Image of cannabis plant featuring illustrations of different terpene symbols.

What Are Terpenes?

Posted by Sauce Warehouse on


There are aromatic compounds found throughout nature which give cannabis, tea trees, and many other plants their signature scents and flavors. These compounds are terpenes, also called "terps" by cannabis concentrate enthusiasts. They not only affect aroma but can also greatly impact the experience of using cannabis and other herbs.

Image of a humming bird flying near lavender plants.

So what are terpenes? Read on to discover the different types of terpenes, their aromas & effects, and so much more.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes, often simply called terps, are organic compounds found in a variety of plants, including hemp and cannabis plants.

Close up image of trichomes on cannabis flower.
These compounds are responsible for the distinctive aromas and flavors of different cannabis strains. Beyond just scent, the terpenes effects interact with the human body in unique ways that can complement the effects of cannabinoids.

What Is A Terp?

'Terp' is just a shorthand way of saying terpene, so a terp is a terpene!

The Terpene Profile

While THC and CBD might dominate cannabis discussions, it's the terpene profile of different cannabis strains that really set them apart. This profile outlines the specific terpenes present, which can greatly influence the overall effects and experience. To create these profiles, hemp and cannabis testing labs run a test called terpene analysis.

Image of a terpene analysis test result for CBD live resin.

Click image to zoom / zoom out.

Common Terpenes


There are two types of the terpene pinene – alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. As the name suggests, this terpene has an aroma of pine trees.

Image of pine cones on a pine tree.
Pinene Terpene Effects:

The effects of pinene are diverse. While alpha pinene may improve airflow to the lungs and help with memory, both forms can potentially reduce inflammation.


Beta caryophyllene has a spicy, peppery aroma, and is also present in black pepper.

Image of black pepper up close.
Caryophellene Terpene Effects:

This terpene has the potential to reduce inflammation and many believe it relieves pain.


Found in the peels of citrus fruits and other plants, it exhibits a vibrant citrus scent. It is used in medications for obesity, cancer, and bronchitis, but some argue there is little evidence for its effectiveness. The Limonene terpene is also used as a flavoring in foods, beverages, and chewing gum.

Image of fresh lemons.
Limonene Terpene Effects:

Limonene's effects are uplifting and many associate this terpene with stress relief and elevated mood. It acts as an antioxidant in the body and may help lower the risk of certain cancers and signs of aging by reducing oxidative stress.


Found in mangos and other citrus fruits, Myrcene has a citrus aroma with earthy undertones.

Image of mango trees.
Myrcene Terpene Effects:

Myrcene offers calming and sedative effects.


Present in hops and wood, the Humulene terpene has an herbal aroma.

Image of hops in nature.
Humulene Terpene Effects:

Humulene may have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. It is also believed to be effective in fighting tumors.


The Linalool terpene has a floral lavender aroma with spicy and woody undertones. Linalool is present in lavender, basil, and indica cannabis plants.

Image of a bee landing on a lavender plant.
Linalool Terpene Effects:

You can find the Linalool terpene in lavender oil which is commonly used for its anti-anxiety and sedative effects. It can also protect the immune system from stress and has been shown to have antimicrobial properties.


Click below to view our Terpene Chart. This chart features a list of terpenes and effects:

The Entourage Effect

Terpenes can contribute much more than their own individual effects. When combined with cannabinoids in cannabis products, there's a synergistic effect known as the "entourage effect".

Image showing the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that create the entourage effect.

Click image to zoom / zoom out.

This means that the combined effects of cannabinoids and terpenes can be greater than their individual effects. For instance, the Blue Dream cannabis strain has a unique terpene profile that many users believe adds to its therapeutic effects.

Terpenes Beyond Cannabis

Terpenes aren't only present in hemp & cannabis plants. They're present in many plants, like tea trees, which offer a range of health benefits. And, you can find terpenes in many products beyond the weed flavouring in cannabis. From essential oils to sleep aids, terpenes play a significant role in many industries.

Image of a variety of lavender products which contain the terpene Linalool.


Terpenes, with their diverse aromas and distinct flavors, play an important role in how we experience cannabis and many other plants. As research continues, we're discovering more about how these compounds interact with the human body. We are also learning more about the benefits they may provide, from pain relief to relaxation.

So, the next time you're enjoying some terpene rich CBD concentrates or other terpy cannabis products, thank the terpenes.

Image of a woman enjoying herself among cannabis plants.

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