Skip to main content

Just like cigars and wine, each cannabis strain has a unique aroma. From herbal and floral aromas to heavy diesel and woody smells, cannabis aromas fill the air as you indulge in your favorite strain. And while some cannabis strains produce smells that can give you a refreshing and relaxing effect, others can make you wrinkle your nose.

But what gives cannabis its aromatic essence? These scents and flavors are derived from a chemical compound called terpene.

This guide explains what terpenes are, the different types of terpenes, and their effects.

Cannabis Buds

What are Terpenes 

Terpenes are organic compounds usually found in plants, including herbs, teas, and of course, cannabis. A plant’s terpenes give the plants their appearance, fragrance, and taste, protect them from predators and attract insects for pollination. 

Terpenes are also present in animals—they are essentially found in fish scales, egg yolks, and feathers. 

The terpenes found in cannabis are similar to the more well-known compounds of CBD and THC. Like these chemicals, cannabis terpenes have different therapeutic properties, such as anti-anxiety, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Choosing a cannabis strain based on its terpene content is one of the most reliable ways of anticipating its effect on you.

Bowl of Cannabis buds

Common Cannabis Terpenes 

There are both primary and secondary terpenes in cannabis strains. Primary cannabis terpenes determine how the plant looks, tastes and the aroma it produces. Secondary cannabis terpenes are the underlying substances that add layers and depth to these plants. 

Here’s a list of terpenes and their effects: 

  • Limonene: With a bright, citrusy scent, it’s hard to miss limonene’s aroma, which is thought to be a mood elevator. Limonene terpene benefits include reducing depression and anxiety. It also helps with digestion. Limonene terpene is found in Quantum Kush, Berry White, and Wedding Cake.
  • Pinene: This cannabis terpene is usually derived from the resin in pine trees and other conifers. Pinene terpene has an outdoorsy, earthy aroma and is thought to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and bronchodilator effects. This compound is found in Blue Dream, OG Kush, and Haze Berry. 
  • Humulene: Humulene terpenes are the primary terpenes found in hops. This is another terpene that has an outdoorsy, woodsy aroma. Humelene terpene effects include appetite-suppressing and anti-inflammatory effects. This terpene can be found in cannabis strains such as Atlantis, Sour Diesel, and Gelato. 
  • Myrcene: Myrcene terpene is a cannabis terpene found in thyme, mangoes, lemongrass, and hops. It has an earthy clove-like scent. Myrcene terpene can be used as an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, analgesic, and sedative. cannabis strains containing myrcene include Grape Ape, Girl Scout Cookies, and Bubba Kush. 
  • Caryophyllene: Found in clover, black pepper, and cannabis, caryophyllene terpene has a spicy, woody smell. Caryophyllene terpene benefits include relieving pain and reducing inflammation, and it can also act as an addiction treatment. This terpene is found in strains like Jet Lag, G, Purps, and Mag Landrace. 
  • Linalool: Linalool terpene is found in a wide range of plants, including lavender, various types of mint, and several strains of cannabis. It has a flora, lavender-like aroma. One significant linalool terpene effect is reducing anxiety. It can also relieve pain and serve as a sedative. Strains containing linalool include Cotton Candy, G. Purps, and Heavy Hitter. 
  • Ocimene: Ocimene terpene is naturally found in orchids, mangoes, and bergamot. It has a sweet, citrusy and earthy aroma, usually common in fragrances. Ocimene terpene effects include anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation. Strains containing ocimene include Dutch Treat, Clementine, and Amnesia. 
  • Nerolidol: Nerolidol terpene is found in various plants, including ginger and jasmine. This terpene has a soothing floral, woody aroma. Nerolidol terpene effects include antifungal and sedation effects. Strains containing Nerolidol include Skywalker OG, Chemdawg, and Blue Dream. 
  • Bisabolol: Bisabolol terpene is found in chamomile and usually has a sweet, floral aroma. This terpene has anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing effects. 
  • Terpinolene: This is one of the less common terpenes and is found in low quantities across strains. Terpinolene terpene has an electric aroma comprising floral, pine, citrus, and herbal notes. Strains containing this terpene include Jack Herer and Ghost Train Haze. Terpinolene terpene effects include antifungal and anti-bacterial effects. 

The terpene content of different strains or cultivars may vary from grows to grow. The primary factors that affect terpene content include the quality of the genetics, lighting, soil type and quality, harvest time, and post-harvest care.

Kiwi and Cannabis buds

Can Terpenes Get You High by Themselves 

Terpenes aren’t necessarily the compounds in cannabis responsible for the psychoactive effects you feel when you consume cannabis. And while some terpenes may have slight psychoactive effects, it is more of terpenes influencing other chemical compounds in cannabis plants when interacting with the body. 

A common analogy used by most cannabis consultants is that if consuming cannabis is like driving a car, CBD and THC serve as the gas pedal, whereas terpenes steer the experience. In short, terpenes work closely with other chemical compounds of the cannabis plant to give users the entourage effect.

Woman smelling cannabis buds

How to Use Terpenes to Improve Your Health and Well-being 

Know that we understand how terpenes work and the effects the different types of terpenes have on the body, here’s how to use them to improve your health and well-being: 

  • Use strains with specific terpenes to get the desired effect: Different terpenes have different effects on the body. So choose strains with a terpene profile that features a couple of terpenes known to provide the benefits you’re seeking. 
  • Experiment with different types of terpenes: As mentioned earlier, different terpenes have different people and may affect people differently. Try experimenting with different terpene combinations to find a strain that meets your needs. 
  • Use terpenes for aromatherapy: Terpenes are present in essential oils, which you can apply topically to your skin to improve your well-being. 
  • Seek recommendations from a professional: Your best resource may be right here at Planet 13 Las Vegas. Ask a cannabis expert for the best strains that can offer the therapeutic benefits you are seeking. 

Find the Ideal Cannabis Products for Your Recreational and therapeutic Needs at Planet 13

We all have different cannabis preferences. Whether you’re looking for something to calm your nerves or to bring out your inner creativity and personality, you can find the right cannabis terpene strains and professional cannabis advice with planet 13. Contact us today to place an order online, or you can visit our Las Vegas stores for the best dank.