Skip to main content

Here is an updated list of over 30 different terpenes plus their benefits. Terpenes are the mainstay of cannabis ensemble or entourage benefits.

Without them, cannabinoids would lack the synergistic benefits that make their healing effects pronounced and sustained. This means that terpenes are integral to the success of cannabinoid-based therapy. This is why full-spectrum products are becoming increasingly popular and preferred above isolates and distillates.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard the words cannabis terpenes used whenever cannabis connoisseurs praise the virtues of their favorite strains.

Along with words like “cannabinoids,” the term is becoming increasingly common in everyday marijuana banter, and as the industry continues to grow, its use will only increase.

What Are Terpenes?

Simply put, terpenes are the fragrant oils that cannabis and other plants naturally possess that define their aromas and flavors. They’re what give Lemon Skunk its distinctive citrusy funk and Chem Dawg its pungent diesel-fuel properties.

Each strain is different, and terpenes are the most obvious element that set them apart. Terpenes are found in many other plants as well. Do you love the smell of fresh basil? Yep, you can thank terpenes for basil’s enticing fragrance.

Cannabis terpenes are most strongly detected in mature, unfertilized (unseeded) flower. Unfortunately, these terpenes can degrade easily in cured flowers through improper storage, handling, and exposure to light.

Any discussion about terpenes should also touch on cannabinoids. Terpenes and cannabinoids (including THC and CBD) both contribute to the effect of cannabis when consumed.

Both bind with receptors in the brain to produce an overall effect on our bodies—including the euphoric high most people seek from the cannabis experience.

People sometimes oversimplify the different effects of indica and sativa by stating that indica produces a sedative, couch-lock buzz throughout the body, while sativa results in a motivational, cerebral high.

While this is generally true, it’s the unique relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes and their combined impact (known as the entourage effect) that truly defines the complete experience.

The medicinal benefit from the interactions of terpenes and cannabinoids warrants continued study. Some cannabis patients favor the results of whole cannabis (flower) therapy over synthetic or cannabis concentrates, such as distillates, which remove natural terpenes.

Suffice it to say that the cannabinoidterpene relationship is both fascinating and complex, but terpenes alone will be the focus here—and there’s plenty to discuss.

Although cannabis contains more than 140 types of terpenes, only about a dozen are common, and we’ll focus on the seven most relevant of these, while discussing their presence in some of our favorite strains.

Whether it’s a dank indica or fire sativa, sometimes just a whiff of a particular flower can provide a very good guess about its terpene effect once consumed.

There are over 140 different terpenes that are found in cannabis. These are volatile organic molecules that are produced in the resin glands of cannabis and produce the different unique aromas present in cannabis strains.

You might hear the terms terpenes and terpenoids being used interchangeably. Terpenoids are terpenes that have undergone oxidation (mostly through drying and curing). The two are similar in many ways.

Terpenes help to attract pollinators and repel predators. They also offer several therapeutic benefits.

Terpenes are not just found in cannabis. Interestingly, maple syrup has over 300 different terpenes. It is no wonder that it is so full of flavor. Natural rubber is also rich in terpenes and so is neem.

Synthetic terpenes are frequently used as food additives and artificial flavor.

How Do Terpenes Work?

Terpenes are able to produce their therapeutic benefits by interacting with the endocannabinoid system.

In 1988, two cannabis scientists―S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam―discovered that cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids can work together to create a synergistic healing effect.

Simply put, when you consume a cannabis extract that is full-spectrum you are likely to experience a healing effect that is stronger and will last for a longer time through an effect of symbiosis. In a nutshell, we experience the healing benefits of terpenes through the entourage effect.

What Is The Boiling Point of Terpenes?

Each terpene will have a different boiling point based on its unique chemical makeup. Generally, terpenes start to boil at 155°C (311°F). Like myrcene boils at 166°C (330°F).

However, they start to breakdown at a lower temperature of about 21°C (70°F) to 37°C (100°F).

What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Terpenes?

Primary terpene in cannabis are found in high amounts and they are responsible for the aroma produced by cannabis strains. Secondary terpenes may be found in small amounts and contribute to the effects produced by a strain.

List of Primary Terpenes in Cannabis

1.  Myrcene

This is the most abundant terpene in cannabis and may make up as much as 65% of the total terpene profile in some strains. It produces earthy or musky notes, similar to cloves. Myrcene helps to reduce inflammation and chronic pain and may be included in cancer treatment.

It is believed that eating a mango about 45 minutes before smoking weed will produce a stronger mental buzz. Mangoes are rich in myrcene and this may help to boost the effect of THC.

Myrcene is the most common terpene produced by cannabis and is also found in many other plant species. If you favor musky, earthy, skunky indicas like Northern Lights, you most likely appreciate myrcene and its couch-lock “I’m in for the evening” effects.

Cannabis strains that contain 0.5% or more myrcene are those that produce the sedative, deeply relaxing qualities many medical and recreational cannabis consumers enjoy. So, if your evening plans are no more ambitious than a pizza delivery and binge-watching Invader Zim, a heady indica rich in myrcene may be right up your alley.

2.  Limonene

This is the second most abundant terpene in cannabis, and it produces a citrusy aroma. It is also found in high amounts in the rind of citrus fruits such as oranges and tangerines. It is commonly used in the manufacturing of cleaning products and cosmetics.

Limonene is a mood-enhancer often used in aromatherapy. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Recent studies have revealed that this terpene may have a role to play in reducing tumor size.

Limonene is a terpene derived from pinene, and, like pinene, its name is a giveaway for what it smells like—lemons! Cannabis varieties like Super Lemon Haze are high in limonene. Consuming these strains promotes a general uplift in mood and attitude.

This citrusy terpene is the major component in citrus fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, and peppermint, as well as in several pine needle oils, and these plants use limonene as a natural insecticide against creepy-crawly predators.

From a therapeutic perspective in patients, limonene may prove beneficial in protecting against various cancers. Orally administered limonene is currently undergoing clinical trials for breast cancer treatment.

Of all the terpenes found in cannabis, limonene is a favorite of many. The fresh and lemony aroma of limonene is part of what makes Super Lemon Haze and Lemon Skunk taste so delicious. It’s one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, second only to myrcene, so you have undoubtedly experienced limonene if you’re a regular cannabis consumer, particularly if you enjoy a variety of strains.

Terpenes have been the focus of attention in recent years for their effects in combination with cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Limonene, in particular, is a terpene known to boost the effects of other cannabis terpenes and compounds. In addition to being found in cannabis, limonene is found in numerous commercial products.

The essential oils and aroma of limonene are familiar to anyone who has smelled cleaning solutions like Lemon Pine Sol or lemon-scented furniture polish. Limonene also is a vital ingredient in many cosmetic products.

Many plants and their fruit contain it, including the peels of lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits, as well as cloves, peppermint, rosemary, oregano, and juniper. In cannabis, limonene may be present in levels as high as 16 percent of the essential oil fraction.

Limonene’s Effects

Like other terpenes found in cannabis, limonene is known to produce a range of effects. Some people even use it as a dietary aid because it’s known to inhibit appetite. Limonene is known for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties—which is one reason it’s often found in detergents and cleaning products, in addition to its clean scent.

When consumed in cannabis, the medical applications of limonene haven’t been fully explored, but there is evidence it has a great number of potential uses. It is known to be an antidepressant because it inhibits the secretion of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress hormones.

Other things for which limonene may provide a significant benefit include preventing and fighting cancer, boosting immunity, aiding gall bladder function and health, preventing indigestion, decreasing anxiety and insomnia, as well as preventing fatty liver and insulin resistance in diabetics.

Limonene also is known to fight pain and curb inflammation, which are two conditions that often occur simultaneously. There also are indications that limonene may help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and help treat Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.

Research conducted about the health effects of limonene has occurred at the University of Arizona Cancer Center; Hamdard University, India; Unidade de Pesquisa Clinica, Brazil; Biopark Campus; and the Department of Environmental Medicine, Kochi Medical School, Japan.

Limonene is particularly abundant in sativa strains, but is also found in several indica varieties as well. While strains that have a strong citrus aroma are very likely to contain ample amounts of limonene, not all limonene strains have such obvious indications of their terpene profiles.

3.  Linalool

Linalool is responsible for the floral notes in cannabis. It is also common in lavender and aromatic herbs. It produces relaxation and induces sleep.

Linalool has floral and lavender undertones. Varieties high in linalool promote calming, relaxing effects. Linalool has been used for centuries as a sleep aid and is widely known to reduce stress.

Found in strains like Lavender and Skywalker OG, linalool is also used to relieve seizure symptoms and provide relief to those suffering from psychosis.

Linalool lessens the anxious emotions sometimes provoked by pure THC, thus making it helpful in anxiety treatment. Studies also suggest that linalool boosts the immune system.

The Aroma, Effects, and Uses of Linalool

Let’s take a closer look at linalool. Not quite as common in cannabis as myrcene and limonene, linalool is one of the secondary terpenes that’s quite prevalent in the plant, although by no means is it found in every strain or even the majority of strains. It has a distinctive aroma that many people quickly relate to the smell of marijuana.

Linalool is present in hundred of types of plants as well as marijuana. This terpene is known for its spicy and floral aroma that’s distinguishable in many cannabis strains. Linalool’s presence in many other plants includes cinnamon, mint, coriander, lavender, citrus fruits, laurels, birch trees, rosewood, and sweet basil. It also is found in certain types of fungi. Linalool has anti-microbial properties that protect the plants that contain it, which is one reason why it’s found in a wide range of flora.

This terpene is colorless or a pale shade of yellow. It is found in many commercial products like perfumes, shampoos, cleansers, detergents, and soaps. It also is present in some insect repellants and is known to repel fleas, mosquitoes, and cockroaches.

Effects and Health Benefits of Linalool

The medical benefits of linalool have been known for many years. It has soothing properties that result in feelings of deep relaxation, which makes it a good choice for those with insomnia. Tests conducted on mice and linalool indicate that it reduces anxiety and panic behavior, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that linalool produces a similar reaction in humans.

Linalool is also known for its analgesic properties, so many of the strains that contain it are known for their pain-relieving effects. This is notable, because there is a need for pain-relieving drugs that can someday replace dangerous opioids, which are known to cause an unacceptable loss of life. Linalool is known to elevate the levels of adenosine, an inhibitory brain chemical known to block pain.

This factors into why cannabis strains rich in this terpene’s have applications for pain reduction as well as for easing anxiety. One study that exposed patients to linalool-rich lavender oil showed great promise for linalool’s pain-killing properties. Patients receive enough pain relief that they were able to forego use of traditional pain killers—namely opioid drugs.

Linalool has also shown promise for improving memory. The uses for this terpene in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease has not been widely studied, but the research conducted so far indicate it has promising potential for this incurable condition.

Statistical data collected in 2018 suggests that 5.7 million Americans of all ages suffer from Alzheimer’s, with 5.5 million of those people being age 65 or older. Ten percent of people over 65 are officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, making it a disorder of special concern. T

his progressive and currently irreversible disease results in brain degeneration and loss of memory and cognitive abilities. Treatment strategies so far have been largely unsuccessful, and there is no known cure at this time.

The full scope of potential uses of linalool for medical purposes shows great promise for a variety of things. It is known to be an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as a treatment for decongestion.

It also is known to be beneficial in thwarting bacterial and fungal growth and possibly for treating cancer. The full range of linalool’s beneficial properties remains largely untapped, and the future medical uses for this terpene could encompass a range of treatments.

4.  Caryophyllene

It has a strong spicy aroma and is also common in black pepper, cinnamon, and spices such as oregano, basil, and rosemary. Caryophyllene is the only terpene that binds to CB2 receptors.

It is commonly used in topical creams as an anti-inflammatory agent. Besides this, it has shown promise in alcohol addiction rehabilitation.

In addition to its presence in cannabis, beta-caryophyllene is found in many plants, such as Thai basil, cloves, cinnamon leaves, and black pepper.

This terpene’s aroma is peppery, woody, and/or spicy. Strains like AK-47, Girl Scout Cookies, and White Widow contain caryophyllene. Like limonene, studies show β– caryophyllene holds promise in effective cancer treatment.

5.  Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

Pinene terpenes have the aroma of pine trees. They produce anti-inflammatory effects in humans also, they help to improve airflow in the lungs and respiratory function. They also inhibit memory loss related to the excessive use of THC.

As its name implies, pinene is a terpene known for its pine and fir aroma. This terpene occurs in pine and other coniferous (and some non-coniferous) plants, balsamic resin, and some citrus fruits. Pinene is used in medicine as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, bronchodilator, and local antiseptic. Although found in cannabis, scientific indications suggest that high levels of pinene may actually lower the effects of THC.

Never fear, though. Some excellent varieties of cannabis contain this terpene. Sativa-dominant strains like Blue Dream and Jack Herer possess pinene. All it takes is one whiff of these flowers to detect a distinct pine aroma—and few people complain about a lack of potency in these strains!

6.  Humulene

Humulene is a primary terpene that is common in hops. It gives off an earthy aroma with spicy notes. Humulene is also found in sage, cloves, and black pepper. It has appetite- suppressing properties. It also helps to combat inflammation.

If you love a good pint of IPA, strains rich in humulene may be particularly enticing to your taste buds. In addition to its presence in a number of sativa-dominant strains, humulene is found in hops and Vietnamese coriander. This terpene is what gives beer its distinct hoppy aroma.

Humulene is considered to be antitumor, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory, as well as a pain reliever and appetite suppressant. It has commonly been blended with β–caryophyllene and used as a remedy for inflammation.

Humulene has been used for generations in Chinese medicine, and it aids in weight loss due to its appetite-suppressant properties.

Humulene is an abundant terpene in nature and is responsible for the distinct flavour of a number of well-known herbs and products. For example, humulene gives beer its unmistakable “hoppy” tang. Humulene in pine enhances the refreshing breeze that you feel when walking through or past a pine forest.

Traditional Chinese medicine incorporated humulene in several remedies especially where inflammation, allergies, and bacterial infections were concerned.

Humulene is found in many cannabis strains as you will see later in this article. It is also found in high amounts in hops (humulus lupulus) which is used to ferment beer.

The aroma of humulene is described as herbal, woody, or earthy.

Humulene Terpene Structure

Humulene is closely related to another common terpene known as caryophyllene. While both terpenes are present in hops, they share a similar molecular formation; humulene is an isomer of caryophyllene. Due to this humulene is also referred to as α-caryophyllene.

Humulene is naturally occurring monocyclic sesquiterpene with a chemical formula of (C15H24). While caryophyllene is closely linked to gut health humulene has been linked to appetite suppression. Due to this, humulene is known as the appetite- suppressing terpene.

Given that high-THC cannabis strains have a strong appetite stimulating effect it would be interesting to know how the two compounds work together. Does humulene counter the appetite- stimulating effects of THC?

Therapeutic Benefits of Humulene

Now that cannabis research is opening up a number of therapeutic effects of terpenes have begun showing up. Humulene terpene research is still in its infancy but so far there are a few indications of therapeutic potential in four key areas as listed below.

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Chronic Inflammation is the underlying cause of many chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. Like many cannabis compounds, humulene seems to have potent anti-inflammatory properties.

One study showed that humulene has similar anti-inflammatory effects as dexamethasone which is a commonly used steroid drug.

A study that was published in the European Journal of Pharmacology found that humulene reduced signs of inflammation in mice. The study concluded that further investigation was needed to examine the role of this terpene in treating inflammatory disease. A later study that was carried out in 2008 confirmed these findings when humulene was administered via oral and topical routes. This and other subsequent studies have shown that humulene could be useful in relieving inflammation in conditions such as allergic rhinitis.

Antioxidant Effects

Humulene has antioxidant effects which help to improve health and prevent disease. A study that was conducted in 2016 and published in the Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal investigated the benefits of administering humulene to diabetic rats. The results revealed that this terpene has potent antioxidant benefits. It decreased markers of oxidative stress significantly and displayed anti-diabetic potential.

Antibacterial Effects

Traditional Chinese medicine incorporates the use of humulene in fighting bacterial infections.

In small quantities humulene has been shown to kill bacteria specifically staph aureus. This was revealed by a study that was conducted in 2006 and published in Phytotherapy Research.

Appetite Suppressing Effects of Humulene

The appetite suppressing effects of humulene have been on the radar lately; hence the name “appetite suppressing terpene.” This property is also a debunk to the myth that “all marijuana strains cause the munchies.” THCV is another marijuana compound (cannabinoid) that is known for its appetite-suppressing effects.

This property counters the munchies caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and could be helpful in stimulating weight loss. However, further research is needed to explore the mechanisms through which humulene suppresses appetite and how this contributes to cannabis synergy.

7.  Terpineol

This is a rare terpene that smells of lilacs. It has calming and mood enhancing properties. Some recent studies have also shown that it can exhibit antimalarial properties.

The aroma of terpineol hints at lilac and flower blossoms, as well as pine and clove. Not surprisingly, terpineol often is found in cannabis varieties that have high pinene levels, which, unfortunately, mask the more subtle fragrances of this terpene.

Terpineol is known to have calming, relaxing effects, and studies indicate that cannabis-extracted terpineol has antioxidant properties as well.

Also noteworthy are the findings of Jeff Raber, owner of a cannabis-testing lab. Raber finds that strains high in pinene are consistently uplifting in their effects. He has specifically found that terpineol is a unique terpene to Jack Herer.

Among the primary cannabis terpenes, terpineol can be more difficult to detect than some of the others. Frequently, terpineol is found in cannabis strains that also are rich in pinene, which has a bold aroma that often masks the more subtle terpineol.

As a lone terpene, terpineol’s aroma is best described as floral, with a soft fragrance of lilac blossoms with a slight citrus twist. In the flavor department, terpineol has been likened to mint and anise, with semi-sweet lime notes. Terpineol is found in a number of other plant species besides cannabis, including lilac, pine and fir trees, eucalyptus, and lime blossoms.

Commercial Uses for Terpenes

Terpineol is found in many commercial products like perfumes, skin creams, and soaps, providing a pleasing aroma. In fact, terpineol is found in a variety of soothing aromatherapy products.

The benefits of aromatherapy have been recognized for many years, but the practice has increased in popularity during the past decade. Aromatherapy not only results in a pleasant olfactory experience, but it addresses and treats a broad range of physical ailments.

Aromatherapy often utilizes essential oils, and terpineol is one of the most popular of them. Aromatherapy includes a variety of products besides essential oil kettles.

The pungent aromas of terpineol and other terpenes like limonene and linalool also see use in aromatherapy as an ingredient in topicals like skin cream, balms, salves, and lotions. Bubble baths, bath bombs, and bath salts also contain terpineol and other terpenes. Blends of essential oils mixed together prove effective in aromatherapy, as well as essential oils used singly.

Many people enjoy terpenes for massage therapy. Some of the best health benefits derived from using terpenes is when they see use as part of a comprehensive holistic approach to treating a range of health conditions.

Terpineol is found in pine oil, which is a natural substance sometimes used to minimize inflammation, including allergic inflammation conditions such as asthma. Turpentine contains terpineol and is derived from pine oil, which is a common household product that’s used as a paint thinner as an option other than petroleum-derived commercial products.

Terpineol also is found in lime oil, which is created from the fruit or peel of the fruit through cold-press and distillate extraction methods. Cold-pressed lime oil has a particularly pleasing fresh and cool aroma, which makes lime oil a common additive in edible products like drinks, candies, and a variety of food flavors in commercial food items.

Research conducted on rodents indicates that terpineol, like myrcene, reduces motility in mice. While reducing motility in mice, terpineol is not thought to affect motor behavior. This may help explain why the indica strains so rich in myrcene and terpineol usually result in a relaxing, deeply sedative “couch lock” effect.

As research leads to a better understanding of the role terpenes play in cannabis, it becomes increasingly easy to understand why the complicated interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids play such a large role in the individual effects of specific strains. Other rodent research indicates that terpineol acts as a gastroprotective agent against stomach ulcers in rats.

This terpene has several potential benefits for those who consume it, including uses as an antibiotic and antioxidant, uses as an anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antimalarial agent, and uses as a sedative. There also is evidence to suggest terpineol can help manage pain and reduce the intensity and severity of seizures. As a specific treatment for seizures, at doses of 100-400 mg/kg, terpineol has been demonstrated to reduce the latency and severity of seizures.

8.  Valencene

This is an exotic terpene that is found in significant amounts in the sweet Valencia oranges. It has a sweet citrusy aroma and offers insect repelling benefits.

Valencene is a rare terpene with a citrus, herbal, and woody aroma. It is commonly found in Valencia oranges and other citrus fruits. Limited research on animal models has shown that valencene terpene may have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, skin protectant, and anti-cancer effects.

What Is Valencene?

Valencene is a type of sesquiterpene found in several citrus fruits, especially in Valencia oranges. This terpene has a distinctly sweet, sour, and citrus smell with subtle notes of fresh wood and fresh herbs.

Valencene is thought to produce blissful and mood-boosting effects. It may also have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. Valencene has many commercial uses, including food flavorings, cleaning products, cosmetic products, and pest control products.

Valencene Aroma 

How does valencene smell? Valencene is known for its woody, herbal, and citrus aroma. This terpene has a robust fruity and citrus flavor. Its aroma is associated with the smell of sweet oranges. It is commonly mixed up with limonene, another terpene with a strong citrus aroma, but valencene has sweeter notes than limonene.

Valencene Terpene Effects

Research into valencene’s effects is not conclusive. However, strains associated with relatively high valencene concentrations may cause euphoric and uplifting feelings and mood elevation. 

Natural Sources of Valencene

sliced grapefruit half on blue

Valencene can be found in various cannabis strains, herbs, vegetables, and tree barks.

These natural sources are relatively high in valencene:

  • Valencia Oranges
  • Tangerine
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit
  • Clementine
  • Mandarins
  • Mulberry
  • Chamomile
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Arugula
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Cayenne
  • Green tea

Valencene Terpene Benefits

Since valencene is a rare and lesser-known terpene, there is not much research into its effects and therapeutic action. Preliminary research suggests that valencene has various health benefits, including skin protection, anti-inflammation, anti-allergy, and anti-cancer.

Skin Protectant

Valencene may have robust skin protective properties, including against the effects of UV rays on the skin. Valencene is believed to reduce melanogenesis. Limited research indicates that it may be effective against melanoma cells.

In a 2016 study on mice, researchers found that applying valencene isolate from Cyperus rotundus (nutgrass) reduced atopic dermatitis (AD) and itchiness. Valencene is thought to reduce the inflammatory response and enhance the expression of the skin barrier protein involucrin. 


A 2011 study on septic mice found that valencene displayed strong anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers tested the effects of the extract of rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus on these mice. Rhizomes of nutgrass have been used as a traditional folk medicine for inflammation.


A 2011 study published in the Archives of Pharmacal Research from Korea tested the anti-allergic activity of several sesquiterpenes, including valencene, from the rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus. Oral administration of valencene isolate was found to have strong anti-allergic activity. Caryophyllene oxide also displayed anti-allergic properties.

Improves Chemotherapy Drugs

In a 2017 study, researchers tested the effects of the terpenes found in the essential oil of Myrica rubra (Chinese bayberry) and the drug doxorubicin on cancer cell lines. This essential oil from Chinese bayberry contains nerolidol, caryophyllenene, humulene, and valencene terpenes. Researchers found that valencene had the most effect on improving this chemotherapy drug.

Does Valencene Terpene Make You High?

Cannabis terpenes do not produce the euphoric and intoxicating effects commonly associated with THC. However, they are considered psychoactive since they affect the brain. Valencene will not make you feel high but may aid in relaxation.

9.  Terpinolene

Terpinolene has a piney aroma with floral essences. It is also present in high amounts in sage and rosemary. It is commonly used in the manufacture of soaps and perfumes. Some studies have shown that this terpene has depressant effects in the central nervous system. It induces drowsiness and may be used to reduce anxiety and stress.

10.  Geraniol

This terpene has a tobacco-like aroma. Studies have shown that it can offer neuroprotection benefits.

11.   Ocimene

This terpene has a tropical and musky aroma. Like most other terpenes, ocimene offers anti-inflammatory benefits. It also has antifungal and antiviral properties.

Secondary Terpenes in Cannabis

12.  Phellandrene

Phellandrene is a terpene with a rich history. From thousands of years back it has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine to relive digestive disorders. It has also been used to treat fungal infections. It is also found in eucalyptus oil.

13.  Delta 3 Carene

This terpene produces a pleasant cypress aroma. It helps in the healing and restoration of broken bones. It also improves memory and may be used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

14.  Alpha-bisabolol

Alpha-bisabolol, also known as levomenol, produces a sweet tropical aroma. It is also found in high amounts in chamomile flower and candeia tree. It has been used to treat bacterial infections on the skin.

15.   Eucalyptol

This terpene is also known as cineol and it is produces minty notes similar to what is produced by eucalyptus trees. It has antibacterial and antifungal benefits. Preliminary research reports have shown potential of this terpene in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

16.   Pulegone

This terpene is found in small amounts in cannabis strain while higher amounts may be found in rosemary. It has a pleasing peppermint smell and may help to combat pain and high temperatures. It also has insecticidal properties.

17.   Sabinene

Sabinene is also found in Norway Spruce and Basil. It has a piney aroma and offers potent antioxidant benefits.

18.   Trans-nerolidol

This is a secondary terpene that is also common in flowers such as jasmine, lemongrass, and tea tree oil. It has floral woodsy aroma. It is best known for its antiparasitic effects.

19.  Camphene

Camphene has a strong aroma of fir needles. When it is mixed with vitamin C it becomes a powerful antioxidant. It has also shown potential in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis.

Camphene Aroma

Terpenes are known for the unique scents that they give to plants. Camphene produces an earthy or herbal aroma similar to that produced by myrcene.

Therapeutic Benefits of Camphene

Camphene has powerful antioxidant benefits when combined with vitamin C. Other benefits of camphene include:

 Antibacterial benefits

A study that was conducted in 2010 showed that when camphene is combined with camphor oil it is able to produce antibacterial effects.  The effectiveness was shown against three types of bacteria when topical applications of cannabis were used.

 Antifungal Properties

Some studies have demonstrated that camphene has antifungal properties when it is combined with sage oil. It can be mixed with other essential oils such as holy basil and applied to the skin to fight fungal dermatitis.

Antioxidant Benefits

As mentioned earlier camphene in combination with vitamin C has antioxidant benefits. It reduces oxidative stress which leads to tissue damage. Ayurvedic therapy has always incorporated camphene in many of their therapies.

Respiratory Benefits

When camphene is combined with tulsi essential oil it is able to relive respiratory symptoms such as in bronchitis. When diluted it acts as a cough suppressant and a decongestant.

 Cardiovascular Benefits

Most of the attention on camphene has been targeted towards its potential cardiovascular benefits. According to the CDC, 1 person in the US dies every 37 seconds from a cardiovascular related condition. A study that was conducted in 2011 showed that camphene has a significant ability to  decrease plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels in a mouse model. While further studies need to be conducted to conclude its efficacy, camphene appears to be a promising compound in this area.

 Anti-inflammatory Benefits

Camphene has anti-inflammatory benefits when combined with other cannabis-derived terpenes. Chronic inflammation is an underlying factor in a couple of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Camphene in Aromatherapy

Because camphene is an aromatic compound it is often incorporated in aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a form of natural treatment that uses essential oils obtained from aromatic plants to treat a couple of illnesses.

Camphene has also been used to treat mosquito bites. Apart from its therapeutic uses, camphene is also a source of fuel and was used to light lamps several years back. It is also commonly used in the preparation of fragrances and as a food flavoring agent.

20.  Borneol

Borneol has a herbal and minty aroma and may also be found in high amounts in rosemary, camphor, and mint. It is known for its insecticidal properties. It also has anticancer effects, as one recent study has shown.

What Is Borneol?

Borneol terpene is a bicyclic monoterpene that has been used for thousands of years in Chinese herbal medicine to treat inflammation, pain, and respiratory conditions. It is also commonly used in natural insect repellents and by the fragrance industry to create colognes and perfumes.

Borneol used to be commonly harvested by tapping the tree trunk of dryobalanops aromatica, also known as the camphor tree, then re-condensed into a clear substance. Modern borneol production uses turpentine oil or camphor and then crushed into a powder to use topically. 

Boiling point: 415.4º F (213º C)

Natural Sources of Borneol

Borneol can be naturally extracted from the essential oil of various plants. This terpene can be found in the following natural sources:

  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Camphor
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Marjoram
  • Mugwort
  • Tarragon
  • Nutmeg
  • Turmeric
  • Cardamom
  • Cilantro 

Borneol Terpene Aroma

Borneol is known for its woody, spicy, and earthy aroma. Expect an herbal balsam smell, similar to menthol or camphor. Its earthy and minty aroma can add complex notes to any strain. Borneol’s scent has been used to repel insects and parasites.

Borneol Effects/Benefits

Borneol’s therapeutic effects have been known and used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia. In traditional Chinese medicine, they would use this energizing terpene to treat respiratory conditions such as colds and coughs. 

Today, the borneol terpene continues to be used for a wide range of therapeutic purposes. Borneol is used to relieve pain, improve blood circulation, reduce fevers, and facilitate digestion. Here are a few therapeutic properties of the borneol terpene:

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anticoagulant
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anxiolytic 
  • Anti-fibrosis
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anesthetic
  • Antioxidant 


In a 2013 study, researchers discovered that borneol had anti-cancer characteristics. Researchers found that borneol reduced cancer cell growth by triggering apoptotic cell death. 

The results suggest that it “strongly potentiates SeC-induced apoptosis in cancer cells by enhancement of cellular uptake.” Essentially, the terpene may increase the effects of chemotherapy drugs and kill off cancer cells.


In one study, human gingival fibroblasts were treated with sage infusion and its components to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory interleukins. After administering borneol, the IL-6 and IL-8 pro-inflammatory interleukins were reduced by more than half. The results suggest that this terpene may be used in medicated mouthwash to treat tonsillitis or red gums.


In Chinese herbal medicine, this terpene has been known to treat cardiovascular disease, but it may also help out thrombosis patients. Alongside edaravone, an intravenous stroke medication, borneol may decrease the risk of blood clots. A 2014 study on rats found that borneol could help reduce ischemic stroke damage in stroke patients.


Borneol has also been used to relieve aching muscles and joints. In a study on pain relief, the study’s results suggest that topical borneol was more effective than a placebo. Borneol may be useful as more than just a flavoring substance. It may help reduce pain.


A study on mice oral fibroblasts used borneol as a penetration enhancer for a formula used to treat oral submucous fibrosis. The results show that borneol has anti-fibrosis activity and works by inhibiting fibroblast mitosis, collagen, and TIMP-1 production.


A study on Salvia macrochlamys and Salvia recognita essential oils identified its main components: camphor, borneol, and 1,8-cineole. These were studied for their antimicrobial, antimalarial, and antifungal activities.

Borneol was non-selective at “inhibiting the growth and development of reproductive stroma of the plant pathogens Colletotrichum acutatumColletotrichum fragariae, and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides.

Drug Potentiator

In traditional Chinese medicine, borneol is known as an “upper guiding drug,” which can direct other components to the affected areas in the upper part of the body and the brain.

In one study on improving the blood-brain barrier distribution, borneol was shown to enhance the blood-brain barrier permeability in rats and improve the delivery of kaempferol, a flavonoid antioxidant, to the brain.

21.  Phytol

This is a rare terpene that produces a floral balsamic aroma. It offers sedative and antianxiety benefits. It is also used as a de-stressing compound.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course - Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

22.  Fenchol

This is a mono terpene with a lemon-lime aroma. It is also common in basil. It offers antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

23.  Camphor

This is a secondary terpene that has a strong aroma this is perfect for repelling insects. It has been used for many years as a cold and cough remedy. It also helps to improve metabolism and circulation.

24.  Nerolidol

This is a versatile terpene that is also found in ginger, tea tree, and jasmine. It produces a woody and fruity aroma. It helps to fight bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

25.  Guaiol

This terpene is also referred to as champacol. It has a pungent aroma. It has been ued for many years to treat syphilis and regulate menstruation.

26.  Bergamotene

This terpene has a spicy aroma like the one you expect to get from black pepper. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antitumor properties.

27.  Selinene

This terpene is also common in celery seeds. It exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

28.  Octanol

This is a rare terpene in cannabis and it produces a floral aroma. It can be used in alleviating symptoms of essential tremors as well as other neurological tremors.

29. Terpinene

This terpene is commonly used as an additive in the pharmaceutical industry. It has powerful antioxidant benefits.

30. Geranyl Acetate

This terpene is common in lemongrass and citronella, and cannabis as well. It has a fruity aroma and offers antimicrobial benefits.

31. Isopulegol

This terpene has a menthol aroma and offers gastro protective benefits. It has also helped to minimize the frequency of seizures in animal studies.

Do Terpenes Get You High?

While terpenes can certainly affect your high, they won’t produce any intoxicating effects like THC’s euphoric sensations. Vaporizing and inhaling natural terpenes (and a carrier) won’t produce a buzz, but you may feel lightheaded or a slight unfamiliar feeling.

Terpenes, however, may diminish certain effects of THC such as its ability to induce paranoia and anxiety, especially for users who don’t frequently consume cannabis. Terpenes won’t get you high, but they might improve your overall experience.

How To Use Terpenes

Now that you know about the potential of terpenes in your cannabis consumption regimen, you can consume them in a variety of ways. One of the most efficient ways to consume terpenes in cannabis flower or concentrates is through vaporization.

Desktop and portable vaporizers for dry herb and cannabis extracts allow users to heat their material at low enough temperatures to retain terpenes, which have a lower boiling point than cannabinoids like THC.

Each terpene has a different boiling point. For example, myrcene’s boiling point is 334ºF. Pinene boils at 311ºF. THC boils at about 220ºF. Vaporizers with precise temperature control can help users slowly reach those temperatures for a flavorful experience. 

Consumers can also buy terpenes for sale in the form of terpene oil from a number of respected terpene brands such as True Terpenes, Floraplex Terpenes, Blue River Terpenes, The Terpene Store, Green Roads Terpenes, Fogg Terpenes, Kind Terpenes, Elevation Terpenes, and The Terpene Lab.

Are terpenes legal? Yes. Terpenes can be botanically-derived from a number of plants that aren’t cannabis. These producers make food-grade, natural, and organic terpenes that have been approved by the FDA for safe consumption. Infuse terpenes into edibles, concentrates, topicals, and more.

We’ve just begun to scratch the surface of the therapeutic potential of terpenes. As cannabis research restrictions relax, we’ll be able to better understand how exactly terpenes influence different cannabinoids and symptom relief.

Pain Fighting Terpenes

Certificates of analysis (COAs) reports which are now mandatory list the terpenes that are present in each cannabis strain or product. This is referred to as the terpene profile.

A couple of recent studies have demonstrated that full-spectrum products that contain terpenes offer a stronger and more durable healing effect. This is referred to as cannabis synergy. You might also hear it being referred to as entourage effect.

Terpenes work synergistically with cannabinoids to ‘potentiate' or produce a stronger healing effect. One study that was led by Dr. Robert Mechoulam demonstrated this concept. When CBD was offered as an isolate (without terpenes) the effects plateaued at a certain dose.

However, when terpenes were added to the CBD, the plateau zone was broken past and the response was greater. As much as isolates and distillates have their own unique selling point, the whole bud that’s full of fragrances has lots more to offer in terms of entourage benefits.

In summary, terpenes help to create a greater healing effect when combined with cannabinoids such as THC or CBD.

List of Terpenes Conclusion

This list of terpenes is updated and covers the most popular terpenes in cannabis that have been isolated and investigated. We hope that the information helps you understand how terpenes can be used in a medical way in conjunction with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.

Although the study of terpenes can be complex and challenging for even the most scientific mind, for the layman, terpenes play a huge role in providing variety to the many cannabis strains available on the market today.

Terpenes provide the unique, individual flavors of our favorite strains—and how bland life would be without variety!

From a consumption standpoint, many veteran cannabis consumers favor vaping over smoking as the preferred method for experiencing terpenes. The non-combustive nature of vaporizers lends itself perfectly to the sometimes-subtle and unique flavors of various strains.

So consider setting yourself up with a Pax or Firefly. As a growing number of cannabis connoisseurs agree, while high THC levels are desirable, it’s mostly about the terps!

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

Enroll Now