The Terpenes That Benefit Your Health

As cannabis explodes into a multi-faceted market product, you might have come across the word terpene. It might sound like some scientific faffle, but it carries a lot of importance when it comes to the marijuana experience.

Knowing a little something about terpenes can also help you choose a strain that is most suitable for you! Some stoners might know that terpenes are what are responsible for the smell of your marijuana. The more terpenoids that are present in the crop, the more pungent and fragrant your marijuana is going to be. Terpenes are also plentiful in variety, and that’s why sometimes buds smell like mangoes and sometimes they smell like cheese!

Terpenes are medicine

What scientists are coming to realize is that terpenes play just as big a role in the medicinal value of cannabis as the cannabinoids we are used to hearing about (THC and CBD). They work in much the same way as aromatherapy does, and ingesting them into your body also gives the desired medical effect.

For example, lavender is rich in the terpene linalool, which is often used in aromatherapy for its relaxing properties. Certain strains of weed contain this terpene, and it can be used for the exact same therapeutic property. Limonene is the prevalent terpene in things with a citrus smell (including lemons), and this is used to treat cancer and as an anti-inflammatory.

The most common terpenes

Source | Leafly

1. Alpha-Pinene, Beta-Pinene

Aroma: Pine

Effects: Alertness, memory retention, counteracts some THC effects

Medical Value: Asthma, antiseptic

Also Found In: Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, dill

Strains: Jack Herer, Chemdawg, Bubba Kush, Trainwreck, Super Silver Haze


2. Myrcene

Aroma: Musky, cloves, earthy, herbal with notes of citrus and tropical fruit

Effects: Sedating ‘couchlock’ effect, relaxation

Medical Value: Antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, good for muscle tension, sleeplessness, pain, inflammation, depression

Also Found In: Mango, lemongrass, thyme, hops

Strains: Pure Kush, El Niño, Himalayan Gold, Skunk #1, White Widow


3. Limonene

Aroma: Citrus

Effects: Elevated mood, stress relief

Medical Value: Antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, dissolves gallstones, mood-enhancer; may treat gastrointensinal complications, heartburn, depression

Also Found In: Fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, peppermint

Strains: OG Kush, Super Lemon Haze, Jack the Ripper, Lemon Skunk

4. Caryophyllene

Aroma: Pepper, spicy, woody, cloves

Effects: No detectable physical effects

Medical Value: Gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory; good for arthritis, ulcers, autoimmune disorders, and other gastrointestinal complications

Also Found In: Black pepper, cloves, cotton

Strains: Hash Plant


5. Linalool

Aroma: Floral, citrus, candy

Effects: Anxiety relief and sedation

Medical Value: Anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-acne

Also Found In: Lavender

Strains: G-13, Amnesia Haze, Lavender, LA Confidential


The next time you choose your weed, be sure to smell it and take in the notes present in it. The smell will tell you a lot about the terpenes present, which in turn will tell you a lot about the medical properties that the strain has. Terpenes are just as important as cannabinoids when it comes to the future of medical marijuana.