Terpenes Overview

Terpenes are what give cannabis its amazingly complex taste and smell. Without terpenes, cannabis would be very bland because THC and other cannabinoids have no distinguishable odor or taste. Alpha-pinene, myrcene, limonene, and linalool may not roll off the tongue, but their sensory descriptors like piney, musky, fruity, tropical, spicy, floral, and citrusy immediately conjure up memories of familiar tastes and aromas. It’s then no surprise to learn that terpenes aren’t unique to cannabis – they can be found in everything from plants and herbs to fruits and spices. Terpenes are an important component to the overall cannabis experience, not only influencing a strain’s taste and smell but also influencing its effects on the body (summarized in the table below). The total medicinal effect of all of the components in cannabis is referred to as the “entourage effect”. This documented phenomenon is what distinguishes one strain from another, and research shows it relies heavily on the physiological effects produced by terpenes.