Cannabis Terpenes: What Are They and What Do They Do?

Terpenes are an essential aspect of the cannabis experience. Terpenes are responsible for the various aromas of cannabis as well as some of the effects that different cannabis strains will cause on your body. In the first part of this article, we are going to discuss the benefits of some of these terpenes and where they are found.

What Are Terpenes?

When it comes to cannabis many different types of terpenes can be found in it such as limonene, linalool, myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene, and humulene. These terpenes can vary greatly in complexity being monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, or triterpenes.

Some additional things to note about terpenes in cannabis is that the amount and type of terpenes present in any given strain are greatly dependent on the season. Different stages of growth for cannabis plants also have been shown to have different terpene profiles.


Alpha Pinene and Beta Pinene are 2 monoterpenes commonly found in pines but also in cannabis. Cannabis strains that contain a high amount of this terpene will have a sweet aroma that smells similar to pines. Pinene is one of the more well-researched terpenes and possesses a wide range of benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and minor pain relief. Pinene is also an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which means it's good for aiding memory although this is less studied in cannabis.



Alpha Caryophyllene (also known as humulene) and Beta-Caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene that can be found in cannabis but is most commonly found in pepper, fruits, and some herbs. This terpene is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect in cannabis alongside some other effects such as minor pain relief, antioxidants, and immune system support. This terpene also has a bunch of other effects outside of cannabis such as gastroprotective, analgesic, antifungal, and more, which is why black pepper is so good for you.



Limonene is one of the more discussed monoterpenes being responsible for the distinct citrussy smell of fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges. While we do know a lot about the benefits of limonene we don’t know what it does in the body to achieve it, and with that being said a lot of the studies use amounts of limonene that wouldn’t be present in cannabis. Some of the benefits of limonene include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-depressant effects.



In short, terpenes are something you should consider when you’re picking up some flowers or live resin, terpenes can impact the experience of a high through some of their effects whether that be anti-anxiety or anti-inflammatory, subtle flavours, and strong aromas.

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