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What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are organic compounds that are responsible for the unique aroma, taste and colour profile of many plants, foods and other common household products. There are over 20,000 known terpenes, and over 100 of those have been identified in the cannabis plant.

While terpenes are best known for their role in enhancing the positive effects of THC and CBD (also known as the “Entourage Effect), research shows that they have potential medicinal benefits of their own. Currently, terpenes are most widely recognized for their therapeutic effect on pain, sleep and inflammation amongst many others. Terpenes are also highly effective when used in conjunction with other cannabinoid treatments by producing longer lasting relief from common ailments and chronic conditions.

Getting to Know Your Terpenes

TerpWell oils are specially formulated using unique combinations of therapeutic terpenes.
Some of the most popular terpenes include:

myrcene terpene

Aroma: Earthy, Musky
Found In: Hops, Mango, Lemongrass
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic, Sedative

Myrcene is best known for its calming, sedative effect and is the most widely found terpene in nature. Myrcene can also be found in hops, mango and lemongrass. It has many potential therapeutic uses including anti-inflammatory properties and a significant analgesic effect.

pinene terpene

Aroma: Pine
Found In: Rosemary, Pine Needles, Basil, Dill, Parsley, Orange Peels
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Anti-inflammatory, May Help with Asthma

Pinene is a strong aromatic terpene, most common in nature. It can be found in rosemary, pine needles, basil and parsley, as well as numerous cannabis varieties. Therapeutic benefits may include reduced inflammation and it is suggested that Pinene may improve airflow and respiratory function in conditions such as asthma.

linalool terpene

Aroma: Spicy, Floral
Found In: Lavender, Mint, Cinnamon, Coriander
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Anesthetic, Anti-Inflammation, Antidepressant, Sedative

Linalool is a prominent terpene found in lavender, mint, cinnamon and coriander with potential therapeutic effects including anesthesia, anti-inflammation, antidepressant and sedation.

carophyllene terpene

Aroma: Spicy, Peppery
Found In: Cloves, Basil, Oregano, Black Pepper
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic, Anxiolytic

Caryophyllene has an interesting smell profile as it spans a wide range of aromas. Sometimes floral, sometimes musky, and other times spicy, it is often hard to pinpoint Caryophyllene. Caryophyllene is also found in cloves, basil, oregano and most famously, black pepper. Caryophyllene is the only terpene that binds to cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, which explains its possible anti-inflammatory effect. Other possible therapeutic effects include use as an analgesic and anxiolytic.

limonene terpene

Aroma: Citrus
Found In: Cosmetics, Cleaning Products, Fruit Rinds, Rosemary, Juniper, Peppermint
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Antidepressant, Stress-Relief, Antifungal, Antibacterial

Limonene is one of the most recognizable aromas, often associated with citrus-smelling cleaning and cosmetic products. This terpene is also found in fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper and peppermint. It is known to be energizing and improve mood. Possible therapeutic uses include; antidepressant, stress-relief, antifungal and antibacterial.

terpinolene terpene

Aroma: Fruity
Found In: Nutmeg, Cumin, Lilacs
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Antioxidant, Antibacterial

Terpinolene is a terpene found in many cannabis varieties, but in quantities that are very low. Though less well-known, Terpinolene has been said to be energizing and uplifting. Potential therapeutic benefits include being antibacterial, and antioxidizing. 

humulene terpene

Aroma: Earthy
Found In: Hops
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory, Appetite-Suppressant

Humulene is best known for being the main constituent in hops. Possible therapeutic benefits include antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and being an appetite-suppressant.

trans-nerolidol terpene

Aroma: Citrus, Rose
Found In: Jasmine, Lemongrass
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Antiparasitic, Antifungal, Antimicrobial, Sedation

Trans-Nerolidol is a secondary terpene found in products with strong aromatics such as jasmine and lemongrass. This terpene is gaining traction in the scientific community as it is being studied for its effects on parasites, microsporum gypseum and staphylococcus. Potential therapeutic effects include sedation, antiparasitic, antifungal and antimicrobial.

guaiol terpene

Aroma: Pine, Wood, Rose
Found In: Cypress Pine, Guaiacum
Potential Therapeutic Uses: Anti-inflammatory, Antiparasitic, Antioxidant

Guaiol is best recognized for its strong fragrance, often smelling of pine, wood or rose. Modern research on Guaiol is limited, but guaiacum (the plant from which Guaiol is derived) has been used in natural medicine for a long time to help treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Guaiol is a known anti-inflammatory and has potential therapeutic benefits as an antiparasitic and antioxidant.

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