Understanding the Therapeutic Potential of Terpenes

Cannabis consumers often place a considerable amount of emphasis on the cannabinoid profile of the products they select. Of course, cannabinoid content is an important factor when selecting a cannabis product, but it’s important to know that cannabinoid content alone is not enough to identify the plant’s therapeutic potential.

It may surprise you to learn that the aromatic components, the plant terpenes, found in cannabis have a significant impact on the plant’s effect on your body. If you have ever felt energized by the aroma of a freshly peeled orange or experienced the calming effects of a lavender-infused tea, you have already experienced the power of plant terpenes first-hand.

Understanding some of the more sought-after terpenes in various cannabis products could help you find the ideal terpene profile to suit your needs. (Individual experiences may vary.)

Aromatic Compounds Have Significant Value

Terpenes give all plants their distinctive flavors and aromas. In the not so distant past, researchers commonly believed the therapeutic benefits of plant terpenes were due to the way these plant compounds stimulated the emotional centers in our brains. Researchers today understand that the effects of terpenes extend far beyond enhancing our moods or triggering emotions; terpenes also modulate brain activity while contributing to the regulation of essential physical processes.

You may not be too surprised to learn that cannabis contains more than 100 potentially beneficial plant terpenes. Each strain has a unique terpene profile. That explains why some plants are known to promote stress relief and relaxation, while others are known to have an uplifting effect. 

Considering the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis Terpenes

The therapeutic potential of any plant depends on the combination of terpene molecules it contains. Like cannabinoids, terpenes bind with various receptors to influence vital processes. Research shows that terpenes and cannabinoids work synergistically, meaning the compounds together have a stronger impact than each plant element has on its own.

The terpenes in cannabis and full-spectrum hemp products also contribute to a lesser-known phenomenon known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is used to describe how once inactive elements combine to magnify and multiply the effects of synergy.

Understanding the Effects of Specific Plant Terpenes

Plants synthesize terpenes to protect themselves from predators and attract pollinators. Although these aromatic components have no effect on the plant, they do have an impact on us. Many of the plant terpenes found in cannabis are also found in various levels in other familiar plants. Just a few of the many terpenes commonly found in cannabis include: 

  • The Calming Effects of Myrcene (Mc)

    Myrcene is responsible for the aroma unique to cannabis. This terpene has a clove-like aroma and is believed to calm overactive nerve impulses while soothing the effects of stress. That’s why plants containing myrcene are often hailed for their antispasmodic potential. Just a few of the many plants also known to contain myrcene include rosemary, black pepper, cardamom, celery, and ginger.

  • The Stress-Relieving Potential of Limonene (Lm)

    Limonene is believed to have anxiolytic properties helpful for calming anxiety and stress. This aromatic compound is also known for it’s antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Current research suggests limonene produces an effect similar to antidepressant medications. Limonene is shown to have anti-tumor and anti-cancer potential and is also used to help therapeutic creams and ointments penetrate the skin. Limonene gives rosemary, pine needles, and citrus fruits their unique aromas.

  • The Numerous Potential Benefits of Pinene (Pn)

    As the most common terpene in nature, pinene has several potential benefits. Studies suggest this aromatic compound has anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and analgesic properties. Researchers believe this plant terpene increases energy level, improves concentration, and enhances overall feelings of satisfaction. Since pinene is often used as an anti-inflammatory and local antiseptic, research suggests pinene could be beneficial for those living with IBS, Crohn’s disease, and some types of cancer.

  • The Uplifting Effects of Terpinolene (Te)

    Nearly 10 percent of cannabis strains are high in terpinolene, a plant terpene believed to have an uplifting effect. The floral aroma makes terpinolene a sought-after ingredient for cosmetics and perfumes. Terpinolene molecules are shown to have a calming effect as well as antimicrobial and antioxidant potential while contributing to the aroma of nutmeg, cumin, and lilacs. Terpinolene is more complex than some of the other more well-known terpenes and can have a smokey, woody, citrusy, or floral presentation.

  • The Analgesic Potential of Linalool (Ln)

    If you are looking for a strain believed to have pain-relieving potential, consider the linalool content. Linalool has a distinctively floral aroma often described as a citrusy-lavender. In addition to its analgesic and anxiolytic effects, research shows that linalool also has anti-epileptic properties. This aromatic compound is currently used to treat various forms of cancer. Jasmine, lavender, thyme, and basil all contain linalool.

  • The Antioxidant Benefits of Caryophyllene (Cr)

    Caryophyllene is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. As the only cannabis terpene know to act as a cannabinoid, caryophyllene is believed to provide anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, and antioxidant benefits. Caryophyllene is also believed to help with insomnia. In addition to cannabis, this aromatic plant molecule can also be found in oregano, basil, cinnamon, and black pepper.

Terpene Profiles Can Lead You to the Best Products for Your Needs

When selecting a cannabis product, knowing which plant terpenes are dominant in any strain could help you determine the best products for your needs. You can use this information to help determine how a particular product might make you feel or help you identify the plant’s therapeutic properties.

For medical and recreational cannabis in southwest Las Vegas, Nevada, visit Euphoria Wellness. At Euphoria Wellness, we take pride in our varied selection of cannabis products, including cannabis flower, edibles, tinctures, and our quality assortment of hemp-derived CBD.  Our highly trained staff stays current on recent trends and is available to address your questions and concerns.

Euphoria Wellness delivers to Nevada residents with valid identification. You can purchase online or call (702) 960-7200 to place an order.


This content is not intended as medical advice. The information provided is meant to encourage cannabis education, not replace direct patient-healthcare professional relationships. Always consult your primary care physician or other healthcare provider prior to using cannabis products for treatment of a medical condition.  Any statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Products are only available where the consumption of cannabis is legal.