Terpenes are the prime source of cannabis strains’ singularly distinct aromas. Some common terpenes found in cannabis are myrcene, pinene, Limonene, and linalool. Myrcene is responsible for many strains’ musky, earthy aroma; pinene has a pine-like smell; Limonene gives off a citrus scent; and linalool has a floral aroma.
The cannabis plant gets its scent from aromatic chemical compounds called terpenoids, which are made up of several terpenes combined. These aromatic compounds are the same ones that give essential oils their aromas. For example, lavender oil contains linalool, lemon oil contains Limonene, and rosemary oil contains pinene.
Terpenes are fragrant oils that occur naturally in various plants, contributing a unique aroma and flavour to each species. They are responsible for providing the flavour and aroma profiles of many different types of plants, including cannabis.
Cannabis products have a broad range of aromatic terpenes, ranging from citrusy to pine-like scents and even musky or earthy fragrances. Each strain of cannabis contains different terpenes that create its distinctive aroma and flavour.
Many terpenes are unique to cannabis, while other terpenes are shared with other plants. There are over 100 identified cannabis terpenes, each providing a unique scent and taste to the plant.
Terpene aromas are diverse and can range from the warm, woody scents of the outdoors to pungent herb and spicy notes, along with diesel-like undertones or cheesy odours. Additionally, they may even hold a hint of citrus or sweetness.
Compounding the complexity of this formula, each terpene can bring multiple scents. Furthermore, since terpene levels vary from crop to crop, there may be discrepancies in the same strain’s smell and medicinal properties.
What Makes Terpenes So Essential?
Terpenes are essential because they play a crucial role in the effects of cannabis, commonly referred to as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is created when terpenes interact with cannabinoids like THC and CBD in different ways to create unique effects on the body and mind.
Some believe that terpenes and terpenoids, linked to a variety of natural plants and herbs with anti-inflammatory properties, may have an impact on the effects cannabis has. For example, linalool – a terpene often present in lavender oil – could potentially promote therapeutic benefits.
Advocates of the theory of “the entourage effect” suggest that cannabis compounds and terpenes collaborate to bring about a more powerful outcome when consuming cannabis. Here are the most popular terpenes in cannabis:
Discover the Rich, Complicated Bouquets of Cannabis Aromas
Many types of aromas can be found in cannabis products. Some familiar aromas associated with cannabis are earthy, spicy, sweet, citrus, herbal, skunky, cheesy, and floral. The organic compounds found in cannabis contribute to its overall aroma profile.
Terpenes play a huge role in providing the distinct smell of each strain and giving users an indication of what kind of effects they can expect when consuming it.
1. Earthy Aromas:
MYRCENE offers an alluring mix of musky, earthy aromas and a delightful essence of ripe fruit. Discover these delectable scents in mangoes, lemongrass, hops, or thyme.
The HUMULENE scent is a complex combination of woody and earth tones found in the fragrant flowers of hops and coriander. TERPINOLENE, with its distinctive aroma of smoke and wood mingled with notes of pine, is produced in various fruits such as apples, cumin, and lilac. You can also find its scent in the fragrant oils extracted from tea tree leaves and conifers.
BORNEOL’s aroma is a compelling blend of menthol, camphor, and rich earthy notes sourced from wormwood and cinnamon. The CEDRENE scent is created with a harmonious blend of Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood, and Patchouli.
You can enjoy ALPHA PINENE’s vibrant scents of pine and rosemary in various plants, such as pines, conifers, rosemary, and sage.
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2. Spicy Aromas:
Cannabis products can also have spicy aromas. BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE offers an aromatic sensation of invigorating spice and woody undertones found in common items like black pepper, cloves, and balsam.
The delightful aroma of SABINENE includes fragrant notes of wood, pepper, and spices. Its complex scent is derived from a unique combination of oak, tea tree oil, black pepper, and carrot seed oils.
TERPINEOL is a captivating scent that draws together florals, lilac, lime, and cardamom with the piquancy of clove to create an aromatic experience. You can find this complex aroma in cypress trees, juniper berries, and other herbs such as marjoram and thyme.
3. Sweet Aromas
Sweet aromas in a cannabis extract can be attributed to MYRCENE, GERANIOL, TERPINEOL, NEROL, and CITRONELLOL.
Myrcene has a musky, earthy aroma with notes of ripe fruit.
Geraniol has a sweet, floral scent with hints of rose and citrus. Terpineol offers an aromatic sensation of lilac and lime blended with the piquancy of clove.
Nerol is a sweet, citrusy aroma reminiscent of orange blossoms and fresh-cut grass; Citronellol provides a light, lemony aroma like the one found in lemons and limes.
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4. Floral Aromas
To enjoy floral aromas from cannabis products, look for TERPINOLENE, OCIMENE, LINALOOL, and BISABOLOL. Terpinolene has a complex aroma of smoke and wood mingled with pine notes.
Ocimene brings together fragrant flowers, fruits, and herbs with its sweet, herbal scent. Linalool is found in lavender oil, giving off floral aromas that may promote feelings of relaxation.
Bisabolol provides a light, herbal aroma found in chamomile, tea tree, and other fragrant plants.
Peanut Butter Breath Budder
5. Fruity Aromas
In cannabis products, you can find fruity aromas. The lovely scent of Geranium, Rose, Citronella, and Stone Fruits can all be attributed to the presence of geraniol. It is found in plants such as geraniums and tobacco, and lemons.
LINALOOL’s captivating aroma comprises sweet florals and a hint of citrus. You can find LINALOOL in plants, such as lavender and other flowers, mint leaves, and cinnamon sticks.
OCIMENE, an aromatic compound with a bouquet of floral, fruity, and herbal scents, is found in many plants, such as peppermint, parsley, pepper, basil, mango, and orchids. These can make your cannabis products taste like sweet fruits.
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6. Citrus Aromas
The citrusy scent of cannabis products is generated by LIMONENE, VALENCENE, PHELLANDRENE, and CYMENE compounds. Limonene has a sweet citrus scent reminiscent of lemons and oranges.
Valencene offers a more subtle yet complex aroma containing spicy undertones with sharp notes of orange peel. Phellandrene brings together floral and sweet scents with hints of pepper and lemon.
Lastly, cymene produces an intensely spicy citrus scent with cumin and thyme.
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7. Herbal Aromas
The herbal aroma in cannabis is usually attributed to the presence of ALPHA PINENE, BETA PINENE, EUCALYPTOL, OCIMENE, PHYTOL, and PULEGONE. Alpha Pinene has a fragrant aroma of pine and rosemary.
Beta Pinene offers a refreshing scent of basil and parsley with citrusy undertones. Eucalyptol’s distinctive aroma comprises camphor, mint, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils.
Ocimene has a sweet, herbal scent and can be found in peppermint, parsley, pepper, and basil. Phytol is a sweet, herbal scent of geraniums, roses, and citrus fruits.
Finally, PULEGONE has a captivating fragrance that can take you away to paradise with its refreshing combination of peppermint and catnip.
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8. Skunky Aromas
Cannabis with an intense, skunky aroma is usually the result of four distinct terpenes: MYRCENE, BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE, ALPHA-PINENE, and LIMONENE. These components interact to produce the unique smell associated with cannabis.
Myrcene offers an alluring mix of musky, earthy aromas and a delightful essence of ripe fruit. Beta-Caryophyllene has an aroma of invigorating spice and woody undertones.
Alpha-Pinene has a vibrant scent of pine and rosemary. To cap it all off, Limonene boasts a delightful citrus scent that evokes the aroma of lemons and oranges.
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9. Cheesy Aromas
Cheesy aromas in cannabis products can be attributed to the presence of BETA-PINENE, LIMONENE, LINALOOL, NEROLIDOL, and BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE compounds. Beta-Pinene has a fragrant aroma of basil and parsley with citrusy undertones.
Limonene has a sweet citrus scent reminiscent of lemons and oranges. Linalool offers an aromatic sensation of lilac and lime blended with the piquancy of clove.
Nerolidol has a sweet aroma that is reminiscent of citronella and fresh-cut grass. To conclude, Beta-Caryophyllene gives off an exciting spicy scent with woody hints.
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Terpenes are a major contributor to the aroma and flavour of cannabis products, giving each strain its unique scent profile. While some terpenes may offer certain effects on their own, it is believed that when these chemicals are combined, they can produce the entourage effect, resulting in a more powerful outcome when consuming cannabis.
Understanding the different terpenes found in cannabis plants and their potential health benefits can help you determine which strain is best for you.