What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are arguably the most important chemical compound in cannabis. While CBD & THC get the show-light, terpenes are the reason why cannabis tastes and feels like it does.
A terpene is a non-psychoactive aromatic compound that is produced by a whole load of ordinary stuff. Spices, herbs, flowers and fruits all contain aromatic terpenes; it is what is responsible for their smells and aromas. Think about the freshest orange peel bursting with flavour to a sweet mulled wine at Christmas… all thanks to terpenes.
Cannabis is packed full of terpenes and they are responsible for the vast array of different flavours and effects cannabis can come in. The difference between each strain is largely down to it’s terpene make-up. While terpenes are still undergoing research, it is known that some terpenes can influence the endocannabinoid system, play a role in the entourage effect and have their own therapeutic effect.
There are over 100 terpenes, but the most common ones in cannabis are Pinene, Myrcene, Caryophyllene, Limonene, Humulene, Ocimene and Terpinolene.
Where to find it: Mainly found in woody herbs and spices such as Rosemary, Pine Sap, Dill, Basil but also in some fruit peels and pine nuts.
Flavour & Aroma: The aroma is woody, earthy, grassy and rich. Imagine a stick of Rosemary and Pine needles
Where to find it: Often found in Bay Leaves, Hops, Thyme, Mango skin, Lemongrass. Indica strains often contain large percentages of Myrcene.
Flavour & Aroma: Expect Myrcene to be deeply herbal, earthy and musky. Slightly spicey like Cardiman or Cinamon.
Effects: Calming, soothing and relaxing. Sleepy.
Where to find it: Most likey found in bright citrus fruits (Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit etc…) but also Peppermint, Rosemary and Juniper Berries.
Flavour & Aroma: Easy to identify as bright, fragrant and floral. This terpene is best enjoyed when breaking the skin of any citrus fruit.
Effects: Bright and energising. Ideal for waking up to or giving you a boost during the early afternoon.
Where to find it: Likely to be found in Lavander, Nettles, Mint, Sage, Thyme and Oregano. Citrus rind, Cinnamon and Rosewood.
Flavour & Aroma: This terpene is floral, sweet, herbal and nuanced.
Effects: Calming, soothing, relaxing and healing.
Where to find it: Found in strong herbs such as hopps (Northern American, Asian and European), coriander, basil, Ginger, Cloves and Gensing.
Flavour & Aroma: The aroma can be described as ‘hoppy’. It is citrusy, floral, sour and grassy.
Where to find it: Often in Hops, Mango Skin, Bergamont, Lavender, Pepper, Mint and Orchids.
Flavour & Aroma: Expect an aroma similar to Myrcene. Woody, herbal and sweet.
Where to find it: Found in Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Rosemary and Hops.
Flavour & Aroma: Spicey, woody, floral and bitter.
Effects: Caryophyllene is one of the terpenes that has been found to interact with cannabinoid receptors. It is well known that the content of Caryophyllene in pepper can help reduce the effects of THC (get to high, eat some peppercorns!)
Where to find it: Apple Skin, Cardimons, Tea Tree, Cumin and Lilacs.
Flavour & Aroma: Floral, piney and herbal.
Effects: This terpene is most commonly found in Sativa strains. Bright & energising.