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Your Comprehensive Guide to Terpenes in Cannabis

The term cannabis is no longer one to shy off. More and more people are realizing the many benefits that we can all acquire from various extracts of the mighty herb. The massive hype is slowly turning to mighty truths.

The sweet aroma emanating from a mature cannabis bud is one to savor. It is like music, once it hits your nostrils then you know how nice the bud is going to be.

Did you know where all these different cheese like fruity, or spicy tastes originate from?

This article will take you through the cannabis plant compounds and special coverage of the not so much talked about, but of great importance, terpenes.

The compounds forming cannabis plants

Thanks to the discovery of the various chemical components of the cannabis plant, demystifying the many myths surrounding cannabis is now even easier.

There exist hundreds of compounds in the cannabis plant. These compounds are grouped to distinguish them easily.

The major groupings are:


These are naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis sativa plant that can be accepted by endocannabinoid receptors. Examples of cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the major ones. Note that THC cannabinoid is responsible for causing increased psychoactivity once in our bodies. CBD is touted to have a number of therapeutic benefits including alleviating inflammations, chronic pain, and muscle tension.


The term flavonoids originates from the Latin word Flavus which means the color yellow. What may surprise you is that flavonoids in cannabis plants, better referred to as cannaflavins, do not give the plant is varied sweet tastes. True to its Latin name origin, flavins give the plant its color and protect it from nature such as harmful UV rays of the sun and predators.

What are terpenes?

Existing alongside cannaflavins and cannabinoids are terpenes which are our topic of the day.

The connection that any cannabis expert has with the plant is through its fragrance. Some variation s of the plant have pungent fragrances that make them so hard to hide or even plant indoors.

Terpenes are the organic hydrocarbons that naturally exist in the essential oils of all plants, cannabis included, to give them their characteristic smell. They help us in perceiving the cannabis plant through your sense of smell.

Terpenes or terpenoids? Confusing, right? Well, the two terms are wrongly used interchangeably. The influx of fake cannabis experts allows this to happen. Terpenes are the natural and unaltered form of the hydrocarbons while terpenoids represent the chemically altered terpenes to control the amount of oxygen in the compound.

Terpenes are excreted in the same glands that form cannabinoids. However, these hydrocarbon oils can be found on trichomes of the cannabis plant. Trichomes are the whitish appendages or fine growths that you can see on cannabis plants.

The common terpenes in cannabis plants

What is your favorite marijuana aroma? This calls for the second question, how well do you know your favorite weed strain? Can you perceive it with eyes closed?

Enough of the questions and off to get some valuable answers that will make you love the skunky smell of sour diesel strains ( or your favorite aroma) even more.


True to the name, pine trees are the most associated plants with our first type of terpene. They come as alpha or beta with the former smelling like pine needles while the latter taking on basil, dill, parsley, or rosemary.

Pinene terpenes are known to pass the blood brain barrier quickly to increase alertness, the ability to retain memory and also counter the effects of THC. Another major value that pinene holds is bronchodilation, especially in asthma cases.


The bursts of the citrus fragrance of some cannabis strains come from the limonene terpenoid. This is the same terpenoid that is evident in all citric containing plants such as lemons and oranges. You can easily tell it from citrus fruit rinds, peppermint, rosemary, and juniper.

Limonene is notorious for taking away anxiety, depression, and pain. It has great potential at elevating your moods.


This is touted to be the most popular terpenoid with most marijuana strains. It can be found in lemongrass, thyme, mangoes, and mangoes.

It is very crucial as it somehow draws a line between cannabis sativa and cannabis indica strains. Strains with more than 0.5% myrcene are more likely to exhibit Indica like properties.


The floral lavender fragrance has its origin in the linalool terpene. It has the ability to be an anti-depressant and relieving neurodegeneration.


Beta-Caryophyllene is responsible for the spicy, woody, clove and pepper smells. It can be found in pepper. cloves and cinnamon plants. Beta-Caryophyllene acts as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety.


The humulene terpenoid is most common in basil, coriander, cloves, and hops. If you are worried about the earthy fragrance of strains like Liberty Haze Gorilla, humulene is the culprit terpenoid. Its effects are appetite suppression, pain relief and alleviating inflammation.

Final say

Terpenes are becoming a major product in the world of cannabis. Any cannabis lover now understands where the sweet fragrances emanate from.

The many benefits of terpenoids contribute to the overall holistic aromatherapy of the cannabis plant. Imagine getting healed with just the smell of your bud.

With a dynamic cannabis market, all cannabis users should be aware of what they are really interested in gain from the cannabis plant. This makes it easier to understand the varied values and effects of the chemical composition of cannabinoids, flavonoids and finally terpenes.

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