What Are Terpenes?
Posted on January 9th, 2023 to Education
A burst of citrus when peeling an orange, the smell of earth when strolling through the forest, and the smell of your favorite herb burning in a water pipe are all related to terpenes. As one of the most abundant natural compounds in nature, you probably experience terpenes every day. However, what are terpenes exactly, and are they beneficial? Here’s a closer look.
So, What Are Terpenes?
In scientific terms, terpenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons present in plants. In simple terms, terpenes are organic compounds that give plants unique aromas and flavors, including cannabis. Terpenes can play a role in everything from what a plant smells like to what color it is, but these compounds may also offer therapeutic value to humans.
A Look at the Most Prominent Terpenes in Cannabis
While terpenes can be found throughout the natural world, cannabis is one of the most terpene-rich plants you can find. Plus, there is some evidence that terpenes offer unique benefits when paired with cannabinoids like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). A few of the most common terpenes found in cannabis are detailed below, as well as their proposed therapeutic value.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Fruity, sweet, and spicy
- Also found in: Mango, hops, and thyme
Myrcene’s most well-established effect is its ability to induce a relaxed or sedated state. Therefore, it may come as no surprise that myrcene is one of the most abundant terpenes in cannabis since many strains have this effect. However, myrcene may also possess pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Sweet and peppery
- Also found in: Oregano and black pepper
Caryophyllene may be good for everything from stress to illness. This particular terpene is known to possess a number of valuable therapeutic properties, such as acting as an antioxidant and offering analgesic properties to target pain.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Pine, herbs, and earth
- Also found in: Pine needles
Pinene is considered one of the most biologically active terpenes in the natural world. This earthy terpene has analgesic effects to support people in pain, antimicrobial actions, and acts as an anticoagulant. The terpene may also be good for anxiety and oxidative stress.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Tangy citrus
- Also found in: Citrus fruit, dill, and bergamot
Limonene is highly abundant in the natural world and can be found in many strains of cannabis. This aromatic terpene is recognized for its potential mood-boosting properties and ability to target abnormal cells.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Sweet, floral spice
- Also found in: Lavender
Linalool is easily recognized for its floral aromatics. However, this terpene doesn’t just smell nice—it is also known to support people with depression, deter stress, and possibly offer protective qualities for certain final organs.
Discover All You Need for Smoking Terpene-Rich Herb
At Seven Sense International, we make it easy for every smoker to get their hands on the accessories they need. From hemp papers to grinders, be sure to take a look at our full collection or stop by our store for a visit.