Cannabis dispensary in hobbs
The Role of Terpenes in Cannabis - elective closeup of dry cannabis on a white surface

The Role of Terpenes in Cannabis

Cannabis is a unique plant with many parts that give it special qualities. One important part of cannabis is terpenes. These natural compounds do more than just give the plant its smell and taste. Terpenes also affect how cannabis makes us feel and can have health benefits. Understanding terpenes can help us choose the right cannabis products for our needs. In this blog, we will look at what terpenes are, the different kinds, their effects, and how they add to the cannabis experience.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are natural compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. They are what give different cannabis strains their specific smells and flavors. For example, some strains might smell like pine, while others smell like lemons. These scents come from terpenes. You can think of terpenes as the plant’s natural perfume. They not only make cannabis smell good but also play a role in how the plant affects us.

Terpenes are made in the same parts of the cannabis plant that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD. These parts are called trichomes, which are tiny, crystal-like structures on the surface of the plant. While cannabinoids are known for their effects on the mind and body, terpenes also have a big impact. They can change or enhance the effects of cannabinoids, making the overall experience different. For example, some terpenes can make the effects of THC stronger, while others can make CBD more calming. This means terpenes help create the unique effects of each cannabis strain.

Types of Terpenes

Cannabis has over 100 different terpenes, each with its own effects. Here are some common ones:

  • Myrcene: This is the most common terpene in cannabis. It smells earthy and musky. Myrcene is known for its relaxing effects and can make the effects of THC stronger.
  • Limonene: This terpene has a citrus smell. It is uplifting and can improve your mood. Limonene is also found in fruits like lemons and oranges.
  • Linalool: Linalool has a floral, lavender scent. It is calming and helps with anxiety. It is also found in lavender plants.
  • Caryophyllene: This terpene has a spicy, peppery smell. It is unique because it can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and reduce inflammation.
  • Pinene: There are two types: alpha and beta. Alpha-pinene smells like pine trees and can help with alertness and memory.

How Terpenes Affect Us

Terpenes do more than just add smell and flavor to cannabis. They also interact with our bodies in different ways, which can change how cannabis affects us.

The entourage effect is the idea that cannabinoids and terpenes work together to create stronger effects than they would alone. For example, THC and myrcene together can make a more intense high. Similarly, CBD with linalool can enhance calming effects.

Terpenes also have health benefits that add to the medical use of cannabis. Here are some examples:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Caryophyllene can reduce inflammation, helping with conditions like arthritis.
  • Anti-anxiety: Linalool and limonene can reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Pain relief: Myrcene can help relieve pain.
  • Antimicrobial: Pinene has properties that can fight infections.

Picking Cannabis Strains by Terpenes

When choosing a cannabis strain, it’s helpful to look at the terpenes it contains. Terpenes can guide you to the effects you want from cannabis. For instance, if you need help sleeping, a strain with a lot of myrcene might be best. Myrcene is known for its relaxing effects, which can make it easier to fall asleep. If you want an energy boost, a strain high in limonene could be the right choice. Limonene has uplifting and energizing effects, making it a good choice for daytime use.

Many dispensaries provide lab reports for their cannabis products. These reports list the terpene profile, showing which terpenes are in the product and in what amounts. Understanding these reports can help you pick the best strain for your needs. The reports can help you find the right balance of terpenes to get the effects you want. For example, if you want something calming, look for a product with high levels of linalool. Reading lab reports can make your cannabis shopping more informed and effective.

Everyone’s body reacts differently to cannabis, so it might take some time to find the right strain for you. Start with small amounts and see how you feel. Pay attention to the effects and note which terpenes are in the strains you try. Over time, you will learn which terpenes work best for you. This knowledge can help you choose strains that give you the desired effects. Experimenting with different strains and terpenes will help you personalize your cannabis experience.

Terpenes in Cannabis Products

Terpenes are not just in the flower (the bud of the cannabis plant) but also in other products like concentrates, edibles, and topicals.

Cannabis concentrates, like oils, waxes, and shatters, often have higher levels of terpenes than the flower. This is because the extraction process can keep these compounds intact, leading to more intense flavors and effects.

Edibles might not always keep the same terpene profile as the flower, but some are made to include terpenes for their taste and health benefits. For example, a gummy might have limonene for a citrus flavor and uplifting effect.

Cannabis-infused topicals like creams and balms can benefit from the healing properties of terpenes. For example, a cream with caryophyllene can help reduce pain and inflammation when applied to sore areas.

The Future of Terpenes in Cannabis

Research on terpenes is ongoing, and we are always learning more about their effects and benefits. As the cannabis industry grows, we can expect more products designed with specific terpene profiles in mind. This can lead to better-targeted therapies and a deeper understanding of how to use cannabis effectively.

In the future, we might see more personalized cannabis products that cater to individual terpene preferences and needs. This could involve custom blends of cannabinoids and terpenes to provide specific effects.

Terpenes are found in cannabis and many other plants. They are used in different industries, including aromatherapy, food and beverages, and cosmetics. Studying terpenes in cannabis can lead to broader uses and a greater appreciation for these versatile compounds.


Terpenes play an important role in cannabis, affecting its smell, taste, and effects. Knowing about these compounds can help you make better choices when picking cannabis products. As research continues, we will likely discover even more benefits of terpenes and how they can improve our health and well-being. Whether you use cannabis for fun or for health reasons, paying attention to terpenes can make a big difference in your experience.

Next time you’re in Hobbs, NM, make sure to visit Mindscape Dispensary for a wide selection of terpenes. Contact us today to learn more!

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