This article by Charles McElroy was originally published on Goldleaf, and appears here with permission.
Terpenes can be found in most all species of flora. They are chiefly responsible for the aromatic and flavor diversity in the plant kingdom. Simple chemical compounds, terpenes are created to help plants defend themselves against threats and to attract beneficial species. In Cannabis sativa, terpenes are produced in the resin glands along with the cannabinoids and often work together to enhance or alter the effects of one another. This list houses information about the most common and abundant terpenes found in cannabis, including their flavors and known medical benefits.
This terpene’s hallmark is its floral scent, reminiscent of sharp and sweet wildflowers. It is also found in lavender, laurel, birch and rosewood. It has calming and sedative properties and can help relieve anxiety.
Medical value: analgesic, anti-epileptic, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety.
Known to have an aroma that is peppery, woody and spicy, this is the only terpene proven to interact with the endocannabinoid system (CB2) in our bodies. It is also found in basil, oregano, pepper, and cinnamon leaves.
Medical value: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-spasmodic, sleep aid.
The most common and abundant naturally occurring terpene, it is a main contributor to cannabis’ tell-tale piney aroma. It is also found in many conifer species and herbs such as …