A Quick Primer on Cannabis Terpenes
Have you ever wondered why different cannabis strains can have completely different aromas? There’s the fruit pie smell of Cobbler #5 hemp flower, Vermont Hemp Health CBD + D-8 Lifter strain’s citrusy and tropical scent, and the sour watermelon scent of Melon Frost Hemp Flower.
The reason each cannabis strain has a different smell is because of terpenes, which are organic compounds that are formed from the same resinous trichomes as cannabinoids. Amazingly, at least 100 terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and many botanists and scientists believe that terpenes originally developed in plants to deter pests and animals.
Just like CBD and THC, terpenes also have therapeutic benefits. Different terpenes may help reduce stress, elevate mood, induce sleep, reduce inflammation and increase energy. And when terpenes work in sync with cannabinoids--a process known as the entourage effect--the therapeutic potential increases.
Some of the most common cannabis terpenes include:
- Limonene: The second most abundant terpene in all cannabis strains, limonene gives strains a citrusy smell that resembles lemons. For therapeutic purposes, limonene is known to improve mood and reduce stress.
- Humulene: Humulene contains earthy, woody and spicy notes. Besides cannabis, it can be also found in clove, sage, and black pepper. It has been proven effective in suppressing appetite and it reduces inflammation, may relieve pain and fights bacterial infections.
- Linalool: This terpene has spicy and floral notes and is the reason for the recognizable smell of marijuana. It has strong sedative and relaxing properties.
- Myrcene: Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis and has an earthy, musky aroma. It’s commonly used to promote relaxation and sleep.
- Pinene: Pinene is what gives Christmas trees their scent and is the most abundant terpene on Earth. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory effects and may help boost memory function and attention.
- Caryophyllene: Best known for its spicy and peppery notes, this terpene binds to CB2 receptors, which makes it a popular ingredient in anti-inflammatory topicals and creams.