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What are terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, though many people commonly associate them with cannabis because cannabis plants contain high concentrations of them. These aromatic compounds create the characteristic scent of many plants, such as cannabis, pine, and lavender, as well as fresh orange peel. The fragrance of most plants is due to a combination of terpenes. In nature, these terpenes protect the plants from animal grazing or infectious germs.

Terpene effects

There are at least 20,000 known terpenes in existence. The cannabis plant contains more than 100 of these terpenes. Many terpenes that are produced by the cannabis plant are also found elsewhere in nature. Below is a table of some commonly known terpenes:

terpene list


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  2. Russo, Ethan B. “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” British journal of pharmacologyvol. 163,7 (2011): 1344-64. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
  3. Booth, Judith K, and Jörg Bohlmann. “Terpenes in Cannabis sativa – From plant genome to humans.” Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology vol. 284 (2019): 67-72. doi:10.1016/j.plantsci.2019.03.022
  4. Baron, Eric P. “Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science.” Headache vol. 58,7 (2018): 1139-1186. doi:10.1111/head.13345

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