Terpenes in Cannabis

Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis. Together with the cannabinoids, terpenes illustrate synergic and/or entourage effect and their interactions have only been speculated in for the last few decades.


Terpenes - Myrcene

Commonly found in lemongrass, hop (Humulus Lupulus), mango, verbena, bay leaves, and thyme, among others. It is the most abundant terpene in cannabis. Beyond cannabis, myrcene is found in hops and is responsible for the peppery, spicy, balsam fragrance in beer. It’s also expressed in lemongrass, which has been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries.


Terpenes - Limonene

Limonene terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis (and elsewhere - such as in the rinds of lemons, limes, and oranges). Limonene terpenes are often identified by their citrusy, zesty fragrance and flavor. In its essential oil form, limonene is often used in cleaning products, cosmetics, and to add citrusy flavors to foods.


Terpenes - Caryophyllene

Found in aromatic oils like rosemary and clove oil, and in nature it’s most commonly found in hops, cloves, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, and basil. It’s responsible for the slight bite of pungency associated with smelling cracked pepper.


Terpenes - Linalool

Linalool smells like flowers . . .is commonly found in many botanicals due to its calming and soothing nature. Linalool is the main compound making up lavender and is also found in rosewood, birch trees, laurel, mint and cinnamon.


Terpenes - Humulene

Responsible for the earthy and woody aroma associated with cannabis, also found in hops, often regarded as one of the key ingredients that make beer taste bitter and “hoppy.”