Why Do Terpenes Matter?

A diverse variety of essential oils called terpenes give many plants--including cannabis--a taste and odor unique to that plant. For example, pinene is the terpene that gives pine trees their distinct, fresh smell. Limonene is the terpene responsible for making lemons smell and taste like lemons. When it comes to the musky smell of most cannabis strains, you can attribute the terpene myrcene to that potent aroma.

Marijuana Strains and Terpenes: Getting the Most Out of Terpenes

The boiling point of most terpenes is between 400 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. High heat like this will destroy the unique flavor and aroma each terpene contains. However, since smoking cannabis means you'll be defeating the purpose of terpenes to give you a satisfying experience, the best way to enjoy aromatic, flavorful terpenes is to use a vaporizer, an e-rig or an e-nail. In addition to allowing users to control temperature settings, vaporizers work very well to release specific cannabinoids and terpenes that require higher or lower temperatures apart from the norm.

Top 5 Cannabis Terpenes That Really Matter


That musky, delightful, incense-like aroma cannabis aficionados enjoy comes from myrcene, a terpene that is thought to expedite the psychoaffective effects of THC by interacting with the blood-brain barrier. Myrcene may also help reduce anxiety and mild pain, according to a recent research study published in Channels.


Cannabis and many other plants contain rich amounts of beta-caryophyllene, a terpene that emits a sweetish, woody, slightly spicy scent and gives properly heated cannabis a deliciously earthy, citrus-y flavor. Beta-caryophyllene may provide therapeutic properties when supported by the entourage effect. Additionally, the FDA has approved beta-caryophyllene as a safe food additive since it is found in numerous non-cannabis plants.


The terpene limonene is mostly concentrated in cannabis flowers. Depending on the cannabis strain, limonene amounts can vary according to how the strain is cultivated and cured. A predominantly aromatic terpene, limonene gives cannabis a mild tangy scent many users find invigorating and pleasant. Some research suggests that pinene, like other terpenes, may provide anti-anxiety and analgesic properties for therapeutic purposes.


Linalool is a lesser known cannabis terpene that enhances different strains with a musky, floral scent. It's also used as an aromatic for essential oils, soap and shampoo. Ongoing research into the therapeutic benefits of linalool suggest that this terpene may have anti-anxiety and sedative properties stemming from the way it interacts with GABA and glutamate neurotransmitter systems.

Why Consider Terpenes When Selecting a Particular Cannabis Strain?

Choosing cannabis strains containing unique combinations of terpenes can transform the way you previously used cannabis. Researching over the 100 different terpenes found in cannabis (so far!) is not only eye-opening but will bring a new, exciting element to your cannabis experience--enjoying your favorite flavors, aromas and possibly the potential therapeutic benefits currently being investigated by researchers.

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