Everything You Need to Know About Terpenes

Terpenes are fragrant chemicals present in many plants, although they are most usually associated with cannabis because to their high concentration in cannabis plants.

Many plants, including cannabis, pine, and lavender, as well as fresh orange peel, have aromatic chemicals that give them their distinct perfume. Terpenes are responsible for the scent of most plants. These terpenes defend plants against animal grazing and pathogenic pathogens in nature.

Terpenes, on the other hand, may provide certain health benefits for humans. Scientists are conducting more investigation into these potential advantages as cannabis rules grow less rigid.

Continue reading to find out more about terpenes in general, as well as details on their possible health advantages.

What Differentiates Terpenes From Cannabinoids?

Cannabis contains chemical chemicals known as cannabinoids.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids activate receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. This is what gives individuals the “high” they get when they take cannabis.

Another cannabinoid that is gaining popularity for its therapeutic benefits is cannabidiol (CBD). Although CBD binds to some of the same receptors as THC, it has a distinct effect on them and does not cause euphoria.

THC and CBD are the most well-known cannabinoids, although the cannabis plant includes approximately 100 other cannabinoids [1].

Terpenes, which are among the most numerous substances in nature, are also found in cannabis plants [2].

Terpenes are the molecules that give most plants and certain animal components their scent. Some, however, may behave similarly to cannabinoids on the endocannabinoid system in the body. The main distinction is how the body absorbs and utilises these chemicals.

What Is Terpenes Effect On Humans?

Many terpenes are bioactive, meaning they can have an effect on the body. This impact will vary depending on the terpene’s concentration and how it is used.

Terpenes are the building blocks of many essential oils and are used in alternative therapies like aromatherapy because they generate strong scents. Some plants and essential oils have fragrances that might alter a person’s mood and stress levels.

Some individuals feel that terpenes influence or improve the high that comes from cannabis use [3]. The entourage effect states that terpenes can increase or change the effects of THC and CBD in the body.

These assertions are backed up by research. People with epilepsy who took a CBD-rich extract had better symptoms and fewer adverse effects than those who received pure CBD, according to a review published in Frontiers in Neurology [4]. This shows that other cannabis components, such as terpenes, may influence how CBD is used by the body.

Isolated terpenes are the subject of a lot of medical research, and some of them may even find their way into medicine. Many terpenes have shown favourable effects on the body, according to a study published in Chemico-Biological Interactions [5], and might be used as alternative medicine or treatments.

Different Types Of Terpenes

While there are numerous terpenes in nature, only a few have been examined by scientists. Terpenes that are more well-known include:


Limonene is a common terpene with a distinct aroma that most people recognize. The zesty scent of limonene is found in the rinds of citrus fruits like lemons and oranges.

According to a research published in Chemico-Biological Interactions [5], limonene has the following medicinal properties:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • Antiviral
  • Antidiabetic
  • Anticancer

Limonene appears to alter the behaviour of some immune cells, perhaps protecting the body from a variety of diseases. Limonene is also a safe supplement for adults to consume.


Another naturally occurring terpene is pinene. A-pinene and b-pinene are the two types of pinene. Pine needles, rosemary, and basil all contain pinene, which gives them their fresh, vibrant aroma. Pinene may possibly have medicinal properties.

Shirin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” is a Japanese treatment that entails taking slow walks in the woods, soaking up the environment, and smelling the flowers. Shirin-yoku may have both preventative and therapeutic benefits on the mind and body [6].

According to a research published in Acta Salus Vitae [7], the quantity of pinene in the air of a healthy forest is sufficient to be medicinal. Pinene is a bronchodilator, which means it allows more air into the lungs. When breathed, it also has an anti-inflammatory impact and may help fight some pathogenic viruses.


The lavender plant has the most linalool, which gives the blossom its distinctive aroma. Linalool is one of the most significant molecules in aromatherapy, and it is responsible for the relaxing effect that lavender or its essential oil has on many individuals.

Linalool may influence the body in a number of ways, according to a research published [8], including:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antimicrobial
  • neuroprotective
  • antidepressant
  • anticancer
  • anti-anxiety

Linalool appears to have an impact on the body, but further research is needed to learn how individuals might use it to improve their health.


Terpenes like myrcene may be found in plants including hops, lemongrass, and thyme. Myrcene is also found in the flowers of the cannabis plant.

Myrcene is an extremely effective antioxidant. According to research [9], myrcene may help protect the brain from oxidative damage after a stroke.

Myrcene demonstrated a comparable protective effect in cardiac tissue in another mouse investigation. Myrcene may be an effective alternative therapy following an ischemic stroke, according to the study.

It’s worth noting, nevertheless, that these investigations employed extremely high myrcene concentrations, up to 200 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight.

Other research [10] found that myrcene has an anti-inflammatory impact and may inhibit the degradation of certain cartilage cells in a cell model of osteoarthritis. This may make it effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

To Wrap It Up

Terpenes are the chemicals that give most plants their distinctive aroma. Cannabis, as well as many other plants, fruits, and herbs, are high in them.

They could be important for the health and survival of the plants in which they live.

Humans may benefit by inhaling certain essential oils, eating terpene-rich plants, or spending time in locations with high terpene concentration in some situations.

Terpenes must be studied further in order to completely comprehend their therapeutic and medical potential.


[1] Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health

[2] What are Terpenes

[3] The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain

[4] Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis

[5] Limonene: Aroma of innovation in health and disease

[6] Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review


[8] Linalool bioactive properties and potential applicability in drug delivery systems

[9] Neuroprotective effects of β-myrcene

[10] Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory, anti-catabolic and pro-anabolic effects of E-caryophyllene, myrcene and limonene in a cell model of osteoarthritis

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