What are terpenes?

Terpenes are a large class of naturally occurring organic compounds; They are the main constituents of vegetable resin and essential oils extracted from plants, giving plants their characteristic smells and flavors. Terpenes can be used as pure flavoring for food and drink by adding up to 2 drops per food, or diluted in oil, alcohol and glycerine. For a correct dilution, we recommend adding 3 to 5 drops in 100 ml of olive or coconut oil or glycerin or other vegetable oils. The isolated terpenes have numerous applications: in mixture or single and appropriately diluted, they can be added to any vegetable extract, oil or dye, thus obtaining personalized mixtures with an energizing, anti-inflammatory, relaxing effect, etc.

CANNABIS TERPENES Most people have heard of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD but have not heard of terpenes, the compounds that create the smell and the specific effects of each variety. The complementary action between cannabinoids and terpenes contained in natural Cannabis extracts can therefore strengthen the therapeutic index of preparations and widen the field of use. In various studies that are currently being carried out, a therapeutic potential is being identified that acts in synergy with cannabinoids and that the great difference between the effects of pure cannabinoids and those coming from extractions of the whole plant depends on this. Terpenes in the cannabis plant secrete in the resin. Thanks to them, the different types of plants possess characteristic odors, since they vary according to the terpenes they possess. Terpenes in the cannabis plant allow it to have protection against high temperatures and the viscosity of its resin, catch insects or maintain plant moisture. Among the terpenes that we find most in cannabis are the monoterpenes: Pineno, Mirceno, Limoneno, Linallol. As a sesquiterpene, Cariofileno is present in all cannabis varieties.


Myrcene is the most common terpene in marijuana strains (up to 60% of the essential oils of certain varieties) however, it is not found in hemp textiles. It is also found in large quantities in hops or in the West Indian wood (Saint Thomas Bay). Its smell is very similar to cloves (girofle). Myrcene is a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. It blocks the action of cytochrome, aflatoxin B, and other pro-mutagenic carcinogens. It also has a relaxing, calming, anti spasmodic and sedative effect. Acting in synergy with THC, myrcene increases its psychoactive potential.


Limonene is often the second, third or fourth terpene found in cannabis resin. This family of terpenes produces the typical smell we all recognise as citrus. Limonene has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties and is also anticarcinogenic. It prevents the detioration of the RAS gene, one of the factors that contribute to the development of tumors. It also protects against Aspergillus and carcinogens present in smoke. Limonene quickly and easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier, which increases systolic pressure. During testing on the effects of limonene, participants experienced an increase in attention, mental focus, well-being and even sex drive. Limonene is used sometimes in spray form, to treat depression and anxiety. It also has the effect of reducing the unpleasantness of gastric acid and stimulates the immune system. Plants use limonenes to ward off predators; for example, it repells flies like any insecticide.


Caryophyllene can be found in various herbs and spices, particularly in black pepper, which contributes to the spicy flavour. It is a local anti inflammatory and analgesic, and one of the active ingredients of the clove (Giroflé). It is an efficient remedy to relieve toothache. It also has anti fungal properties. This terpene has the particularity of selectively activate the cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB2), while it is not a cannabinoid. This discovery opens the door to many possibilities in medicinal research.


Pinene is responsible for the familiar smell associated with pine and fir trees, and to be more precise, its resin. It is the main ingredient of the essence of turpentine. It is present also in many plants such as Sage or Rosemary. Pinene is used in medicine as an expectorant, bronchodilator, anti inflammatory and local antiseptic. It also crosses the hemato encaphalic barrier very easily, where it acts as an inhibitor of acetylcolynesterasics, preventing the destruction of molecules responsible for the transmission of information, which results in memory improvement. It is largely due to the presence of pinenes that Rosemary and Sage have been considered to be beneficial plants during thousands of years of traditional medicine. This terpene ca, in part, counteract the effects of THC, which leads to a decrease in the acetylcholine levels. The result is that the memory fails more with pure THC than with THC mixed with pinene. Skunk strains are, for example, recognised for their high levels of pinenes. Because this produces a bronco dilator effect, the smoke of plants rich in pinene give the sensation of sucking more air, which can cause hyperventilation or sometimes cough. Pinene also improves concentration, personal satisfaction and energy, but it may be limited by the effects of the terpinol.


Linalool has a floral smell like lavender and spring flowers. Humans are able to smell it at very low levels, from 1 PPM in air. Linalool is currently used in the treatment of various cancers. It also has a powerful calming action, anti anxiety, and produces a sedative effect. In tests on mice it was discovered that their activity decreased by 75%. Linalool is thus partly responsible for the sedative effects of certain marijuana strains. It also has analgesic and anti-epileptic properties.

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