What are Terpenes?

07th, Feb 2021

What are Terpenes?


Terpenes are a group of organic, aromatic compounds found in plants. Although you may not have heard of terpenes before, you have encountered them! The smell of wildflowers, scent of a rose and the mouth-watering aroma coming from the lemongrass your Thai curry; those are all terpenes.

As a CBD consumer, you have likely come across the term “terpenes” on the label of your bottle. Over 20,000 terpenes occur in nature and over 100 distinct terpenes have been identified deriving from cannabis plants. Many of them have distinct scents such as citrus or pine, so it is easy to see how the cannabis plant can create unique, complex and instantly recognisable scents. These “scents” when inhaled or ingested by humans can produce numerous complex and tasty flavours.  At CBD Ultra, we are a big fan of using naturally derived plant terpenes to flavour our natural organic vape oils.



What Terpenes are Commonly Found in CBD and What do they do?

 This is by no means an exhaustive list, however, the following are the cannabis plant’s most commonly found terpene compounds:



You guessed it! Limonene  has a distinctive citrus aroma and is commonly found in the rinds of citrus fruits as well as many cannabis strains. Limonene has numerous medicinal benefits demonstrated in human and animal studies. Additionally, it is among a number of plant essential oils that have been identified as having antioxidant and anticancer properties (Aggarwal and Shishodia, 2006).


Myrcene has a rich herbal, peppery earth scent. It is one of the most commonly found compounds in the cannabis plant and can also be found in hops. That is why freshly brewing beer can sometimes smell like cannabis! It is one of the smallest compounds found but that does not lessen the benefits of this little terpene. Studies have shown that it can produce sedative effects when taken in larger quantities.


You may be already familiar with this common compound. With a floral aroma, it is common across many plant species- the most recognisable is lavender. Research has suggested Linalool produces a relaxing effect, it is often used in topical products and in aromatherapy, indeed, CBD Ultra uses lavender in our soothing high strength balms.


The name gives it away. Pinene compounds  are  usually found in… pine needles as well as several varieties of citrus tree and some strains of hemp. Pinene has a fresh, earth pine scene which can open your airways- think an Olbas oil effect.


Found in black pepper, cloves and cinnamon and of course hemp, caryophyllene is has a spicy, woody aroma. Not much research has been done on this compound but some studies suggest it may have natural pain reliving properties which is not surprising as clove oil is known to be an effective pain reliver when used on tooth ache.


Terpinolene can is found in small quantities in many hemp strains and is also present in nutmeg, tea tree and cumin. It has a less distinctive aroma than some of the other compounds but can be described as herby and floral. Like Caryophyllene, not much research has been done on this terpene but we are looking forward to learning more about it over the next few years.


Why do we like Terpenes so much?

Superficially, terpenes allow is to provide a completely natural but complex CBD experience. Rather than using chemical flavours, terpenes provide us with a wide variety of natural flavours we can use. CBD Ultra harness the power of combining natural plant derived terpenes to create bespoke natural flavours for our vape oils thus creating a natural but delicious vape experience.

Furthermore, studies have shown terpenes and cannabinoids work together in what is called “The Entourage Effect”. The entourage effect can be described as the reaction between the interaction of all the hemp plants’ cannabinoids and terpenes. Terpenes work synergistically with cannabinoids enhance the effects that they have on the body.










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