Are you looking to understand terpenes better?

Experts describe the notes and aromas of wine, cheese, and specialty foods. Did you know that you can talk about medical marijuana products the same way? That’s because every strain of cannabis contains a unique fragrance variety.

Many chemical compounds are responsible for the aromatic experience you have with a certain plant or food item. In cannabis products, most of the scent is made of fascinating compounds called terpenes.

In this article, we are going to explain the role of terpenes in your sensory experience of medical marijuana use. You’ll learn more about the most important terpenes present in cannabis products as well.

What Exactly Are Terpenes?

The buds and flowers of the cannabis plant contain terpenes. These chemical compounds are natural and form the flavor and scent of the particular cannabis strain. Even some of the individual properties of a strain, like calming or attention-boosting effects, may be partially explained by the terpene profile.

However, terpenes are in no way unique to cannabis plants. In fact, many types of plants and some insects have terpenes in their organic makeup. One of the most common explanations for terpenes is their role as a deterrent for plant-eating organisms.
Different strains of cannabis contain different amounts of terpenes

Chemists have found terpenes to be an important part of the essential oils in many plant varieties. Both aromatherapy and perfume industries have used terpenes in their products for aesthetic and functional reasons.

Why Is the Cannabis Industry Focusing More on Terpenes?

The early 2020s continue the trend of focusing on terpenes in the medical (and recreational, in some states) marijuana industry. Before this interest in terpenes, the spotlight was mostly shone on CBD and THC.

Terpenes create this buzz because some research has shown potential in these compounds to offer health benefits. Scientists are interested in, and to what extent, could terpenes counter sleep issues, relieve anxious thoughts and combat stress.

Like CBD and THC, terpenes are going to produce unique experiences for different individuals. Just because a particular terpene is associated with a cognitive boost, you aren’t going to have a guarantee for lifted brain fog.

Even if the health effects need more research, we can already rely on some of the key findings. Plus, terpenes are going to affect your sensory experience with the marijuana product. That’s another reason why you should understand these naturally occurring chemical compounds better.

How Many Terpenes Does a Cannabis Plant Contain?

The number of different terpenes varies depending on the medical marijuana product and the chemical makeup of the plant itself. While terpenes are still actively researched, it’s already clear that some of these compounds have greater potential than others.

That’s why there’s no point in focusing on the ubiquity of terpenes in marijuana. While some strains can contain more than a hundred terpenes, experts are most interested in considerably fewer compounds.

What Are the Most Important Terpenes in Cannabis?

The levels of terpenes differ according to the cannabis strain and plant. Now we are going to list the terpenes that seem to have the most potential when it comes to health and mind benefits.


α-pinene and β-pinene are structural isomers of pinene. As its name predicts, both terpenes are essential in the formation of pine resin. It’s a chemical that helps pine trees heal injuries and fight pathogens.

But it’s not only the pine trees that contain pinene. You can find the same compound in iron wort, sage, and cannabis. Current research describes neuro-supportive potential in this terpene. In fact, α-pinene is linked to increased alertness and improved memory.

Pinene may be a potent respiratory aid. The pine-scented terpene’s α-isomer is a bronchodilator. In other words, this substance aids in opening your airways if you have respiratory problems like asthma.


Limonene, specifically D-limonene, is a cyclic monoterpene. As with pinene, the primary source is revealed in its name – lemon peel. You can find a lot of limonene in ordinary lemon peels, and coincidentally, in some cannabis strains.

D-limonene is found in other citrus fruits. You’ll release a significant amount of limonene when you press the juice from limes and oranges. But this substance can be found in pinecones and juniper, too.

Physiological and behavioral variables have demonstrated that limonene boasts anti-stress action in human bodies. Additionally, limonene has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Like CBD and THC terpenes are becoming more researched as part of medical marijuana benefits


Myrcene is an olefinic organic monoterpene. You can find it in many plants, including basil, lemongrass, cardamom, and hops. In folklore medicine, the original Myrcia sphaerocarpa plant has been used to counter the symptoms of dysentery and hypertension.

If you love beer or use perfumes, it’s more than likely that you have come into contact with myrcene. That peppery mouthfeel in your beer is probably due to the aromatic effects of myrcene.

In an animal model study, myrcene, as opposed to morphine, showed analgesic properties without tolerance formation following repeated doses. Myrcene may offer crucial support in the development of non-tolerance-forming analgesics.

Are Terpenes and Terpenoids the Same Thing?

Terpenes and terpenoids see a lot of interchanged use nowadays. But when you look at it from the scientific view, terpenoids are different from terpenes. When you denature a terpene by oxidation, you get a terpenoid.

Final Thoughts

The interest in terpenes in medical cannabis products has skyrocketed over the past years. The roles of CBD and THC are on their way to becoming well-established compounds in medical marijuana. But the research on cannabis terpenes is still underway.

Even if the health effects of terpenes from medical marijuana consumption need further research, these chemical compounds still matter a lot. They make up the unique aromatic profile of any cannabis plant and strain.

Some of the most common terpenes are limonene, pinene, and myrcene. Current research describes the potential health benefits of all these terpenes. Plus, they are readily used in perfume and aromatherapy industries to enhance emotion and mood.

If you have more questions about the effects of medical marijuana, or about how to get your card in Hawaii, please contact Malie Cannabis Clinic today!