Written By: Daniel Cina
We all know and love the moment when you pop open a fresh eighth from your local Nectar and raise it up for a nice long inhale. As we let the aroma fill our noses, a large grin almost never fails to appear on our faces. That’s right, it’s time to get high and the only thing more exciting than the smell of some fresh kush is the taste and elevation that is about to ensue. If you are curious about why cannabis has such potent smell and taste, as well as vividly psychoactive effects the answer is primarily due to terpenes!
WHAT ARE TERPENES
That’s right everyone we’re talking terps! Terpenes are a compound found in cannabis as well as many other fragrant plants such as rosemary and lavender. The natural terpenes in these certain plants make for some of the most popular and potent fragrances you can buy, and in terms of cannabis well… There’s a reason we call it loud! For plants in their natural habitats terpenes work as a way for these types of plants to attract pollinators, and repel certain animals, but for us stoners they are the catalyst to the aroma, taste, and type of elevation we get from cannabis.
WHY TERPENES ARE IMPORTANT
Terpenes are one of the most important compounds that can be found in cannabis plants. They are the chief determining factor of the aroma and taste your cannabis possesses. However, the most important role terpenes place is the type of elevation your cannabis gives. When you toke on your favorite strain of cannabis, the terpenes work in tandem with the THC percentage to create the effect your weed gives you.
So terpenes are the main determining factor in whether you will have energetic, giggly, sleepy, or couch sinking effects from your cannabis. This means that when you purchase cannabis you need to be aware of the terpenes present so you can understand the effects it gives. You shouldn’t buy cannabis based on whether it’s labeled sativa or indica, and you can learn why at our article here about the misclassification of indica vs sativa.
There are hundreds of different terpenes present in cannabis, but not to worry because there are only 12 major terpene types found in the majority of cannabis products. In this article I will walk you through these 12 major terpenes, the effects they promote and what cannabis strains coincide with them!
The nerol terpene is closely related to the geraniol terpene due to the fact that they share citrus like aromas, and a smell of subtle roses, however nerol has a more subtle sweetness to it that geraniol. Nerol terpenes are used in many lotions and fragrances for the calming and sedative effects, and it is no different with cannabis. Toking on cannabis with a high nerol percentage can result in calming sedative effects that will have you stuck in your couch with your eyes glued to your favorite movie.
Nerol can be commonly found in Skywalker OG and Chemdawg. It is also one of the dominant terpenes in our Cherry Chem strain products. If you are looking for a strain that will give you feelings of calmness and supreme relaxation which is great if you want to slip into dreamland!
Limonene is another terpene that offers a fruity citrus aroma and taste. It is most commonly found in and resembles, that’s right you guessed it, lemons. The limonene terpene is commonly found in household and personal cleaning products for its very popular scent.
If you are looking for a cannabis strain that can elevate your spirits beyond the clouds and leave you with a happy energetic feeling then cannabis that is dominant in the limonene terpene is the way to go. Two strains that are known for being dominant in limonene are Lemon Haze and Sour Diesel. Try for yourself and experience an awesome elevation.
Humulene is an awesome terpene that has a strong wood and earthy aroma. Its aroma profile is closest associated with beer, and if you know the Pacific Northwest, you know it is all about beer! The strong aromas from humulene differ heavily from the citrus and rosy smells of limonene and nerol but are nonetheless a great option to try. Humulene is known for its energy-boosting effects that can have your thoughts expanding and your imagination flowing. Strains that are commonly humulene dominant are Jack Herer and Gelato.
Pinene is known for its taste and smell of pine which gives an amazing scent for all us forest lovers. Its pine woodland smell will be sure to remind you of your favorite PNW hike(mine is the Trail of 10 Falls). Besides its awesome taste and aroma, pinene may provide an energetic elevation as well as improve your focus. The strain that is known best for its pinene dominance is Blue Dreams, a classic and always awesome strain.
Eucalyptol is not as commonly found in cannabis as other terps on this list but might be the most popular terpene outside of cannabis. Its eucalyptus scent and cooling sensations make it popular in balms and lotions. Eucalyptol when paired with cannabis can yield awesome mood-improving energetic qualities. A great choice to get out and enjoy life with. Two strains that are known for containing higher amounts of eucalyptol are Girl Scout Cookies and Super Silver Haze. Eucalyptol is not exclusive to Koala bears, so be sure to give this awesome terpene a try!
Myrcene is a common terpene that is found in lots of cannabis strains. This fantastic terp is incredibly popular for scented products and its fresh crisp flavor can closely be attributed to mangos. This makes sense because as I stated before terpenes exist in plants other than cannabis, and mangos happen to have a high myrcene content. Myrcene is a terpene that, when paired with cannabis, can have very relaxing and sedative effects. This terp gives a whole new meaning to couch locked! Some common strains that have high myrcene content include Tangie and OG Kush!
Delta 3 Carene
Delta 3 Carene is found in many plants and herbs as well as cedar trees which gives this terp an awesome profile. Its flavor and aroma give off an earthy, musky smell that closely resembles cedar. When it comes to the effects it has from cannabis, Delta 3 Carene has been known to produce mind-stimulating effects and boosts of energy. This awesome terpene can be found in one of my favorite cannabis strains Super Lemon Haze!
Another terp that is very popular among lotions, oil, and diffusers; Linalool is most commonly found in lavender plants. Linalool is a very common terpene in cannabis plants as well, and its sweet, floral and citrus profile makes it one of the most popular as well. Linalool is thought to produce calming and anxiety reducing effects, especially when paired with myrcene or humulene. One of my go to strains cannabis strains that’s high in Linalool is Amnesia Haze!
If you have ever been in a kitchen then you’ve most likely encountered Caryophyllene. This terp is most commonly found in spicier aromatic foods such as rosemary, pepper, and cinnamon making it great in the kitchen and in your bong. This terp’s profile hits hard with a strong peppery smell and taste. Smoking Caryophyllene is thought to produce pain-reduction, anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anxiety relief, so be sure to give it a try! Caryophyllene is found in most cannabis strains, but some that are rich in it include Original Glue and also Og Kush!
Geraniol, by some, is considered the sweetest of all the terpenes. Geraniol, like Nerol produces a sweet smell and taste that resembles roses. However Geraniol has a much more pungent sweetness compared to the more subtle-smelling Nerol. Geraniol is also very common in lotions, candles, and scented products. This terp has some amazing properties to go along with its awesome profile. Geraniol is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well as uplifting elevation that will have you ready for an adventure! One strain that is rich in geraniol that you should try is Agent Orange so you can see the effects of geraniol for yourself.
Camphene as a terpene is known for its earthy and musky aroma that resembles fir needles on the forest floor. This terpene is a summer scent favorite, and in terms of cannabis it has an absolutely amazing flavor and smell profile. Camphene is thought to produce calming effects and may even serve as an antioxidant. Smoking cannabis containing Camphene may have you feeling like you’re on a tranquil walk in the forest. If you want to find out for yourself, one of the most common strains containing Camphene is Bruce Banner!
Terpinolene might be the most interesting terp on this list. It doesn’t typically take the lead role in terpene percentage, but terpinolene is one of the chief determiners of the aroma and taste. Another thing that makes Terpinolene fascinating is that while the other terps on this list have distinct smells, Terpinolene has varying aromas that can be earthy, sweet, or citrus.
When paired with THC, Terpinolene has the potential to improve energy levels, boost productivity, and put a laser in your focus. This terp is an awesome one to try and one of the most common Terpinolene rich strains you can try is Dutch Treat!
There’s a big world of terpenes out there with different effects and various combinations. I think it’s important to understand the terps we are smoking so we can find the elevation we desire. Cannabis is a big world and being able to further understand terpenes helps us explore that world further. So head down to your local Nectar and find out which terpene is right for you! If this article has only piqued your interest in different cannabinoids then check out our article on CBG and stay tuned for more in the wild world of cannabinoids!