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Cannabis Terpenes: What Are They and What Does It Mean For You?

At first glance, terpenes may seem like a secret ingredient in some of the world’s most beloved strains. Terpenes are so much more than most people realize. They are just as important as the cannabinoids in cannabis.  Let’s explore what terpenes are and how they function in the cannabis plant.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the compounds that make up a cannabis plant. Unlike cannabinoids, terpenes don’t have any effects on their own. Terpenes play a key role in how cannabis affects you – they can create the high, the flavor, and more.  Cannabis has over 80 different terpenes that give it its unique smell and taste. For example, there’s beta-caryophyllene which gives cannabis its peppery notes and myrcene which makes up most of cannabis’s earthy smell.  So what does this mean? It means that when you use cannabis, you’re not just getting one effect from it – you’re getting several!

Why Are Terpenes Important in the Cannabis Plant?

Cannabis terpenes are the oils found in cannabis. They help to create the different effects felt by users. When you inhale cannabis, the terpenes attach to your body and then your brain. Terpenes interact with receptors on your body, which is what gives you that high feeling.  Terpenes are also a big part of what makes cannabis smell and taste like its intended flavor. For example, if you think about a strain of weed that smells like blueberry – that’s because it contains terpenes that give off the scent of blueberries when they’re heated up in the vaporizer pen or bong.  Oftentimes those who are new to cannabis don’t know what terpenes are or why they’re important in the plant, but there’s a lot more to this than “just” getting high.  Cannabis terpenes allow for many different effects based on the desired experience from each individual using the plant – whether it be relaxation or euphoria, or even just giving off an earthy scent.

What Does it Mean for You?

Cannabis terpenes are the chemicals that give cannabis its smell, flavor, and effects. Terpenes are also one of the most important parts of cannabis. These chemicals provide the plant with a diversity of benefits and effects. From being anti-inflammatory to being an anti-depressant, terpenes play an integral role in the way that cannabis functions.

Some people believe that terpenes help to protect your lungs from the carcinogens found in marijuana smoke. This is because many terpenes can bind to these carcinogens so that they cannot be absorbed by your body or inhaled into your lungs. Terpenes can also help to reduce anxiety or paranoia.  The colors and smells of various types of cannabis are a result of their different terpene profiles. This is especially true for sativas and indicas, which have different amounts and combinations of terpenes in them.  Sativas tend to have more myrcene, which gives off a citrusy smell similar to lemongrass. Meanwhile, indicas tend to have high levels of limonene, which provides a lemon-like smell reminiscent of oranges or grapefruit rinds.

There’s no doubt about it – terpenes are important!

How to Recognize Terpene Profiles in Cannabis

The terpenes are the oils that give cannabis its unique smell. Terpene profiles in cannabis include a wide variety of smells from citrus to pine, earthy to floral, and even fruity. The terpenes make your experience with cannabis a unique one each time.

Cannabis is classified by how many terpenes it has and how strong those terpenes are. For example, there are two types of marijuana: indica and sativa. Indica-dominant strains tend to have more sedative qualities whereas sativa-dominant strains offer more energy and focus. These can be mixed together or matched up to create a hybrid strain that offers a balanced high that works best with certain moods or activities.

Terpenes can also be used as identifiers for different strains or types of marijuana. For example, if you’re looking for something that will help you sleep, you may want to find something with lavender in it so you know what strain you’ve found. If you’re trying to find something that will help keep your appetite up, maybe you should go for an aroma like cedar wood instead of anything too sweet or fruity (since this would be a sedative).


Terpenes are a natural compound found in plants, flowers, and trees. They give plants their scent, flavor, and therapeutic properties. Terpenes are created by the terpene synthase enzyme. Cannabis is no exception — it releases terpenes in its various forms, whether that’s through smoke, vapor, or other methods of consumption.

Understanding your cannabis’s terpene profile will give you a better idea of what to expect when you use the product. Terpenes will affect the flavor and smell of your cannabis. They also have a wide range of therapeutic properties and can be used to reduce stress, increase focus, and more!

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