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Similar to high end cigars or fine wines, cannabis and hemp strains have a unique aroma & flavor. Many of them are uplifting and even stimulating, while others are just down right funky. These aromatic profiles exist because of natural compounds called terpenes.
Read on to discover what terpenes are and how terpenes effects can influence your cannabis experience. For those who are new to cannabis terpenes we have provided a terpene chart featuring a list of terpenes and effects.
What are Terpenes?
If you are familiar with consuming cannabis, you have likely come across the term 'terpenes'. In various plants including cannabis, terpenes defend from harm and draw in pollinators. For us humans, terpenes add satisfying flavor & aroma to our favorite herbs while also offering potential therapeutic benefits.
But what exactly are terpenes, and why are there different types?
Different Types of Terpenes
You may know about a few or maybe even several individual terpenes like caryophyllene, humulene, & myrcene. But, do you know about the different categories these individual terpenes belong to? These categories include: monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, sesterterpenes, and triterpenes. These terpene categories group terpenes based on how many atoms and isoprene units they have.
Monoterpenes are the most basic of terpenes and contain 10 carbon atoms derived from two isoprene units. They are usually light and volatile, meaning they evaporate quickly. They are responsible for those fresh and immediate aromas in cannabis.
Sweet citrusy aroma. Found in citrus fruits.
Fresh, piney aroma. Found in pine trees.
Sesquiterpenes contain 15 carbon atoms originating from three isoprene units. Sesquiterpenes are generally more substantial and less volatile than monoterpenes. They contribute to the stable, deep notes of an aroma that stick around on your palate.
Spicy, woody, & dry aroma. Found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon.
Sweet, woody, berry, & fruity aroma. Found in apples.
Diterpenes contain 20 carbon atoms from four isoprene units. Diterpenes are heavier than monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. They are often biologically active components in resins.
Woody aroma. Found in pine resin.
Woody, bitter aroma. Found in coffee beans.
Sesterterpenes, with 25 carbon atoms derived from five isoprene units, are less common in nature. There is not as much research available into this category of terpenes.
This terpene was isolated from a marine sponge in 1980. It has potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Triterpenes are large molecules made up of six isoprene units resulting in 30 carbon atoms. They are the primary substance of sterols, like cholesterol, and other biologically significant molecules in plants and animals.
Found in the bark of several tree species and has potential medicinal benefits.
Steroid precursor found in plants and animals.
Terpenes In Cannabis
In cannabis and hemp flowers, terpenes are located in the trichomes. Trichomes are the bulbous resin-filled structures found primarily on the buds and sugar leaves. They are responsible for the unique aroma and flavor profile of individual cannabis strains. Many of these terpenes have at least one therapeutic property if not more.
When we consume terpenes in cannabis products, they contribute to an enhanced effect known as the entourage effect. This is the effect of terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids working together synergistically. The idea is that terpenes and cannabinoids such as THC and CBD have a stronger effect when you use them together.
Terpenes also exist outside cannabis and are present in many products like cleaners, pesticides, and dyes. Most of us are familiar with the household cleaner called PineSol which contains the terpene Pinene. Apart from cleaning products many of our herbs, spices, and essential oils contain terpenes as well.
Common Cannabis Terpenes
Cannabis contains over 150 terpenes but there are a handful that are extremely common to notice on your lab results.
Myrcene is responsible for herbaceous and woody aromas. Plants and fruits that commonly contain this terpene include lemongrass, mangos, guavas, and hops just to name a few. It is the most common terpene found in cannabis.
Caryophyllene, or beta-Caryophyllene is responsible for spicy, woody, and dry aromas. It is present in black pepper, cloves, basil, and rosemary. This terpene is present in kush strains like OG Kush and contributes to their musky aromatic profiles.
Limonene is behind those citrusy sweet aromas in your favorite strains of cannabis. It is also present in many citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and limes.
We have created this terpene chart to help our customers find products that are best suited for them. This chart features a list of terpenes and effects alongside common sources. It also lists flavors & aromas, as well as terpene boiling points.
|Terpene||Aroma/Flavor||Potential Benefits||Also Found In||Boiling Point|
|β-Ocimene||Celery, Basil, Orchid||Anti-Fungal, Stress Relief, Anti-bacterial||Mangos, Bay Leaves, Orchids, Basil, Mint||65°C, 149°F|
|Isopulegol||Citronella, Tea Tree, Mint||Anti-anxiety, Gastro-Protective, Anti-viral||Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Mint||212°C, 414°F|
|Ocimene||Sweet, Herbal, Woody||Anti-viral, Anti-bacterial, Anti-septic, Anti-fungal||Mangos, Hops, Basil, Lavender, Parsley, Mint||50°C, 122°F|
|Phytol||Floral, Balsamic||Sleep-aid, Immuno-suppressant||White cabbage, Raspberries, Olive Trees||203°C, 399°F|
|Linalool||Floral, Rose, Woody||Anti-anxiety, Sedative||Lavender, Rose, Basil||199°C, 390°F|
|β-Pinene||Piney, Spicy, Woody||Anti-inflammatory, Bronchodilator||Hops, Parsley, Dill||165°C, 329°F|
|Delta-3 Carene||Pine, Cypress, Rosemary||Anti-inflammatory, Bone Stimulant||Bell peppers, Rosemary, Basil||171°C, 340°F|
|Eucalyptol||Eucalyptus, Mint||Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal||Eucalyptus tree, Tea tree, Sage||175°C, 348°F|
|Trans-Nerolidol||Citrusy, Rose, Woody||Anti-cancer, Anti-microbial, Anti-oxidant, Anti-parasitic||Lemongrass, Ginger, Lavender||122°C, 252°F|
|Borneol||Mint, Thyme||Anti-inflammatory, Anti-nociceptive, Stress Relief||Sunflowers, Rosemary, Thyme||212°C, 415°F|
|Geraniol||Peach, Rose Grass||Anti-oxidant, Anti-cancer, Neuroprotectant||Lemongrass, Grapefruits, Lemons||230°C, 446°F|
|Terpinolenel||Fresh, Lemon Peel, Sweet||Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Sedative||Apple, Lilac, Tea Tree||186°C, 366°F|
|β-Caryophyllene||Clove, Spicy, Woody||Anti-microbial, Anti-inflammatory, Neuroprotective||Black Pepper, Cloves, Hops||130°C, 266°F|
|Myrcene||Herbaceous, Woody||Analgesic, Sedative, Relaxing||Lemongrass, Mangos, Hops||166°C, 331°F|
|α-Pinene||Herbal, Piney, Fresh||Alertness, Memory Retention||Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lime||156°C, 313°F|
|α-Humulene||Bitter, Floral, Peppery, Woody||Anti-inflammatory, Anti-bacterial||Black Pepper, Hops, Basil||106°C, 222°F|
|Camphene||Fir Needles, Musky, Earthy||Anti-oxidant, Focus||Cypress Trees, Nutmeg, Valerian||158°C, 318°F|
|Limonene||Citrusy, Sweet||Anti-bacterial, Mood Elevation, Stress Relief||Grapefruit, Oranges, Lemons||176°C, 349°F|
|α-Bisabolol||Nutty, Fruity, Coconut||Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory||Chamomile, Candeia Tree||153°C, 307°F|
|Valencene||Sweet Citrus, Tangerine||Anti-inflammatory, Anti-melanogenesis, Anti-allergic||Grapefruit, Oregano, Oranges||123°C, 254°F|
Now that you know all about terpenes, you can shop for your cannabis and hemp extracts like a pro! When browsing our collection of CBD concentrates here at Sauce Warehouse, you can find a terpene profile listed on every product page. If you'd like to view the raw terpene analysis results, simply click the link under 'Lab Results'.
If at any point you would like suggestions or have any questions, please let us know! Our customer support team is always happy to help!