Terpenes Explained

What are Terpenes?

You’ve heard the word a few times, but what are terpenes? Here are Terpenes Explained.

Terpenes are what gives an orange its citrusy smell. They give pine trees their unique aroma. They’re even responsible for the relaxing effects in lavender. They are chemicals that determine how things smell. Additionally, it has been discovered that terpenes can play a big role in cannabis wellness. In fact, cannabinoids and terpenes work together in something called the entourage effect.

The Entourage Effect simply means that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, along with the hundreds of other compounds, terpenes included, are meant to work together. The entire cannabis plant works best for our health, not just a single compound. Hence The Ounce’s CBD Oil is full-spectrum (extracted from the whole hemp plant).

Terpene Effects

There are at least 20,000 known terpenes in existence. The cannabis plant contains more than 100 of these terpenes. Many terpenes that are produced by the cannabis plant are also found elsewhere in nature. However, there are a few terpenes that are in high concentrations in cannabis plants. It’s important to note that plants can contain multiple terpenes.

  • Myrcene: Commonly found in cannabis strains/chemovars as well as in basil, lemongrass and ylang ylang. Myrcene helps promote sleep and may also reduce inflammation.
  • Limonene: Well-known for providing a mood lift while reducing stress and anxiety, all by elevating serotonin levels in the brain.
  • Linalool: Shown to reduce anxiety and depression, while also improving sleep quality. Linalool is also being tested in clinical settings to help reduce pain and nausea following surgery.
  • Pinene: Found in evergreen trees, and also in many cannabis chemovars, pinene has anti-inflammatory and respiratory benefits.
  • Beta-Caryophyllene: Found in black pepper, oregano, and cloves as well as cannabis. Beta-caryophyllene (also referred to as “caryophyllene”) is unique among terpenes found in cannabis, because it can bind directly to CB2 receptors which are located throughout your body. Caryophyllene is being studied for its impact reducing inflammation and pain, as well as its potential to protect age-related cognitive decline.
  • Alpha-Caryophyllene (Humulene): Also found in hops, humulene works together with caryophyllene to reduce inflammation. It also can suppress appetite.

terpene list


  1. Cox-Georgian, Destinney et al. “Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes.” Medicinal Plants: From Farm to Pharmacy 333–359. 12 Nov. 2019, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-31269-5_15
  2. Russo, Ethan B. “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” British journal of pharmacologyvol. 163,7 (2011): 1344-64. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
  3. Booth, Judith K, and Jörg Bohlmann. “Terpenes in Cannabis sativa – From plant genome to humans.” Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology vol. 284 (2019): 67-72. doi:10.1016/j.plantsci.2019.03.022
  4. Baron, Eric P. “Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science.” Headache vol. 58,7 (2018): 1139-1186. doi:10.1111/head.13345

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