Hemp Basics : Terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic organic compounds that give plants their distinct scents and flavors.  They are the main components of essential oils.  Over 100 terpenes have been found in the Cannabis sativa, or hemp plant, each having different properties and health benefits.  Terpenes also work in synergy with cannabinoids to produce the “entourage effect”.  This common biological process creates greater combined effects than the sum of the effects of the individual terpenes and cannabinoids.  The primary terpenes found in hemp, and their main benefits include :

Caryophyllene – peppery, spicy, woody aroma; demonstrates anti-inflammatory activity, helps reduce anxiety and depression, inhibits cancer cell growth

Limonene – lemony aroma; has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial properties, and helps to reduce stress; limonene improves the absorption of other terpenes

Pinene – evergreen-like aroma; helps manage some respiratory conditions and is effective as an antiseptic; pinene is the most common terpene found in nature

Myrcene – has a citrusy, herbal aroma; helps reduce pain and inflammation, has antibacterial, muscle relaxant and sedative properties

Linalool – sweet and floral aroma; promotes relaxation and helps reduce anxiety and depression, reduces pain and inflammation, powerful anticonvulsant (helps stop seizure activity), promotes restful sleep

Humulene – woody and earthy aroma; reduces appetite (counters the appetite stimulating effect of other terpenes and cannabinoids), has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, supports immune function, inhibits cancer cell growth

Ocimene – sweet, woody, herbal aroma; energizing, has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal and antiviral properties

Terpinolene – floral, herbal, evergreen aroma; demonstrates antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial activities, is sedating and inhibits growth of some cancer cells

Sources:

cbdoilreview.org/cbd-cannabidiol/terpenes-101/ terpenes.io/terpenes

Sweet, Tami, The Wholistic Healing Guide to Cannabis (2020), Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA.

The Leafly Guide to Cannabis: A Handbook for the Modern Consumer, 2017, Hachette Book Group, New York, New York