Cannabis Terpenes: The Know-it-All Guide

Are you curious about cannabis terpenes? You may have already heard about it and have known about some details, but you are reading it because you want to know more, right? Well, this guide will tackle all you need to know about cannabis terpenes.

What are Terpenes?

First, let us discuss what terpenes are in general. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that are present in many plants. Yes, terpenes are not just exclusive for cannabis, although people associate terpenes with cannabis since cannabis plants have high concentrations of terpenes.

For most plants, including cannabis, a combination of terpenes builds up their fragrance. They are also responsible for establishing a distinct smell of many plants and herbs. Because of this, manufacturers use the terpenes for creating flavors and scents for products such as perfumes, soaps, body products, and even food.

Terpenes are not just all about aroma. They also offer a variety of responsibilities on the plant. Terpenes protect the plants from animal grazing, infectious germs, and predators. Also, some terpenes attract pollinators, and some help the plant recover from damage.

Are Terpenes the Same As Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds of the cannabis plant responsible for interacting with the body’s receptors to produce a variety of bodily effects. The cannabinoid THC is the one that gives off the high feeling. The cannabinoid CBD possesses the medicinal properties.

On the other hand, cannabis terpenes not only give off the aroma of the cannabis plant. Some terpenes can also act on the endocannabinoid system of the body, just like the cannabinoids do. The main difference in this manner is how the body absorbs and uses these compounds.

Cannabis terpenes don’t receive much attention like the cannabinoids, but they are also important. Without them, cannabis would be boring. The aroma that cannabis terpenes give off can influence your overall weed consumption and how you feel.


Examples of Cannabis Terpenes

There are different types of cannabis terpenes. Each has its unique aroma and qualities. If you carefully study what each terpene is, you can pick out a strain that fist you based on the smell alone. If you are overwhelmed with the various cannabis strains available today, then familiarizing yourself with cannabis terpenes can narrow down your choices.

Here are some of the cannabis terpenes that you would want to know about:


If you weed off a feeling of Christmas because of its Christmas tree-like aroma, your bud contains a high alpha-pinene terpene. This terpene is characterized by its fresh and piney aroma. Along with its aroma, it has a variety of positive effects too. It can reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, thus protecting your memory and keeping you alert. It is also considered as a natural antiseptic and can help treat asthma.

Cannabis strains with high alpha-pinene terpene levels include Chem Dawg, Super Silver Haze, and Jack Herer.

Alpha-pinene terpene is also found on other products and herbs such as basil, dill, essential oils for aromatherapy, and pine needles.


You know that your bud contains high levels of myrcene terpene when you break it open and give you a feeling of being earthy and herbs. This terpene is characterized by its earthy and herbal aroma that also has a touch of fruity flavors. It adds a touch of relaxation to any type of cannabis strain. For a potent Indica strain, it improves the sedating and couchlock effects. For a Sativa strain, it calms down the racy buzz. It also possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Cannabis strains with high levels of myrcene terpene include White Widow, Skunk, and Afghani Kush.

Myrcene can also be found on mangos, hops, and thyme.


If you are looking for a refreshing, fresh citrus aroma, then this terpene is for you. Limonene is one of the most common cannabis terpenes. If you crave lemon, lime, orange, and even strawberry, this will make you love weed containing this terpene. Along with its refreshing aroma, it can induce a variety of positive bodily effects such as uplifting your mood, alleviating stress, and an overall feeling of well-being. It can also help with heartburn, stomach problems, and depression. The limonene terpene also possesses antifungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Cannabis strains with high levels of limonene terpene include Lemon Skunk, OG Kush, and Jack the Ripper.

Besides citrus fruits, limonene can also be found on other plants and herbs such as juniper and rosemary.


If you are up for some spice, then you can consider the caryophyllene terpene. It gives off a spicy aroma similar that will surely light you up. It has plenty of medical properties that can help with the immune system, arthritis, inflammation, ulcers, and other stomach issues.

Cannabis strains with high levels of caryophyllene terpene include the Hash plant.

The caryophyllene terpene is commonly found in black pepper, cotton, and cloves.


Are you craving for something sweet? The linalool terpene gives off a sweet aroma similar to that of a flower or candy. A cannabis bud that has a sweet smell is most like to contain lots of linalool terpene. This terpene can act as a mild sedative to help deliver a pleasant, anxiety-free high. It can also help with medical conditions like anxiety, depression, seizures, and even acne.

Cannabis strains with high levels of linalool terpene include Lavender, G-13, and LA Confidential.

The linalool terpene is also commonly found in lavender flowers.


The humulene belongs to the class of sesquiterpenes, which means they have 3 isoprene units and 15 carbon atoms. The molecule adds a pleasant scent and taste to specific cannabis cultivars, giving off an herbal and hoppy flavor. The humulene terpene is responsible for the hints of wood, earth, and spice to cannabis flowers. Naturally, the humulene terpene is responsible for protecting plants against pests and flies. Medically, it provides several therapeutic qualities because of its delightful taste. The list still goes on. The humulene terpene has also been subjected to animal research and was concluded that it could protect the nervous system cells with physiological balance.

Cannabis strains with high levels of humulene terpene exist in particularly high concentrations within White Widow and OG Kush chemovars.

The humulene terpene also appears in common spices, including cloves, ginger, sage, and basil.


Geraniol is another terpene that gives off a pleasantly sweet and floral aroma. The aroma that the geraniol terpene gives off is very popular with the commercial industries. It has been infused into a variety of products, including essential oils, perfumes, and lotions. Medically, it was scientifically studied for its anti-inflammatory effects, especially in cases of fibrosis and atherogenesis. Also, it has shown promise of having neuroprotective properties that can ease diabetic neuropathy.

Cannabis strains with high levels of geraniol terpene include Amnesia Haze and Headband.

The geraniol terpene is commonly found in plants and fruits, including carrots, oranges, coriander, peaches, grapefruit, lemongrass, and roses.


When you open up your cannabis bud, and it exploded with herbal flavors, it contains this delicious terpene. The chemical contributes packs of flavors of sweetness, herbs, earth, and fruit to many cannabis varieties. The ocimene terpene also acts as a decongestant. The user experiences its effects by coughing more that may take about a minute. The next time you take hits that make you have minute-long coughs, the strain might have high levels of ocimene. The ocimene terpene also possesses antifungal and pest-resistant properties making it presented in various plant essential oils.

Cannabis strains with high levels of ocimene terpene include OG Kush, Strawberry Cough, and Purple Haze.

The ocimene terpene is also found on common herbs and spices, including oregano, mint, tarragon, and basil. It is also found on some fruits such as mango.


If you are looking for a high that will give you a sense of adventuring in the forest, then the terpinolene terpene is what you need. It produces a striking aroma of wood and pine. Its taste and aroma will take you down the memory lane of your outdoor and nature experiences. It is believed to be an integral terpene in many Sativa strains. Alongside the stimulating effects in humans, it was proven to show promise in preventing coronary heart diseases by preventing oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It also possesses antiproliferative properties against neuroblastoma cells.

Cannabis strains with high levels of terpinolene terpene include Jack Herer, Super Lemon Haze, and Sour Diesel.

The terpinolene terpene is responsible for the distinct scents of various plants and herbs, including tea tree, apple, conifer, lilac, cumin, rosemary, and sage.


The name of this terpene came from Valencia oranges. Living up with its name, you are right to guess that it gives off a pure citrus aroma. Besides providing a delicious addition to your cannabis consuming experience, the valencene terpene provides captivating therapeutic applications. It also possesses anti-inflammatory and antiallergenic properties.

Cannabis strains with high levels of valencene terpene include Tangie, Agent Orange, and ACDC.

Aside from oranges, the valencene terpene is also found in other citrus fruits, herbs, and wood.


There are other terpenes, and each has its own. If you are looking for a certain taste, aroma, and other qualities and medicinal effects, try searching for more. You could also experiment with different strains that possess the cannabis terpene or aroma you are looking for.