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What Are Terpenes? [Answered]

When you look through the vast depository of different CBD products available online, there is one particular ingredient that always seems to crop up: terpenes.

However, despite the vast array of different cannabis terpenes there are in CBD products, the question of what terpenes have somehow remained unanswered. Many brands infuse their products with terpenes, but they completely neglect to explain what they are.

The term “terpene” is not only specific to cannabis. But instead, they are in every single plant, as well as some insects. They are the chemicals within plants that produce the distinctive aromas that you associate with those plants.

For example, if you have ever walked past a pine tree and smelled that rich earthy and slightly acidic aroma? Then you detected the pine tree’s terpenes.

But why does it seem like there are so many of them? Why is it that, when looking for some terpene infused product, there appears to be too many to count?

When you try to imagine the full range of available terpenes, you probably think there are just a few. However, if you consider all the different aromas and flavors available from plants, you will soon realize that there are far more than you could imagine.

Just how many terpenes are there?

How Many Terpenes Are There?

Most researchers put the number of terpenes within cannabis plants at around 200. But there are untold numbers of other terpenes in different plants and insects all over the world.

This vast range of different terpenes is why different cannabis strains seem to taste so distinctively different from one another. Though all cannabis strains contain these terpenes, it is the different concentrations of each primary terpene that influences its final flavor and aroma.

Cannabis terpenes give each strain their unique flavor. But they also have a variety of different effects on the human body as well. While it sounds a bit like holistic medicine, terpenes do have a noticeable and scientifically significant impact on your mood and health, depending on what terpene you imbibe.

If you are looking for terpenes within your CBD products, you need to look for full-spectrum oil. This means that it comes with all the terpenes within the hemp plant it originated from. It might also contain other cannabinoids that influence its final effects.

If you are the type to prefer only CBD and no other cannabinoids, you can also get terpene infused CBD oil. So you can enjoy their effects at the same time as avoiding any other cannabinoids.

But what are all these different terpenes? Is there any way to consistently understand what goes into all these cannabis terpenes?

Here are a few of the most commonly added and used terpenes from cannabis plants and their expected effects.

Myrcene Terpene

The myrcene terpene is, by far, the most common terpene within all strains of commercially available cannabis. It is usually present in significant concentrations throughout all strains. It also contributes a considerable number of essential flavor profiles to your favorite strains.

Not only that, but it is usually the most dominant terpene. It generally makes up about 40% of the inherent terpene profile of any particular strain.

The actual flavor of this terpene is a bit difficult to describe. It is most similar to a mixture of wild thyme, mango, and lemongrass. You can typically find the terpene within the OG Kush family of strains.

In fact, studies such as this one by Tortoriello and Romero for the Archives of Medical Research have found that myrcene has a myriad of uses as a sedative and muscle relaxant when taken as a synthesized, pure terpene.

Limonene Terpene

Limonene, as the name might imply, is the primary terpene to think of when you smell or taste anything citrus. It is present both within fruit and within the cosmetics industry. And even, perhaps more famously, all kinds of cleaning supplies.

Limonene is one of those terpenes that is usually only a small percentage of the total terpene profile. Yet somehow manages to influence the flavor profile massively.

However, it isn’t just about the lemon flavor; limonene also has some significant health benefits. Many people use it to help soothe pain and relax.

In the last few years, there have been claims that the limonene terpene could have more critical benefits. But it is far too early in the research stage to conclude one way or the other.

Regardless, if you add even a small amount of limonene terpene to your favorite cannabis oils, you can expect to notice a potent citrus flavor.

Pinene Terpene

Another terpene with an incredibly indicative name, Pinene. This is the terpene that is responsible for that fresh, forest-filled pine tree aroma. This is one of those terpenes that originally evolved within plants as a defensive mechanism. It uses the scent to guard against any potential predators.

Pinene is quite a toxic terpene when imbibed in large quantities. The terpene typically kills nefarious animals and insects that try to take a bite of the plant. Pinene’s flavor is its most popular attribute, rather than any specific effects. But some people believe it can act as an anti-inflammatory, as well as to act as an anti-anxiety.

Linalool Terpene

Linalool is the principle terpene responsible for that gently floral, richly enjoyable lavender scent. You can find it within bark from the birch tree. And that’s why it is both commonly used in perfumes and room scents.

However, linalool is not just used for that relaxing lavender smell, but also as a spicy aroma. If you have ever enjoyed a strain with a vaguely funky, pungent aroma, then you will have enjoyed linalool.

Linalool is also very common within cannabis, even if it doesn’t have that kind of spiciness you would expect. It also doesn’t remain within your body long. This means it doesn’t get a chance to influence a great deal of intense bodily sensations, except for its natural relaxation.

Caryophyllene Terpene

This is a terpene most well known for its slightly peppery taste. Herbaceousness is found in black pepper and many common herbs.

It is also well known for tasting surprisingly like the base flavor of hops, reminding some people of beer.

This is another one of those terpenes that are primarily focused on the flavor and aroma. It acts as an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, but mainly, people want it for its delicious flavors.

Humulene Terpene

Humulene is perhaps the most medicative terpene found within cannabis strains. It is commonly used as a therapeutic oil. As well as being able to combat a variety of other conditions through its antioxidant capabilities.

This is also found within hop plants, giving that “beer” like aroma and flavor. It basically smells and tastes exactly like beer foam. You can definitely notice it when you smoke any strain containing sufficiently high concentrations of humulene.

Strangely enough, you can also find this terpene in sage and cloves, which explains why both of those aromas have a slightly similar aroma profile.

So what are you supposed to do if you want to try and get some of these terpenes in your cannabis oils? Especially if you wish to consume more terpenes at one time!

Custom Terpene Profiles

One of the strange things about buying cannabis terpenes online is that many strains have their own unique blend of terpenes. The issue is, when you purchase cannabis oils, they will tend to only have one or two terpenes within them.

What do you do if you want more terpenes?

Certain websites will offer something known as a custom terpene profile, which is where you can add all kinds of terpenes to your CBD oil. You can usually pick from a big list of different terpenes and add them as terpene extracts.

While this might seem a bit stranger than getting your terpenes naturally from imbibing the cannabis plant itself, it has a number of useful benefits. You get to enjoy the combination of flavors that you want, allowing you to tailor the perfect cannabinoid experience that you want.

Some brands allow you to mix all kinds of weird terpenes blends together, which can sometimes taste almost otherworldly in how spicy and strange they are.

For best results, make sure only to pick terpenes that complement one another and belong together in natural plants and herbs. This ensures that the flavor profile is far more balanced and enjoyable, instead of tasting too intense or strange.

Final Thoughts on Terpenes in CBD Oil

Cannabis terpenes are still in the early stages of being experimented on and understood. While terpenes and CBD oil go together incredibly well, it is still a challenge to be able to understand the role of terpenes in your CBD properly.

Terpenes allow you to combine different natural effects, along with all kinds of unique flavors that you know and love from other plants, herbs, and aromas.

Make sure you stay up to date with all the latest and greatest research into what makes terpenes effective on the human body.

Even if you don’t care about its effects, enjoy adding your favorite flavor combinations into your CBD oil. With the right combination and balance, it can be just like smoking your favorite strain.

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