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Terpene Talk: Common Scents

One of the first things we all do when we are handed cannabis is take a big whiff of it. Can you imagine the aroma now as you read this? The unique scent you are smelling is coming from terpenes. Every strain and grow you have ever come across has its own unique terpene profile.

Not only do terpenes create the scents and flavors of your cannabis, there is a growing consensus that terpenes are a better way of classifying the effects you may experience than the indica or sativa classifications.

Here are some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, where else they are commonly found, and the traits that come with them.


Type: Sesquiterpene

Natural Sources: Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Basil

Scent: Pepper, Spice, Clove

Effect: Pain Relief, Calming, Relaxed

Strains: Sour Diesel, Gelato, Chemdog

Caryophyllene is the only terpene known to engage directly with our body’s endocannabinoid system. By binding to the CB2 receptors, studies have shown that this terpene has direct health benefits linked to inflammation and pain.

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Type: Monoterpene

Natural Sources: Mango, Thyme, Cardamom, Lemon Grass

Scent: Tropical, Clove, Musk

Effect: Sedating “Couch Lock”, Pain Relief, Anti-Inflammatory

Strains: Blue Dream, Grape Ape, Grandaddy Purple

With its “Couch Lock” reputation, Myrcene is often associated with heavy Indica classified strains making it highly sought after for those wanting to relax. Myrcene rich teas and preparations have long been used as sleep aids around the world.

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Type: Monoterpene

Natural Sources: Lemon, Spearmint, Maple

Scent: Citrus, Pine

Effect: Anti-Anxiety, Stress Relief

Strains: Wedding Cake, Tahoe OG, Do-Si-Dos

While little is known about its medicinal qualities, Limonene is most often associated with its zesty aroma-therapeutic nature — giving an extra pep in your step.

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Type: Monoterpene

Natural Sources: Conifers, Rosemary, Basil

Scent: Pine, Woodsy, Fresh

Effect: Alert, Focused, Calm

Strains: Harlequin, Remedy, Remedy

Pinene is the most common terpene found in nature. Not only does it smell refreshing, it may even help with short-term memory loss associated with THC.

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Type: Sesquiterpene

Natural Sources: Hops, Tobacco, Wood

Scent: Hoppy, Herbal

Effect: Anti-Inflammatory

Strains: Headband, Original Glue

Humulene is one of the more well-researched terpenes. Studies have shown that it may even help with cancer when combined with cannabinoids.

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Type: Monoterpene

Natural Sources: Apples, Cumin, Tea Tree, Conifers, Lilac

Scent: Fresh, Floral, Pine, Citrus

Effect: Sleepy, Anti-fungal

Strains: Jack Herer, Dutch Treat, Electric Jah

The fresh scent of Terpinolene makes it a common additive in soaps and cleaning products, but its potential anti-fungal effects may be bringing more to the table than just its floral aroma.

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Type: Monoterpene

Natural Sources: Lavender, Sweet Basil, Rosewood

Flavor: Floral, Spicy

Effect: Calming, Relaxed, Sleepy

Strains: Zkittles, 99 Cookies, Charlie Girl

With Linalool being so present in lavender, this terpene is no stranger to the people of Ojai. Linalool has many great relaxing properties, but it is now looking to be beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s!

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