Terpenes: Responsible for Marijuana’s Smell and Much More

Plants produce molecules in their resin called terpenes, which are responsible for their aroma and flavour. These molecules have adaptive purposes, such as deterring predators or attracting pollinators. However, aromatherapy uses terpenes for therapeutic purposes like regulating moods, dealing with sleep problems and improving overall health. 

Terpenes: Responsible for Marijuana’s Smell and Much More

Currently, more than 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis. Each strain has a unique composition of these molecules. This is what gives the Cheese strain its strong cheese flavour while Blueberry smells fruity and tastes like blueberry. In fact, this composition can even vary within one same subspecies depending on climate, age, maturity, type of soil, etc.


Terpenes are secreted through the same plant glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Historically, researchers and growers focused more on the latter for their psychoactive properties, but recent studies have revealed that terpenes also act synergistically with cannabinoids – in fact, terpenes adjust to the same receptors in your brain – and they alter the chemical effect produced in your body.


Many therapeutic marijuana patients have noticed that one strain helps them more than others despite having similar levels of THC or CDB. The difference lies in their composition of terpenes and their synergy with cannabinoids. That is why laboratories are increasingly interested in researching these molecules, no only for the contribution to aroma, flavour and colour, but also for their potential medical applications. 


Most common terpenes:






Aroma: Musky, earthy

Effects: Relaxing and sedative

Medical value: Antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, muscle relaxant, analgesic, antidepressant

Also found in: Mango, lemongrass, hops and thyme 

Strains high in myrcene: El Niño, Pure Kush, Himalayan Gold, White Widow




Aroma: Pine

Effects: Clarity, memory retention, counteracts some effects of THC

Medical value: Bronchodilator, expectorant, anti-inflammatory and a local antiseptic

Also found in: Pine, rosemary,parsley, dill, basil, etc.

Strains high in pinene: Skunk, Jack Herer, Bubba Kush, Super Silver Haze 




Aroma: Citrus

Effects: Anti-stress and improves mood

Medical value: Antifungal, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic (prevents deterioration of Ras gene), used to cure depression and acts as an aphrodisiac

Also found in: Citrus, mint, rosemary, juniper 

Strains high in limonene: OG Kush, Lemon Haze




Aroma: Spicy, woody, pepper and clove

Effects: Not detectable

Medical value: Gastric protector, anti-inflammatory, good for ulcers and arthritis

Also found in: Pepper, clove and cotton

Strains high in caryophyllene: Hash Plant




Aroma: Floral

Effects: Anxiolytic and sedative

Medical value: Anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, anti-acne

Also found in: Lavender

Strains high in linalool: G13, Amnesia Haze, LA Confidential


However, since there are infinite combinations in cannabis genetics, the range of terpene profiles is certainly immeasurable, as you can see in this chart:



With info from leafly y medicaljane

Comments aboutTerpenes: Responsible For Marijuana’S Smell And Much More

Would you like to make a comment?

Make a comment

Forgot your password?

X Close
Register now
Forgot your password?
X Close

Whatsapp: +34 688 897 947

Add this number to your contacts, open Whatsapp on your smartphone and sends your message for free.

Hours: 9:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday. After hours leave us a message and we will respond the next day.