What’s That Smell? It’s Terpenes!

Describe what terpenes are, what some of the top ones are, and how they add to the experience and medicinal value of cannabis.

You know when you walk into a dispensary and the smell of the flower hits your nose? Those beautiful aromas are caused by a mix of all the different terpenes found in cannabis plants. Terpenes are what give cannabis flowers their smell, but not just in cannabis. The essential oils of all plants contain terpenes. Scents affect our physiology, and terpenes in plants have been used in medicines dating back to some of the first in history. 

Once science caught up to the medicine, and terpenes were discovered, many studies have found evidence concluding the medicinal benefits of terpenes. Here are some of the top terpenes you’re likely to find in cannabis strains at your local Terrabis location, along with what health benefits are in each terpene.

Linalool is a calming, and sleep inducing terpene, also found in lavender. Strains with linalool terpenes usually smell sweetly floral. It also helps reduce pain and inflammation.

Liminone is a citrusy terpene, as the name suggests, it shares aromatic characteristics with limes and lemons. Strains with limonene often smell similar to these and other citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit. Limonene helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Myrcene is a terpene with a spicy and herb like scent. You probably have spices with myrcene in your kitchen, as they’re abundant in herbs like thyme and bay leaf. It’s also found in mangoes, causing some strains to taste a bit more tropical. Known for being an antioxidant, myrcene also has sedative properties helping with sleep.

Beta-Caryophyllene is a spicy and peppery terpene, also abundant in black pepper and cloves. This terpene is an antioxidant that aids in digestion, and works as both a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. 

Alpha pinene is a terpene that smells like the names imply, of fresh pine trees. Alpha pinene is antibacterial, can enhance memory, and works as a bronchodilator, making it good for the lungs. You can find it in pine trees and other conifers.

Geraniol is a sweet and floral smelling terpene. With the same perfume like scent you find in roses and the aromas in sweet fruits like blueberries and blackberries, geraniol has the potential to help with diabetes and certain cancers. It also has been found to be effective in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and is even antifungal. 

Eucalyptol is the same terpene found in eucalyptus, with a similar smell. It is also produced in tea trees. Another antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, eucalyptol is known to be an effective decongestant, and works in easing symptoms from asthma and other lung conditions. 

With each terpene having its own range of applications as a medicine, it’s good to know how each one can benefit you. Especially since there have been over 100 different terpenes discovered in cannabis so far. If you’re looking for a strain with a specific terpene, feel free to ask one of our patient care specialists about the terpenes in the strains we carry. A good general rule of thumb for choosing a good terpene profile, is to trust your nose. If one type of flower smells best to you, there’s a good chance the terpene profile it has will be a good fit for you. 

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