Terpenes and their properties

Do you know what terpenes are and how they act in our bodies? Understand the different types of terpenes found in cannabis plants.

In the last few years, one of our biggest curiosities has been about terpenes and how they are revolutionary in cannabis world. I will never forget the first time we read a post about Ed Rosenthal that said that terpenes could be the truest source of the difference between indica or sativa, and that struck us. It made so much sense at the time and now, even more. 

But what are terpenes?

For those who are still not familiar with what are the terpenes, they are aromatic organic hydrocarbons found in most plants and even some insects. They are used by plants as natural repellents of predators and also as a way of attracting helpful predators and pollinators, and they are more present in our life than we normally now. Each plant will have a different terpene profile, with one or more terpene being the leading smell in them due to higher concentration, but that will be defined by factors such as climate, humidity, soil and others.

Ok so that are terpenes, but what are terpenoids?

Well terpenoids are terpenes that have been modified through a drying and curing process (chemical modification), altering the oxygen content of the compound. Easy right? Not really, but we will help you out. Basically, if you are not a chemistry fan, you can think about the difference between these two words as terpenes being what you will find with the plant when “wet”, while terpenoids are the essential oils you will find in the plant when it’s dried out. 

How important are they?

Sugar leaf

 Ok so now we know what are terpenes and terpenoids, but why are they important? Well, it know today by the medical and cannabis community that cannabinoids have medical properties and it is also known that terpenes (and terpenoids) do have them too, and especially in cannabis plants, when cannabinoids and terpenes are combined,  they are proven to have amazing medical results.

So basically we can for sure say that:

  1. Terpenes directly affect how cannabis will affect you;
  2. Terpenes have medical benefits, and when combined with cannabinoids they will synergize on the human endocannabinoid system;
  3. Terpenes will alter the taste and smell of each cannabis plant.

Today we will illustrate a bit about the main terpenes found in cannabis plants, their body and mind effects and their medical potential:


General: Myrcene is the most common terpene in today’s strains and it is known to have calming and highly sedative effects, with some even attributing the “couch-lock” effect to it.

Where else it can be found: Hops, Thyme, Mango and Lemongrass.

Potential medical effects: Antioxidant, Good for insomnia treatment and sleeping disorders, Pain treatment and anti inflammatory potential.


General: most common terpene found in nature, due to it’s presence in most pine trees and pines itself has many known medical benefits and the potential to bring back memories.

Where else it can be found: Pines, Rosemary and Basil.

Potential medical effects: Bronchodilator effect, anti inflammatory potential and memory loss prevention.

A fragrant cannabis bud
A fragrant cannabis bud


General: this terpene has one of the most interesting caracteristics since it is able to trigger the human endocannabinoid system.

Where else it can be found: Black pepper, Cloves and Cinnamon.

Potential medical effects: Treatment of anxiety, depression, pain, gastric protector.


General: same terpene found in lemons, and some other citrus it is a rich and familiar smell with highly energetic properties. 

Where else it can be found: Lemon, Juniper and Orange.

Potential medical effects: Treatment of anxiety, depression, anti inflammatory, pain relieve and antifungal.


General: common terpene found in many strains has a smokey and woody aroma.

Where else it can be found: Lilac, Nutmeg, Cumin, Tea tree and Apples.

Potential medical effects: antioxidant, anti-cancer, antibacterial and antifungal.

Did you like to know all this? Share with anyone who is also a cannabis lover, to show this healing experience that the weed brings.

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