Terpene Wheel

List of Terpenes and Effects: A Comprehensive Guide

Jan 24, 2024

Embarking on the journey of terpenes reveals a fascinating world of organic compounds found in various plants, notably cannabis.

These compounds shape the aroma and flavor of botanical species and offer therapeutic benefits, synergizing with cannabinoids in what's known as the 'entourage effect.'

Beyond cannabis, terpenes feature prominently in essential oils used in aromatherapy, impacting mood and well-being.

Our guide, "List of Terpenes and Effects," explores these compounds' diverse effects, aiding in the selection of strains or oils aligned with specific desired outcomes, from relaxation to symptom relief.

Chemical Profiles and Effects of Terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in various plants, contributing to their flavor, scent, and therapeutic effects.

Some terpenes in cannabis can interact with cannabinoids to enhance their effects, known as the entourage effect.

Myrcene and Its Sedative Qualities

Myrcene is a terpene with a musky, earthy aroma similar to cloves. It’s known for its sedative effects and is prevalent in significant quantities in indica cannabis strains, which are often associated with sleep aid. This terpene may offer analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it's also found in hops and thyme.

Limonene's Uplifting Impact

Limonene has a citrusy scent and is prominent in citrus fruit rinds. In cannabis strains high in limonene, you may experience mood elevation and stress relief.

It has demonstrated anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects and may synergize with cannabinoids to provide therapeutic benefits.

Pinene and Cognitive Benefits

Pinene imparts a fresh pine aroma and is noted for its potential to improve alertness and memory retention.

It exhibits anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator properties, which may help with respiratory ailments.

Research has shown pinene to be a powerful antiseptic, and it also may have neuroprotective effects.

Linalool and Anxiety Reduction

Linalool emits a floral scent reminiscent of lavender and is valued for its sedative and anti-anxiety abilities.

In aromatherapy, it is often used for its calming effects, which may contribute to sleep aid and anxiety reduction.

Linalool has also been studied for its potential to support the immune system and its sedative qualities.

Caryophyllene and Inflammation

Caryophyllene is a unique terpene that can act as a cannabinoid, binding to CB2 receptors and providing anti-inflammatory effects.

With a spicy and woody aroma, it's found in cannabis, black pepper, and clove. This could make it beneficial for managing pain and inflammation.

Humulene and Appetite Control

Humulene contributes to the earthy aroma of hops and cannabis. It's known as an appetite suppressant and might aid in weight management.

Besides its unique influence on appetite, humulene also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties.

Other Notable Terpenes

Terpinolene: It offers a complex piney, floral, and herbal scent, often found in cannabis strains that can provide uplifting effects.

Ocimene: Recognized for its sweet, herbal, and woody aroma, ocimene is present in a variety of herbs such as mint and parsley, and is known for its potential as an antiseptic. Both terpinolene and ocimene contribute to the complexity of flavors and aromas in cannabis and other aromatic plants, and might be attractive to pollinators while deterring predators.

Interactions with Human Physiology

Terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in various plants including cannabis, interact with your body in various ways, influencing homeostasis and potentially offering therapeutic and medicinal benefits.

Endocannabinoid System and Terpenes

Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system that plays a key role in maintaining body balance. Terpenes from cannabis and other sources can affect this system.

For instance, the terpene myrcene is believed to enhance the effects of certain cannabinoids by increasing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.

Other terpenes like limonene and pinene aid in improving mood and cognitive function by interacting with receptors in your brain that regulate emotions and mental clarity.

Terpenes ECS Interaction Potential Effects
Myrcene Enhances cannabinoid effects Sedative, Muscle relaxant
Limonene Affects receptors influencing mood Mood elevation, Stress relief
Pinene Influences acetylcholine neurotransmission Memory enhancement, Alertness


In conclusion, our exploration of terpenes, organic compounds found in various plants, has revealed their captivating influence, especially in cannabis. These compounds shape aroma, flavor, and therapeutic benefits, interacting with cannabinoids in the entourage effect.

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