knowledgebase Category: Terpenes

Many cannabis users are already familiar with cannabinoids like THC and CBD. THC, in particular, is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects, which is why consumers often ask us which strains/products have the highest amount of THC. But cannabis contains other chemical compounds that can have a huge impact on how the plant affects you. These compounds are called terpenes.

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An Overview of Terpenes

If you’ve ever wondered why some cannabis strains smell like berries and other strains smell like earth and diesel, the answer is terpenes.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in a wide variety of fruits, herbs, and other types of plants.

For example, the citrusy smell of oranges and lemons is caused by the terpene limonene.

On the other hand, when you walk into a pine forest, that piney smell comes from the aptly named terpene pinene.

Over 100 terpenes have been found in the cannabis plant, each one with its own unique properties.

The Health Benefits of Terpenes

Terpenes do more than just make strains like Strawberry Lemonade smell and taste like strawberry lemonade.

From a biological perspective, terpenes help plants attract pollinators and fend off predators.

But terpenes also help human beings treat a number of health conditions.

Terpenes work synergistically with cannabinoids to produce what is known as the entourage effect – the idea being that when cannabinoids and terpenes work together, they create a far more powerful effect than what you would experience if you were to consume these compounds in separate, isolated forms.

Terpenes give cannabis their flavor and aroma and responsible for the unique feeling associated with each strain!


Aroma:  Cardamom, cloves, musky, earthy, herbal
Potential Effects:Alertness,  memory  retention,   counteracts  some  THC  effects
Potential Medical Value: Treatment of asthma, pain, inflammation, ulcers,  anxiety, cancer
Also Found in: Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, dill


Aroma: Cardamom, cloves, musky, earthy, herbal
Potential Effects: Sedating “couchlock” effect, relaxing
Potential Medical Value: Antioxidant; treatment of insomnia, pain, and inflammation
Also Found in: Mango, lemongrass, thyme, hops


Aroma: Citrus
Potential Effects: Elevated mood, stress relief
Potential Medical Value: Treatment of anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain, and cancer
Also Found in: Fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, peppermint


Aroma: Pepper, spicy, woody, cloves
Vaporizes At: 266ºF (130ºC)
Potential Effects: Stress relief
Potential Medical Value: Treatment of pain, anxiety/depression, ulcers
Also Found in: Black pepper, cloves, cinnamon


Aroma: Floral
Potential Effects: Mood enhancement, sedation
Potential Medical Value: Treatment ofanxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disease
Also Found in: Lavender


Aroma: Hops, woody, earthy
Potential Medical Value: Anti-inflammatory
Also Found in: Hops, coriander, cloves, basil


Aroma: Sweet, herbal, and woody
Potential Medical Value: Antiviral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, decongestant, antibacterial
Also Found in: Mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, and kumquats


Aroma: Piney, floral, and herbal
Potential Effects: Relaxing
Potential Medical Value: Antioxidant, sedative, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer
Also Found in: Nutmeg, tea tree, conifers,apples, cumin, and lilacs

Which Terpenes Are Best for You?

Terpenes are largely responsible for why sativas, indicas, and hybrids all have different effects.

If you want to know how a particular strain will affect you, take a look at its terpene profile.

How do you do that exactly?

When you purchase cannabis from Essence Cannabis Dispensary, we’ll also give you the strain’s cannabinoid and terpene profile.

Take note of the profile, especially if you’re trying out a new strain and find that you respond well to it.

With the terpene profile on hand, you’ll have a better sense of why the strain affects you the way that it does. It may also help you find strains that function in a similar manner.