Cheef Botanicals

Farnesene: A Guide to the Sweet, Earthy Terpenes You Already Love

Farnesene is a delicious terpene that enhances the aroma and effects of every hemp strain it occurs in. Not only does farnesene give tasty flavors and mouth-watering aromas to CBD products, but it also carries beneficial properties. This terp goes above and beyond to improve the cannabis experience, though apple-lovers probably already know what this terp is like! Let us show you all there is to love about the remarkable farnesene terpene!

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are plant-derived compounds. They contribute to a plant’s flavor and smell, leading some experts to think terpenes are the plant kingdom’s defense mechanism against herbivores. Luckily for us, terpenes smell and taste and incredible! They add sensational flavor and fragrance to CBD products.

If you’ve ever wondered how we get our Pineapple Express vape juice to taste just like the strain it’s named after, terpenes are the answer. Terpenes are also responsible for the citrusy aroma of a lemon rind and the spicy notes in beer.

Terpenes are like essential oils, though they aren’t quite the same thing. Essential oils are also fragrant compounds, but they contain multiple elements while terpenes only consist of themselves. Terpenes actually exist inside of some essential oils!


plumeria flowers next to essential oil

What is Farnesene?

Farnesene is one of over 20,000 terpenes researchers have discovered in the plant kingdom. If you enjoy cannabis, you may have encountered this terpene before. Farnesene is a term that can apply to any of six sesquiterpenes. When people talk about farnesene, they’re usually referring to alpha-farnesene or beta-farnesene. All the farnesene sesquiterpenes are chemically similar, so you can expect similar properties from each one.

What are sesquiterpenes? These terms describe the complex chemical makeup of the terpene. All you really need to know is that sesquiterpenes form differently than terpenes, making them slightly more stable. Sesquiterpenes also tend to smell stronger than regular terpenes.

Where is Farnesene Found?

Farnesene is found in cannabis, of course! CBD is extracted from hemp, which is a type of cannabis plant. This is why you’ll find farnesene in the terpene profile of several CBD strains. Other sources of this terp include sandalwood, cedarwood, and patchouli.

Farnesene also occurs naturally in turmeric, ylang-ylang, and basil. But, this terpene is most notable for its presence in green apples. Farnesene is responsible for the delectable, sweet, and sour smell of green apple skin. The juicy, acidic flavor of green apples is also a result of the terpene.

What Do Farnesene Terpenes Smell & Taste Like?

Farnesene terpenes are known for their presence in green apples, but they have a far more complex flavor profile. The naturally-occurring compound can give off a fruit-like and earthy smell. Its flavor is citrusy and woody, similar to other terpenes found in fruit.

What Are the Effects of Farnesene?

Farnesene doesn’t only shine when it comes to flavor and fragrance — it provides several benefits to people too! Here are a few of this terpene’s outstanding effects:

  • Anti-swelling: This terpene may decrease swelling in the body.
  • Sleep aid: Research into farnesene’s potential health benefits, and the results may astonish you! There are reports of alpha-farnesene promoting natural sleep.
  • Relaxant: Like essential oils, this terpene’s aroma can boost your mood and help you unwind. It also has a relaxing effect on muscles.
  • Insecticide: Farnesene is a natural insecticide. Interestingly, it seems to target aphids, a common crop pest.  Some plants release the terpene when they’re dying to repel insects.

man exhaling cloud of smoke

Popular Strains That Have Farnesene Terpenes

Farnesene may come from the plant kingdom, but you don’t have to go chopping down sour apple trees to get your hands on this terpene. Since it comes from the cannabis plant, you can experience this terp’s calming effects by choosing a CBD strain that contains it!

There are plenty of beneficial CBD strains featuring farnesene, and these are some of the most popular:

  • Cherry Wine: As one of the most well-balanced CBD flowers available, Cherry Wine offers a perfect 50/50 blend of Sativa and Indica. While many strains are better suited for daytime or nighttime use, Cherry Wine’s smooth and spicy taste will leave you satisfied no matter the time of the day.
  • Goliath: This is a unique strain because it provides CBD and CBG. You’re likely familiar with the cannabinoids CBD and THC, but did you know CBG can also be extracted from cannabis? Like CBD, CBG induces a relaxing effect that can help ease racing thoughts. Goliath is a fruity flower with a massive personality, which is why we call it Goliath!
  • Sour Space Candy: Sour Space Candy is a Sativa-dominant strain with an earthy and sweet aroma and taste. Alongside soothing cannabinoids, you’ll certainly notice farnesene’s notable sweetness with a bit of a kick. Sour Space Candy will put you in a tropical state of mind, so you may want to set up a hammock and stock up on Mai Tais before enjoying this bud!

Final Thoughts

Farnesene isn’t the most abundant terpene in hemp, but that makes it even more special. As a sesquiterpene, farnesene is slightly more powerful, even in small amounts. Experience this terpene for yourself to see what all the hype is about!