Cannabis Terpenes: What do terpenes do for your high? 🌿

If you are a medical marijuana patient or have been to a cannabis dispensary, you have surely heard the word, “terpenes”. But what are terpenes, and do they get you high? Here is a list of the most common cannabis terpenes and their effects. 


Keep reading to find a free pocket-sized Digital Download Quick Reference Terpene Chart to keep with you and help when placing your next cannabis order.

What are terpenes? 

Terpenes are hydrocarbon-based natural compounds produced by plants and animals that are responsible for therapeutic effects. Cannabis alone, consists of more than 200 terpenes. The terpenes are found in trichomes which are sticky, translucent resin glands that cover the surface of the buds, leaves, and stems of the cannabis plant. Terpenes determine the aroma, flavor, color, and sensation that makes each strain taste, smell, and feel like a different experience.  

cannabis on plate

What is the difference between terpenes & cannabinoids?

The fragrance and taste experienced from using different cannabis strains is a direct result of terpenes. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that regulate the ECS (endocannabinoid system). Studies report that there are over 150 cannabinoids throughout the cannabis plant, however, THC and CBD are the most well-known. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) produces the “high” that is felt during a smoke session.


Terpenes and cannabinoids both interact with receptors found within the endocannabinoid system. Together, they produce what is referred to as the “entourage effect” and function to help bring the body’s endocannabinoid system back to homeostasis. 

Common Cannabis Terpenes


Considered the “mother of all terpene’s”, myrcene is found in over 20% of all cannabis terpenes. Myrcene projects an earthy, spicey, herbaceous aroma is commonly found in indica strains, and is utilized as a sleep aid.

terpenes formula

Myrcene can also be found in other plants such as lemon grass, bay leaves, and thyme. The benefits of this terpene have been documented to include: 

  • Anti-anxiety
  • Release in muscle tension
  • Relaxation
  • Pain reduction
  • Stress relief
  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Terpinolene 

    This terpene is known as the “least-common” found in the cannabis flower.  So, if you find a strain with high levels of this terpene, you may want to make the purchase.

    joint burning

    Typically found in sativa strains, terpinolene offers many benefits: 

  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Antioxidant
  • Stress Relief 
  • Sleep Aid
  • Mood Booster
  • Increase clarity and focus
  • Limonene 

    Limonene is recognized in cannabis strains with hints of citrus, mint, and other sharp flavored spicy aromas. In addition to cannabis, limonene can be found in other fruits and herbs such as lemons, oranges, juniper, peppermint, and rosemary.

    cannabis plant grow

    As an essential oil, limonene is very successful in repelling insects. Medicinally, studies show that limonene can also include benefits such as:

    • Anxiety relief
    • Anti-fungal
    • Mood booster
    • Antidepressant
    • Antibacterial


    Modern research has been able to determine that there are two forms of pinene, alpha pinene and beta pinene. The difference between the two, is that Alpha pinene is water soluble and Beta pinene is not. Pinene has aromatic notes of pine and turpentine.

     cannabis plant

    The resinous taste is woody and dry. Pinene produces qualities like: 

    • Anti-inflammatory effects
    • Antimicrobial
    • Reduced sensitivity to asthma triggers
    • Reduces anxiety
    • Neuroprotective properties
    • Memory retention


    Aromatically, caryophyllene is known to have notes of spices and herbs with hints of wood. Cinnamon, Hops, Cloves, and Black Pepper all have high levels of this unique terpene. Caryophyllene found in cannabis, is the only terpene that mirrors the identical functions of cannabinoids.

    cannabis on hand

    It reduces the effects of inflammation in the body by activating the endocannabinoid system. This terpene is so effective that marijuana strains with high levels of caryophyllene are used to make salves and topical creams to ease inflammation. Additional benefits include:

    • Improved sleep patterns
    • Pain reduction
    • Supports balanced glucose levels
    • Decrease in anxiety
    • Anti-cancer properties


    Linalool is an unsaturated monoterpene alcohol that contains vitamin E through a process known as biosynthesis. Cinnamon, rosewood, mints, and citrus are all plants that produce linalool. The scent is floral, and woody with a slight touch of citrus. It carries a presence that is refreshing, light, and uplifting.

    cannabis plants

    The aromatic benefits of this terpene are positively connected to the emotion and memory centers in the brain. Research suggests that the olfactory sensations experienced by using this terpene, have a direct correlation to neurological processing and modulating behavior of cells in the brain. Linalool has additional positive effects including: 

    • Fights cell damaging bacteria
    • Sedative properties
    • Reduces anxiety & depression
    • Supports the immune system
    • Reduces inflammation


    Humulene can be recognized in plants by its distinct herbaceous, spicy, earthy aroma. The name “Humulene” originated from the hops plant called, “Humulus lupulus” as hops has high concentrations of this terpene.

    blaze it up

    In cannabis, this terpene is noticed in smaller quantities. Humulene is a monocyclic sesquiterpene that has been used for centuries in holistic wellness practices. One of the most promising benefits of this terpene is anti-cancer fighting properties. A 2016 study concluded that when humulene is combined with phytocannabinoids and other terpenes, it supports the termination of cancer cells. Studies also show that when paired with caryophyllene, the combination works as an appetite suppressant. Humulene also can help: 

    • Boost metabolism
    • Reduce pain
    • Decrease inflammation
    • Prevent bacterial infections

    The expanding marijuana legalization movement worldwide, encourages future scientific research to explore more in-depth benefits of interactions between terpenes, THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

    Not sure what terpenes are right for you?  

    We have included a pocket-sized “Quick Reference Terpene Chart” as a FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD for you to keep with you when making your strain choices. 


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