An In Depth Look

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, though many people commonly associate them with cannabis because cannabis plants contain high concentrations of them.

These aromatic compounds create the characteristic scent of many plants, such as cannabis, pine, and lavender, as well as fresh orange peel. The fragrance of most plants is due to a combination of terpenes. In nature, these terpenes protect the plants from animal grazing or infectious germs.

However, terpenes may also offer some health benefits to the human body. As regulations surrounding cannabis become less strict, scientists are carrying out more research into these possible benefits.


Vaporizes at 348°F (176°C)

As suggested by the name, limonene (aka D-limonene) has a citrus aroma and can be found in high concentrations in the rinds of citrus fruits. This terpene is believed to be responsible for the “cerebral and euphoric” experience, commonly attributed to some cannabis chemovars.

Also Found In:

Fruit rinds, Juniper, rosemary, peppermint


Elevated mood, stress relief


Vaporizes at 311°F (155°C)

There are two main types of pinene, alpha and beta, but alpha-pinene is more abundant in cannabis. It has a woody aroma and can be found in large amounts in the resin of conifers such as pines (hence the name). Interestingly, pinene can potentially help with the short term memory loss associated with THC.

Also Found In:

Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, dill


Alertness, memory retention, counteracts some THC effects


Vaporizes at 388°F (198°C)

Though present in a lot of spices and flowers, particularly high concentrations of linalool can be found in lavender. This floral and spicy terpene has a long list of medical effects that suggest a potential application for many conditions and symptoms.

Also Found In:

Lavender and birch bark


Mood enhancement, sedation, relaxation

CARYOPHYLLENE (carry-OFF-uh-leen)

Vaporizes at 266°F (130°C)

Beta-caryophyllene, aka caryophyllene or BCP, has a spicy aroma and is thought to be a relaxing and sedating terpene. It’s unique as a terpene because it also interacts with the body in a similar way to cannabinoids, via receptors in the endocannabinoid system, influencing its potential effects and therapeutic applications.

Also Found In:

Black pepper rosemary, cloves, cinnamon, oregano, basil, and hops


Stress relief, relaxation


Vaporizes at 332°F (167°C)

Also known as β-Myrcene (beta myrcene), Myrcene is the most common terpene in modern cannabis strains in the US and Europe. It is thought to be highly sedative and is suggested as the main responsible agent for the ”couch-lock” effect in strains that produce a “physical, mellow, sleepy” high. Myrcene has a herbal aroma, with spicy, earthy notes.

Also Found In:

Thyme, mango, lemongrass, hops


Sedating, relaxing, calming

HUMULENE (HYOO-myu-leen)

Vaporizes at 222°F (106°C)

Humulene is closely related to BCP from a molecular point of view (its other name is actually alpha-caryophyllene). Its aroma is often described as earthy and woody, sometimes associated with the “hoppy” aroma of beer. It has high concentrations in hops essential oil (humulus lupulus), from which its name is derived.

Also Found In:

Hops, coriander, cloves, basil



TERPINOLENE (ter-PIN-uh-leen)

Vaporizes at 366°F (186°C)

Terpinolene is often considered to have a floral aroma with a twist of citrus and earthy fragrance. Though sedative in mice, subjective consumer reports suggest that cannabis varieties rich in terpinolene are actually stimulating in humans. The combination of THC and terpinolene might be the reason for this inconsistency.

Also Found In:

Apples, pines, turmeric leaf, sage, cardamom, but it’s most abundant in parsnip


Sedative, antioxidant