Know Your Terps

A basic primer on some of cannabis' terpenes.

Caryophyllene: Pungent, peppery and sweet. Found in pepper, clove and cotton. This is the terpene that police dogs are trained to detect, which is the sort of thing people in Oregon had to worry about not very long ago. Caryophyllene is also a cannabinoid that activates our natural CB2 receptors, as opposed to THC, which activates our CB1 receptors. Researchers believe it may treat anxiety and depression, and is devoid of psychoactive effects.


Found in eucalyptus, bay leaves and tea tree oil. Broadens airways and aids in absorption of other terpenes. You know the refreshing feeling you get with cough drops? That's eucalyptol.

Limonene: Bright citrus notes. Limonene is linked to mood elevation, stress relief, and probably has cancer-fighting properties. Limonene appears in abundance in breezy strains like Jack Herer and Lemon Haze.

Myrcene: The floral terpene primarily responsible for the scent of hops, myrcene serves as a sedative, painkiller, relaxant and anti-inflammatory. The higher the myrcene level, the faster you'll fall asleep.

Linalool: Naturally occurring in lavender, rosewood and lilies, linalool provides anti-anxiety benefits with gentler sedation, making it a kind of myrcene light. Also, such an enjoyable word to say! Linalool!

Pinene: You know that fresh-air feeling you get from hiking through a forest of pine and fir? That's pinene, which is actively dilating your lungs. In cannabis, high levels of pinene bring about mental clarity and aid in memory formation, which effectively counteracts the short-term memory loss caused by THC.

Humulene: Woody and herbal in scent, like coriander, Humulene is also present in hops. It serves as a pain and appetite suppressant, and is also an anti-inflammatory linked with cancer-fighting properties.

Delta 3 Carene: The primary culprit of red eyes and cottonmouth.


Smells like citrus blossoms, and has been shown to decrease mobility in lab mice. This might be the source of your couch lock. 

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