Terpenes are aromatic compounds found mostly in plants that are responsible for their characteristic scents and flavors. Terpenes surround us in our daily lives with their presence in plants, from flowers to fruits and vegetables. These compounds are often used in the perfume and cosmetic industries, appearing in many fragrances, soaps, skincare products, and much more. In cannabis, terpenes contribute significantly to the effects of each strain. As more research around the effects of cannabis is undertaken, scientists are also learning more about the benefits of terpenes found in cannabis plants. The cannabis plant uses terpenes, found in trichomes or resin glands, as protection from predators, bacteria or fungus, and the sun. While cannabis is not the only plant containing terpenes, these compounds are most commonly associated with the cannabis plant because of their prolific appearance in the plant's structure. In fact, a single cannabis plant can contain over 100 different terpenes along with specific combinations of terpenes.
How Do Terpenes Work?
Most terpenes have bioactive properties which means they have the ability to affect the body. Some terpenes found in the cannabis plant bind with endocannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis or balance. Terpenes and cannabinoids work together to create an entourage effect, which may enhance the effects and benefits of all combined compounds.
What Are the Effects of Terpenes?
Terpenes have many beneficial effects, especially when combined with cannabinoids. The effects of terpenes depend on how much is used and the concentration of the terpene. Terpene effects are varied, but some of the most common potential benefits include reducing stress, boosting mood, enhancing relaxation, and decreasing pain and inflammation.
How Are Terpenes Used?
Terpenes are generally highly concentrated so “less is more” when incorporating them into your routine. These compounds are very powerful and can be used in a variety of ways when diluted. Concentrated terpene blends, like these beeZbee Terpene Blends, must be diluted prior to use by adding a few drops to your favorite tincture/oil, hemp flower, vape oil, e-juice, or aromatherapy diffuser. Many customers find terpenes most beneficial when they are combined with cannabinoids, like Cannabidiol (CBD), or cannabis products to help boost mood and reduce stress.
What Are Some of the Most Common Terpenes?
There are hundreds of different terpenes, but not all of them are as well known as others. While more research is necessary to discover every terpene and its full potential or effects, some of the most common terpenes have many potential wellness benefits. You’ll likely recognize some of these terpenes for their familiar scents. Learn more about some of the most popular terpenes found in cannabis and their effects below:
- Caryophyllene has a spicy, peppery aroma. This terpene is also found in black pepper, rosemary, and cloves. Caryophyllene has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce anxiety. This terpene is known to selectively bind to the Cannabinoid-2 (CB2) receptor, which helps regulate immune function and the peripheral nervous system. As a result of its ability to bind with the CB2 receptor, caryophyllene may be beneficial for individuals with inflammatory conditions or autoimmune disorders. Strains like Gelato, Lemon Haze, Sour Diesel, Gorilla Glue #4, Girl Scout Cookies, Blue Dream, Magic Melon, Candyland, Strawberry Cough, Sunset Sherbet, Pineapple Express, Tropicana Cookies, Northern Lights, and Wedding Cake are well-known for containing caryophyllene.
- Myrcene is one of the most abundant terpenes in the cannabis plant. This terpene has an earthy aroma and strong anti-inflammatory properties. Myrcene is also found in mangoes, lemongrass, and hops. This terpene also has antioxidant activity which contributes to its potential anti-aging effects for skincare. Myrcene acts as a sedative and a muscle relaxant as well as potentially providing pain relief. This terpene may also help deter the progression of osteoarthritis according to a 2014 study. Myrcene is commonly found in strains like Blue Dream, Grape Ape, Green Crack, Strawberry Diesel, Strawberry Cough, Orange Cookies, Acai Berry Gelato, White Cherry Truffle, Purple Kosher Kush, and Magic Melon.
- Limonene has a citrus aroma; it is also found in lemons, oranges, and juniper. This terpene has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Limonene may also boost the immune system and help improve mood. This terpene has antioxidant and neuroprotective properties which may support brain health. Elevated mood, increased energy, and reduced anxiety are some potential benefits of limonene. This terpene is commonly found in strains like Sour Lemon OG, Mimosa, Golden Pineapple Kush, Magic Melon, King Louis XIII, Runtz, Trainwreck, Pineapple Express, Gelato, and Sour Diesel.
- Pinene is one of the most common terpenes in nature. This terpene has an earthy, pine aroma. Pinene is also found in pine needles, basil, and rosemary. This terpene has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. Pinene may also help offset some of the more undesirable effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), like short-term memory impairment and anxiety. This terpene acts as a bronchodilator, which helps to open airways, so it may be beneficial for individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Strains like Afgoo Blueberry, Blue Dream, Pineapple Express, Super Merlot OG, and Grape Ape are known to contain pinene.
- Terpinolene has a multidimensional aroma with an array of woodsy, floral, herbaceous, smokey, and even subtle citrusy scents. This terpene is also found in lilacs, tea tree oil, and apples. Terpinolene has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. A 2013 study suggests terpinolene has potential as an anticancer agent and may act as a sleep aid. Terpinolene may also promote feelings of calm and relaxation. Strains including Jack Herer, Orange Cookies, Golden Pineapple Kush, Sour Zkittles, Pineapple Express, Trainwreck, Lemon Haze, and more contain varying levels of terpinolene.
- Linalool has a fragrant floral aroma similar to lavender. This terpene is also found in lavender, coriander, and bergamot. Linalool helps provide a sense of calm and relief from anxiety symptoms. This terpene has anti-inflammatory properties which contribute to providing pain relief. Linalool also promotes sleep through its sedative and relaxing qualities; this means it may be beneficial for individuals with insomnia or other sleep disorders. Granddaddy Purp, Mimosa, King Louis XIII, Runtz, Gelato, Tropicana Cookies, Sunset Sherbert, Sour Lemon OG, and other strains contain varying levels of linalool.
- Humulene carries the scent of hops, so you may recognize this terpene from the scent of your favorite beer. This terpene is also found in coriander, basil, cloves, and of course, hops. Humulene has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This terpene may also relieve pain and act as an appetite suppressant. Humulene is present in strains like Candyland, Super Merlot OG, Sour Diesel, Girl Scout Cookies, Granddaddy Purp, Lemon Haze, and Northern Lights.
- Bisabolol has a subtle floral aroma, and it is also found in chamomile. This terpene may have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Bisabolol also has antioxidant properties which combined with its potential for reducing inflammation makes it ideal for skincare. Strains like Sour Papaya, Acai Berry Gelato, Mimosa, Runtz, and Afgoo Blueberry are known to contain bisabolol in their terpene profiles.
- Valencene is known for its citrusy sweet, herbal, and woodsy aroma. As the name suggests, valencene is prominently found in valencia oranges and other citrus fruits, like grapefruits and tangerines. It is also found in nectarines and mangoes. Valence is often found in varying amounts in strains like Sour Papaya, Grape Ape, Jack Herer, Northern Lights, and Strawberry Cough.
- Nerolidol has a fresh citrus, rose and woodsy aroma. This terpene is often associated with jasmine, ginger, tea tree oil, lemongrass, and citrus fruits, where it also appears. Nerolidol is present in strains like Super Merlot OG, Sour Lemon OG, and Jack Herer in varying levels.
- Ocimene carries a herbal, woodsy, and sweet aroma. This terpene is also found in mint, basil, parsley, and mangoes. Varying levels of ocimene are found in strains like Afgoo Blueberry, Green Crack, Lemon Haze, Trainwreck, Jack Herer, Strawberry Diesel, and Grape Ape.
- Eucalyptol has a familiar fresh mint aroma that is used in many soaps, lotions, candles, fragrances, and other cosmetics. This terpene is found most commonly in eucalyptus plants, where it was first discovered and isolated. It can also be found in rosemary, cardamon, basil, bay leaves, and sage. Eucalyptol is often found in trace amounts in Girl Scout Cookies and other strains.
- Sabinene has a spicy pine and orange aroma. This terpene is commonly found in nutmeg, black pepper, tea tree oil, Norway spruce trees, oak trees, and carrots. Sabinene is found in Orange Cookies, and it also appears in trace amounts in other strains like Super Silver Haze.
- Geraniol has a floral aroma. With its rose-like scent, geraniol is often used in fragrances. This terpene’s name is derived from geraniums, where it is prominently found. It is also found in roses, grapefruits, tobacco, citronella, and lemongrass. In a 2015 study, researchers found geraniol has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties as well as showing potential as an anticancer agent. According to a 2020 study, geraniol can attract forager bees, especially bumble bees which are reportedly more sensitive to this terpene. Strains like Strawberry Diesel, Agent Orange, Purple Punch, and Lemon G are known to contain varying levels of geraniol.
- Fenchol carries a floral, woodsy pine, and lemon aroma. This terpene is commonly used in fragrances and can also be found in basil, fennel, eucalyptus, aster flowers, and citrus fruits. Fenchol is secondary terpene found in trace amounts in Gelato and Gorilla Glue #4 and in other strains at varying levels.
How Can I Use Terpenes? Can I Combine Terpenes with Cannabinoids?
When multiple cannabinoids are taken together, the behavior of the combined cannabinoids may be enhanced within the body, a process known as the entourage effect. Taken alone, cannabinoids may not act as strongly as when taken with others. We offer a variety of products that are made with a combination of cannabinoids. Full spectrum products contain a full profile of cannabinoids, like CBD, and other compounds including flavonoids, terpenes, essential oils, and fatty acids. Broad spectrum products also contain a full profile of cannabinoids and other compounds with any trace amounts of Delta-9 THC removed. THC Free products use an isolated cannabinoid which does not include any Delta-9 THC.
How Can I Find the Right Product for Me?
Finding the right terpene product will depend largely on your needs, wants, and preferences. Many terpenes are available in several forms including tinctures or oils, cartridges, flower, edibles, beverages, and topicals. Each form works differently in your body, so it is important to find the right fit for you. Many customers find personal consultations helpful in determining which terpene, cannabinoid, and method of delivery works best for them. Visit us in-store for a personal consultation with our doyens.
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Disclaimer: The information and content on this site is provided only for informational purposes. It is not meant in any way as a substitute for the professional advice provided by your physician or other healthcare provider. The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.