Use this guide to help you determine which terpenes are working best for your preferences
Best known for its spicy and peppery note, caryophyllene is also found in black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and spices like oregano, basil, and rosemary. Caryophyllene binds to CB2 receptors, which makes it an ingredient in anti-inflammatory topicals and creams. Besides its analgesic and anxiolytic properties, some studies have found that caryophyllene has a very promising role in alcohol rehabilitation. Research on mice has found that this terpene reduces the voluntary intake of alcohol.
Farnesene, also known as Trans-β-farnesene, is considered soothing for the mood with calming and sedative effects. It is the primary terpene found in green apple skin and is also found in sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, hops, ginger, turmeric, potatoes, gardenias, ylang ylang, grapefruit, and myrrh. Farnesene medical benefits include muscle relaxer, calming and sedative effects, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. Another interesting characteristic of this terpene is that it can act as a pheromone to repel insects.
Besides cannabis, geraniol can be found in lemons and tobacco. Its smell resembles a mixture of rose grass, peaches, and plums. It’s usually used in aromatic bath products and body lotions. Geraniol has shown a lot of potential as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant.
Humulene is the first terpene found in hops and its aroma is made up of earthy, woody and spicy notes. Besides cannabis, it can be also found in clove, sage, and black pepper. It has many medical properties. Also, it proved to be effective in suppressing appetite, which could make it a potential weight loss tool. Humulene is also known to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and fight bacterial infections.
Limonene is the second most abundant terpene in cannabis, but not all strains necessarily have it. Limonene produces a citrusy smell that resembles lemons, which is no surprise as all citrus fruits contain large amounts of this compound. Limonene is used in cosmetics and cleaning products. For therapeutic purposes, limonene is a mood-booster and a stress-crusher. Researchers a lso found it to have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Strains that have “lemon” or “sour” in their name are usually rich in limonene.
With its spicy and floral notes, this terpene is one of the most abundant in the majority of strains out there and, together with myrcene produces that pungent and spicy scent. Linalool can also be found in lavender, mint, cinnamon, and coriander. What’s interesting is that just like those aromatic herbs, linalool also produces sedation and relaxation. Patients suffering from arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia and even cancer, have all found relief with this amazing terpene.
Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, which is where it’s mostly found in nature. In fact, one study showed that myrcene makes up as much as 65% of total terpene profile in some strains. The smell of Myrcene often reminds us of earthy, musky notes, similar to cloves. It also has a fruity, red grape-like aroma. Strains that contain 0.5% of this terpene are usually indicas, packed full of sedative effects. Myrcene is also supposedly useful in reducing inflammation and chronic pain.
Nerolidol a secondary terpene, found mostly in flowers like jasmine, lemongrass, and tea tree oil. Its smell is a mixture of rose, lemon and apple tones, and can be described in general as both woody and citrusy. Nerolidol is best known for its anti-parasitic, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anticancer and antimicrobial properties.
Ocimene is recognized by its sweet, fragrant, herbaceous, and woodsy aromas, which feature prominently in several perfumes, and which help plants defend themselves in their natural environment. Ocimene occurs naturally in botanicals as diverse as mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, kumquats, and of course cannabis. Ocimene’s potential medical effects include being an antiviral, antiseptic, decongestant and antibacterial.
These terpenes smell like pine trees which is also where they can be found in large amounts. Other plants rich in pinene include rosemary, orange peels, basil, parsley and cannabis. Like many other, pinene terpenes have an anti-inflammatory effect on humans. They also help improve the airflow and respiratory functions. It can actually help with asthma. Pinene is also beneficial for patients suffering from arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, and even cancer.
Terpinolene displays a piney or woody aroma with hints of citrus and herbal spice. Terpinolene can be found in sage, rosemary, apples, tea trees, cumin and nutmeg. The aromatic properties of terpinolene make it a common ingredient in soaps, perfumes, and insect repellents. Typically found in sativa strains, terpinolene offers a mildly sedative effect and can reduce anxiety. This may provide a more balancing effect with the more energetic properties many sativas display. Terpinolene plays a key role in regulating health through the endocannabinoid system.
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