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What Are Terpenes and Why They Matter in a Strain | Guide

What are Terpenes and Why Do They Matter?

Do you love the smell of marijuana? For many users, the aroma that cannabis produces is a significant part of the overall experience. Well, that’s where terpenes come into the picture.

You may have heard the word “terpene” thrown about by friends or online. But do you know what it actually means? In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common cannabis terpenes and what role they play in certain strains.

what are terpenes

In short, terpenes are aromatic oils that add unique flavors such as citrus, pine, mint, and berries to your favorite cannabis varieties. The viscous resin glands of cannabis flowers excrete these compounds. You can also find them in many other plants, herbs, and fruits.

Terpenes play an important role in the possible effects of cannabis plants, producing subtle differences between different strains. Thanks to a phenomenon called the entourage effect, when terpenes combine with cannabinoids, they enhance each other.

Why a Strain’s Terpenes Matter

It’s worth noting that there are many different types of terpenes. In fact, more than 120 terpenes exist in cannabis plants. Each one is responsible for delivering unique flavors and effects, as we’ve mentioned.

Let’s take a moment to explore just a few of the effects that you can look forward to with the various types of terpenes. Below, we’ll cover some properties of the most common terpenes in cannabis.


  • Limonene: not only does limonene demonstrate the ability to greatly enhance other terpenes, it may have its own benefits. It appears to demonstrate calming properties, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and possibly even antiviral effects. As its name suggests, limonene also appears in many citrus fruits, including (but not limited to) limes.
  • Pinene: the most abundant terpene in the world, pinene’s aroma features distinct notes of evergreen trees. You can commonly find this terpene as an additive to cleaners and air fresheners. Interestingly, some researchers have called pinene a “miracle gift of nature” for its powerful abilities to reduce pain and swelling, slow blood clotting, and possibly even fight malaria.
why terpenes are important
  • Linalool: feeling stressed? Take a load off with the relaxing vibes of linalool. It also may have mild anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, painkilling, and antioxidant properties. With a sharp floral scent, a trained nose can instantly recognize linalool’s aroma from lavender plants.
  • Myrcene: like the cannabinoid CBD, myrcene appears to exhibit analgesic (pain-killing) effects. In addition, it may have some sedative, relaxing properties. Interestingly, researchers believe it has similar effects to capsaicin, the main compound conveying the flavor of spice. Several fruits and herbs, including mangos and juniper, also contain myrcene.

And these are only a small sample of what’s available. Thanks to the wide-ranging effects of terpenes, you can enjoy seemingly countless combinations of benefits!

Now that you have a better knowledge of terpenes’ effects, you can apply that information whenever you shop for cannabis flower and concentrates. If you check out what terpenes exist in a strain, it will give you an idea of how that strain will make you feel. And if you’re on the hunt for unique strains to level up your smoking experience, stop by our Henderson marijuana dispensary and browse our selection.