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  • by Nicola Boulton September 01, 2022 4 min read

    What Are Terpenes In CBD

    Cannabinoid (CBD) has sparked major interest from older and younger folks alike in recent years. It is safe to say that there is a wave of ecstasy concerning CBD oils, especially among young adults. It may be largely accredited to the legalization of hemp products in 2018, which made CBD more adaptable and accessible for commercial, medical, and recreational use.

    On the other hand, terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in cannabis. Terpenes treat mood and anxiety disorders and exhibit antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. To highlight the topic of discussion, what exactly are terpenes in CBD?

    What Are Terpenes In CBD

    When Were Terpenes Discovered?

    In early 1800s, scientists made coherent discoveries concerning terpenes in plants. Some plants contain higher terpenes, such as sage, thyme, and cannabis. Terpenes are responsible for the distinct scent given off by cannabis. However, terpenes have always been discovered since they are present in most plants and give them their characteristic scents. Learn more about how are terpenes extracted?

    Terpenes: A Closer Look

    According to Shannon et al. (2016), terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds in plants and some animals. The unique flavors exhibited by plants can be accrued to the presence of terpenes. Furthermore, terpenes strengthen the plant’s immune system, protect the plants from foraging animals, and aids in shielding the plant from adverse weather conditions that may hamper its homeostatic processes. They also aid in attracting pollinators to the plant for reproduction.

    Terpenes are usually processed to produce essential products, such as pesticides, chemical solvents, body products, dyes, ad perfumes. Many people are curious, while some are uncertain about the safety of terpenes, especially the terpenes in cannabis. Terpenes are organic substances that are beneficial to our health. Terpenes can be infused with essential oils such as lavender oils to be used in aromatherapy. Once this liquid mixture is sprayed into the room, it gives the room a soothing feeling that relaxes the muscles, slowers the heart rate, and eases tensions in your body. Terpenes can also positively affect our moods and increase dopamine levels in our bodies. It is important to confirm whether or not you are allergic to terpenes. Once terpenes are exposed to air and interact with particular scents, they may affect people allergic to them, hence symptoms such as having a running nose.

    Terpenes In Cannabis

    Terpenes are also prevalent in cannabis strains such as hemp and marijuana. Terpenes work in tandem with other chemical compounds to enhance their effects on the body. Exposure to light, extreme temperatures, nutrient levels, and unique growing conditions may influence the number of terpenes produced by cannabis. Additionally, using conducive extraction methods such as using live resin may maintain the number of terpenes present in cannabis since terpenes are highly volatile.

    Terpenes Vs. THC Vs. CBD: What Is The Difference?

    Terpenes are bioactive and will affect the body in various beneficial ways. How they affect the body will depend on the concentration of the terpenes and how frequently they are used. Apart from terpenes, flavonoids, THC, and CBD are other important chemical compounds in cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is psychoactive, while cannabinoids (CBD), terpenes, and flavonoids are non-psychoactive chemical compounds. Flavonoids prevent your cells from oxidative damage, which may cause diseases such as Alzheimer’s. THC is largely responsible for making the user feel “high”. Therefore, marijuana, which has high levels of THC, is classified as an illegal drug under federal law. However, state governments have developed laws and regulations concerning the use of marijuana strictly for medical purposes. Terpenes and CBD do not make the user feel “high," as commonly mistaken.

    Terpenes are contained in certain types of CBD, such as the full spectrum and the road spectrum CBD. The full spectrum CBD has all these chemical compounds mentioned above, which work synergistically to enhance the effects experienced by the user properly. It is known as the “ensemble effect.” Cannabis has about 150 known terpenes. These terpenes include but are not limited to myrcene, limonene, linalool, pinene, and Caryophyllene.

    Effects Of Common Terpenes Present In CBD


    Caryophyllene is present in hemp, black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. It has anti-inflammatory effects, as well as analgesic effects. Caryophyllene acts similarly to CBD since it reacts similarly with receptors in the endocannabinoid system.


    Pinene has got anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties beneficial to human health. Pinene terpenes are present in strains of hemp and pine needles. Pinene is present in some citrus fruits as well as distinct conifers.


    Limonene is known to reduce inflammation, treat anxiety, improve a person’s mood, and have antifungal properties. Limonene is found in lemons and other peels of citrus fruits and is essential in terms of the flavor and scent of CBD oil.


    Linalool is a terpene with a floral aroma common to various plants such as sage and lavender. Due to its lovely scent, several companies add it to their body products. Barrie et al. (2019) state that linalool is instrumental in treating sleep and anxiety disorders.

    Other benefits of terpenes

    According to Cox-Georgian et al. (2019),  terpenes impede cancer cell growth due to their anti-cancer properties. Doctors have resorted to exploring the various uses of terpenes in cancer treatment due to the dramatic rise of people diagnosed with it. In recent years, such as pinene, camphor, and limonene. Booth et al. (2019) explained that terpenes could work on the body’s endocannabinoid system to relieve pain. Other terpenes such as beta-pinene, carvone, and camphor have antiviral properties that help treat viruses.


    Terpenes in CBD play a key role in treating cancer and viruses, and they also have therapeutic properties that relax the mind and ease muscle spasms. It is important to ensure that you purchase quality terpene products by checking the expiry date, as terpenes can easily go stale. Furthermore, scientists are researching for more terpenes beyond the 20000 that already exist. Learn more about how to use terpenes?


    Cox-Georgian, D., Ramadoss, N., Dona, C., & Basu, C. (2019). Therapeutic and medicinal uses of terpenes. In Medicinal Plants (pp. 333-359). Springer, Cham.

    Booth, J. K., & Bohlmann, J. (2019). Terpenes in Cannabis sativa–From plant genome to humans. Plant Science, 284, 67-72.

    Barrie, A. M., Gushue, A. C., & Eskander, R. N. (2019). Dramatic response to Laetrile and cannabidiol (CBD) oil in patients with metastatic low-grade serous ovarian carcinoma. Gynecologic oncology reports, 29, 10

    Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4). https://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2016/fall/6244-pediatrics.html

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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