What Are Hemp Terpenes?
Hemp 101: Meet the hemp terpenes
You don’t need to be smoking hemp to bring terpenes into your life—but we like to think it’s a great way to benefit from them.
Terpenes are everywhere. In flowers, plants, herbs, fruits—even cacti. As amazing as this is, we’re here to talk about something close to our hearts: hemp.
So what are hemp terpenes (terps)? It’s time to find out.
What Are Hemp Terpenes: The Origins
Hemp terpenes are oils that can be extracted from the glands of a hemp plant. The glands—also home to CBD—secrete terpenes.
Terpenes are, essentially, the personality of your hemp. They deliver a flavor and scent profile that is unique to that strain of hemp. Terpenes are part of a plant’s biological drive for survival. If it can’t attract pollinators and repel predators, it won’t survive. From a human perspective, terpenes have a whole other range of uses.
For generations, the great cultures of the world have harnessed the power of plant terpenes. These influential compounds form the basis of every essential oil and aromatherapy treatment, in native medicines, and as perfumes, skincare, aromatherapy, and cleaning products.
While cannabis terpenes could potentially be used that way, too, both scientists and enthusiasts have bigger plans for them: health and wellbeing solutions.
Hemp terpenes influence which strains could potentially help us decompress and relax, and which strains could help alleviate anxiety and chronic stress. Researchers are still exploring how cannabinoids—like CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC—interact with hemp terpenes. How do the two work to harmonize their therapeutic application?
As we learn more, one thing is clear: terpenes influence how our favorite smokable hemp strains do what they do.
What we do know right now is that hemp produces more than 200 different terpenes.
What Are Hemp Terpenes: The Line-Up
Terpenes influence how we choose a hemp strain—especially for a range of smokable hemp products.
Every hemp strain has a unique terpene makeup—a blend of the various terpenes that creates its signature profile. We like to think of it as your hemp strain’s personality. It’s also part of how we come up with strain names.
But don’t panic—we’re not about to info-dump 200 terpene profiles on you. Here, we’re exploring the predominant nine terpene profiles—and how they can influence your choice of smokable hemp products.
Our Top 9 terpenes (terps) are:
What Are Hemp Terpenes: The Profiles
One way buyers can find their ideal hemp blunt is by choosing the terpene profile that appeals to them. If you like the classic, earthy cannabis smell—myrcene-dominant products will set your heart (and senses) aflutter. Linalool-dominant hemp strains will appeal to lavender lovers, and humulene—oddly—has a similar scent and flavor profile to craft beer.
So when you ask the question, ‘what are hemp terpenes?’ the answer doesn’t lie only in what they do. It also lies in what you like.
Myrcene is the traditional “marijuana” signature scent and flavor. When we answer the question, ‘what are hemp terpenes?’ this is generally the answer hemp enthusiasts have in mind. The most common of cannabis terpenes, it is present across many hemp varieties. You can recognize it by its earthiness, and herbaceous, citrusy notes.
Myrcene is known to contain antibiotic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Smells like: Musk, citrus, cardamom, and cloves
Feels like: Relaxation and soothing—an ideal smoke as you chill in a hot bath
Potentially helpful for: Anti-inflammatory bodywork, pain, and improved sleep
Also present in: Thyme, Thai basil, sage, and lemongrass
Another easily recognizable hemp terpene, limonene has an invigorating lemon scent and citrusy aftertaste. The limonene compound is made by alpha-pinene, so it also shares some of its parent molecules benefits. Limonene is praised for elevating mood and memory function, and supporting those who suffer from chronic stress and feelings of anxiety.
Smells like: Lemon, grapefruit, and bitter citrus
Feels like: Invigorating and stress reduction
Potentially helpful for: Boosting mood, reducing inflammation and pain, easing stress and anxiety.
Also present in: Citrus fruits, rosemary, juniper, and catnip
In early research, caryophyllene is the only hemp terpene which is clinically shown to act directly on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
If you’re not familiar with the ECS, this is the system that receives cannabinoids in order to keep the body operating effectively. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency—which has links to IBS, fibromyalgia, PTSD, migraines, and chronic pain—is shown to be treated through high-caryophyllene CBD.
And if you’re wondering: it’s pronounced carry-OFF-ill-een.
Smells like: Woody oriental—clove, dark woods, spice, peppercorns
Feels like: Soothing and relaxing
Potentially helpful for: Treatment of chronic pain, headaches, migraines, uterine cramping, ulcers, and mental wellbeing disorders.
Also present in: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pink peppercorns, nasturtiums
Terpinolene extract has been used for decades as an essential oil for antifungal and antibacterial treatments. It has also been popular in atomizers, soaps, and cleaning products for its refreshing scent.
This valuable hemp terpene has found its way into the spotlight recently thanks to emerging research in heart disease patients, and also with its role in inhibiting cancer cell growth. As scientists battle it out to uncover terpinolene’s hidden talents, we are also using it to repel mosquitos.
Smells like: Woody floral—pine and flowers with a herbaceous note
Feels like: Invigorating and uplifting
Potentially helpful for: Improved focus, mood-lifting, antioxidant and antibacterial qualities. Research is being done into terpinolene’s role in fighting cancer and heart disease, so stay tuned.
Also present in: Tea tree, Manuka, eucalyptus, conifers, and lilacs
If terpinolene or limonene appealed to you, so will pinene. This hemp terpene delivers the classic, fresh pine scent. It is a fresh, woodsy, cool scent that helps boost mental clarity and alertness. Pinene is technically two terpenes, though: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene.
Smells like: Pine
Feels like: Invigorating, energizing, and stimulating
Potentially helpful for: Memory recall, information retention, asthma, inflammation, easing anxiousness, and relieving sinus issues
Also present in: Pine needles, basil, rosemary
Beer—and hemp—enthusiasts draw a lot of similarities between the humulene terpene and craft beer. And with good reason: humulene is present in the hops we use to make beer. Humulene is an appetite suppressant—unlike beer—and it also has industry research backing it as an anti-tumor, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory powerhouse.
Smells like: Dam wood, yeast, beer
Feels like: Calming and relaxing
Potentially helpful for: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, appetite suppressant. As with terpinolene, research is being done into humulene’s role as a cancer fighter.
Also present in: Hops, basil, and coriander
Studies in the last decade show that the ocimene terpene—also found in mandarins—has strong anti-inflammatory qualities. This is one of the most subtle hemp terpenes on our list, but it shows a lot of potential therapeutic promise. According to some researchers, it could be effective at treating symptoms of type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Whatever comes from further studies, this powerful little hemp terpene has solid inhibiting qualities. It inhibits chronic inflammation and stress, and stops the spread of type 2 diabetes enzymes, fungi, infection, and mucus.
Smells like: Subtle sweet citrus
Feels like: No noticeable experience—ocimene is a team player that relies on the entourage effect
Potentially helpful for: Decongesting blocked sinuses, reducing mucus production, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal.
Also present in: Mango, orchid, and kumquat
The linalool terpene has a passionate following—lending your hemp experience the unique, addictive scent of lavender. Smokable hemp products with a strong linalool component have a menthol taste that many hemp enthusiasts can’t do without.
Linalool acts as a sedative, and lends itself to a range of research-backed potential treatments.
Smells like: Lavender
Feels like: Mood boosting, relaxing, and ideal for decompressing after a physical day
Potentially helpful for: those suffering from insomnia, anxiety, depression, and muscle aches. It has also shown promise as an anti-epileptic, anti-seizure support, so check in regularly for future developments.
Also present in: Lavender, chrysanthemum, and gerbera
This is an elegant hemp terpene that smells like chamomile and Brazilian candeia. It has been widely used in the cosmetics industry, but its properties in hemp have caught the eye of medical researchers in the past decade, too. It’s use in cosmetics for soothing, healing, and calming the skin—key properties in chamomile—are the same being researched in hemp.
Smells like: Flowers
Feels like: Mood enhancing, relaxing
Potentially helpful for: anti-microbial, wound healing, easing irritation, soothing redness, relieving pain
Also present in: Chamomile
What Are Hemp Terpenes: The Shop Guide
To make sure you get the most out of your smokable hemp experience, there are a few tricks to shopping smart.
First, take note of what you want.
What are hemp terpenes meant to support you in? Are you trying to decompress after a crazy day at work? Are you trying to ease inflammation from physical activity? Tired of coping with chronic pain or stress? When you get clear on your intention—we can help you make it a reality.
Second, decide how you want to consume your hemp.
We recommend smoking hemp, and not just because we’re the industry leaders in quality smokable hemp!
- Smoking hemp delivers the benefits of CBD fast, and allows for a more intense effect than other methods of CBD administration.
- Smoking hemp shows effectiveness within 10 minutes of use, and lasts for up to an hour at a time.
- Smoking hemp can act as a supplementary method to other formats of CBD use—topical or oral.
- Smoking hemp bypasses the digestive system, so it’s fast, simple, and calorie free. Ideal before or after a meal.
Finally, choose a reputable hemp retailer that you can trust—like our team!
An expert hemp retailer who specializes in smokable hemp products can help you get the level of premium quality hemp flower, and the terpene profile, you want. Don’t throw away your money on low quality hemp—invest in this new, plant-based wellness solution with the best smokable hemp products on the market.
Hemp terpenes got you inspired? Explore your favorites right here.