Terpenes, or isoprenoids, provide cannabis with its unique bouquet of smells such as citrus, berry, pine, and mint. Terpenes are instrumental to the physiological and psychoactive effects of cannabis and act as building blocks for more complex molecules such as cannabinoids. These pungent oils are produced in the same resin glands, called trichomes, as cannabinoids and the synergistic relationship between the two compounds is known as the “entourage effect.” This effect ultimately differentiates one strain of cannabis from another. The development of terpenes in cannabis began for adaptive purposes: to repel predators and lure pollinators.
There are many factors that influence a plant’s development of terpenes, including climate, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil type, and the type of strain of cannabis. Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and every strain tends toward a unique terpene type and composition. Your attraction to a specific smelling strain of cannabis is a great starting point to which variety of medical cannabis may help you. Knowing the specific types of terpenes to which you are attracted, will deepen your appreciation for cannabis and aide in your quest to finding the best medicine.
The Most Common Terpenes Found in Cannabis
Flavor: piney, rosemary
aids in memory
aids in breathing
Flavor: citrus, spicy
Flavor: clove, spicy, woody
Flavor: citrus, juniper, peppermint
immune system stimulant
Flavor: floral, herbal
Flavor:citrus, clove, fruity
Flavor: berry, sweet, floral, and woody
Flavor: vanilla, earthy, floral