The Complete Guide to Terpenes: Cannabis Strains and How They Affect You

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are powerful chemicals in the marijuana plant. Over 100 exist, but what does this mean for
consumers? The answer largely depends on the terpene profile of the specific strain. Some terpenes are
sedating, while others provide relief from pain or anxiety.

Scroll down for an in-depth video and image description.


Limonene is a common terpene in all cannabis plants, but it’s not present in all strains or plants.

Ever tried a strain with a citrusy smell? Well, that’s because it contains limonene – a compound found in all citrus fruits. Limonene is also used in cleaning products and cosmetics.

Limonene is popular for its mood-lifting and stress-reducing properties and has also been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. One research even found that it has a role in reducing tumor size.

There are strains that have a name containing ‘lemon’ and are usually full of limonene. One such example is Lemon Haze, which has a high level of limonene and makes for a pungent smell. O.G. Kush, Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, Durban Poison, Jack Herer, and Jack the Ripper.


Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis and its effects have been documented by numerous studies. Studies have shown that myrcene can make up as much as 65% of the total terpene profile in some strains, which is where it’s mostly found in nature. It’s also often described as earthy or musky, with a smell reminiscent of a red grape-like aroma.

Strains that contain 0.5% of this terpene are usually indicas with sedative effects. It is also believed that it may be useful to help fight inflammation and chronic pain, which is why it’s sometimes recommended as a supplement during cancer treatment.

Some strains rich in myrcene include Skunk XL, White Widow, and Special Kush. A bonus tip for you: If you want a quicker-acting buzz from pot, eat a fresh mango 45 minutes before smoking.

You can maximize the effects of cannabis with mango by eating it beforehand. Eating mango before consuming cannabis will increase its absorption rate, thanks to the myrcene in it.


Linalool is the terpene that most contributes to the distinctive smell of cannabis and it can be found in herbs like lavender, mint, and cinnamon. What’s interesting is that linalool has been linked with “anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, sedative[ and] anticonvulsant” effects

Patients who have arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia, and even cancer have found relief in this amazing terpene. Some well-known linalool strains are Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, Lavender, and LA Confidential.

Most Common Cannabis Terpene Chart


Caryophyllene is in black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and other spices like oregano, basil, and rosemary – some of its health benefits include anti-inflammatory properties. Some research has looked at Beta-caryophyllene (a compound that binds to CB2 receptors in the body) as an ingredient in topical creams. that binds to cannabinoid receptors.

Besides its analgesic and anti-anxiety properties, some studies have found that caryophyllene has very promising properties when it comes to treating alcohol dependency.

A group of scientists conducted research on mice and found that this terpene can help reduce alcohol intake by up to 50%. They even recommended caryophyllene be used in the treatment of symptoms related to alcohol withdrawal.

You can take advantage of caryophyllene by using strains like Super Silver Haze, Skywalker, and Rock Star

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

These two cannabis terpenes smell like pine trees and can also be found in large amounts in plants such as rosemary, orange peels, basil, parsley, and -would you know it- cannabis.

Research has shown that many terpenes, such as pinene, can help reduce inflammation (among other things) in humans. But more importantly, they can help improve respiratory function and reduce memory loss related to THC.I know it sounds weird at first but some strains of cannabis can help with asthma. Studies have shown that strains rich in alpha and beta-pinene can both relieve asthma symptoms and even improve lung function.

Most cannabis strains contain some level of pinene. It has many medical properties such as easing arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and cancer symptoms. Some popular strains that have a lot of Alpha-pinene are Jack Herer, Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream, Island Sweet Skunk, Dutch Treat, and Romulan


Alpha-bisabolol is a type of terpene that has a sweet and floral aroma found in chamomile flowers and candeia trees. Used primarily as a cosmetic ingredient, it’s now attracting the attention of many more consumers due to its versatility. especially in cannabis.

Alpha-bisabolol has been proven to be an effective treatment for bacterial infections and wounds, not to mention it also has many great antioxidant and analgesic attributes. Can be found in strains like Harle-Tsu, Pink Kush, Headband, OG Shark, or ACDC.


Eucalyptol, also known as cineole, is the terpene that defines the smell of eucalyptus and cannabis. It’s responsible for more recognizable smells like menthol and mint in certain plants. However it normally only makes up around 0.06% of a strain’s compounds

This terpene has a variety of medical and cosmetic benefits. Eucalyptol relieves pain, slows down bacterial & fungal growth, and can be used in cosmetics.

Although it’s in the early stages of research, this terpene has shown some promising effects on Alzheimer’s too. You can find it in strains such as Super Silver Haze and Headband.

Terpenes 101 video


This one is a secondary terpene found mostly in flowers like jasmine, lemongrass, and tea tree oil. The smell of trans-nerolidol reminds of a mixture of rose, citrus and apples and can be described in general as woody, citrus and floral.

This terpene is found in flowers, like jasmine, lemongrass and tea tree. The trans-nerolidol odor has a number of qualities that recall a mix of roses and citrus fruits and can be described as woody, citrusy and flowery.


Humulene is one of the terpenes present in hops and it has a woody- spicy aroma profile that provides earthy, woody notes. It can also be found in other plants such as clove and sage, where the flavor profile is rather different to the taste. Humulene has a variety of medical properties, with some early research showing, meaning it prevents cancer cells from growing. Furthermore, it has been shown to be effective in suppressing appetite, making it a promising weight loss tool. Furthermore, cannabis terpenes like Delta-3 Carene are also useful for reducing inflammation and relieving pain.

You can find humulene in strains like White Widow, Headband, Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel and others.

Delta 3 Carene

We’ve found that this terpene is often referenced in plants like rosemary, basil, bell peppers, cedar and pine. Besides smelling nice and giving off a sweet aroma, it also has a ton of benefits when it comes to healing habits. These include helping with fevers and coughing. That gives hope to patients suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis, and even fibromyalgia. Terpenes in cannabis are said to help with memory loss. This is a major point in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s


The best way to describe camphene is like the smell of a fir forest. It smells earthy and woody as well, with wet soil and moist, moss-covered branches. Camphene aroma might be confused with myrcene (the smell most famously associated with smoking weed), but they’re not the same. From a medical perspective, myrcene has become a powerful antioxidant.

It also has many uses in conventional medicine, mostly as a topical. Its most effective use is its ability to lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, further reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Camphene is present in Ghost OG, Strawberry Banana, and Mendocino Purps.


Borneol, with its herbal minty scent, can be found in herbs like rosemary, mint, and camphor.

Borneol is a natural insect repellent that is also good at preventing serious diseases like the West Nile virus. This terpene has shown some promising evidence of affecting cancer cells, specifically breast cancer cells. It’s used a lot in Chinese medicine as well, in acupuncture to be precise. Borneol gives strains of Amnesia Haze, Golden Haze, and K13 Haze their unmistakable heady highs.


Terpineol is a chemical compound with an aroma that resembles lilacs and apples. It tastes like anise and has a relatively pleasant scent, similar to lilac. It is often used in perfumery because of its pleasant scent as well as its ability to deter insects

It’s a relaxing and potent terpene, which is often responsible for the infamous couch lock effect. Medical benefits of terpineol include it being an antibiotic and antioxidant that you can find in Girl Scout Cookies, Jack Herrer, and OG Kush strains.


Those who enjoy the taste of citrus fruits will love valencene for its sweet, fragrant aromas and flavors. Not only is it used as an insect repellant, but also in strains like Tangie and Agent Orange


Besides cannabis, geraniol can be found in lemons and tobacco. Its smell often reminds people of roses, peaches, and plums. Geraniol is usually found in aromatic bath products and body lotions. Along with this, it also has shown a lot of potential as a neuroprotectant that battles oxidative stress

Various strains of cannabis use it, including Amnesia Haze, Great White Shark, Afghani, Headband, Island Sweet Skunk, OG Shark, and Master Kush.

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