Besides THC, cannabinoids and terpenes are major players in the cannabis plant and experience.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants including cannabis. They also give plants their distinct aroma and flavor.
Cannabis terpenes produce the different scents and tastes of cannabis strains and also have a significant role in medical weed as well. Terpene effects are a crucial component critical to understanding the medical benefits of cannabis.
What Are Cannabis Terpenes?
Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants that give them their distinctive aroma and flavor. They are also produced in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Terpenes play a significant role in the entourage effect, a phenomenon where various compounds in weed work together to produce more significant therapeutic effects than any one compound could on its own.
Terpenes are found in many plants, including lavender, pine, and citrus. There are also over 100 different terpenes found in cannabis, each with its unique aroma, flavor, and effects. Some terpenes have calming effects, while others are energizing.
How Do Terpenes Affect the Body?
Terpenes work with the body in various ways. They can affect mood, appetite, and energy levels. Some terpenes have anti-inflammatory properties, while others have antibacterial properties.
When terpenes are combined with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, they work together to produce a more significant therapeutic effect. For example, the terpene myrcene can enhance the relaxing effects of THC, while the terpene limonene can boost mood and energy levels. The evidence also suggests that terpenes’ therapeutic properties play a role in the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
The Most Common Terpenes Found in Cannabis
There are over 100 different terpenes found in cannabis products like concentrates and also their respective strains. However, some terpenes are more common than others.
Here are some of the most common terpenes found in weed:
- Myrcene: Musky, earthy scent, also known for its sedative effects. Commonly found in Indica strains.
- Limonene: Citrusy scent, also known for its uplifting and energizing effects. Commonly found in Sativa strains.
- Pinene: Piney scent, also known for its anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator properties.
- Linalool: Floral scent, also known for its calming effects. Often found in Indica strains.
- Caryophyllene: Spicy, black pepper-type scent, also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Lesser Known Cannabis Terpenes
While myrcene, limonene, pinene, linalool, and caryophyllene are among the most well-known and studied terpene profiles found in cannabis, there are many others. While less commonly known, these terpenes also play an important role in the plant’s unique effects and aroma.
Below are some additional lesser-known terpenes found in cannabis, each with its own distinct aroma and potential benefits:
- Guaiol – piney, woodsy aroma, also believed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Strain includes: Afgooey
- Delta-3-Carene – sweet, earthy scent, also believed to have potential benefits for respiratory health: Strain includes: Super Silver Haze
- Phellandrene – fresh, minty aroma, also believed to have potential benefits for pain relief and respiratory health. Strain includes: Green Crack
- Sabinene – spicy, woody aroma, also believed to have potential benefits for digestive health. Strain includes: Blue Dream
- Geraniol – floral, rosy scent, also believed to have potential benefits for anxiety and pain relief. Strain includes: Island Sweet Skunk
- Terpineol – sweet, floral aroma, also believed to have potential benefits for relaxation, couch lock, and stress relief. Strain includes: Jack Herer
- Bisabolol – subtle, floral scent, also believed to have potential benefits for skin health and inflammation. Strain includes: Harle-Tsu
- Eucalyptol – cool, minty aroma, also believed to have potential benefits for respiratory health and pain relief. Strain includes: Headband
- Cedrene – woody, earthy scent, also believed to have potential benefits for relaxation and stress relief. Strain includes: Northern Lights
- Nerolidol – floral, woody aroma, also believed to have potential benefits for sleep and anxiety. Strain includes: Skywalker OG
These are just a few examples of the many lesser-known terpenes found in cannabis, each also with its own unique aroma and potential benefits.
How to Use Cannabis Terpenes for Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy also commonly uses terpenes to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and boost mood. Here are some ways to use cannabis terpenes for aromatherapy:
- Essential oils: Essential oils are concentrated extracts of terpenes used in diffusers or added to bathwater.
- Candles: Terpene-infused candles can provide a soothing and calming atmosphere.
- Topicals: Terpenes can be added to lotions, balms, and other topicals to provide a relaxing and soothing effect.
Heady NJ’s Cannabis Terpene Chart
|Elevated mood, stress relief, potential anti-inflammatory properties
|Super Lemon Haze, Lemon Skunk, Lemon Kush
|Sedative, potential pain relief, potential anti-inflammatory properties
|Granddaddy Purple, Blue Dream, OG Kush
|Alertness, potential bronchodilator, potential anti-inflammatory properties
|Jack Herer, Blue Dream, Bubba Kush
|Potential pain relief, potential anti-inflammatory properties, potential anti-anxiety properties
|Girl Scout Cookies, Skywalker OG, Rockstar
|Calming, potential anti-anxiety properties, potential sedative
|Lavender, Amnesia Haze, LA Confidential
|Potential appetite suppressant, potential anti-inflammatory properties
|White Widow, Headband, Sour Diesel
|Potential anti-inflammatory properties
|Blueberry Headband, Ghost OG, Strawberry Banana
|Potential anti-inflammatory properties, potential bone growth stimulant
|Skunk #1, Arjan’s Haze #3
|Potential antibacterial properties, potential anti-inflammatory properties
|Chocolope, Green Crack, Cheese
|Potential antioxidant properties, potential anti-inflammatory properties
|Clementine, Sensi Star
|Potential anti-inflammatory properties, potential antioxidant properties
|Afghani, Island Sweet Skunk
|Calming, potential sedative, potential antioxidant properties
|Pineapple Express, Jack Herer, Bubba Kush
|Potential anti-inflammatory properties, potential antioxidant properties
|Harle-Tsu, Pink Kush
|Potential cough suppressant, potential reducing inflammation
|Super Silver Haze, Headband, Girl Scout Cookies
|Afghan Kush, Master Kush
|Potential sedative, potential anti-fungal properties
|Skywalker OG, Island Sweet Skunk
The terpene content of a particular weed strain can also vary depending on a number of factors, including growing conditions and genetics. Additionally, different strains can contain varying levels of each terpene listed above, and some strains may contain terpenes not listed here.
However, the above chart can serve as a starting point for those looking to explore the world of cannabis terpene profiles, how terpenes work, and their potential effects.
As research on terpenes continues to grow, we can expect to learn even more about the complex interplay between these compounds and the effects they have on the body and mind. It’s also worth noting that terpene profiles can vary widely even within the same strain, depending on factors such as growing conditions and harvesting methods.