What Are Terpenes?


The future of flavor science and the cannabis industry

As the cannabis industry continues to expand, brands are providing more cannabis-related products daily. Companies have virtually mastered dry cannabis flowers and cannabis concentrates. Today, they are turning their focus to understanding terpenes. However, the common cannabis consumer doesn’t understand terpenes. So what are they?

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the aromatic oils of cannabis. Terpenes are produced in the same fashions that produce cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, and others. Additionally, terpenes contain sweet-smelling properties that provide cannabis with the unmistakable scents we’ve all become accustomed to. The aromas associated with cannabis strains such as Lavender Kush, Purple Haze, Banana Kush, and many others owe its fragrance to the excretion of terpenes. Furthermore, terpenes are not exclusively found in cannabis. They are also present in other plants and fruits, such as cloves, orange, lemons, and many others.

Familiar Terpene Profiles of Cannabis

For the last two decades, the scientific community Researchers have determined that there are nearly over 110  different terpene profiles. Some of the common terpene profiles include limonene, myrcene, and caryophyllene. However, more terpenes possess health benefits. 

Terpineol Terpene

One familiar terpene in the cannabis industry is Terpineol. This terpene also has a slew of medicinal benefits. If you are familiar with strains such as Jack Herer, OG Kush, or White Widow, then chances are you have experienced the terpene. Terpineol has been proven to be useful as a sufficient anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and even antibacterial. Consumers have also used Terpineol to relieve pain associated with GI ailments such as Ulcerative Colitis. Upon consumption, Terpineol gives off an aroma that is reminiscent of limes and lilac. The terpene Terpineol can also be found in pine oil. 

Borneol Terpene

Another terpene that is becoming popular among cannabis consumers is Borneol. This terpene has more of a medicinal history than its terpene counterparts. Borneol has been used in medicine as early as the 1600s. Moreover, this terpene is a social hit in Asain countries for its medicinal properties. The effects of Borneol range from being anti-inflammatory as well as antinociceptive. This is a fancy way of saying this terpene can assist with pain sustained by the body’s nervous system. Borneol has also shown advancements in assisting patients who have suffered from strokes. The aroma of Borneol is very similar to an overwhelming mint with soft earthy undertones. You can find Borneol in the famous cannabis strains such as K13 and many varieties of Haze.


Camphene is a terpene that rose to popularity in recent years thanks to the internet. A synthesized form of the common terpene Pinene presents an aroma that is reminiscent of fir needles or musk. Regarding the effects of the terpene, Camphene is making headway in supporting patients with Psoriasis and other severe skin diseases. It has also shown promise as a fitting anti-inflammatory and antifungal tool. Cannabis strains such as Ghost OG and Strawberry Kush often embody a respectable amount of this terpene. Camphene can be found in rosemary, nutmeg, and conifer. 

How Terpenes will Continue to Dominate the Cannabis Industry

For the last decade, terpenes have become a foundation of the cannabis industry. Consumers are becoming more conscious and open to the idea of consuming the aromatic oils of cannabis. Furthermore, cannabis companies are doing more than providing terpenes to the populace. They are also utilizing terpenes to implement a natural flavor to additional cannabis products such as edibles and rolling papers. Terpenes are even used for non-cannabis purposes as they are naturally non-psychoactive. With this much market appeal and accessibility, terpenes will continue to be an integral piece to the advancement of the cannabis industry.

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