Hanging hemp flower. Text says "What are terpenes"

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,

  • What terpenes are
  • How they modulate hemp and your experience
  • Which terpenes are present in Sunset Lake CBD hemp flower

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are volatile aromatic hydrocarbons found in many plants and animals. They 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 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.

Read more: See all of our terpene spotlight posts here!

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.

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

Bisabolol | Also found in: Chamomile, Sage, Myoporum crassifolium

Ocimene | Also found in: Basil, Parsley, and Mint

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


  1. Ben-Shabat, S., Fride, E., Sheskin, T., Tamiri, T., Rhee, M. H., Vogel, Z., Bisogno, T., De Petrocellis, L., Di Marzo, V., & Mechoulam, R. (1998). An entourage effect: inactive endogenous fatty acid glycerol esters enhance 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol cannabinoid activity. European journal of pharmacology, 353(1), 23–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0014-2999(98)00392-6
  2. Russo E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
  3. Ahmad, Samoon, and Kevin P. Hill. “The Pharmacodynamics of Cannabis.” Medical Marijuana: A Clinical Handbook, Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia, 2021, pp. 264–286.
  4. Fernandes, E. S., Passos, G. F., Medeiros, R., da Cunha, F. M., Ferreira, J., Campos, M. M., Pianowski, L. F., & Calixto, J. B. (2007). Anti-inflammatory effects of compounds alpha-humulene and (-)-trans-caryophyllene isolated from the essential oil of Cordia verbenacea. European journal of pharmacology, 569(3), 228–236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.04.059