Any dedicated CBD fan knows that no two cannabis strains are the same. One strain may have an earthy, grass-like taste, while another might have an aromatic explosion of citrusy fragrances, smelling like fresh orange peels in the summer. This is all thanks to little molecules in the cannabis plant called terpenes. There are thousands of known terpenes that have different flavors and smells as well as special properties. The best terpenes are versatile: they’re abundant, helpful, and smell and taste amazing!
Terpenes may sound complicated, but they don’t have to be! This comprehensive guide can help you get a better understanding of terpenes and exactly what they do.
What is a Terpene?
Terpenes are compounds responsible for the way many plants taste and smell. Depending on their concentration and consumption method, terpenes may positively impact the body. Many have unique medical qualities and stimulate valuable health benefits when consumed.
In plants, terpenes repel pests with off-putting scents or attract pollinators with pleasant ones. Some terpenes help plants recover from injuries or protect them from harsh weather conditions. Many terpenes are prevalent in the manufacturing of perfumes and cosmetics because of their delightful aromas. Essential oil from lavender, apple, and mint are popular scents commonly in candles, hand creams, and air fresheners.
In cannabis products like CBD, terpenes are thought to have the potential to boost our emotional, physical, and mental wellness.
What’s the Difference Between Terpenes & Cannabinoids?
Both terpenes and cannabinoids come in cannabis plant products and affect the therapeutic properties of CBD in different ways: Terpenes define the flavor and fragrance of a strain, while cannabinoids regulate bodily responses via a chemical response.
Cannabinoids and terpenes absorb differently and bind to different receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for regulating key bodily functions like mood, pain response, energy, and appetite. Cannabinoids interact with the ECS to relieve unpleasant symptoms, while terpenes bind to cannabinoid receptors and affect their chemical output. Terpenes affect how cannabinoids enter the bloodstream.
While terpenes can support aspects of our wellbeing, they work in harmony with cannabinoids to do this. Terpenes are produced in trichomes (the crystal-like structures found on hemp flowers), where cannabinoids are produced. Though found in lower numbers throughout the entire cannabis plant, they make up a larger 10% of the cannabis plant’s overall trichomes. Because of that amount, terpenes play a large role in hemp flowers’ potency, effectiveness, flavor, and scent profile.
How Many Terpenes Are There?
We know over 20,000 kinds of terpenes exist, but it’s difficult to narrow down the precise number of those only found in cannabis plants. There are at least 100 different kinds of terpenes in cannabis, but most people usually focus on specific terpenes found in common strains.
What Are Terpenes Good For?
Cannabis terpenes drive the physiological experience of CBD products. They may make us sleepy, more focused, energetic, or relaxed. Different strains have different qualities because of this. The most abundant terpene will change the flavor and aroma profile of cannabis products. Those with more pinene compounds, for instance, will have a resinous aroma and will have the aftertaste of pine, making it perfect for those that enjoy earthy-tasting CBD products.
Because every compound has a different fragrance, this creates an array of CBD that suits the preferences of every consumer. This also means that we can curate products that trigger therapeutic responses based on scent alone. Compounds extracted from lavender, ylang-ylang, and eucalyptus stimulate our senses and cause a calming effect. In this way, these compounds are a form of aromatherapy.
How Do Terpenes Affect CBD?
Terpenes work in harmony with cannabinoids to multiply the beneficial properties of CBD. This synergy is the entourage effect, which refers to the effectiveness of cannabis in the body when all of its parts are consumed together. CBD is more effective when many cannabinoids are present, such as those found in full-spectrum products.
What Are the Best Terpenes in CBD?
Hemp products don’t contain just one kind of terpene; they have many! This creates a unique terpene profile for each strain of CBD. Here are some of the best terpenes found in popular strains of CBD:
- Alpha Pinene and Beta Pinene: As the name suggests, pinene rich strains smell and taste a lot like fresh pine trees. This terpene is found in plants like pine needles, rosemary, eucalyptus, and basil. It helps open up the lungs to make breathing easier and aids in physical discomfort, memory, nervousness, and swelling.
- Limonene: Limonene is an abundant terpene found in citrus fruits like limes, lemons, and oranges. Studies suggest it helps regulate immune system processes as well as uplift mood and reduce stress.
- Linalool: This terpene is responsible for the classic skunky “marijuana smell.” Linalool comes from lavender flowers and plays a part in the sedating effects of hemp.
- Myrcene: Myrcene is the primary compound in Indica-dominant strains, often contributing to the full-body relaxation Indica strains are famous for procuring. This compound is naturally found in mangoes, basil, hops, ylang-ylang, and lemongrass plants.
- Humulene: Humulene is in hops, which give beer its distinct musty odor. Humulene has antifungal and antibacterial properties that may help suppress appetite.
- Terpinolene: Similar to linalool, this compound creates a soothing effect.
- Caryophyllene: Caryophyllene is in most CBD strains, making it one of the most abundant terpenes. Caryophyllene tends to have a peppery aroma and is thought to have analgesic and calming properties.
Which CBD Products Have the Best Terpenes?
The compounds highlighted above are the best for a reason, and they’re in the most popular CBD products around. Cheef Botanicals carries tons of products with these compounds in various flowers, vape cartridges, gummies, and more. Below we’ve listed just an example of the premium CBD flower and vape flavors we offer.
Cherry Wine has it all! This strain contains limonene, myrcene, pinene, linalool, and caryophyllene to bring a terpene profile primed for strong focus and relaxation. Try a preroll packed with this flower and experience the sweet, earthy taste of berry pine while you improve the quality of your day.
The sweet and sour flavor of Sour Diesel caused by the tag-team duo of myrcene and caryophyllene both are sure to uplift your mood and clear your head. This strain is perfect for consuming whenever you feel like you need a little boost at any time of day.
This terpinolene-rich strain causes a deep relaxation that stimulates the mind. Caryophyllene and humulene give this strain a smoky, earthy flavor with hints of chocolate and coffee aromas.
Packed with limonene and pinene, Jack Herer is the perfect nighttime remedy for sleeplessness. A few puffs from our Jack Herer vape cartridge will have you floating off to dreamland on a peppery cloud of bliss.
Sour Diesel is a popular strain as it is rich in limonene. Limonene plays a role in every remedy related to stress, digestion, energy, motivation, and more. More so, Sour Diesel has a gaseous and sour aroma due to its myrcene content yet retains a sweet aftertaste thanks to a combination of linalool, pinene, and caryophyllene.
Super Silver Haze
This is a caryophyllene-rich strain, giving it a primarily spicy aroma. Other compounds in this strain include myrcene, limonene, humulene, and linalool which add a hint of sweetness and woody undertones. Super Silver Haze is uplifting and energizing thanks to its mood-boosting effects.
Final Thoughts – Best Terpenes
Terpenes are natural compounds in all kinds of plants, including the cannabis plant. These compounds give plants their distinct taste and odor and help plants ward off unwanted bugs and foragers, and attract pollinators. Studies show that terpenes hold unique properties that might extend their benefits to humans, as well.
Common compounds like terpinolene, myrcene, and terpineol have sedative properties, while strains like caryophyllene have soothing ones. Hemp flower strains are bred with strengthened terpene profiles in the CBD, which enhance their therapeutic properties. Cheef Botanicals is your headquarters for popular terpenes to help you find the CBD strain that works for you.