Terpenes are aromatic oils with distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine. Terpenes play a key role in differentiating the effects of cannabis oils. Some terpenes promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others promote focus and acuity. Arguably the most fascinating characteristic of terpenes is their ability to interact synergistically with cannabinoids.
Each individual terpene is associated with unique effects. Some promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others promote focus and acuity. Linalool, for example, is believed to be relaxing whereas limonene elevates mood.
The effect profile of any given terpene may change in the presence of other compounds in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. More research is needed to understand each terpenes effect when used in harmony with others.
Their differences can be subtle, but most importantly, terpenes may offer additional medical value as they mediate our body’s interaction with therapeutic cannabinoids.
Many cannabis analysis labs now test terpene content, so you may have a better idea of what effects a particular brand of oil might produce. With their unlimited combinations of synergistic effects, terpenes will certainly open up new scientific and medical terrains for cannabis research.
Most Common Cannabis Terpenes
Vaporizes At: 311ºF (155ºC)
Potential Effects: Alertness, memory retention, counteracts some THC effects
Also Found in: Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, dill
Aroma: Cardamom, cloves, musky, earthy, herbal
Vaporizes At: 332ºF (167ºC)
Potential Effects: Sedating “couchlock” effect, relaxing
Also Found in: Mango, lemongrass, thyme, hops
Vaporizes At: 348ºF (176ºC)
Potential Effects: Elevated mood, stress relief
Also Found in: Fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, peppermint
Aroma: Pepper, spicy, woody, cloves
Vaporizes At: 266ºF (130ºC)
Potential Effects: Stress relief
Also Found in: Black pepper, cloves, cinnamon
Vaporizes At: 388ºF (198ºC)
Potential Effects: Mood enhancement, sedation
Also Found in: Lavender
Aroma: Hops, woody, earthy
Vaporizes At: 222ºF (106ºC)
Potential Medical Value: Anti-inflammatory
Also Found in: Hops, coriander, cloves, basil
Aroma: Sweet, herbal, and woody
Vaporizes At: 122ºF (50ºC)
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
Vaporizes At: 366ºF (186ºC)
Potential Effects: Relaxing
Potential Medical Value: Antioxidant, sedative, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer
Also Found in: Nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin, and lilacs
(This article has been edited to accommodate Irish legislation on health products)
This article was first published by Leafy