Cannabis Terpenes FAQ

Eaze Team
Sep 15, 2023

Ah yes, cannabis terpenes. By now, you’ve probably heard those words get tossed around the smoke circle time and again; How they smell, what they do, their various effects, etc. In this cannabis terpenes FAQ blog, we’ll hit you with all the basics you should know for you to become a terpene expert. So next time you’re talking weed with your canna-isseur buddies, you can drop some knowledge on ’em.

What are cannabis terpenes?

Let’s start with the overarching concept, shall we? Cannabis terpenes deliver the strong, intense aromas of cannabis that are prettyyy easy to smell. Most of us can catch its scent before we spot it, and some who’ve never smoked the good-good before think it’s a skunk, but NOPE, it’s the devils lettuce, baby. In fact, terpenes are the aromatic substances responsible for the smell of various plants, not just weed, and provide cannabis with its unique smells and flavors.

As you may know, the cannabis plant contains over 150 types of terpenes. Although most terpene compounds are present in small amounts, the more dominant terpenes partner together to give cannabis strains their signature scents. For example, Sour Diesel is known for its pungent, gassy aroma, while Cherry Pie emits smells of sweet and sour cherry pie. Pretty dope, right?

Other than terpenes providing cannabis strains with their different scents, terpenes also hold a variety of functions in the plant and can produce a wide range of effects when smoked, as well.

cannabis terpenes and trichomes

Where do terpenes come from?

Terpenes are natural compounds that come from the trichomes of the female cannabis plant (aka the plant that gets you high) as well as from other plants that are commonly known. Trichomes are the sticky, translucent glands that look like magical, microscopic mushrooms that cover the surface of marijuana buds. Trichomes are the part of the plant that contain resin glands that produce the various types of terpenes.

Terpenes play a vital role in a cannabis plant’s growth and survival. Aside from creating various aromas, terpenes also influence color of marijuana leaves and buds, and make cannabis even taste better. In addition to aromas, terpenes can help attract creatures and protect it from others.

For example, some terpenes keep insects and herbivores away from eating the plant, whereas other terpenes can attract insects and other small animals that help with pollination. These compounds also help the plant’s immune system by translating information about its surroundings, defending it against stress and diseases, and triggering immune responses.

How do cannabis terpenes affect the human body?

Humans have been using terpenes for quite some time. We’ve mostly been using them to create essential oils for things like aromatherapy. For example, if you’ve ever applied lavender essential oil, which contains linalool (a type of terpene), to your skin, you may have felt more relaxed.

Until recently, most of the attention has been directed at cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. However, as we learn more about terpenes, it’s becoming clear that these compounds also carry other properties aside from the benefit of you getting litty.

Some of the ways terpenes affect humans are similar to what they do in cannabis and other plants, like helping to protect against harmful microbes and pathogens.

See? This goes way beyond catching a vibe.

cannabis terpenes on marijuana plant

How do terpenes influence cannabis effects?

Some research suggests that all the compounds in cannabis can work together in a special way called the ‘entourage effect’. This means, when you have all the compounds in weed working together, they create something stronger than each part of the plant can do on its own. Essentially this means, when you consume cannabinoids and terpenes together, they work better than when you consume them individually.

Here’s an example of the entourage effect: Terpenes seem to have a role in how THC and CBD affect the human body. Some research as found that full-spectrum CBD extract was 4x stronger than a CBD isolate. This means cannabis consumers could take a smaller dose of CBD extract than they thought due to the CBD cannabinoids and other compounds, like terpenes, working better together than CBD could work if it was consumed solely as an isolate.

Top Three Cannabis Terpenes:

POT QUIZ: What are the top three most common cannabis terpenes? DM us on Instagram if you know (;

To reiterate, there are over 150 different types of terpenes that can be found in marijuana. While many terpenes come in small amounts, there are a few that have a more dominant presence like: Myrcene, Caryophyllene and Limonene.

myrene - cannabis terpene in hops

Myrcene

Myrcene is a terpene that’s also found in hops and lemongrass. Its scent can be described as being herbal, earthy and musky. Myrcene adds a slightly sweet taste to cannabis, and is also found in mangoes (isn’t that a tasty, fun fact!).

caryophyllene - peppery

Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene gives cannabis strains a peppery kick. You can also find caryophyllene in cloves, rosemary, oregano, and black pepper. If you notice these scents in a strain, it’s probably because it has caryophyllene as its dominant terpene.

Caryophyllene is the only terpene known to be able to attach to the CB2 receptor in the human body’s immune system, called the endocannabinoid system.

limonene - lemon

Limonene

When you think of limonene, think ‘lemon-y’! This terpene emits those clean, fresh, and citrus-like smells we love. Its name already hints at the scents it’s known for. You can find limonene in the peels of citrus fruits and ginger. It’s also the dominant terpene in many cannabis strains that emit a fruity, citrusy and fresh aroma.

Ready to learn more about cannabis? Explore other Eaze Delivery blogs:

Top Weed Strains to Enhance Sex Drive

Vaping vs. Smoking Cannabis: Unveiling the Science

Cannabis Concentrates Guide: Everything You Need to Know!

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