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What Are Terpenes?

While the smell of cannabis is a scent that many easily recognize, there are distinctive scent differences from strain to strain. The reason for these different scents? Terpenes! Terpenes not only determine the unique aroma of your medicinal cannabis, but also the unique taste. What are terpenes you ask? Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in the natural oils of plants, including cannabis. In nature, terpenes aid in a plant’s survival-attracting pollinators and keeping threats away.


Much like the CBD and THC compounds found in cannabis, terpenes also have beneficial therapeutic effects. The aroma terpenes provide to your medical marijuana can be soothing and comforting, especially as you become familiar with which terpenes benefit you most. The properties of terpenes play a large part in the well-known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and mood uplifting effects of cannabis. Furthermore, terpenes often determine whether a strain of medical marijuana is a relaxing, calming strain or a more focusing, creativity-inducing strain. Many believe terpenes are what really guides in choosing the right strain of cannabis for you, as opposed to the more traditional Sativa vs. Indica breakdown. 

There have been over a hundred terpenes identified in cannabis. Each terpene helps determine what smells, tastes, and benefits a marijuana strain will be known for. The terpenes work in harmony with the cannabinoids in each strain to provide maximum effects and benefits for your cannabis medicine. There are many distinctive terpenes that help classify different strains based on their aroma and taste. From heavier aroma like the diesel/skunk smell many associate with cannabis, to lighter and fruitier aroma’s like berry or citrus, or even fresh aroma’s like mint or pine, there truly are so many varieties of terpenes. These varieties allow for a strain variety to fit everyone’s needs and more importantly, something for everyone’s taste.

Terpenes are still being explored as an important area of cannabis development and research. The more we learn, the more we will be able to effectively match strains and doses to the patient’s needs and wants. Terpenes are only increasing the benefits medical cannabis can bring to so many.