An Overview of Terpenes in Marijuana

Updated on June 16, 2024 in Marijuana Growing Guides
0 on February 4, 2023

Cannabis is in existence for so many years for medicine and recreational intoxicant. Where medicinal marijuana is widely popular for its pharmacologically active cannabinoids. The cannabis resin is also containing a huge variety of terpenes. These terpenes are also responsible for the scent of the marijuana flowers along with the flavor qualities of marijuana products.

Marijuana plants do the production and accumulation of terpene-rich resin. It is in glandular trichomes on the surface of the female inflorescence. The diverse sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes of marijuana resin define some of the exceptional organoleptic properties. It might also influence the medicinal qualities of varying strains of marijuana and varieties.

What is meant by terpenes?

Terpenes are hydrocarbon molecules found in all kinds of plants. This term comes from turpentine which is the resin found in pine trees. It is responsible for the classic pine scent. Synthesization of terpenes happens from a 5-carbon base (many have 10, 15, or more carbons). This in turn makes them an extremely diverse and large class of biologically active molecules.

These are the terpenes that are responsible for the strong smell in numerous plants. Plants which are having strong scents are having high levels of particular terpenes. Strong scents are meant by, for instance, citrusy, lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary. These particular terpenes may, in turn, facilitate them with their flavor, fragrance, and potentially even medicinal properties. When we apply terpenes on our skin, inhaled, or consumes, they can also affect how we feel.

From where do terpenes come?

Plants, fungi, microbes, and animals do the production of terpenes for carrying out numerous necessary biological functions. These are inclusive of the synthesis of hormones, pheromones, and vitamins.

What Cannabis Terpenes Do?

Plants make use of terpenes primarily for attracting deter herbivores and pollinators. Cannabinoids and terpenes work together for defending against fungi and bacteria threatening the plant. Marijuana terpenes are aromatic oils that serve marijuana varieties along with distinctive flavors. For instance, pine, mint, berry, and citrus. They are also useful in the protection of plants from UV radiation. These are acting as a chemical protectant that is similar to melanin in humans.

Where the production of Cannabis Terpenes takes place?

Primarily you will find terpenes in the resin secreted by the glandular trichomes of female inflorescences. These are the similar glands that do the production of cannabinoids. Numerous factors affect the development of cannabinoids and cannabis terpenes. For instance, soil type, time of day, fertilizers, maturation, weather, and climate.

What do these terpenes do in marijuana medicine?

Terpenes are widely popular for playing a crucial role in the effects of numerous strains of marijuana. Some terpenes might do the promotion of relaxation and serves you with stress relief. On the other hand, others might bring impact your acuity and focus. Where the scent is what makes the terpenes popular. They also play a crucial role in how we feel when we do the consumption of cannabis.

Terpenes are capable of adding great depth to the potential effects of diverse strains of marijuana. Terpenes used to work in synergy with other botanical compounds. They used to interact with our native hormones for facilitating us with these feelings. Essential oils are in use for thousands of years for assisting with illness and for curing particular ailments.

Differentiation between the pharmaceutical properties of diverse strains of marijuana has been attributed to interactions. These are inclusive of terpenes and cannabinoids that are working in harmony with the endocannabinoid system. It is for assisting in bringing homeostasis to the body. However, terpenes might contribute to anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anxiolytic, and sedative effects.


One of the most common terpenes you will ever find in marijuana is Myrcene. It is also available in tropical fruits. For instance, basil, lemongrass, parsley, hops, citrus, mango, and thyme. It also comes with a woody, fruity, citrus-like scent. If a marijuana plant does not contain more than 0.5% myrcene, then it is an Indica strain. On the other hand, if there is anything that is less than 0.5% myrcene, then it is regarded as a Sativa strain.

Myrcene is widely popular as one of the most fascinating and highly looked after terpene. The reason is its analgesic (pain-relieving), sedative, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties. It is also having strong anti-oxidant properties.


The second most common terpene found in marijuana is Limonene. It comes with an intense citrus scent. You will also find it in the rind of the orange and lemon, and in peppermint and juniper. You will also find Limonene in perfume and other products. The reason is its low toxicity and pleasant smell.

A huge number of research studies have stated that Limonene comes with anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties. You can also consider it as a possible treatment for cancer. For instance, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.


Linalool which is technically popular as terpene alcohol comes with a woody, sweet, floral, and blueberry scent. This Linalool is an exceptional terpene this is in use for thousands of years for the treatment of anxiety. It also comes with proven sedative properties. You will find Linalool in lavender, rosewood, and birch. You can make use of it as a relaxant. However, there is ongoing research on its influence on reducing particular types of cancer.

A very particular terpene that shows promise in the treatment of pain signals, promoting sleep, and reducing tumors. It is in use for hundreds of years for the treatment of anxiety. And there is being continuously extensive research for numerous ailments. There are a huge variety of studies that have shown benefits around pain relief, cancer, as a sedative, and as an anticonvulsant.


One can find pinene in numerous plants. These are inclusive of rosemary, pine trees, and cannabis. It has been shown for exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties. And it is widely popular for affecting our memory positively.

Pinene can assist patients who are suffering from the disease Crohn’s, arthritis, and other inflammation-related conditions, along with cancer. It can bring improvement in airflow and respiratory functions. On the other hand, it assists in the reduction of memory loss.


b-caryophyllene can do the activation of receptors inside our body. It is inclusive of the CB2 receptors, which makes it a particularly noteworthy terpene. You can find it in cloves, black pepper, and basil. On the other hand, it comes with a spicy, woody, and peppery scent.

Pre-clinical research has indicated that this terpene can be therapeutic in numerous diseases. These are ranging from alcoholism to the reduction in pain. On the other hand, it also assists with inflammation. b-caryophyllene comes with anti-oxidant properties and also binds to similar receptors as other cannabinoids.

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