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What are The Terpenes?

Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
terpenes cover

Terpenes are a group of chemical compounds found in plants and also rarely in animals such as insects. They are among the secondary plant substances that are absorbed through food. In addition to cannabinoids like THC and CBD, hemp also contains terpenes. Terpenes are considered to manifest through the aroma released by weed plants and protect the plant from pests.

Terpenes are also called secondary plant compounds. They are often used for their smell or taste and are, for exeample, the main component of essential oils from plants. Terpenes are also used to make aromatic extracts of themselves or to aromatize certain commercial products.

Terpenes are recognized by the FDA as safe to use because in the case of organic terpenes, they are produced in the sticky resin glands of cannabis. While regular consumers notice terpenes primarily due to their aromatic and pungent distinctions, these compounds provide more benefits than just an intense smell.


Now, if we talk about terpenes, we must also refer to terpenoids which encompass all chemical compounds that have terpenes as basic components. Terpenoids include, for example, bitter substances or carotenoids. Cannabinoids are also similar to terpenes.


Terpenes belong to the group of secondary plant substances. They are not essential nutrients for humans and have been not been thoroughly investigated. However, they are said to influence metabolic processes. Various beneficial effects for health and medicinal properties are attributed to them including cancer protection. Positive effects on the heart and blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects are also noted.

Difference between Terpenes and Terpenoids

Terpenes and terpenoids are a bit different when it comes to their molecular structure. Terpenes are the fresh and live version of terpenoids. What you smell when you get close to a live cannabis plant is the bouquet of terpenes secreted by the resinous glands of its lower parts. Terpenoids, on the other hand, are formed when the cannabis flower is dried and cured. Ultimately, these two processes change the way these molecules transform.

Terpenoids are commonly used outside of cannabis for their aromas. People infuse terpenes into different ingredients to create spices, perfumes, and essential oils. However, there is a growing body of research showing that terpenoids are important players in modulating the effects of cannabinoids.

Terpeno vs Terpenoid
Terpeno vs Terpenoid

Recent studies have shown that terpenes can change, increase, or decrease the duration and intensity of the effects coming from a specific strain as well as influence the smell and taste of the buds. In other words, without terpenes, the effects of different strains that are high in CBD or THC would be bland and lacking in additional health benefits.

What are the main terpenes?

Cannabis is believed to contain more than 120 terpenes, although many of these are found in small amounts and their effects may be minor or even non-existent. The primary terpenes and terpenoids that have been identified in cannabis are limonene, myrcene, pinene, linalool, eucalyptol, γ-terpinene, β-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol, and phytol. These compounds, unlike cannabinoids, are not exclusive to cannabis (although there are now indications that other plant species contain some phytocannabinoids) and many are in fact very familiar to us.

Limonene terpene

More than a single terpene, limonene encompasses two molecular isomers, d-limonene (a major terpene in the marijuana genome and the second most common in nature) and l-limonene (a minor terpene). It provides a strong citrus aroma to marijuana, although it is mainly present in fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, and other citrus fruits. Specifically, it is found in citrus peels and is also present in many strains of marijuana. Aromatherapy, primarily through the use of diffusers, has long praised the mood-enhancing effects of limonene, positioning it as an effective all-natural anti-anxiety and functional antidepressant.

However, modified limonene can also be used in different industries. It is used in foods, beverages, perfumes, soaps, cleaners, and can even remove paint. While high concentrations can cause skin irritation, proper dilution makes limonene completely safe and beneficial. The use of chemicals can also convert limonene to carvone. Surprisingly, modern chemistry allows for the transformation of the citrus flavor of limonene into mint. Carvone is contained in mint and is also found in trace amounts in cannabis.

Limonene Terpene
Limonene Terpene

Limonene is often assumed to be abundant in lemon-scented strains, although this is not always the case. When looking for high limonene strains, you’ll need to find lab-tested products to know that the strain you’re interested in has good limonene composition. While THC normally makes up 10-30% of the dry weight of a flower, limonene occurs in small amounts, usually less than 2%. These are very volatile molecules that require certain scientific analysis to be detected.

Despite limonene’s potential therapeutic benefits, little is known about how it works in the brain and body and what doses are required to achieve those benefits. Many of the limonene studies to date have used high doses, much higher than those found in marijuana. However, it has been preliminarily determined to be beneficial for mood enhancement, relieving stress, antifungal properties, antibacterial properties, relieving heartburn and gastric reflux, and enhancing the absorption of other terpenes and chemicals through the skin, mucous membranes, and digestive tract

Gary Payton

The organoleptic profile of this variety is complex and exquisite, finding lemon-like citrus flavors with fruity and sweet notes. In addition, it is accompanied by a lot of THC, containing between 20% – 25% of this psychoactive cannabinoid. In addition, in Gary Payton, you can find other terpenes such as Humble, Linalool, and Caryophyllene in smaller quantities, offering users mental relief. With this strain of weed, you will feel an energetic high that fills you with life and leaves you ready to face the day.

Gary Payton
Gary Payton

Gary Payton not only stands out for having Limonene as its main terpene, nor for its intense high, but because it activates the minds of users and promotes creativity, leaving people in focus for the development of their activities.

On the other hand, it calms bad thoughts and relaxes people who suffer from panic attacks or who have suicidal thoughts.

Myrcene Terpene

Myrcene, one of the most abundant terpenes in Cannabis, is a hydrocarbon responsible for the unmistakable smell that some of the most popular marijuana strains on the market emit. It is usually associated with an earthy aroma with nuances of musk that can be reminiscent of the clove spice. In addition to this, it also has more fruity flavors such as red grape or balsamic with spicy notes. In addition to this, a scientific study suggests that myrcene can enhance the sedative effects.

You can find myrcene in fruits such as mangoes. Anecdotally, it is said that eating a mango before consuming Cannabis can accentuate or extend the psychoactive effects of the plant. Many suggest that this is due to the fruit’s concentrations of myrcene which is naturally synergistic with THC, allowing it to more easily penetrate the blood and reach the brain more intensely and quickly.

Myrcene Terpene
Myrcene Terpene

You can also find myrcene in other types of plants such as thyme, parsley, laurel, or hops. It is one of the most used isolated terpenes in the perfume industry and in fragrances in general. Among the benefits it delivers, the following can be named: analgesic action against pain, antibacterial potential that stops the growth of these organisms, antidiabetic benefits which in some cases can mitigate the effects of diabetes, and powerful anti-inflammatory qualities that are ideal for reducing certain inflammations. It is good for fighting insomnia and helps users to fall asleep. It also has an antimutagenic capacity which inhibits cell mutation, antipsychotic potential, reduces symptoms of psychosis, is an antispasmodic, providing benefits in reducing spasms, and is an inhibitor of gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Motor Breath

This is a mostly indica cannabis strain that stands out because myrcene is the central terpene, causing Motor Breath to have a flavor and give off earthy aromas. You can also distinguish other aromas and flavors such as citrus and diesel which gives its name to Motor Breath. Users of this strain, thanks to its dominant terpene (myrcene), point out that it helps control migraines, relax the body and mind, and control fatigue and anxiety.

Motor Breath
Motor Breath

In short, Myrcene dominates the terpene profile of Motor Breath. Myrcene has a fairly complex flavor and aroma profile with musky and sweet notes. You can find it in a variety of foods, including mangoes. Aside from its powerful aroma, this terpene can possess a variety of benefits, including anti-inflammatory and sedative properties.

Pinene Terpene

Pinene is an aromatic terpene commonly found in the essential oils of coniferous trees such as pine. This compound provides odors with a strong herbal character which is why it has many uses in different industries, although the best thing about this type of aromatic compound is the therapeutic properties that it seems to offer. Thus, the aroma and flavor of alpha pinene could be more similar to the essence of rosemary or pine resin, while beta-pinene shares more organoleptic characteristics with dill, basil, or parsley.

It is widely used in aromatherapy and cosmetics as we find it in rosemary, orange peel, tea tree, and eucalyptus. It also has therapeutic benefits. A study carried out in 2015 by a chinese university credited pinene with antitumor capabilities. This terpene still has a lot to say in terms of its therapeutic properties. In addition to these benefits, pinene is a terpene that plays a very important role in regulating what is known as the entourage effect of marijuana. In fact, this terpene is capable of modulating the psychoactive effects of THC such as anxiety or memory loss, using the existing synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes.

Pinene Terpene
Pinene Terpene

In this way, a variety that is rich in THC with the presence of this terpene will affect our short-term memory less than one that does not have the presence of this terpene. Some other benefits provided by the pinene terpene in cannabis are: anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects, bronchodilator properties, antimicrobial effects, gastroprotective properties, antiproliferative activity, and antioxidant properties.

Critical Cheese Candy

Critical Cheese Candy is a variety that comes loaded with the terpenes, Alpha Pinene and Beta Pinene. Therefore, its flavors stand out in its buds, including an intense taste of cheese with citrus touches and some sweet aftertastes. Some cannabis tasters even include certain airs of refreshing mint.

Thanks to the terpenes that are concentrated in this variety, it can be said that Critical Cheese Candy helps people who suffer from spasms and it also reduces stress levels, reduces fatigue, lowers anxiety levels, and fights depression. When you consume this variety of weed, you will feel like talking and you will also experience feelings of happiness with an incredible relaxation. For the same reason, we recommend using it in the middle of the day or on those days when you have nothing to do.

Linalool Terpene

Linalool is a natural monoterpene found in many flowers and herbs. It is one of more than 200 terpenes found in the cannabis plant and is responsible for both its intense aroma and various medicinal benefits. Linalool, in particular, is often associated with the more floral, spicy, or woody scents of cannabis. In addition to being a key terpene in the aromatic composition of cannabis, linalool is an important ingredient and essential oil in various food and personal care products.

Linalool functions as a fragrance element in cosmetics and skin care products and is said to promote relaxation and calmness and may also have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Although it is most commonly associated with lavender, more than 200 plants produce linalool, including citrus, mint, rosewood, bay, basil, coriander, and cinnamon.

Linalool terpene
Linalool terpene

Some of the benefits of this terpene have drawn the attention of science. That’s why in an article by Dr. Ethan Russo, “Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid Entourage Effects,” he explored how the interaction of linalool, limonene, and CBG helped treat the most treatment-resistant form of staph infection. This points to promising antimicrobial properties and represents a potential utility for users. More recently, exciting research has implicated linalool in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2016 study suggested that linalool might restore some cognitive and emotional functions lost to Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory properties. The same study found that linalool reduced the number of brain plaques and tangles that define Alzheimer’s and contribute to cognitive decline.


Lavender is a hybrid-type cannabis strain with an indica predominance whose effects will surprise you by making you feel very relaxed without losing your mental clarity which will prevent you from falling asleep. In addition, it stands out for the amount of resin it generates. Its flavor also does not go unnoticed and is quite durable.

As you can imagine, its flavor is spicy with sweet notes and a strong herbal taste thanks to the linalool terpene which brings users an anti-inflammatory, calming, and even sedative effect. This gives Lavender cannabis genetics a certain therapeutic potential, especially for medicinal cannabis users. All of the above is endorsed by people who have consumed Lavender and who suffer from anxiety, arthritis, or insomnia because with its sedative power, it helps reduce pain and sends users into a sweet dream.

We have already shared the first part of our extensive article about terpenes, their benefits and effects, and the main strains of cannabis that possess these terpenes. Now, do not move from the Blimburn Seeds blog because we are going to continue with the second part of our blog on terpenes where you will learn more terpenes, their functions, and in which weed strains you can find them, among many other details.

As often happens in cannabis, not all of its compounds are known. Cannabinoids such as CBD or CBG are just beginning to be studied in depth. In fact, it is good to point out that parts of the human organism linked to cannabis such as the Endocannabinoid system have begun to be studied in recent decades, yielding surprising results for the global scientific community.

The same thing happens with terpenes. There are not many finished studies regarding these cannabis components, so we are forced to navigate a green sea full of questions from which we can obtain some conclusions and ideas like the ones you are going to read about in this guide prepared for you at Blimburn Seeds where we have more than 800 different marijuana genetics waiting for you to grow in your garden.


Borneol is one of 200 aromatic terpenes that can appear in cannabis strains. Like other terpenes, it is characterized by high medical efficacy. This terpene relieves pain, slows bacterial growth, reduces inflammation, and even inhibits fungal growth. Plus, it’s an antioxidant and even works as a blood thinner, meaning it helps prevent strokes. This terpene is also commonly known as natural terminalol and formerly known as Bornean camphor. It is described as having a minty, spicy, refreshing, or herbal aroma and is found in high concentrations in camphor, rosemary, and mints.


Borneol has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Chinese doctors have used it for millennia in acupuncture. Experimentation with borneol in Western medicine was first performed by Dr. Ralph Stockman at the University of Edinburgh in 1888. Like all terpenes, one of Borneol’s main functions is aroma transport. The smell produced by all terpenes is an evolutionary defense of the cannabis plant. So, terpenes protect the plant against predators and pests, most of which are toxic. This means we are also entitled to this protection through our endocannabinoid system.

The medical use of Terpene Borneol

Like other notable medicinal terpenes, including pinene, linalool, and limonene, borneol has been shown to be an anti-cancer agent. Technically speaking, borneol does not necessarily directly kill cancer cells. Instead, it provides the help that other molecules need to reach cancer cells. In liver cancer, borneol has been shown to promote anticancer activity. More specifically, the activity of natural compounds such as bisdemethoxycurcumin and selenocysteine.

A 2014 study published in the journal Acta Pharmacologica Sinica revealed that bornyl, a molecular cousin of borneol, killed breast cancer cells. The study noted that: “Bornyl acetate exerts non-selective cytotoxicity against cancer cells.” In other words, “The compound induces apoptosis [programmed suicide] in human breast cancer.” A 2013 study conducted at the College of Light Industry and Food Sciences at South China University of Technology found that: Apoptosis, also called “programmed cell death,” is the mechanism in multicellular organisms, such as humans, in which cells commit suicide after feeling severe environmental stress. One particular variety of this process, called extrinsic apoptosis, involves one type of cell moving toward another to kill it.

Borneol Terpene

It is thanks to this extrinsic influence that borneol and cannabinoids are able to defeat cancer cells and, fundamentally, order their death. In addition, another 2014 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology revealed that borneol is effective in preventing strokes. This study found that borneol, in synergistic combination with edaravone, was effective in treating ischemic stroke. A study published in 2002 in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology found that natural borneol has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties that are more potent than a popular synthetic drug, lidocaine. As a conclusion, we can estimate that Borneol is just one example of the medical efficacy of the complex mixture between cannabinoids and terpenes. Also, cannabis proves once again that instead of killing brain cells, it nourishes them. Cannabis can be used to repair the body and improve health.

Amnesia Haze

Amnesia Haze is a cannabis strain that contains large amounts of the borneol terpene, making it a favorite for medical users to relax and raise their socializing levels. Other users noted that this strain is very good for anxiety control because despite being a mostly sativa variety that induces a euphoric high, if you up the dosage or consumption levels, it will take you on an absolutely relaxing trip.

Be aware that your refrigerator may be in danger because Amnesia Haze also stimulates the appetite which is an excellent combination with the flavors that its buds give off which are pungent, sweet, and citrusy. But that’s not all because the 18%-22% THC levels play perfectly with the other terpenes that this variety has, including Bheta Pinene and Alpha Pinene, among others.


Surely, you have felt that some herbs feel spicy on the palate with flavors of pepper and spices such as oregano, reminding you of the meals that your grandmother prepared for you. Well, that is the Caryophyllene terpene that provides those tastes and qualities to the buds of weed plants. It also stands out for its medicinal qualities.

One of the least known compounds is β-caryophyllene, a spicy terpene with a penetrating aroma that gives a very special touch to some marijuana strains. This molecule gives black pepper and cloves their distinctive spicy flavor. We can also find it in hops, rosemary, and basil. Through an article published in 2011 by the British Journal of Pharmacology, scientists analyze the phenomenon of the “entourage effect”, that is, how a variety of terpenes and cannabinoids can increase the effects of others.


The main conclusion that has been drawn is that β-caryophyllene may enhance the gastric cytoprotective effects (protection against gastric mucosal injury) of THC. The two molecules can also work together in the treatment of pruritus (severe itching of the skin). β-Caryophyllene has also been studied to work in conjunction with CBD in the treatment of addiction. On the other hand and in a preliminary way, it has been discovered that this terpene can act medicinally as an analgesic in treatments against bacteria and it can also be used to fight against depression. So far, its anti-inflammatory value and its antioxidant value are known.


Biscotti is a mostly indica strain of weed that stands out for its high THC potency which is between 25%-30%. But that’s not all, because this variety of cannabis also contains the terpene, Caryophyllene, in high quantities. Therefore, the flavors of Biscotti are a mix between sweet tastes and highly spicy notes.

Its high effect makes you feel like you’re in a cloud with sensations of creativity and extra energy that end with a great relaxation. This strian is ideal for people who suffer from insomnia, pain caused by arthritis, or chronic muscle pain. In all of these clinical cases, the terpene Caryophyllene acts, helping people who are suffering from these diseases to control pain or fall asleep and enter a deep state of relief. Without a doubt, Biscotti is a strain that you must cultivate and you can buy it here at Blimburn Seeds.


Humulene is one of the more herbal terpenes found in nature. This terpene is responsible for giving unique organoleptic properties to aromatic plants such as earthy, woody, and spicy aromas, although mainly herbal. It is possible to find this terpene in spices such as black pepper and cereals such as hops. It can also be found in roots such as ginseng and is a close relative of caryophyllene.

Humulene is one of the most easily assimilated terpenes by the human body. There are studies that collect the potential anti-inflammatory properties that humulene could have in living beings. Other sources show how humulene could have effects on appetite suppression and could have antihistamine and antibacterial effect. Humulene is a natural pesticide, so it is one of the terpenes that can help plants fight pests, insects, and fungi.

Humelene Terpene
Humelene Terpene

When Humelene is mixed with fitconnabinoids and other terpenes, it is possible for this terpene to eliminate cancer cells in those suffering from the disease, according to a study carried out in 2016. Several centuries ago, this terpene was used as a medicine in ancient civilizations, applying it mainly in topical oils. Humelene also helps fight tumors when found in abies balsamea oils. We will review other studies that have supported the benefits of humelene below. For example, a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology found that humulene reduced inflammation in rodent models. The same study compared the potency of humulene’s anti-inflammatory effects with those provided by the potent corticosteroid dexamethasone.

Here, we mention the antioxidant value of Humele which is ratified by the following analysis: a 2016 study published in the Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal analyzed the effects of humulene in diabetic rats. Results showed that humulene decreased a marker of oxidative stress and demonstrated antidiabetic properties.


It’s time to choose which variety of cannabis to grow in your next garden. Here, we recommend Candyland because if you are looking for those floral aromas and flavors typical of humelene, you will find them in this strain. In addition, you will discover sweet flavors with notes of honey and aftertastes that are somewhat spicy such as pepper.


Candyland will take you on a journey of sensations which range from feeling very hungry, as it stimulates your appetite, to feeling extra energy and happiness to a relaxation that can help users who suffer from chronic pain, insomnia, or even depression.  The high levels of THC that are between 18%-20% make it possible for the trips and effects of Candyland to be intense. For the same reason, we do not recommend that you exceed the levels of consumption in order to avoid having a bad experience.


More than just a normal terpene, terpineol is an umbrella term that refers to various terpene alcohols. A terpene alcohol shares many characteristics with regular terpenes apart from a distinct oxygen-containing hydroxyl on one side of the chemical. Four different monoterpenes are grouped under the term “terpineol”, each with unique differences between their aromas:

Alpha-terpineol has a faint lilac odor reminiscent of fresh peaches. This terpene, alpha-terpineol or α-terpineol, is a terpene alcohol found in many natural oils such as pine and petitgrain (an oil from the bitter orange tree). It is the most common terpineol isomer found in cannabis.

Beta-terpineol has a woody odor from freshly cut trees. Beta-terpineol, or β-Terpineol, is tertiary alcohol produced naturally in the volatile fraction of various plants. You might find this isomer listed in cannabis products but it’s far less common than the alpha isomer.

Gamma-terpineol has an aroma with a tendency towards citrus. Gamma-terpineol, or Γ-terpineol, is a monoterpenoid of p-menthane. The only difference between gamma and beta terpineol is the location of a double bond. That is to say, it is a difference in the composition of its chain.

PINE Terpene
PINE Terpene

Terpinen-4-ol has earthy notes with a woody undertone. Terpinen-4-ol is a terpineol isomer with the chemical formula C10H18O. It is extracted from the leaves, branches, and bark of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree and is a primary component of tea tree oil.

Terpineol is commonly found in more than 150 plants, including flowers, fruits, and spices such as apples, basil, limes, lilacs, grapefruit, rosemary, eucalyptus, and pine trees. The essential oil is often used in cosmetics or skin care products, soaps, lotions, and perfumes and is favored for its soft lilac profile. Terpineol can also improve skin penetration, making it a very useful terpene for topical and beauty products. The Terpineol is often found in different teas, most notably lapsang souchong tea with its piney and smoky aroma. Terpineol is also often used as a flavoring element in condiments and baked goods. Terpineol is also found in cardamom, cajuput oil, and pine oil. It has biological applications as an antioxidant, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antiulcer, antihypertensive, and antinociceptive compound.

Fire OG

Make no mistake, if you are looking for the Pineol terpene, you can easily find it in the Fire OG cannabis strain which stands out for its pine flavor and aroma, typical of this terpene. Thanks to the Alpha Terpineol variant, we can say that this indica variety produces very relaxing effects and also stimulates your desire to talk and produces certain feelings of happiness.

Fire OG stands out for its great power with THC levels of 18%-22% and also for its CBD levels which in some specimens reach 2%. As for cultivation, it is an easy plant that can be cultivated by both novices and experts, adapting greatly to indoor cultivation in small spaces or outdoors where it expresses all of its potential with monstrous cannabis plants.

Strains featured in this article:

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson is a passionate cannabis cultivator with over a decade of experience in the California cannabis industry. Born and raised in the heart of the West Coast, Mike has dedicated his life to honing his skills as a cultivator, becoming a true master of the plant. His love for cannabis and profound knowledge of its cultivation have led him to explore every facet of this captivating plant, from classic strains to the latest trends in cultivation and advanced techniques.

With a unique perspective on cannabis culture and a focus on sustainability and quality, Mike generously shares his valuable tips and tricks on this platform. Through his posts, he will guide you on the exciting journey of cannabis cultivation, providing expert insights and practical experiences to help you achieve success in your own cultivation endeavors. Join Mike on his journey through the world of cannabis and discover how to cultivate responsibly and achieve exceptional harvests. Become part of his community and unlock the secrets of a true cannabis master!

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