Unveiling the Secrets of Cannabis Terpenes

terpene next to cannabis buds

As the conversation around cannabis grows more mainstream, it’s time we shine the spotlight on a key compound that often goes unnoticed: terpenes. Terpenes give cannabis strains their amazing, mouth-watering scent and aroma profiles, which is an important role of its own. But did you know that terpenes can enhance its effects and therapeutic benefits? In this blog, we’ll explore everything there is to know about terpenes, from what they are to how they influence your cannabis experience, so you can curate the exact effects you’re looking for.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis, contributing to their scent, flavor, and color. These organic compounds are the essential oils that give plants their unique aromas, ranging from the citrusy smell of a lemon to the earthy undertones of a pine forest. In cannabis, terpenes are responsible for the rich diversity of smells and tastes that differentiate one strain from another, from the sweet, berry-like aromas to the sharp, diesel-like scents.

Beyond adding sensory delights, terpenes play a vital role in the plant’s life, helping with pollination, repelling predators, and protecting the plant from environmental stresses. In cannabis, terpenes do more than just influence your sensory experience; they also interact with cannabinoids, the chemical compounds in cannabis that include THC and CBD, to affect the plant’s overall effects on the body and mind.

Terpenes & The Entourage Effect

This interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids is known as the entourage effect. The science behind this phenomenon suggests that terpenes can modulate the effects of cannabinoids, enhancing their benefits and minimizing negative effects. For example, certain terpenes, like linalool, may amplify the pain-relief properties of cannabis or temper the anxiety some people feel with THC.

The entourage effect highlights the complexity of cannabis and the importance of considering the whole plant rather than focusing on specific compounds. By understanding this synergistic relationship between terpenes and cannabinoids, we can appreciate the nuanced ways in which cannabis interacts with our bodies and tailor our experiences for the better.

The Major Cannabis Terpenes

Thanks to its hundreds of terpenes, cannabis has a bouquet of scents and effects. However, a few stand out for their prominence and the significant impact they have on the plant’s overall character and therapeutic potential. Let’s dive deeper into the five most common cannabis terpenes.

cannabis terpene chart


Myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis, known for its earthy, musky notes reminiscent of cloves. This terpene is believed to promote relaxation and has been used in traditional medicine for its sedative and muscle-relaxant effects. Strains rich in myrcene include Blue Dream and Granddaddy Purple, making them favorites among those seeking calm and comfort.


Limonene packs a punch with its sharp citrus scent – think lemon rinds and orange zest. It’s not just about the refreshing aroma; limonene is also associated with mood elevation and stress relief. Strains like Super Lemon Haze and Jack Herer are high in limonene, perfect for those looking for a burst of energy and positivity.


Caryophyllene is known for its spicy, peppery profile. It’s a particularly special terpene because it can also act as a cannabinoid, potentially interacting directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation and pain. Strains such as GG4 and Sour Diesel are known for their high caryophyllene content, appealing to those in search of relief from discomfort or stress.


Pinene brings the crisp, refreshing essence of pine needles. This terpene is renowned for its invigorating scent and its ability to aid memory retention and alertness. Additionally, pinene shows promise in widening airways (aka bronchodilation), making it beneficial for those with asthma. Strains high in pinene, like Jack Herer and Dutch Treat, are sought after for their energizing and therapeutic effects.


Linalool offers a floral, lavender-like aroma, contributing to the calming and sedative qualities of certain cannabis strains. It’s been the subject of studies for its potential to alleviate anxiety, depression, and even epileptic seizures. Strains with a high linalool content, such as Amnesia Haze and Special Kush, are popular among those looking to unwind and relax.

How To Incorporate Terpenes In Your Cannabis Experience

When diving into the diverse world of cannabis products, understanding terpenes can be your compass, guiding you towards choices that best align with your desired experiences and wellness goals. Applying knowledge about terpenes when selecting cannabis products isn’t just about seeking out specific effects; it’s about tailoring your cannabis journey to fit your unique preferences and needs. Here’s how you can put this knowledge into practice:

  • Start With Your Goals: First, identify what you want from your cannabis experience. Knowing your goal will help you pinpoint which terpenes and, in turn, which strains might be best for you.
  • Get to Know Terpene Profiles: Dispensaries and cannabis brands often provide detailed lab reports that include terpene content. Look for terpene profiles that are associated with your desired effects.
  • Consider the Entourage Effect: A strain with a balanced profile of terpenes and cannabinoids might offer a more nuanced and potentially more satisfying experience than one that focuses solely on high THC or CBD content.
  • Smell and Ask: The nose knows! The aroma of a cannabis product can give you valuable clues about its terpene content. If you’re shopping in person, take the time to smell the different strains. Additionally, don’t be shy to ask your budtender questions for more insight.
  • Start Low and Go Slow: When trying a new strain or product, it’s wise to start with a low dose and go slow, especially if you’re experimenting with something outside your usual preferences. Gauge your body’s response to the specific terpene and cannabinoid combination to fine-tune your selection.

BestBüds Dispensary — Helping You Personalize Your Cannabis Experience

Overall, it’s clear terpenes do more than just fill the air with fragrance. They shape the way we experience cannabis, from the flavor and aroma profiles to the effects on our well-being and mood. Understanding terpenes transforms how we view our cannabis choices, turning every decision into a personal journey to our best selves.

Want to learn more about how you can personalize your cannabis experience? Check out our previous blog, Understanding Cannabis Strains!

*The contents of this blog are intended for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.*

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