Talking Terpenes: What are terpenes?

Since states began opening their doors, bringing cannabis to the legal market, the mystic veil surrounding the plant and its chemical composition have lifted. Gone are the days of being blatantly unaware of how many milligrams are in an edible you’re about to consume or the THC content in a strain of cannabis you’ve recently purchased.  

Massachusetts requires extensive third party laboratory testing, the results of which are made into labels and placed on every cannabis product before they wind up into your next sesh.  Not only does this protect consumers from unwanted contaminants but it has also enabled us to better understand the plant and how it affects our bodies.  

One key feature making a home on many of these labels are terpenes.  Terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds that account for the aroma and flavor differences of plants.  More simply, in relation to cannabis, terpenes are what make every strain of marijuana unique.

These pungent particles are stored in the trichomes of the cannabis plant and can be found in varying concentrations between one and four percent.

From cartridges to concentrates and much in between, we’re so excited to share with you the plethora of ways in which terpenes play a part in your experience.  Though there are over 150 terpenes, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common ones!


Similar to its namesake, limonene is characterized by its notes of citrus; smelling like lemons, oranges, and limes. Strains with high concentrations of this fruity terp have been known to promote an uplifting mood or attitude.

Found abundantly in strains like Wedding Cake, Clementine, and Miracle Alien Cookies (MAC).


Pinene is the most abundant terpene found in nature, offering a distinct smell of pine and fir. It has been known to increase alertness and combat short-term memory loss.

Popular in Blue Dream, Tropic Truffle, and Northern Lights #5.


Myrcene, also known as the “The Mother of Terps,” is the most common terpene produced by cannabis. Characterized by its fruity, earthy aroma. Its been said that eating a mango before consuming a myrcene rich strain will boost your buzz.

Strains with high concentrations of this infamous terpene include Sour Diesel, OG Kush, and Green Crack.


Reminiscent of lavender and other floral notes, linalool is a popular sleep-aid and tool to combat anxiety.

Featured in strains like Granddaddy Purp, Dos-Si-Do, and Zkittles.


Pungent aromas of black pepper dominate this terp. Commonly used as an anti-inflammatory and for relief from chronic pain.

Can be found in strains like Gelato, Chemdog, and Original Glue.


Also known as “cineol,” this terpene is characterized by its cool aroma and sweet minty taste. Scientific research around this compound claims that it can relieve sinus pressure and improve cognitive function.

Strains with eucalyptol as its dominant terp include Mint Chocolate Chip Grease Monkey, London Pound Cake, and GSC.


Famed for its spicy, woody scent, humulene also exists in hops, basil, and coriander. Though this terpene appears in lower concentrations compared to others, it is still a notable mention.

Humulene can be found in strains like GSC, Layer Cake, and Sherbet.

Rooted In is committed to combating stigmas about cannabis.  One profound way of doing this is through our knowledge exchange.  By sharing the science behind the plant, we believe we can help others better advocate for themselves and the types of experiences they want to have.  Terpenes are wildly complex, and we’re excited to continue to unpack their pertinent presence in the world of weed.  Follow along as we continue to discuss #TalkingTerps

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