The Six Most Common Terpenes Found In Cannabis
In our first article in this series on terpenes, we talked about what terpenes are and why they are so important to cannabis. While many attribute the cannabinoid profile to the effects you feel, the reality is that terpenes have as much of an impact on your buzz as THC, CBD and the hundred of other compounds contained within. There are over 200 terpenes that have been identified in cannabis so far, but there are some that are far more common than others. Here are some of the most common terpenes found in your favorite strains.
Myrcene is one of the more abundant terpenes found in cannabis. It has been determined that myrcene is a precursor to most other terpenes, making it a necessary part of their production. Myrcene is known for its musky smells and flavors. It also has a hint of an herby flavor as well as a mild citrus hue. Myrcene contains antimicrobial properties, and has also been shown to be an effective anti-carcinogen. Some famous strains high in myrcene are Skunk#1 and White Widow.
If you couldn’t tell from the name, limonene got its name as it is the primary terpene found in lemons. It is also responsible for the flavor and aroma in your favorite citrusy strains. All of your lemon, orange and tangerine varieties are high in limonene. As terpenes are shown to have medicinal properties, limonene is particularly adept at breaking down fats in the liver, which have led some to speculate that it could be an efficient weight loss supplement.
Pinene will be found in two different forms, Alpha and Beta. While similar in nature, their scents and flavors differ quite drastically. Alpha-Pinene has the unmistakable flavor of pine trees, while Beta-Pinene more closely resembles hops or dill. They help contribute to the focused high you get from some strains. Medicinally, Pinene works to alleviate the symptoms of asthma by acting as a bronchodilator. It also holds many of the anti-septic properties common in terpenes, and may hold the key to slowing the growth of tumors.
Anytime you take a hit that has an overwhelming spicy or peppery flavor, that is due to the presence of Caryophyllene. It is so pungent that it has garnered a reputation for being the terpene responsible for giving away the goods during drug dog searches. It is commonly found in plants like clove, cinnamon, and oregano. One of the purposes of caryophyllene is to act as a line of defense against unwanted critters. The strong odor repels many invasive pests. Caryophyllene also carries unique medicinal properties and is turned to as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and it even is said to reduce the craving for alcohol, for those who may be in recovery.
Linalool is often associated with herbs like lavender and mint. It has a floral taste, and is especially soothing. It has a calming effect , which makes it ideal for relaxing, and shedding yourself of stress. It is often associated with pain relief, and as a cure for insomnia. Linalool is one of the more sedative terpenes, which makes for great anti-anxiety strains. You’ll find Linalool in high concentrations in many of your purple strains, like Grand Daddy Purps or Twisted Purple OG. Along with the analgesic properties contained in most terpenes, Linalool has been found to have anticonvulsant properties, making strains high in the terpene beneficial for the treatment of seizure disorders.
Humulene is predominantly known for its role in the flavors and aromas of hops. Yes beer’s main ingredient is a not-too distant relative of the cannabis plant. Humulene will often be found in higher amounts in strains like Gorilla Glue, Jack Herer and Chemdawg. Medicinally, Humulene works as an anti-inflammatory, an anti-bacterial, and even as an appetite suppressant. Humulene can be found in most cannabis strains in levels as high as 40% of essential oil content.