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10 Cannabis Terpenes and Their Effects

by in Medical Marijuana February 23, 2024

If you’re into cannabis, you probably know all about cannabinoids and their effects by now. But how much do you know about cannabis terpenes and their effects?

Terpenes are one of the largest groups of natural plant compounds. There are over 150 of them in cannabis, working alongside cannabinoids to contribute to the overall effect of this natural supplement.

Each of these terpenes can induce a set of different effects. Understanding these compounds can help you pick the best strains for your needs and elevate your experience.

Which terpenes should you know about? Here, we will give you a list of the top 10 cannabis terpenes that play a vital role in the plant’s therapeutic effects. First, let’s take a closer look at what terpenes are.

What Are Terpenes?

Before we dive into the top 10 cannabis terpenes and their effects, let’s take a closer look at terpenes themselves.

Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds that exist in almost all plants and even some animals. They give plants like sage and lavender their flavors and aromas while attracting pollinators and acting as natural repellents against predators.

We use them daily in essential oils, cleaning products, and even teas for their fragrances. However, we’ve only recently realized that we can also use terpenes for their medicinal benefits.

Meet the Top Cannabis Terpenes and Their Effects

When it comes to terpenes and cannabis, there are a few things medical marijuana patients should know.

There are two types of terpenes in cannabis: primary and secondary. Primary terpenes are more abundant and play a role in creating a strain’s signature aroma. Secondary terpenes are less abundant and have a lesser impact on the strain’s characteristics.

Each terpene can lend a different characteristic to a strain. However, most strains have a combination of terpenes that determine their overall taste, fragrance, and effect.

With that in mind, let’s look at the list of the top 10 cannabis terpenes.

1. Myrcene

When looking at cannabis terpenes and their effects, we have to start with myrcene, the most abundant terpene in the plant. Myrcene accounts for 65% of some strains’ terpene profiles. It has a musky, earthy fragrance with fruity undernotes.

Myrcene is also found in thyme, mangoes, cardamom, hops, cloves, and lemongrass.

Effects of Myrcene

With sedating properties, myrcene is among the best terpenes for stress and anxiety. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects also make it popular for pain relief.

Studies show that myrcene also has anti-tumor activity against cancer cells and can be a potential ally to stop the spread of disease.

Strains Rich in Myrcene

You can enjoy myrcene cannabis terpenes and their effects by trying the following strains:

  • OG Kush
  • Skunk XL
  • Blue Dream 
  • Mango Kush
  • White Widow

2. Pinene

Next on our list of cannabis terpenes is pinene, the most prevalent terpene in the natural world, with two varieties: alpha and beta.

These two have different molecular arrangements and scents. Alpha-pinene gives off a piney aroma, while beta-pinene exudes rosemary scents. Pinene terpenes also exist in basil, pine trees, orange peels, and sage.

Effects of Pinene

Pinene is one of the top anti-inflammatory cannabis terpenes with the potential to reduce pain and aid in blood pressure regulation.

Researchers who studied these cannabis terpenes and their effects also suggest that alpha-pinene can help reduce memory impairment in Alzheimer’s patients.

Strains Rich in Pinene

Some of the most popular pinene-rich strains include:

  • Harlequin
  • Big Smooth
  • Blue Dream 
  • Critical Mass
  • Snoop’s Dream

3. Beta-caryophyllene

Another dominant terpene is beta-caryophyllene. Unlike other terpenes, this can interact directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system and bind to CB2 receptors.

Beta-caryophyllene has a spicy, peppery fragrance. You can find it in cinnamon, black pepper, basil, oregano, and rosemary.

Effects of Beta-caryophyllene

Studies examining this group of cannabis terpenes and their effects show that beta-caryophyllene binds to the receptors within the immune system to modify inflammatory responses. That is why beta-caryophyllene is one of the best terpenes for pain.

This terpene has also shown immense potential in alleviating depression and anxiety disorders.

Strains Rich in Beta-caryophyllene

You can find beta-caryophyllene in the following cultivars:

  • Gelato
  • Skywalker 
  • Sour Diesel
  • Super Silver Haze 
  • Girl Scout Cookies

4. Limonene

Next on our list of cannabis terpenes is limonene, the second most abundant terpene in this plant.

Limonene terpenes have a characteristic citrusy flavor and can be found in grapefruits, lemons, oranges, limes, and other citrus fruits.

Effects of Limonene

Limonene cannabis terpenes and their effects have been studied extensively. The findings of these studies suggest that limonene is a potent antifungal and antibacterial agent with stress-relieving properties.

Other studies point to limonene’s anti-inflammatory effects and the ability to reduce the size of cancerous tumors.

Strains Rich in Limonene

Limonene-rich strains include the following:

  • Cinex 
  • Jack Herer
  • Lemon OG
  • Durban Poison 
  • Super Lemon Haze

5. Linalool

Lavender essential oil next to lavender flowers

Another group of cannabis terpenes and their effects we will explore is linalool terpenes. Linalool gives cannabis a spicy, floral fragrance similar to the scent of lavender.

So it’s no wonder you can find this terpene in plants like lavender, mint, coriander, and rose.

Effects of Linalool

Linalool has powerful anti-depressant properties that can balance the anxiousness caused by too much THC. Apart from its calming effects, linalool also has pain-relieving potential and can be found in some of the best marijuana strains for migraines.

Strains Rich in Linalool

For a linalool-rich experience, try the following strains:

  • Lavender 
  • OG Shark
  • Kosher Kush
  • Special Kush
  • Amnesia Haze

6. Terpinolene

Another compound on our list of cannabis terpenes is terpinolene, which is the dominant terpene in one out of every ten strains.

Terpinolene has refreshing floral aromas with hints of pine and apple blossom. Other plants rich in terpinolene include lilacs, cumin, sage, and apples.

Effects of Terpinolene

While studying this group of cannabis terpenes and their effects, scientists found that terpinolene provides a relaxing experience and reduces anxiety. Another potential benefit of this terpene is its antiviral and antibacterial activity.

Strains Rich in Terpinolene

Strains with a high level of terpinolene include:

  • Chernobyl
  • Jack Herer 
  • Golden Goat
  • Durban Poison 
  • Ghost Train Haze

7. Humulene

Another top terpene in cannabis is humulene. This compound was first found in hops, so it has a similar scent with woody undertones. Apart from cannabis and hops, you can find humulene in cloves, ginseng, basil, and coriander.

Effects of Humulene

We all know about the munchies effect of marijuana. However, studies examining this group of cannabis terpenes and their effects show that humulene can actually suppress appetite.

Other therapeutic effects of humulene include its anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activities.

Strains Rich in Humulene

Some humulene-rich strains include:

  • Headband 
  • Sour Diesel 
  • Liberty Haze
  • White Widow 
  • Girl Scout Cookies 

8. Nerolidol

Next on our list of cannabis terpenes is nerolidol. This secondary terpene in cannabis is known for its woody, floral, and citrus-like scents. Other sources of nerolidol include ginger, jasmine, tea tree, citronella, and lavender.

Effects of Nerolidol

Studies assessing this group of cannabis terpenes and their effects found that nerolidol can be an effective antifungal agent.

Nerolidol is one of the best terpenes for sleep and relaxation. It has also been shown to have anticancer properties, which make it a helpful ally in preventing tumor growth.

Strains Rich in Nerolidol

If you want to try nerolidol, go for the following strains:

  • Chemdawg
  • Blue Dream
  • Skywalker OG
  • Island Sweet Skunk
  • Black Lime Reserve

9. Eucalyptol

Another prevalent terpene in marijuana is eucalyptol, the primary terpene of eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptol has a fresh, minty fragrance and is present in other botanical sources, such as rosemary and sage.

Effects of Eucalyptol

When studying this group of cannabis terpenes and their effects, scientists found that eucalyptol has prominent cooling activities. Other studies show that eucalyptol may also possess memory-enhancing and antibacterial properties.

Strains Rich in Eucalyptol

For eucalyptol-rich strains, try the following:

  • Headband 
  • Bubba Kush
  • Ace of Spades
  • Girl Scout Cookies 
  • Super Lemon Haze

10. Bisabolol

Chamomile flowers

Finally, we have bisabolol on our list of cannabis terpenes. This terpene is famous in the cosmetic industry for its sweet, floral scent. You can find bisabolol in other plants like chamomile, myrtle, and Candeia trees.

Effects of Bisabolol

Studies evaluating this group of cannabis terpenes and their effects show that bisabolol has antimicrobial, anticancer, neuroprotective, and cardioprotective properties. Bisabolol may also increase the absorption of other compounds when used alongside them.

Strains Rich in Bisabolol

For a bisabolol-rich experience, try these cultivars:

  • Dolato
  • Rockstar
  • Harle-Tsu 
  • OG Shark 
  • Pink Kush 

Try the Top Cannabis Terpenes and Their Effects with Ozark MMJ Cards

Now that you know about the effects of different terpenes, you can choose your strains more wisely and get the most out of marijuana.

Are you excited to try strains from this list of cannabis terpenes and feel their therapeutic effects for yourself? Ozark MMJ Cards can help!

We offer fast and affordable medical marijuana card services to qualified patients in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Eligible patients can get certified through an online appointment with one of our licensed doctors and register for their cards.

Start your certification process today to enjoy the various cannabis terpenes and their effects legally. Contact our friendly support team for personalized customer service. Don’t forget to visit our cannabis blog for more educational reads like this one!

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