Terpenoids or terpenes are compounds that are found in the essential oils of all plants. In cannabis, they play a role in how our bodies interact with particular strains. They are also responsible for giving cannabis its distinctive aromas and flavors. Terpenes also give us a better understanding of how strains may interact with our bodies and allow us to dictate the experience we receive when we interact with cannabis or CBD.
What do we know about terpenoids?
Knowledge and research around terpenoids is growing. Currently, researchers have identified more than 140 terpenoids in cannabis that include terpenes and their variations (known as diterpenes and sesquiterpenes). 17 of those 140 terpenoids are the most common in cannabis strains.
Researchers believe that terpenes enhance the health benefits of cannabis-derived products, such as those with CBD or other cannabinoids. Most research has focused on the health benefits of individual terpenes, however research is ongoing to understand the synergistic benefits of terpenoids and CBD, terpenoids and THC, and terpenoids and cannabis.
Common Terpenoids & Their Health Benefits
Pinene is one of the most common terpenes and has a spicy forest smell. Pinene has been used for centuries to relieve inflammation and asthmatic issues. Pinene is also found in pine nuts, rosemary and sage.
Beta-caryophyllene is found in cloves and black pepper and known for its nose tickling ability. Research has found beta-caryophyllene to have possible impacts on tumors as well as anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Limonene, much like it's name, is known for its lemony, citrus aroma. This energizing terpene is known for its cerebral pick-me-up and immune stimulant abilities. If you’re seeking something more upbeat, limonene is the terpene for you. Limonene can also be found in citrus peels.
Linalool can be found in plants such as lavender, coriander, and birch trees. It's commonly used as a natural sleep aid and has anti-convulsant properties (especially when paired with CBD). Linalool can also be found in nutmeg, sage, ginger and spearmint.
Mycrene is known for its pain relief properties as well as its sedative properties. It's known for its citrus, clove and fruity aromas. Mycrene is not only found in cannabis, but is also found in mangoes, hops, thyme and lemongrass.
The terpenoid nerolidol is known for its berry, sweet, and woody aromas. Nerolidol has been found to have sedative, anti-fungal, and skin protectant properties. It can be found in neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender and lemon grass.
Phytol, common in vanilla, has a creamy and earthy aroma. It can be particularly helpful with treatment of insomnia and inflammation. Phytol can also be found in green tea.
To learn more about terpenoids, check out these resources:
Cannabis Industry Crafty Terpenes