attractive aroma. It also aids in better sleep and is beneficial to the body since it contains anti-anxiety properties.


This type of terpene is found in pine needles and certain citrus fruits. Its therapeutic abilities made it ideal for therapy and were anciently used in China as traditional medicine. It acts as an anti inflammatory, antibacterial and bronchodilator.


This dominant terpene is present in hemp products. It acts as an anti inflammatory substance and suppresses appetite. Concerning its scent, a concentrated humulene functions as a redolent of hops.


It exists in cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Similar to cannabinoids, caryophyllene has the ability to cooperate with the endocannabinoid system. Besides, it contains ant-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

How to use terpenes

Other than cannabis, terpenes are used in other different things. Below is a guide on how to use terpene from cannabis and other plants.

  • Gather the necessary equipment: Though it may sound obvious, assembling the relevant equipment is the basic step in the extraction of terpene from plants like cannabis. The equipment includes a pipette to measure diluents or terpenes. You can include a digital scale to be precise in your measurements. Other equipment includes a rotor-stator, mixing containers, terpene carrier and a mixing tool.
  • Review your science knowledge: You need all your science knowledge on cannabis and terpene in this step. Specifically, you should have a clue on the uses of the selected terpene and the effects of cannabis. Besides, be familiar with your conversions and cannabis effect, so you don’t use less or more than the required terpene amount. In most cases, plants like cannabis are highly concentrated, so follow the package’s instructions to add appropriate portions. Have basic knowledge on the solubility and use water-soluble terpenes on foods and drinks.
  • Mix your products: After extracting the right proportion of carrier products and terpenes from cannabis or any other plant, mix everything well to get the desired scent.

Other natural uses of terpenes from cannabis and other plants

  • Soluble in water: you can add a few drops of terpene from either cannabis or other plants in your drinking water and enjoy the benefits as you sip.
  • Effective diffuser: add some terpenes to your diffuser and inhale to lower activity before bed or stimulate in the morning. However, watch out for Cannabis strains or cannabis effect if you are taking cannabinoids and terpenes simultaneously.
  • Skincare: some terpenes contain calming scents and feature ant-inflammatory properties. This makes them ideal for blending in certain skincare oils and products.
  • Aromatherapy: the excellent aroma that terpenes bring, especially when you combine cannabinoids and terpenes bring make them ideal for making bathing soaps, oils, candles, among others.

Final words

Whether you are using them alongside cannabinoids products or individually, terpenes have proved to be very effective, especially those present in cannabis. The good thing is that they are quite common as they are found in regular plants like the cannabis. Ensure you adhere to your doctor’s instruction and consult first before using any terpenes or cannabis for its entourage effect.