Terpenes, also known as terpenoids, are a large and diverse class of organic compounds that give plants, such as cannabis, their aroma, taste, and flavor. Terpenes do not interact with our body’s cannabinoid receptors but rather cause a different effect with the cannabinoids that are interacting with our receptors. A single cannabis plant can potentially contain upwards of 200 plus terpenes.
Terpenes provide a higher level of accuracy when it comes to differentiating strains, or varieties, of cannabis. For instance, some cannabis varieties have been found to have matching THC and CBD levels and only differ in their terpene profiles.
In the cannabis world, three types of terpenes exist.
Cannabis-derived terpenes are terpenes extracted from a cannabis plant and will provide a more natural entourage effect in most cases. Unfortunately, cannabis-derived terpenes are expensive to extract due to the extraction process being complicated.
Natural, or botanical, terpenes are extracted straight from the source such as plants, herbs or whole foods. Botanical terpenes are sold cheaper in bulk which adds an economic benefit to reintroducing botanical terpenes after a cannabis plant has been processed into a concentrated oil.
Synthetic terpenes are produced in a lab by chemical manipulation and blending.
A cannabis plant can contain up to 200 plus terpenes. Here is a list of five of the most common cannabis terpenes, their aromas, and their effects: