Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons that occur naturally in the essential oils of plants. Technically, terpenes are a combination of carbon and hydrogen. Though the names are used interchangeably, terpenoids are terpenes that have been altered through a drying process. The many combinations of terpene concentrations in cannabis/hemp plants vary from strain to strain, thus producing different (entourage) effects.
(also known as alpha-myrcene or beta-myrcene) is the most common and a particularly potent terpene, with a spicy, earthy, musky scent that gives cannabis strains a mildly sweet flavor profile.
β-Caryophyllene is the primary sesquiterpene contributing to the spiciness of black pepper; it is also a major constituent of cloves, hops, rosemary, copaiba, and cannabis. It was one of the first cannabis-derived compounds other than THC, CBD, and CBN shown to bind directly to endocannabinoid receptors (Gertsch, 2008). In fact, it was one of the first cannabis-derived compounds with a fundamentally different structure from the classical cannabinoids that interacts with the endocannabinoid system in humans. β-Caryophyllene is known to selectively bind to the CB2 receptor (non-psychtropic).
Linalool is a powerful terpene due to its effect on the serotonin receptor. Linalool has a characteristic spicy lavender scent.
Pinene is found in a wide range of herbs like rosemary, parsley, basil, and even orange peel. It is obviously also in pine.
Limonene is found in pine, mint, the peels of citrus fruits, and essential oils like lemon oil and orange oil.
Humulene naturally occurs in clove, basil, hops, and cannabis sativa. It carries a subtle earthy, woody aroma with spicy herbal notes.
Bisabolol is most often found in chamomile.
Nerolidol is commonly found in ginger, jasmine, neroli, tea tree, lavender, and cannabis.
Terpineol generally derives from pine oil and oil from the bitter orange tree.
Terpenes, although separate chemical compounds than cannabinoids, are often considered as cannabinoids. Ample research has shown the harmonious synchronicity between naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids in providing the consumer with the desired effects.