Secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD, terpenes are aromatic oils that color cannabis varieties with distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine.


Not unlike other strong-smelling plants and flowers, the development of terpenes in cannabis began for adaptive purposes: to repel predators and lure pollinators. There are many factors that influence a plant’s development of terpenes, including climate, weather, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil type, and even the time of day.


Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and every strain tends toward a unique terpene type and composition.

Each individual terpene is associated with unique effects. Some promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others promote focus and acuity. Linalool, for example, is believed to be relaxing whereas limonene elevates mood.


The effect profile of any given terpene may change in the presence of other compounds in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. More research is needed to understand each terpene’s effect when used in harmony with others.


Many cannabis analysis labs now test terpene content, so you may have a better idea of what effects a strain might produce. With their unlimited combinations of synergistic effects, terpenes will certainly open up new scientific and medical terrains for cannabis research.



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