Cannabis Terpenes

Cannabis Terpenes

If the term “cannabis terpenes” is unfamiliar to you, there is a good chance it won’t be for long. People around the world are becoming more and more familiar with the medical benefits of cannabis as the plant itself grows in popular understanding and acceptance.

Today we know marijuana is simply not the boogeyman it was an unfairly portrayed to be decades ago. Today the wise minds of modern medicine and science are eager to explore the medicinal treasure the cannabis plant really is.

Helping relieve conditions from anxiety to pain to insomnia, cannabis terpenes are the soul of the plant’s remarkable medicine. They are also the fragrant oils that give the blueberry its unique berry smell and lavender its floral aroma. In fact, terpenes are produced by all kinds of herbs, fruits and flowers. Their sticky oils are secreted by resin glands, the same ones that produce THC, CBD and the other cannabinoids in cannabis.

Working in concert with cannabinoids, terpenes modulate and mitigate the psychoactive effects of cannabis. This is called the entourage effect. Different strains of cannabis have differing relative ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes and thus different therapeutic qualities and effects.

Below we list the major terpenes found in cannabis, their prime therapeutic benefits including arthritic pain relief, and the other plants in which they commonly occur:


  • The most abundant terpene in cannabis
  • Selectively binds to the CB2 receptor, one of the body’s built-in cannabinoid receptors
  • Potent anti-inflammatory & analgesic effects
  • Treats inflammatory and neuropathic pain
  • Potential gastric treatment for duodenal ulcers and gut muscle spasms
  • Also found in black pepper, cloves, hops, cinnamon, oregano and basil


  • An analgesic
  • Helps suppress appetite
  • An isomer of Beta caryophylene
  • An anti-inflammatory in allergic airway inflammation
  • Has strong anti-inflammatory properties similar to dexamethasone
  • Also found in basil, cloves, sage, spearmint, ginseng and hops


  • A terpene commonly found in hops
  • An analgesic and muscle relaxant
  • An anxiolytic component
  • An anti-inflammatory agent
  • Protects against gastric and duodenal ulcers
  • A sedative that may increase the effects of other sedative type drugs
  • Also found in lemongrass, basil, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and tropical fruit


  • The second most common terpene in nature
  • Prominent in lemon and other citrus fruit rinds
  • An analgesic and antioxidant
  • Reduces anxiety
  • An antidepressant
  • An anti-inflammatory agent
  • Effectively treats gastrointestinal reflux
  • Highly bio-available with 70% human pulmonary uptake


  • A sedative and analgesic
  • An anti-convulsant and anti-inflammatory
  • An anti-anxiety agent and local anaesthetic
  • Potential opioid sparing effects, i.e: doesn’t diminish opioid pain relief
  • May decrease progression of Alzheimer’s
  • Commonly found in lavender as well as other flowers and spices including citrus, rosewood, birch and coriander


  • Has sedative-like properties
  • A natural remedy against mites
  • A natural sleep aid helps remedy insomnia
  • Being tested in the transdermal delivery of therapeutic drugs
  • Known for its antioxidant, anti fungal, anticancer and antimicrobial properties
  • Also found as a low-level component in orange and other citrus peels

Alpha Pinene

  • Nature’s most encountered terpenoid
  • An analgesic
  • A bronchodilator at low exposure levels
  • An anti-inflammatory in human cartilage
  • A memory aid believed to counteract memory deficits induced by THC
  • Has broad spectrum antibiotic properties
  • Also found in pine needles, conifers, fresh sage, basil, parsley and dill

Alpha Bisabolol

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-irritant
  • Anti-microbial & Analgesic
  • Widely used in cosmetic and skin care preparations
  • Soothing additive in baby products
  • The primary constituent of essential oils from German chamomile