What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that naturally occur in various plants, including cannabis. The compounds are what make many sought-after strains of cannabis distinctive. They can boost both flavor and potential benefits of cannabis products.

The chemicals are extracted from cannabis (and sometimes other) plants and bottled in the same way that essential oils are. Terpenoids, like essential oils, can have overpowering effects even when used in small amounts.

What Plants Are Terpenes Found In?

Terpenes are found in cannabis and a number of other plants, although cannabis and other plants usually share just a few terpenoids in common. The common terpenoids vary from plant to plant:

  • α-Pinene is found in cannabis and rosemary
  • β-Pinene is found in cannabis and pine
  • β-Caryophyllene is found in cannabis and raisins
  • Limonene is found in cannabis and citrus peels
  • Linalool is found in cannabis and lavender

The many different cannabis strains have hundreds or thousands of unique terpenoids. A number of these have commonalities with other plants.

What’s the Difference Between Terpenes and Terpenoids?

Terpenes and terpenoids are often used interchangeably within the cannabis industry, but there is a technical difference between the two terms. Terpenes are pure hydrocarbons, while terpenoids can have oxygen or other elements attached to the hydrocarbons. Terpenoids thus is a broader term.

What are terps?

Terps may refer to terpenes or terpenoids, many people don’t make a distinction between the two terms.

Do Terpenes Have Health Benefits?

Terpenes’ health benefits have been studied within the context of both cannabis and other plants. For example, research has also looked at the benefits of various teas.

Thus far, research of cannabis terpenes has primarily focused on individual terpenoids and not how multiple ones interact with each other. Several studies have demonstrated health benefits for various terpenes:

  • α-Pinene is believed to improve alertness and potentially memory
  • β-Pinene is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and be a bronchodilator
  • α-Bisabolol is believed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • α-Humulene is believed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • β-Caryophyllene is believed to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • (+)-Limonene is believed to improve mood and relieve stress
  • Terpinolene is believed to have antibacterial and antifungal properties

How Long Have Terpenes Been Used?

Terpenes have been used throughout history and across many civilizations. Their use at least dates back to Ancient Egypt, although it wasn’t until 1866 that the term “terpenes” was coined.

Experiment With High-Quality Terpenes

High-quality terpenes are sure to enhance your cannabis experience, and there’s almost infinite possibilities when you begin using them. Look for terpenes that are sourced and produced properly. They’ll only improve your cannabis product. If you haven’t tried them yet, get a bottle (or two) and see why terpenes are so popular.