What are Cannabis Terpenes and What do They do?

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Have you ever wondered why every flower has a unique scent? Organic compounds that are responsible for this fragrance are called terpenes.  Well, as you can assume, cannabis plants are no different which means that they are high in this compound.

We all know what THC and CBD are, but what about terpenes? Recently, this molecule has sparked interest, and some might every say that it is the plant’s most underrated compound since it provides people with numerous benefits.

So, what are cannabis terpenes? In this article, we are going to give you some basic information and explain to you what effects it can have on your body.

What are Terpenes?

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As already explained, these organic hydrocarbons give every flower its fragrance. These can be found in the plant’s trichomes that can be defined as glands that produce oil. These are also home to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive substance.

However, the THC molecule, which is also known as cannabinoid, doesn’t have any scent. There are over 20,000 kinds of terpenes in nature, and around 200 varieties can be found in cannabis.

Furthermore, if you love essential oils, then you are already familiar with these because high quantities of these are found in different types of these oils. For example, if you purchase any essential oils of lemons, terpenes called limonene is what provides you with that citrus smell.

Why are There Important for the Plant?

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These molecules are much more important role than simple compounds that make a plant smell nicely. You probably know that plants produce certain scents not only as a way to attract something, but also to defend themselves from predators. We can all agree that this is of crucial importance for the survival of the plant.

For example, a pleasant scent is produced in flowers in order to attract pollinators. On the other hand, the unpleasant one can be found in leaves and low-branches that are accessible to animals with the goal of driving away from the predators.

Why Should you Care about Them?

Furthermore, these can have numerous beneficial effects on humans also. Even though these have not been fully researched, some of the varieties have been isolated and their therapeutic properties are already known.


We have already mentioned this molecule that can be found in citrus fruits, so we are going to discuss is first. This terpene can be found in a strain of cannabis plant called Sativa. Multiple types of research have shown that this compound improves the healing of mucous cells that protect your stomach from the effects of strong acids. Also, it promotes the absorption of other terpenes through your skin and tissue. Obviously, due to these effects, limonene can help with numerous gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers and acid reflux.


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Maybe you have never heard the name of this terpene, but you know it very well. It is found in lavender and it produces that magnificent scent that you adore. What’s more, it is also present in some varieties of cannabis plants, and as you can assume, it has the anti-stress effect. It also possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it can help you if you are suffering from insomnia.


If you were to compare the number of different terpenes in a cannabis plant, the absolute winner would be myrcene. According to some studies, when it comes to the overall content of terpenes, this molecule makes over 50% of it. It has an herbal and spicy scent that you are probably familiar with from thyme, eucalyptus, even mango, and lemongrass.

When it comes to its medicinal benefits, myrcene can reduce inflammation and pain. Another interesting fact about this compound is that it can reduce the effects of other cannabinoids and terpenes. This means that if you eat a mango about 45 before ingesting cannabis, you can greatly increase its psychoactive effects.


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Borneol can be called an ancient remedy because it is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for many centuries. Besides cannabis, this one can be found in wormwood and cinnamon, and it is characterized by an earthy fragrance.

In addition to being used as a stress and pain relief, this compound was also used to prevent cardiovascular disease throughout South Asian countries. A recent study showed that borneol has anti-coagulative properties, which explains why it can reduce the risk of numerous heart diseases.


When it comes to this one, there is a thing that you should know – there are two types of terpenes – alpha and beta. You are already familiar with the former one because it can found in pine trees and we all love that unique scent.

Due to the fact that this one can treat both viral and bacterial infections, it is believed that it could be used for treating bronchitis. As you already know, treating this condition requires some time because it can be impervious to antibiotics. Also, some scientists think that it could be also used to cure MRSA infections, which is important since there are not many antibiotics for this condition available on the market.


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Similar to the other above-mentioned terpenes, this one also assists in pain reduction and has anti-inflammatory properties. However, there is one property that makes this compound worth mentioning is the fact that it can be used as an appetite suppressant. In addition, research from the early 2000s showed that this terpene can slow down the growth of cancerous cells. This means that humulene can make a revolution when it comes to cancer treatment.


Terpinolene possesses floral, piney, herbal, and sometimes citrus aroma and it can be found in plants such as apples, cumin, nutmeg, lilacs, and obviously, it can also be found in numerous strains of cannabis plant such as Jack Herer, Pineapple Jack, Lemon Sour Diesel, and so on. This isomeric hydrocarbon has antibacterial, anticancer, antifungal, and other benefits.


All in all, in this article, we have provided you with some basic information about terpenes and we have also mentioned some of the medicinal benefits that these possess. If you are interested in learning more, you can read more about these online.