CannabisTerpenes14 Natural Cannabis Terpenes and Their Health Benefits

July 29, 2020by Amaya Vinuela1

Therapeutic Benefits of Terpenes

Cannabis Terpenes are a group of (volatile aromatic) organic chemicals that make up the essential oils of the cannabis plant, produced alongside the cannabinoids in the glands of the plant called Trichomes . They are responsible for many of the distinguishing characteristics of the various strains of Cannabis.

The combination of Terpenes in cannabis have therapeutic properties on their own and also interact with our endocannabinoid system through a process known as the “entourage effect”.  This synergy creates a symbiosis which allows a stronger effect when combined, than the effects achieved as individual compounds.







Myrcene is the most abundant Terpene in the Cannabis plant and is the precursor to many other terpenes. It has an earthy musky smell and is found fresh mango fruit, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus, lemongrass and many other plants . Myrcene is known to be anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and used in the treatment of spasms. It is also used to treat insomnia, and pain. Myrcene increases cell permeability to allow cannabinoids to be absorbed faster. Myrcene is useful to reduce inflammation and pain, as it has opioid type analgesic effect, as well as being sedating and relaxing. It increases the maximum saturation levels of CB1 receptors, intensifying the effects of THC.


β- Caryophyllene has spicy and peppery undertones, it’s found in many plants including Thai basils, cloves and black pepper. β- Caryophyllene binds to CB-2 allowing the body’s own endocannabinoids, Anandamide and 2-AG to stay circulating in the body longer. It has analgesic and anxiolytic properties. Studies suggest it may play a role in reducing addiction behavior’s in alcohol and nicotine abuse. β- Caryophyllene has demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects and is useful for treating neuropathic pain, especially when combined with CBD. β–Caryophyllene is known to be anti-septic, anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory.


The most abundant Terpene in nature, α-Pinene tends to react with other chemicals, forming a variety of other terpenes. Smells like pine tree, it’s found in conifer trees, orange peels among others, and known for it’s sharp sweet odor. They have an anti-inflammatory effect, and are potent bronchodilators. α-Pinene has been used for centuries  in the treatment of asthma. They also reduce memory loss and increase alertness by inhibiting Acetylcholinesterase and may be beneficial as an adjunct treatment for Alzheimer’s


Humulene has has an earthy woodsy undertone, it is found in hops, cannabis sativa strains, and Vietnamese coriander, among others. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, relieves pain, is anti-tumor and antibacterial. It has been shown as an effective appetite suppressant.


Linalool smells spicy and flora and is found in several hundred different plants including lavenders, laurels, coriander and rosewood. Produces sedation and relaxation, Linalool has been used for several thousands of years as a sleep aid. Good for insomnia, depression, seizures and depression Linalool has been isolated in Linalool is a critical precursor in the formation of Vitamin E. It has been used in the treatment of both psychosis and anxiety, and as an anti-epileptic agent. It also grants relief from pain and has been used as an analgesic. Its vapors have been shown to be an effective insecticide 


Formed from alpha-Pinene, Limonene is the second most abundant Terpene found in Cannabis. Smells like lemon. Increases Serotonin and Dopamine levels, improving mood and sleep, and decreasing anxiety. It’s ability to permeate proteins makes it ideal for treating toenail fungus. It is a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, and potentially a pain reliever. Good for gastrointestinal complaints, such as reflux and heartburn. It has been found to be a bronchodilator as well. Limonene also assists in the absorption of other terpenoids and chemicals through the skin, mucous membranes and digestive tract. It’s also been shown to be effective anti-tumor while at the same time being an immuno-stimulant. 




Ocimene is a terpene responsible for some of the sweet, woodsy, citrusy flavors of the Cannabis plant, it is found in mint, parsley, basil, orchids, oregano, mint. Ocimene acts primarily as a defensive agent and is known to possess antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial properties. It is a decongestant, helping the body expel excess mucus and phlegm.



Valencene smells like oranges, and is found in Citrus Valencene’s most popular application is insect repellent.  So far, research has shown the following medical benefits of Valencene: anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, promotes cognitive function and helps alertness.


Terpinolene is characterized by a herbaceous, piney, citrusy, floral aroma, it is found in apples, oregano, marjoram, cumin, lilac, and conifers. It is cannabis’ least-common terpene. Terpinolene is known for being being anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-microbial . It is a potent sedative and has been found beneficial for treating insomnia, and anxiety.


Smells of apple blossoms and lilacs, taste like mint, found in basil, chamomile, parsley. Terpineol has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties It’s antibiotic and antioxidant Studies show that this terpene is able to help manage pain and inflammation, reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures, act as a gastroprotective, and kill bacteria.



Smells like peaches and is present in Geraniums, Roses and Citronella. It is a effective mosquito repellant. Is neuroprotective and antioxidant, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.


Eucalyptol has a distinctive menthol aroma found in Eucalyptus, mint, sage Tea tree. Has analgesic properties and is used for treating Rheumatism as a topical application. Is anti-inflammatory by COX inhibition. Early studies show promise for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, by  reducing inflammation  and possibly even by improving cognition and memory.




Camphene has a pungent earthy and musky scent with piney undertones, found in conifers, nutmeg, ginger, and rosemary . Camphene has powerful pain-relieving and antioxidative properties and provides a sense of alertness and elevated mood. When mixed with Vitamin C, it becomes a powerful antioxidant and is used topically for eczema and psoriasis. Has the ability to lower cholesterol and triglycerides.


This terpene displays a sweet, earthy aroma with piney undertones, similar to cypress, found in rosemary, basil, bell pepper, cedar, and citrus rinds. Seems to be beneficial for bone growth and has been shown to stimulate memory and help with memory retention. 


One comment

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    September 9, 2020 at 10:34 pm

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