Getting Familiar With Common Terpenes

Many cannabis patients today are broadening their knowledge of the terpene profiles, rather than just worrying about getting as much THC as possible.

When we understand which terpenes support which effects, we can better manage and enhance the benefits and patient experience with cannabis.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are found in plants throughout the natural world around us but are most abundantly produced in the Cannabis plant.

They are important chemical compounds in plants that are responsible for things like flavor and aroma and make up the base for many essential oils.

Terpenes are also reported to have many other beneficial properties. In cannabis, terpenes also play an important role in what is called the “entourage effect” (all of the compounds from a cannabis/hemp plant work together, enhancing the overall effects).

Common Terpenes Found In Cannabis


Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found in the majority of marijuana strains.

Smell: earth, musk, skunk, slight fruit notes.

Potential Effects: Myrcene is known for its ability to help absorb cannabinoids, and may help with gastrointestinal disorders, anxiety, and hypertension. The terpene is reported to enhance calm and euphoria.

Cannabis Strains: OG Kush, Blue Dream, Glue

Other Plant Sources of myrcene: mango, thyme, hops, bay, myrcia, and lemongrass

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Limonene is one of the more common terpenes found in the cannabis plant and is used in foods and cosmetics.

Smell: zesty citrus, lemon 

Potential Effects: may provide anxiety relief, stress management, digestive disorders like heartburn, etc. Limonene is reported to have antifungal, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties and even inhibition of various tumor growth.

Cannabis Strains: Sour Kush, Inferno OG, OG Kush

Other Plant Sources of limonene: citrus fruit, maple, cedar, pines, juniper, and rosemary


Pinene is one of the most researched terpenes, as well as one of the most common.

Smell: pine, stank, herb

Potential Effects: bronchodilator (widens the airways), antidepressant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Pinene has also been reported to help with mood swings through its calming effects.

Cannabis Strains: Blue Dream, Cotton Kandy Kush, Chem Dawg, Dutch Treat Haze, OG Kush

Other Plant Sources of pinene: citrus fruit, maple, cedar, pines, juniper, and rosemary

Beta-Caryophyllene or β-caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is used as a natural food additive, flavoring, and enhancer and is FDA-approved.

Smell: spice, musk, earth

Potential Effects: helps with anxiety and depression, combating sleep disorders, boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, pain management, spasms, and even Alzheimer’s and alcoholism.

Cannabis Strains:  Inferno OG, Chem Dawg, Blue Dream, GSC or Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, Green Crack, OG Kush

Other Plant Sources of caryophyllene: black pepper, hops, oregano, cloves, basil, rosemary, cinnamon

The experience of the compounds from a cannabis/hemp plant, such as phytocannabinoids and terpenes, come together to enhance and manage the overall patient experience.

The entourage effect…


Humulene is a terpene that is easily absorbed by the human body, either through oral, aerosol, or topical consumption.

Smell: earth, wood, herbal

Potential Effects: antihistamine, may combat arthritis, tumor, and cancer cells, stimulate weight loss, helps with allergies, natural insect repellant.

Cannabis Strains: Sour KushGSC or Girl Scout Cookies, White Walker Kush, Super Lemon Haze, Headband, OG Kush

Other Plant Sources of Humulene: various types of wood, pine trees, tobacco, sage, clove, basil, ginseng, ginger, black pepper


Linalool is a well-known terpene that is produced naturally and synthetically and is used primarily in cosmetics and food.

Smell: lavender, floral

Potential Effects: Help in treating Alzheimer’s, inhibit cancer growth, stress, pain, anxiety management 

Found in: Dark Matter OG,  Blackberry OG, mint, birch, and over 60 spices

Cannabis Strains: Sour KushGSC or Girl Scout Cookies, White Walker Kush, Super Lemon Haze, Headband, OG Kush

Other Plant Sources of Linalool: various types of wood, pine trees, tobacco, sage, clove, basil, ginseng, ginger, black pepper


Terpinolene is commonly used in cosmetics including soap, various lotions, and perfumes due to its “fresh” or “crisp” scent. 

Smell: floral, citrus, wood, herb

Potential Effects: anxiety, insomnia, antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, an anti-proliferative, reduce heart disease risk and improve cholesterol levels

Cannabis Strains: Dutch Treat, Shipwreck, Super Lemon Haze, Jack Herer, Snowcap

Other Plant Sources of Terpolene: lilacs, apple trees, tea trees, conifers, parsnip, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, and cumin

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Ocimene is typically found in Sativa varieties of cannabis with energizing effects. Its primary use is as a fragrance in the cosmetics industry but it has also been shown to have potential health benefits.

Smell: earth, fruit, woody notes

Potential Effects: Decongestant, clears nasal passages, expels mucus and phlegm, uplifting cognitive effect, natural pesticide, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial, potential to fight yeasts and molds

Cannabis Strains: Dutch Treat, Snowcone, Sour Deisel, Clementine, Tangerine Frost, Jack Herer, Snowcap

Other Plant Sources of Ocimene: hops, basil, mint, mangos, kumquats, bergamot, tarragon, lavender, pepper, parsley, neroli, bigarade, petitgrain, and orchids

*Ocimene acts as an irritant on the skin and eyes, and can damage your lungs if swallowed, it is best to consult your physician on its consumption, and more particularly its forms. 


Bisabolol is known for its sweet floral aroma and is widely used in cosmetics, namely to create fragrances. It’s used in makeup, shaving creams, shampoos, anti-aging creams, moisturizers, and perfumes.

Smell: floral, fruity, nutty

Potential Effects: may help protect against ulcers, skin irritation, and inflammation, may inhibit fungus and bacterial growth, help combat anxiety, soothing effect, analgesic, gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, anti-oxidant

Cannabis Strains: Incredible Power, Ghost OG, Headband, Cotton Candy Kush, Lavender

Other Plant Sources of Bisabolol: german chamomile, the bark of Candeia, and sage


Nerolidol offers a variety of benefits and has been approved by the FDA as a flavoring for food.

Smell: earth, wood, bark

Potential Effects: antimalarial, topical enhancer, antiulcer, anxiety

Cannabis Strains:  Dark Matter OG, Blackberry OG

Other Plant Sources of Nerolidol: jasmine, lavender, tea tree, ginger family, citronella, lemon grass, orange, Piper claussenianum, Lady of the Night orchid, Eucalyptus, African alpine sage, and others.

This list is in no way all-inclusive, there are many more terpenes and cannabinoids and their benefits to explore.

Other Pages To Visit:

Explore Infused Recipes

For Cannabis Patients:
Interested in better nutrition, but specifically looking for canna-infused meals? Try out some of the recipes in the Cannabis-Infused Recipes section of our blog!

Explore Dosha Balancing Recipes

Develop a better relationship with food:
Interested in better nutrition to support and balance your dosha type? Try out simple recipes in the Ayurvedic Nutrition section of our blog!

Other Websites To Visit:

Pure Essential Oils For Your Self-care Recipes

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