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The nose knows: get to know cannabis terpenes

Terpenes are chemicals that are created and stored in the trichomes of the cannabis plant, along with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Terpenes give cannabis its distinctive aroma and cannabis users have indicated that terpenes are sometimes associated with various effects. The exact effects of terpenes on their own, and within cannabis, are currently unknown, but the following descriptions may help you navigate our product assortment.

Remember, what works for others may not work for you. Educating yourself and cautious experimentation will help you find your way.

Bisabolol

Bisabolol is a comforting, delicate, floral, peppery, and nutty-smelling terpene found naturally in the bark of the candeia tree and in chamomile.

Borneol

With its minty and spicy notes, borneol is an invigorating terpene found in a number of aromatic herbs including rosemary, mint, ginger, mugwort, tarragon, camphor, and wormwood.

Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is a balancing terpene common in basil, oregano, hops, and rosemary, and in spices such as cloves, caraway, black pepper, and cinnamon. It commonly presents notes of spice and pepper.

Cymene

Cymene is a centring terpene with woody, spicy, and citrus notes. It is found in herbs and spices such as coriander, oregano, thyme, and cumin. 

Eucalyptol

Eucalyptol (or cineol) is a revitalizing terpene that presents as a cooling, minty aroma, and is found naturally in bay leaves, tea trees, and eucalyptus trees.

Fenchol

Fenchol is a restorative, bitter, piney, floral, lime-like terpene that is found in fennel and basil, helping to give the latter its distinctive aroma.

Geraniol

Geraniol is a relaxing terpene naturally produced in geranium flowers, tobacco, and lemons. Its floral, waxy, and fruity aromatics are similar to citronella.

Humulene

Humulene is a motivating terpene found in hops, coriander, cloves, and basil, among other plants. Its aroma presents as woodsy and earthy with citrus overtones.

Limonene

Limonene is an uplifting terpene found in citrus rinds, juniper, peppermint, cannabis and rosemary, and its aroma boasts notes of lemon and orange. Limonene is the second-most common terpene in nature.

Linalool

Linalool is a calming terpene present in lavender, laurel, mint, birch trees, and rosewood. It is often present in high concentrations in sativa plants.

Myrcene

Myrcene is a mellowing terpene found in high quantities in mangoes and wild thyme, as well as hops, lemongrass, bay leaves, and citrus fruits. With an earthy and musky scent, myrcene is also the most common terpene in cannabis, and is often found in larger quantities in indica-dominant strains.

Ocimene

Ocimene is a purifying terpene with sweet, tropical, floral, and woody notes. It is found in allspice, mint, basil, parsley, and pepper.

Pinene

Pinene is an energizing terpene found in pine needles as well as orange peels, parsley, dill, and sage. It is also the most common terpene in the world. It delivers trademark scents of fresh pine and sweet wood.

Terpineol

Responsible for some of the flavours of the famous lapsang souchong tea, terpineol is a refreshing terpene that is also found in pine trees, lilac trees, cannabis, eucalyptus leaves, sap, and lime blossoms.

Terpinolene

Terpinolene is a cleansing, piney, floral, and herbal scented terpene that is found in nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin, and lilac trees.

While BC Cannabis Stores has highlighted a number of common terpenes, there are up to 200 others that may be present in cannabis products in small amounts. Others may include: bergamotene, cymenene, elemene, eudesmol, guaiol, nerolidol, phellandrene, santalene, selinadiene, and ylangene.


Myth vs Fact

Fact: Cannabis products can have a range of concentrations and affect you in different ways. If you are trying cannabis for the first time, do it in a safe place with people you trust. Health Canada recommends starting with a small amount of a product that is low in THC with higher levels of CBD.

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For cannabis resources, please visit Health Canada.
Source: the British Journal of Pharmacology
Source: the National Library of Medicine
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