As hemp and CBD grow in popularity, there is more interest in other components of the cannabis plant beyond just cannabinoids like CBD and THC. You may have heard people discussing the “terpene” profile of this or that hemp cultivar. But what are terpenes and what do they do? In this post, we’ll explore terpenes to understand how they add to the experience of using hemp.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are volatile aromatic hydrocarbons found in many plants and animals. Terpenes are composed of isoprenes— the smallest terpene units— and are classified by the number of isoprene units they contain. The most common terpenes are mono-, sesqui-, and di-terpenes.
Terpenes are responsible for the aroma of many plants and many of them you are probably already familiar with, but might not know their names.
Examples of terpenes include:
- Linalool is prominent in lavender
- Limonene is present in all citrus fruits
- Pinene is emitted by pine trees!
- Myrcene is commonly the predominant terpene in hemp and mangoes.
Why Do Terpenes Matter?
In addition to providing hemp’s pleasant aroma and flavor, terpenes may be beneficial to humans and some animals. Research is ongoing, but there are some good evidence-based studies that point to the potential benefits of terpenes.
How Do Terpenes Make You Feel?
Terpenes also seem to factor into the overall experience of consuming hemp and appear to modulate the user’s experience as part of the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a theory first proposed by Shimon Ben-Shabat, Raphael Mechoulam, and colleagues in 19981 and then later popularized by Dr. Ethan Russo in his seminal research paper Taming THC (2011)2.
The short version of this theory is that terpenes may be the reason that certain cultivars couch-lock the user while other cultivars provide energizing effects.
What Are The Most Common Hemp Terpenes?
Below is a list of the most common terpenes found in hemp plants and a short list of other sources of each terpene.
β-Myrcene | Also found in: mangoes, thyme, lemongrass, and hops
β-Caryophyllene | Also found in: black pepper, clove, cinnamon, hops, rosemary
Limonene | Also found in: all citrus fruit rinds, juniper, and some conifer trees
Terpinolene | Also found in: lilacs, nutmeg, cumin, turpentine, apples, some conifers, tea tree
α-Pinene | Also found in: pine, conifers, rosemary, sage, and some citrus
β-Pinene | Also found in: pine, camphorweed, big sagebrush, turpentine
D-Linalool | Also found in: lavender, basil, rose, mint family, laurel family, and some citrus
Humulene | Also found in: hops, sage, Japanese spicebush, ginseng, spearmint, ginger, Chinese laurel
Sunset Lake CBD Cultivars And Their Dominant Terpenes
Our hemp cultivars contain a wide range of terpenes. Here are our top cultivars and their dominant terpenes*:
Lifter: myrcene, β-caryophyllene, α-pinene, humulene
Sour Lifter: terpinolene, β-caryophyllene, myrcene, humulene
Hawaiian Haze: myrcene, α-pinene, b-caryophyllene, β-pinene
Sour Hawaiian Haze: myrcene, terpinolene, α-pinene, β-caryophyllene
Suver Haze: myrcene, β-caryophyllene, α-pinene, humulene
Sour Suver Haze: myrcene, terpinolene, β-caryophyllene, humulene
Special Sauce: myrcene, β-caryophyllene, α-pinene, limonene
Super Sour Space Candy: terpinolene, myrcene, β-caryophyllene, humulene
Cherry Abacus: myrcene, α-pinene, β-caryophyllene, β-pinene