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Did you know that the distinct pungent aroma that comes with smoking weed emanates from cannabis terpenes? Depending on the strain, marijuana can be musky, sweet, or skunky, but there’s always a distinct smell, thanks to the natural chemical compounds.

Cannabis & Glass budtenders know all about the characteristics and physical makeup of cannabis. Here, we explain everything you need to know about terpenes and how they affect the final cannabis product.

Visit Cannabis & Glass in Ontario, OR, to learn more about the unique fragrance, flavor, or effects of quality marijuana. 

What Are Cannabis Terpenes?

Close Up of Cannabis Terpenes

Terpenes are natural chemical compounds within plants and certain animals that contribute to their aroma and flavor. In cannabis, these terpenes give different weed strains a distinct smell and taste. Some terpenes also carry therapeutic properties.

Cannabis terpenes come from the female plant’s trichomes, the sticky glands that cover the surface of cannabis flowers. The compounds contribute to the plant’s growth, pigmentation, flavor, and scent.

Marijuana has hundreds of terpene types, but most are in trace amounts. However, they all play a role in a cannabis strain’s characteristics. For instance, the Sour Diesel strain has a spicy, gassy scent, while Cherry Pie is sweet and sour.

What Do Terpenes Do?

Researchers are still studying terpenes’ purpose in humans and plants like marijuana. A popular hypothesis for the connection between cannabis and people is that the terpene profile—the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol)—produce different effects in different bodies and brains. In other words, the terpenes may explain why two weed strains with the same THC potency may create different experiences.

Though THC and CBD are the most prominent cannabinoids in weed, there are over 100 types in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids and terpenes are different compounds but synergize to produce an “entourage effect.” It blends cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds for desirable results like relaxation, a high, or a boost in motivation or creativity.

Terpenes do not get you high, even though some affect the brain. However, they may increase the effects of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that produces the high sensation. That’s why it’s usually best to consider a cannabis strain’s terpene profile ahead of its THC content to understand its overall effects.

For instance, a 2018 study on the effects of CBD and epilepsy showed that people experienced fewer side effects and better symptoms with full-spectrum CBD extract. The cannabis extraction method for full-spectrum CBD includes terpenes and cannabinoids and is more likely to produce the entourage effect.

The Medicinal Benefits of Terpenes in Cannabis

man treating pain with terpenes

We only have limited knowledge about terpenes, with global research being in its early stages. However, it appears these special compounds may have several therapeutic properties, including the following:

  • Antiviral properties
  • Anticarcinogenic properties
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-depressant properties
  • Pain relief potential

What Are Common Terpenes in Cannabis?

A cannabis plant may have up to about 400 terpenes in its makeup. The most common ones that researchers study include the following:


Limonene is in citrus fruits and cannabis plants. It’s why some cannabis strains and natural products, like fragrances, have a citrusy smell. Recent studies give limonene anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, which help it protect the heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tissues.


Rosemary, hops, and cloves garner their unique aroma from this terpene. It is also common in marijuana plants. Studies suggest that beta-caryophyllene may help manage mental health issues, including depression.


As a primary terpene in cannabis, mango, lemongrass, and thyme, myrcene gives plants an earthy, spicy aroma. It may reduce inflammation and pain, carry sedating effects, and offer antibacterial properties.


This terpene is common in conifers like pine trees and gives off a pine-like aroma. Like many other cannabis terpenes, pinene has anti-inflammatory properties. It may also prevent stomach ulcers and improve breathing by increasing airflow into the lungs.

Discover Why High-Quality Weed Works at Cannabis & Glass

Cannabis & Glass stocks an impressive inventory of flowers, edibles, concentrates, and other marijuana-related products. We can help you pick the best items for a pleasing cannabis experience that won’t break your budget. View our Ontario dispensary menu online now!

If you would like to experience the variety of aromas that cannabis terpenes can unlock, visit Cannabis & Glass at our new Ontario location, Alternatively, use our convenient online form to contact us f0r more information.