Cannabis produces a number of chemicals known as terpenes. Terpenes are usually present in lower amounts than THC and CBD.
Unlike cannabinoids, terpenes can be found in many plants. Terpenes are responsible for the unique smells of plants, but can have various effects on the body as well.
Strains are believed to have unique terpene profiles. Labs that test cannabis often look at terpene levels to identify different strains.
Common Terpenes in Marijuana
|Alpha-pinene||Pine||Anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, memory enhancer|
|Beta-caryophyllene||Black pepper||Anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, CB2 activity|
|Beta-myrcene||Hops||Sedative, muscle relaxant, hypnotic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic|
|Limonene||Lemons||Anti-anxiety, anti-cancer, antibacterial|
|Linalool||Lavender||Anti-anxiety, sedative, anaesthetic, analgesic, anticonvulsant|
Not much is known about the impact of terpenes in cannabis. But some believe terpenes interact with cannabinoids to change how they affect the body.
Most research on terpenes comes from cell cultures and animals, making it hard to predict their effect in humans.
Russo, E. B. (2011), Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163: 1344–1364. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x