What Are Cannabis Terpenes and Why Do They Matter?

Cannabis plants include many beneficial compounds, including at least 200 terpenes. Terpenes are one type of chemical compound that exists to protect different plants and increase their benefits to people that consume them.

Cannabis terpenes work together with the other plant’s compounds to enhance their health benefits for the consumer. While there is not a lot of research available, there are some studies to show how these terpenes work with cannabinoids and other compounds to manage health issues.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are essential oils that coat the flowers of different plants. These compounds are used to protect the plant from animals that would consume them. They also work to attract pollinators and other animals that might protect them.

There are different types of terpenes available in different plants. Some of the most common compounds found in cannabis plants include:

  • Mycrene
  • Alpha and Beta-Pinene
  • Terpinolene
  • Terpineol
  • Limonene

The terpene extracts change the smell and the flavor of the plants. In fact, the scent of the terpenes start the health benefits of the compounds. These oils, combined with other compounds can help with treatments for pain, mental health, inflammation, and cancer.

What Do Terpenes Do?

Terpenes work with cannabinoids to increase or decrease the effects of both compounds. Most research on cannabis revolves around the effects of cannabinoids, but researchers have begun looking into how terpenes work to increase the benefits.

The smell of the terpenes will give you an idea of which compounds exist and how they will affect you. Some believe that the smells that attract you will provide you with a sense of which strains will be most effective for you.

The different health benefits include:

  • Relaxant
  • Appetite suppressant
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Antibacterial and antifungal

The number of terpenes also affect how effective the oils will prove. Many providers now include percentages of different types of terpenes to help you choose the best options for you.

Major CBD Terpenes and Their Health Benefits

Cannabis contains large quantities of terpenes in different combinations. While these combinations will change the benefits, there are some terpenes that are found most often in the different strains.


You can find myrcene in fruits such as mangoes or herbs such as basil. It has a spicy or earthy odor that generally gives the tell-tale odors of different strains of cannabis. 

Myrcene works to increase reactions associated with cannabis compounds. It also acts as a sedative, making this compound useful for treatments for anxiety or insomnia.

It also shows benefits for pain and inflammation management; there is also evidence that myrcene helps fight tumors.


Cannabis also includes both alpha- and beta-pinenes. These compounds are also found in pines and other conifer trees. As the name suggests, these terpenes create the pine smell.

Pinenes act as anti-inflammatory compounds and are especially useful for lung inflammation issues. Pinenes get used for cancer treatments as well due to these inflammation-fighting effects.

Pinenes are also believed to help with memory issues which makes the compound useful to counteract some of the memory issues involved with cannabis use.


Terpinolene commonly is found in rosemary, sage, and other aromatic herbs. This compound has a woody smell, and has a sedative and/or relaxant effect.

This makes it useful for anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Terpinolene also offers antiseptic benefits.


Terpineol exists in certain trees such as pine or the bitter orange tree. It has a sweet smell that some associate with lilacs. This terpene gets used in many perfumes.

Terpineol acts as a sedative, which makes it useful for insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It can also prove helpful for severe psychosis treatments.


Limonene can get found in citrus fruits most often. This provides the citrus smell associated with these fruits. 

Limonene proves useful for depression and anxiety treatments as it boosts your mood. It can also act as an anti-inflammatory. Limonene also has antioxidant effects which serves as an immune booster.


While not as common in cannabis as the others, eucalyptol can also get found in some cannabis strains. This compound provides the smells associated with the eucalyptus plant. 

This terpene provides the beneficial effects of anti-inflammation. Eucalyptol helps especially with lung inflammation issues such as asthma.

Safety Considerations of Cannabis

It is important to act carefully when it comes to the use of cannabis and the different forms used from the plant. While some states have legalized the use of cannabis in various forms, there are still issues on the federal level.

When choosing a form of cannabis, such as CBD oil, lotions, or other treatment forms, it is important to ensure it’s tested for safety recommendations. You want to ensure it is free from pesticides and other impurities that can counteract the health benefits.

During processing, solvents are used to remove the compounds necessary for health benefits. You want to ensure that the quantities of solvents left behind fall into regulatory amounts to ensure safety.

You also want to check for dangerous amounts of pesticides. Pesticides are used to protect plants from insects, but residual amounts can get left behind after removal from the ground. It’s also important to check for microbial impurities that can attach to the plants.

Safety in Use

Beyond the impurities that can get left behind, you also want to ensure you use the CBD compounds effectively. It is important to understand the amounts of the compounds available to make sure you get the right amounts.

It’s also a good idea to get help from a doctor or other professional to determine the correct amounts for medicinal use. This will ensure you get the best benefits from any forms of cannabis you use.

Testing Cannabis Products

Do you want to ensure that the cannabis products you use or provide follow safety regulations? It’s a good idea to test for impurities as well as percentages of cannabinoids and cannabis terpenes.

If you want to have your products tested, you want to choose a company with a good reputation. For more information, check out the testing services offered at CannaSafe today.

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