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What Are Terpenes?


What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are compounds found in plants that help give them their aroma. Terpenes are most commonly associated with cannabis because of the plant’s high terpene profiles. An example of terpenes would be the smell of fresh-cut pine, a freshly peeled orange, or the aroma from lemon zest. Flowers such as roses and others put off beautiful aromas thanks to terpenes. Terpenes do more than just help the smell and flavor of cannabis and other things; they also have therapeutic attributes as well. There are dozens of terpenes present in cannabis that we know of. Let’s look at some of the more common terpenes present in cannabis and some of the therapeutically attributes these terpenes offer.


Limonene has a common aroma associated with citrus peels such as oranges. The reported therapeutical benefits of limonene are that it may help treat and or prevent cancer, bronchitis and helps promote weight loss. This terpene is also commonly found in red pepper, chamomiles, fennel, valerian, hops, turmeric, ginger, and citrus fruits.


This spicy, peppery terpene is present in many varieties of cannabis. Some people believe that it increases the longevity of the buzz from consuming cannabis. Myrcene is said to work as an anti-inflammatory, an antibiotic, an analgesic, an anti-mutagenic, and a sedative. This terpene is of particular interest to those suffering from muscle discomfort, pain, and sleep disorders. Aside from cannabis, this terpene is also commonly found in thyme, basil, lemongrass, mangoes, and hops.



Linalool is a floral terpene with just a touch of spice that is said to have antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also reported to work as an anesthetic, to help promote sleep, and as a pain reliever. This terpene is also commonly found in lavender, neroli, and basil.

Terpenes are compounds found in plants that help give them their aroma. Terpenes do more than just help the smell and flavor of cannabis and other things; they also have therapeutic attributes as well.

Alpha Bisabolol

Alpha Bisabolol is considered a warm terpene with aroma characteristics of chamomile, honey, and apples. This floral terpene is reported to help rejuvenate skin, repair dry damaged skin, and is known to help promote the growth of healthy hair, making it an excellent terpene present in cannabis-infused topicals and transdermal products. This terpene is also commonly found in chamomile and sage.

Delta 3 Carene

This terpene is a pungent musky and sweet terpene known to have a slight scent of lemon and fir needles. This terpene is reported to help promote bone growth as well as having antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. This terpene is also commonly found in cypress, turpentine, basil, and juniper berry.


Borneol is a common terpene found in medicinal plants such as mugwort, rosemary, mint, and yes, cannabis. Some studies suggest it is effective at helping control and fight symptoms of the West Nile virus. It is said to have a bitter taste and is commonly utilized in helping treat colds, coughs, bronchitis and to help control pain caused by rheumatic disease.


Alpha/ Beta Pinene is a terpene predominant in coniferous trees like the pine tree. This particular terpene is reported to work in conjunction with cannabis to help control the symptoms of asthma, acting as a bronchodilator. It’s also reported to have antibiotic properties.


Terpineol is a terpene found in pine, cardamom, and cannabis, known for having a floral lilac-like aroma. It is believed to offer anti-convulsant, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-ulcer, and anti-hyper intensive properties.


Eucalyptol is a minty, spicy terpene commonly used as a cough suppressant. This minty terpene is also known to help relieve pain and inflammation. This terpene is also commonly found in bay leaves, basil, sage, and rosemary.


Caryophyllene is a peppery terpene found in rosemary, black pepper, hops, and cannabis. The smell is very similar to cracked black peppercorns. Caryophyllene is said to help reduce cholesterol, relieve pain, anxiety, help treat seizures, and prevent osteoporosis by promoting healthy bone growth. It works as an antimicrobial, an antibacterial, an anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant.



Camphene is known for being an earthy musky-smelling terpene. It is found in ginger oil, valerian, sage, and citronella. This terpene is utilized for enhancing the aroma and flavor of food. Camphene is reported to help reduce inflammation, to have antifungal properties, and to reduce pain.

As you can see, the therapeutic benefits of terpenes can prove very beneficial for many people. Terpene profiles are just as important as cannabinoid profiles. As you start to learn what varieties of cannabis help you achieve the desired results you are after, make sure to be vigilant about the cannabinoid and terpene profile of the strain or strains that help you. This information can help you find other strains of cannabis that may work just as well or possibly even better.


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