What are Terpenes and What do They do?

what are terpenes

Terpenes are present in a variety of vegetation and they can influence the therapeutic and medicinal effects that the plant can offer, as well as the smell and taste of the the plant itself. If you’ve tried different strains (or profiles) of cannabis, you know that each one has their own unique smell. Strains like Rainbow Sherbet or Tangie are known for their citrusy aroma, while strains like Cheese and Sour Diesel have a pungent skunky smell. 

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in each profile is primarily due to its terpenes, not cannabinoid content. But terpenes do more than just make cannabis smell good, they also have a wide variety of medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The more you know about terpenes, the easier it is to find the perfect strain for you!

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic oils that are mainly present in the flowers or “buds,” like its cannabinoids. Plants develop terpenes to attract pollinators and deter predators, so each plant’s terpene profile depends on a variety of factors. Climate, ecosystem, soil type, age, and sunlight levels all have an affect on which terpene profiles develop. 

There are over 100 different terpenes in the cannabis plant. However, most cannabis strains have higher concentrations such as myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, and pinene to name a few. 


Myrcene is one of the most primary terpenes found in cannabis. In fact, its percentage decides whether a strain is considered a sativa or an indica. Some strains have terpene profiles with up to 60 percent Myrcene. 

Myrcene is known for its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also effective at treating sleep disorders due to its sedative properties. Myrcene is also heavily prominent in hops, which is why their smell is so similar to cannabis. 


Beta-caryophyllene is known for its anti-anxiety properties and its effectiveness for treating pain. Many patients suffering from seizures or certain types of cancer choose cannabis strains high in beta-caryophyllene. 

This powerful terpene is also known for its strong, peppery smell. Strains high in beta-caryophyllene typically have a sour, skunky smell. Pineapple Express, Sour Diesel, and Chemdog are all high in beta-caryophyllene. 


Pinene lives up to its name, as it gives cannabis a fresh, crisp piney smell. While its medicinal properties are still being investigated, users have reported its effectiveness for treating inflammation, short-term memory loss, and respiratory issues. 

Blue Dream, Cotton Candy Kush and Grape Ape all have high levels of pinene. While it’s not as prominent as myrcene and beta-caryophyllene, pinene is the most common terpene in the plant world. 

How can I use terpenes?

Today, terpenes are extracted and infused into cannabis extract and vapes. However, if smoking flower or vaping cannabis extract isn’t your preferred method of cannabis ingestion, you can still enjoy the benefits of these compounds

Sublingual oils and edibles can also be infused with various terpenes. Just like cannabis producers can isolate certain cannabinoids, they can do the same with terpenes. Not only does this allow you to find a product that tastes great, but you can find something that helps you live pain-free.

Did you know that we carry terpene-infused oils and flower? We know that choosing the right product for pain relief can be challenging. We’re here to answer any and all questions you have about hemp and cannabis. Learn more by stopping by our shop, or order online.

Share This

Welcome to Modern Apotheca

Hemp & CBD Specialists in Raleigh

Related Posts