A brief, simplified explanation of 3 common terps.

Terpenes are a diverse class of organic compounds that are produced by many plants, including cannabis. They are responsible for the plant’s distinct aroma and taste and have been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects. In fact, terpenes are believed to play a significant role in the overall therapeutic effects of cannabis, along with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.

In cannabis, there are over 100 different terpenes, each with its own unique scent and therapeutic properties. Some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis include:

  • Myrcene: This terpene has a musky, earthy aroma and is found in high concentrations in many indica strains of cannabis. It is known for its sedative effects and ability to help with pain relief. Myrcene has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can also help to increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, allowing other compounds such as THC to have a more potent effect.
  • Limonene: This terpene has a citrusy, lemon-like aroma and is found in many sativa strains of cannabis. It is known for its uplifting effects and ability to help with anxiety and depression. Limonene has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties.
  • Pinene: This terpene has a piney, woody aroma and is found in many strains of cannabis. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to help with asthma. Pinene is also believed to have anti-cancer properties and may help to improve memory and focus.

Other common terpenes found in cannabis include caryophyllene, linalool, and terpinolene, each with their own unique scent and therapeutic properties.

Studies have shown that terpenes can work in synergy with cannabinoids to produce a range of therapeutic effects. For example, a 2011 study found that myrcene increased the potency of THC by helping it to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily (Russo, 2011). Another study found that limonene had anti-cancer properties and could help to reduce tumor size in mice (Koo et al., 2019).

Overall, terpenes are an important component of the cannabis plant and can have a significant impact on the therapeutic effects of the plant. By understanding the different terpenes and their effects, consumers can choose strains that best meet their individual needs. However, more research is needed to fully understand the complex interactions between terpenes and other compounds in cannabis, and their potential therapeutic benefits.


Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344-1364.

Koo, H. J., Lim, K. H., Jung, H. J., & Park, E. H. (2019). Anti-inflammatory evaluation of extract from Artemisia annua L. containing artemisinin in mice. Food science and biotechnology, 28(5), 1425-1433.

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