Cannabis terpenes and terpenoids

Published Feb 22, 2019 01:49 p.m. ET

Scent of marijuana

Terpenes are the living version of terpenoids, which are transformed by the drying and curing process. Terpenes have a bearing on the taste of our cannabis.

Terpenoids are used for their aromatic qualities; they are used for essential oils and spices. There is a thought that terpenes have a role in the medicinal effects of cannabinoids.

The intensity and duration of effects of a strain of cannabis are partly due to the terpenes. The type of terpenes in the strain will be responsible for the effects or lack of effects produced while consuming cannabis.

Entourage Effect

The Entourage Effect is used to explain how beneficial the whole marijuana plant is. By using all of the compounds of the plant together, you will be benefiting fully. Each compound will do its job separately however when all the parts come together, THC, CBD, Terpenes, etc. then the combination is better than the individual parts. This could explain why medical strains with only THC or CBD content may not do what you anticipated them to. Working alone the compounds are ok, they do work but put them together, and now you are seeing or feeling the most benefits. The Entourage Effect is theorized by some to be how you can achieve the most benefit from medicinal or recreational cannabis use. This is the character maker of your weed.

Terpenes are used to modulate any adverse effects from another cannabinoid. Cannabis producers are using this knowledge to fine-tune strains to fit the medicinal cannabis patient.  Different terpenes can be an effective addition to all the medicinal uses of cannabis that the patient could encounter. Pinenes, one of the most common terpenes in cannabis, are well known for their antiseptic topical values and the use as a bronchodilator for breathing problems such as asthma. Pinene also has an anti-inflammatory quality that can be effective in controlling the spread of diseases.

A well-liked quality of this terpene is its ability to perk up your alertness, and the improvement of memory retention often associated with THC is a welcomed addition to the strain that you have picked.


Some well-known strains containing pinene are OG Kush, Sour Diesel and Lemon Shark to name a few.

Alpha and beta pinene benefits

Alpha and Beta are the types of pinene found in plants. Beta-pinene emits parsley and dill aromas; it is also found in lime peel oil, ginger, and nutmeg. One could say that pinene is the flavor ingredient to the cannabis plant. Of the two terpenes in weed, Alpha is more commonly found in the cannabis plant.

So now when we smell different strains of cannabis, we know that the terpenes are responsible for that.  Varieties of cannabis strains have an aroma of musk or clove can deliver relaxing sedative effects. The aromas help to identify the strain that we use. We identify the smell to the benefit that strain is providing. Piney smells evoke alertness and memory retention.

Overall, I would say that strains with pinene give an earthy piney citrus smell, a wonderful dank aroma that is a welcome visitor to my senses.

If you haven’t tried a strain with high pinene, I highly recommend it, enjoy!



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