Beyond Potency: The Influence of Terpenes in Cannabis Strains

Cannabis is a complex plant that contains a wide array of chemical compounds, including THC and CBD. These cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body to produce physiological and psychological effects. These aren’t the only elements found in cannabis, however. One of the most important groups of compounds in cannabis are terpenes.


Understanding Terpenes

Terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds that are found in plants and some animals. These compounds are responsible for the aromas and flavours found in plants, such as the citrus smell of lemons. They have multiple functions within plants, such as attracting pollinators or repelling invaders. In cannabis, they interact with cannabinoids, enhancing or otherwise influencing their effects. With a good understanding of terpenes, you can make better decisions when choosing cannabis strains.


Major Terpenes and Their Effects

Although we have mentioned several of these above, let’s review the major terpenes and their effects:



Limonene is commonly found in citrus fruits, giving them their clean, distinct aroma. It is frequently associated with improved mood, increased energy, and a reduction of stress. Some research suggests that it might help to alleviate anxiety and depression. Strains with limonene are a good choice for those seeking to elevate their mood.



One of the most abundant terpenes to be found in cannabis, myrcene is also found in the hops used in beer. It has an earthy scent and is related to calming, sedating effects. It may possess analgesic properties and might serve as a muscle relaxant. Cannabis strains with a high myrcene content are calming and relaxing.


Choosing Cannabis Strains Based on Terpene Profiles

When you understand the different terpenes, you can better determine which cannabis strain can offer the effects you are seeking, from greater energy and focus to relaxation or pain relief. For example, if you are hoping for something to help you relax, consider a cannabis strain rich in linalool or myrcene.


Pine is a very distinct scent, the smell of coniferous trees and evergreen forests. This terpene is typically associated with heightened alertness and greater mental clarity. There are some indications that it may have anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabis strains high in pinene are the choice of those seeking an energizing experience.


Linalool is a terpene with a floral aroma similar to lavender. Used in aromatherapy to help with relaxation, linalool may help with the reduction of anxiety, to promote sleep, and to help with stress. Those interested in cannabis strains with calming and tranquilizing properties can look for those with a high linalool content.


With a spicy, peppery aroma, this terpene has the unique ability to act as a cannabinoid receptor modulator and is associated with potential analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Cannabis strains high in caryophyllene are good choices for those looking for calming and relaxing effects.  


The aroma of terpinolene is a bit tough to pin down; it has been described as fresh, herbal, or woody. It is believed that terpinolene can promote relaxation and mood enhancement. It is a good choice for those who seek a mix of relaxation and mental stimulation.

Terpenes and Medical Benefits

Terpenes are recognized for the role they play in the sensory experience of cannabis, but there is some indication that terpenes may have other benefits, ranging from analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-depressant to antioxidant and more. More study is needed, but these potential benefits have made terpenes an area of interest for researchers.

Terpenes as An Anti-inflammatory Agent

In pre-clinical trials, terpenes found in cannabis have been shown to display some anti-inflammatory properties. This means that terpenes may offer some relief to those suffering from conditions like arthritis.

Terpenes and Potential Analgesic Effects 

Terpenes are being studied for potential analgesic (pain relief) effects. Combining these terpenes with cannabinoids like THC and CBD could enhance their effects through the entourage effect. Although further study is necessary, this could prove helpful in pain management. 

Terpenes and Their Impact on Mood and Mental Health

Aromatherapy and traditional medicine have long used the aromatic compounds in terpenes to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and aid in relaxation. Limonene has demonstrated some promise as an antidepressant in pre-clinical studies. More clinical studies are required, but there is some indication that terpenes could play a role in improving mood and mental health.


Factors that Influence Terpene Profiles 

There are a few factors that will influence terpene profiles, such as environmental, cultivation techniques, and storage.

Environmental factors include temperature, light intensity, humidity, and soil composition. Different terpene profiles result from cultivating cannabis in different environments. By manipulating these factors, cannabis cultivators can have an impact on their desired terpene profiles.

Cultivation techniques include the use of fertilizers and harvesting methods. Higher terpene production may result from using specific nutrients. Proper storage is also critical for the preservation of the terpene profile, as terpene can degrade over time with exposure to heat, light, and oxygen. 


Choosing Cannabis Strains Based on Terpene Profiles

 When you understand the different terpenes, you can better determine which cannabis strain can offer the effects you are seeking, from greater energy and focus to relaxation or pain relief. For example, if you are hoping for something to help you relax, consider a cannabis strain rich in linalool or myrcene. 
Each strain of cannabis has a unique terpene profile that will help you choose. Certain strains will have one terpene which dominates, while others feature a more balanced composition. Once you become familiar with the terpene profiles of various strains, you will be able to make more informed choices based on your preferences.

Importance of Lab Testing and Terpene Analysis 

Lab testing provides a detailed analysis of the cannabinoid and terpene content of a strain, which is important in allowing consumers to make informed choices. Third party testing ensures accuracy and transparency, verifying the claims of producers.

Maximizing Terpene Consumption 

The right consumption methods will ensure maximum terpene consumption. Smoking is a popular method, but since heat can degrade terpenes, lower temperature vaporization may be preferable. Greater retention of terpenes is possible with edibles, oils, and tinctures, or by consuming raw cannabis, providing the consumer with a fuller-spectrum experience.

An important part of terpene preservation is temperature control. Individual terpenes have different boiling points, with terpenes degrading at high temperatures. Vaporizers with adjustable temperature settings allow consumers to preserve terpenes and, though experimentation, find the right balance of cannabinoids and terpenes. 

Enhancing Terpene Experience Through Terpene-infused Products

Terpenes are available in concentrated forms, making it possible to infuse them into various products such as oils, concentrates, and edibles. When adding specific terpenes or blends to cannabis products, this enables consumers to adjust their experience to give them the experience they are seeking.

Understanding the Significance of Terpenes in Cannabis Strains 

Terpenes significantly impact the overall experience of cannabis strains with flavours and aromas that differentiate each strain. They also work with cannabinoids through the entourage effect, influencing their effect.  As your understanding of terpenes grows, you will have greater insight into the differences in cannabis strains, paving the way for greater enjoyment.