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Terpenes and Cannabis

  • Terpenoids share a precursor with phytocannabinoids. The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids through a convoluted series of chemical reactions that is thought to involve terpenes as ‘building blocks’. Cannabinoids are known as terpenophenolic compounds, as they are comprised of terpene blocks attached to phenol (C6H6O) groups.

  • At least 200 terpenes have been identified in Cannabis14.

  • The primary terpenes and terpenoids that have been identified in cannabis are; limonene, myrcene, pinene, linalool, eucalyptol, δ-terpinene, ß-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol and phytol.

  • Terpenoids are quite potent, and affect animal and even human behaviour when inhaled from ambient air at serum levels in the single digits ng·mL-1 . They display unique therapeutic effects by themselves and may contribute meaningfully to the entourage effects of cannabis-based medicinal extracts1

Terpenes profiles in cannabis

  • Each cannabis strain contains a unique «terpene profile“14 - A naturally occurring formulation of different individual terpenes (found also in other plants).


  • This profile is responsible for the unique flavour and fragrance of the strain, but the most fascinating characteristic of terpenes is their ability to interact synergistically with other compounds (THC and CBD) in cannabis and their role in determining the medical benefits/effects of each cannabis strain.

  • For example - The terpene Limonene is responsible for the odour of lemons in the cannabis strains “Super Lemon Haze” and “Sour Diesel”, and also for the mood- enhancement effect of the strains.

  • Terpene profiling is thought to be one of the most accurate ways to discern cannabis strains.

“Terpenes contribute to the entourage effects felt in the body and mind”

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