There are myriad compounds and chemicals which make-up the biological structure of the cannabis plant.

Out of those 140 happen to be terpenes (aromatic organic hydrocarbons). Both cannabis and cannabis oil have those in abundance. But, not all of terpenes have the same utility. Only the ones with 0.05 % concentration are given consideration from a therapeutic perspective when it comes to cannabinoids such as CBD and THC.


Different CBDs have different aromas and it’s due to the presence of terpenes in it.

This may come as a surprise because the cannabinoids have absolutely no smell which is why sniffing dogs cannot detect THC, but they can smell terpenes.

Most of the research conducted on cannabis focuses on THC and CBD. But, there’s something about terpenes that is yet to be realized and something that everyone needs to know.


Here are some interesting facts to know about terpenes –

This organic compound magnifies the therapeutic effects that cannabinoids carry. They work in synergy with them. Pinene, one of the terpenes present in CBD oil builds CB2 receptors.


Cannabinoids with no psychoactive properties bind with these receptors to modulate the immune system. Myrcene is another popular type of terpene available in abundance in CBD oil. It makes the cell membrane interacting with CB2 receptors permeable to cannabinoids.


This whole synergistic effect is also termed the ‘Entourage Effect’ by most researchers. They amplify the effectiveness of cannabinoids exponentially; hence the term ‘entourage’. It’s because of this effect that a full-spectrum CBD oil derived from whole plant is recommended for purchase.

A study revealed that cannabis with CBD and CBN higher or equal to THC amplified the effects by 2 to 4 times than THC content alone ever could.


Examples of some terpenes present in Cannabis


This is the most common type of terpene produced by cannabis plant. It has a musky, herbal, and earthy aroma which smells very much like cloves. It carries anti-inflammatory properties. Myrcene is also a great analgesic, antimutagenic, and antibiotic.  It blocks carcinogens such as cytochornix and aflatoxin B.

Studies have revealed that this terpene inhibits duodenal and gastric ulcers. The mildly relaxing and sedative-like properties make it ideal for treating pains and insomnia.



The aroma of this terpene is similar to fir and pine which probably explains the name. In terms of its medicinal usage, pinene carries anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also used as a local antiseptic, bronchodilator, and expectorant. Traditional Chinese medicine has used this compound for years in treating cancer. Supposedly, pinene is capable of lowering the harmful effects of THC as well.





As the name suggest, this is mostly found in citrus fruits namely limes, oranges, and lemons. A cannabis strain high in this compound can uplift the mood. It is highly absorbable and reaches the blood stream quickly. It also aids the absorption of several other terpenes via skin and body tissues. It’s helpful in fighting again cancers and even aids in weight loss.



Commonly found in rosemary and sage, Terpinolene is an insect repellent. It has a piney, herbal aroma with a hint of floral nuance.  Terpinolene reduces anxiety and excitement. It induces sleep and drowsiness hence calming the central nervous system.


This is found in cannabis sativa strain, Vietnamese coriander, and hops. It carries anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anorectic properties. Humulene is a huge part of the Chinese medicine.


Numerous studies have been carried out testifying the presence of countless terpenes in cannabis and their usefulness in addition to the beautiful aroma they emit.



The whole bouquet of terpenes plays one more important role. CBD and Terpenes together buffer the psychoactive effects of THC.

The terpenoid profile varies from one strain to another. A strain with significantly different terpenoid (with higher CBD and/or THC) profile may not be as effective as some other strain. But, your nose knows it all. It’s up to you and mind your state’s laws of course.