What are the terpenes in cannabis, and what do they do?



And how do terpenes work?


The simplest way to understand terpenes is by knowing what essential oils are. By now, everyone knows what essential oils do – they smell good, but some people also believe they possess therapeutic effects.

Essential oils are a marketing term. The proper name for these compounds is terpenes, so when we refer to “terpenes”, know we’re talking about essential oils. A big part of the hype around the essential oil industry, is the power terpenes have when it comes to producing effects.


It’s not a myth that terpenes like Limonene (commonly found in lemon) can induce alertness, and even ward off depression by making the user feel uplifted. Another example is the terpene, Myrcene, found in our Miami Mango vape, as well as mango trees! Myrcene as a terpene promotes sedation, as well as helps with sleeping problems.


Not only is this noticed anecdotally, but science is also aware of the power of terpenes.

Studies have been done in recent years, highlighting the importance of more research relating to terpenes and the positive effect on the human body:

“Importantly, terpenes were suggested not only to convey the smell of the different cannabis flowers but also to have some therapeutic abilities either by themselves or as co-activating agents, enhancing the beneficial activity of phytocannabinoids on humans [.] Although most cannabis treatments for mood disorders involve the use of whole-inflorescences rather than a single-compound, and despite that cannabis, inflorescences accumulate hundreds of milligrams of terpenes alongside cannabinoids (from 8% up to 20% of the cannabinoids content; Namdar et al., 2018), the involvement of terpenes as a potential treatment for anxiety and depression has been under-studied.”


What this all means, is that terpenes are responsible for a lot of the effects of plants like cannabis. Terpenes, along with other compounds like cannabinoids, steer the physiological effects to either be uplifting, calming, or even anti-bacterial/viral.

Without terpenes, cannabis strains would be much different, and even generic-feeling. The terpenes really do enhance and give “character” to the buzz. 


There exist millions of terpenes, and some have yet to be discovered. We have, however, compiled a shortlist of well-known terpenes in cannabis, and their potential health benefits.


  • Limonene: Good for – alertness, depression, energy, euphoria, anti-cancer compound.
  • Linalool: Good for – rest & relaxation, anxiety, depression, insomnia, anti-oxidant.
  • Myrcene: Good for – pain, depression, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, sedative.
  • Beta-caryophyllene: Good for – pain, inflammation, anxiety, may reduce cholesterol.
  • Alpha-Pinene: Good for – focus, energy, alertness, anti-bacterial, appetite suppression.

These are some of the most well-known terpenes in cannabis. Beyond these popular terpenes, there exist thousands more science has yet to discover.

Terpenes are utilized in the cannabis industry for many uses, such as vaping cartridges, tinctures, dabbing products, and even edibles!

In other industries such as soap, insect repellent, as well as fragrance industries, terpenes are used all the way from warding off insects, disinfecting your hands, or seducing lovers with seductive aromas.

So in conclusion, terpenes should be learned about by many. After all, it’s worth learning about anything you put into your body, but especially when the health benefits are so abundant.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, shopping for lemons, remember how limonene (found in lemons) can boost your mood if depression plagues you… or when you see that black peppercorn, never forget how useful beta-caryophyllene can be in alleviating anxiety.

Sure in the modern age, we have science and therapeutics produced in a lab. However, we mustn’t ignore natural remedies, especially when they’re readily available, and have shown real scientific proof of their benefits.


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