Top 13 CBD Oil Terpenes Explained—What Terpenes Are & What They Do
Hemp flower naturally expresses hundreds of different types of oils . Some of these oils, including flavonoids and terpenes, are also present in other plant species. Cannabinoids, however, such as CBD, are unique to Cannabis sativa , so they aren’t found anywhere else in nature.
Research into hemp has mainly focused on cannabinoids up until this point, but recently, scientists have also become intrigued by the terpenes present in hemp flower and their potential benefits. While some terpenes are found in almost every hemp cultivar, each strain of CBD flower has a different terpene ratio, and certain rare hemp terpenes are almost impossible to find. In this guide, we’ll tell you what terpenes are and explain how they add to your Secret Nature CBD flower experience.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic oils found in mature Cannabis sativa buds. Each terpene has a unique aroma and flavor, and research into terpenes suggests that these oils may offer potent benefits aside from smelling and tasting good.
Some studies, for instance, suggest that terpenes may have antioxidant effects , which means they might boost the effects of cannabinoids. Many terpenes have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years, which lends credibility to their use in medical applications.
What are terpenes in CBD oil?
Some types of CBD extract, such as full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil, preserve the terpenes that are naturally present in CBD flower. When present in CBD oil, terpenes add natural flavoring. Terpenes in CBD oil also provide some degree of added aroma, but the delicious smells that terpenes offer are not as noticeable in CBD oil form as they are in CBD flower.
One notable exception is live resin CBD extract, which preserves both the flavors and aromas of hemp terpenes almost perfectly. It’s also possible to reintroduce isolated cannabis-derived terpenes into full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD products after they are formulated.
What do terpenes do?
While research into the effects of hemp terpenes is still in its infancy, thousands of anecdotal testimonials suggest that these compounds significantly alter the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids. Certain terpenes, for instance, appear to cause CBD flower to become more energizing, and other terpenes may induce a restful effect.
The separation of cannabis strains into “indica” and “sativa” phenotypes might have been the result of a taxonomical error , but these categories effectively describe the varying effects that different terpene profiles exert. Research continues to indicate that it’s the terpenes in hemp flower that make a strain either indica or sativa—not the cannabinoids.
Do terpenes get you high?
While certain terpenes, such as caryophyllene, appear to interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, there is no indication that terpenes cause an intoxicating effect. Like CBD, CBG, CBN, and all of the other cannabinoids aside from THC, marijuana terpenes appear to be non-intoxicating, which means they won’t get you high.
What are the health benefits of terpenes?
Each terpene has a different chemical composition, which means that the health benefits of terpenes are extremely varied. Most, but not all, terpenes appear to have antioxidant effects, and other terpenes might express antifungal, antibacterial, or even antispasmodic properties.
How to use terpenes
As producers of the planet’s finest hemp products, the Secret Nature team is well aware of how to extract terpenes and how to dilute terpenes. For most hemp users, however, it’s only necessary to know how to consume terpenes, not how to prepare them.
The best way to use terpenes is to consume these beneficial oils in CBD flower or in a different kind of full-spectrum CBD product. Terpenes have the best effects when they are used in combination, and it also appears that these oils are more effective when combined with cannabinoids.
You can also use terpenes in their isolated forms. Just as it’s possible to isolate cannabinoids, it’s also possible to isolate terpenes, and we use isolated cannabis terpenes in our Hemp Flower Nectar tincture for flavoring and increased benefits. If you want to use terpenes specifically for their beneficial effects, however, full-spectrum hemp products are the way to go.
List of terpenes found in hemp
Hemp contains dozens of different terpenes and the exact terpene profile that hemp contains varies from strain to strain. In the following list, we’ll introduce you to 13 different CBD terpenes. Some of these terpenes are found in almost every Cannabis sativa cultivar, and others are relatively rare. Let’s dive in:
Also found in pine trees, pinene has two forms that each has distinctive, piney scents. Pinene is one of the most common terpenes in hemp, and it appears to have antioxidant benefits.
Humulene is an earthy terpene that is also found in the hops used to make beer. You can find this terpene in various tree species, and it has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries.
Caryophyllene is one of the most common terpenes found in hemp, and it’s also the only terpene known to stimulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. Also found in black pepper and other spices, caryophyllene has a spicy, peppery aroma and taste that’s reminiscent of cloves.
Ocimene is relatively rare in hemp, but it’s very common in various flower and herb species. This terpene appears to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and it has woody overtones that combine with light, sweet notes to create a unique aroma.
Limonene is very common in sativa-dominant CBD flower strains, and this terpene has a powerful citrus aroma that resembles lemon zest. Chemically, limonene is very similar in structure to CBD, and this terpene is unsurprisingly found in every type of citrus fruit.
Linalool is the reason that lavender smells like lavender, and scientists believe that this terpene could even be responsible for lavender’s sleep-promoting effects . Linalool is also an antioxidant, and it appears to have mood-balancing benefits
Every strain of Cannabis sativa contains at least some myrcene, and in most strains, myrcene is the dominant terpene. While most hemp strains only contain tiny concentrations of other terpenes, myrcene molecules are often present in relatively high quantities, and this terpene has a musky, earthy aroma. Myrcene is also found in thyme, lemongrass, hops, and mangoes.
Terpinolene is present in an odd mix of plants including citrus fruits, mint species, parsnips, and juniper. It’s hard to pin down the flavor profile of this elusive terpene—one moment, it smells like citrus, and the next moment, it smells like flowers. Most hemp experts agree, though, that terpene is an essential component of the energetic buzz that sativa-dominant strains provide.
Sabinene is a rare terpene that’s present in Norway spruce, carrot seeds, and black pepper. This terpene has a spicy, woody aroma, and it appears that sabinene has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
Phellandrene is hardly ever found in hemp, but it’s readily available in various plants including water fennel, parsley, cinnamon, dill, ginger grass, and pine trees. This terpene is commonly used in cosmetics due to its high absorption rate, and practitioners of Eastern medicine have used phellandrene for centuries. Phellandrene has a woody, minty aroma with traces of citrus.
While commonly used in Chinese medicine under the name “moxa,” Borneol hasn’t received much attention in the Western world until recently. This terpene is extremely rare in hemp, but it appears that borneol has powerful analgesic properties that complement its sharp, herbal aroma. Borneol is also found in camphor, mint, and mugwort.
Isoborneol has the same molecules as borneol, but they are arranged in a different structure. This terpene is found in the same non-hemp plant sources as borneol, and it has a similar aroma. While borneol smells more like mint, however, isoborneol smells more like cinnamon. Like borneol, isoborneol is very rare in hemp cultivars.
Phytol has a grassy aroma, and it is extremely rare in cannabis. When present, however, it appears that phytol provides potent antioxidant properties. This terpene is also present in green tea, and in the pharmaceutical industry, phytol is used to synthesize vitamin E and vitamin K.
Best Terpene-Rich Secret Nature Flower Strains
Each Secret Nature flower strain has a different taste and aroma due to the terpenes it contains. In this section, we’ll introduce you to three of our most popular strains and show how the terpene profiles in Secret Dream, Papaya Nights, and Dough Boy help explain their unique effects:
Secret Nature Secret Dream is like Blue Dream but without the THC. This sativa-dominant hybrid strain has a terpene profile that’s relaxing and invigorating at the same time, and Secret Dream has a light color profile that’s accompanied by a thick layer of frosty trichomes.
- 19.1% CBD
- 20.1% total cannabinoids
- Organic, indoor-grown, and hand-trimmed
Papaya Nights is proof that terpenes have benefits that go beyond their mere effects. Due to its unique terpene profile, this sativa-dominant strain smells amazing, and Secret Nature Papaya Nights buds are so frosty you can hardly see the green underneath.
- 19.7% CBD
- 21.5% total cannabinoids
- Organic, indoor-grown, and hand-trimmed
Dough Boy is a hybrid strain, and this cultivar’s unique mix of myrcene, pinene, and linalool terpenes provides it with a taste and aroma that’s just like cake batter. This strain produces big, dense nugs, and like all Secret Nature flower options, Dough Boy is lab-tested and ships in a hermetically-sealed tin.
- Hybrid strain
- 20.5% CBD
- 21.8% total cannabinoids
- Organic, indoor-grown, and hand-trimmed
Enjoy the most impressive CBD flower terpene profiles today
At Secret Nature, we take great pride in our organic, sustainable cultivation processes. Terpenes only express themselves to their fullest extent when hemp flower is grown to perfection, which is why Secret Nature flower is the dankest and most delicious hemp bud you can find.
Aside from our top-shelf hemp nugs, we also take great care to preserve the terpenes in our other products. From our Hemp Flower Nectar tincture to our Live Resin Hemp Badder, we afford terpenes the respect they deserve by only including full-spectrum hemp extract in our products. Some of our products even contain live resin, which is even more delicious and terpene-rich.
It’s time to experience everything that terpenes have to offer. Pick a Secret Nature flower option from the list above to get started today, and save 15% on your first order with the coupon code Secret 15.
Hemp flower naturally expresses hundreds of different types of oils. Some of these oils, including flavonoids and terpenes, are also present in other plant species. Cannabinoids, however, such as CBD, are unique to Cannabis sativa, so they aren’t found anywhere else in nature. Research into hemp has mainly focused on c
what are terpenes and how do they affect cbd?
Terpenes — the universal language between plants, bacteria, fungi and humans. They’re currently the most buzzed-about topic in the CBD world. But what exactly are they, and how do they affect your CBD? They are a diverse class of aromatic compounds naturally produced by plants as a way to attract pollinators or deter predators. As it turns out, terpenes have a significant influence on the effects your CBD will produce. They have such an impact that you’ll definitely want to choose CBD products with terpenes over those without them.
Terpenes aren’t just for plants, though. We can all naturally understand the way that terpenes communicate through aroma and taste. For example, the terpene a-pinene is what gives coniferous forests a sharp, sweet and refreshing aroma. Research has found that using pine essential oils in aromatherapy can bring about a sense of alertness.
But let’s back up a little bit and find out what terpenes are, and why they are so important to high-quality CBD.
the diverse terpenes of cannabis
One plant that’s rich in terpenes is the cannabis plant. In cannabis, terpenes are to credit for the sticky texture and strong aromas that each strain has to offer. There are several factors that can influence the terpene profile of a plant— including climate, time of year at harvest, age of the plant at harvest, and so on. Cannabis synthesizes and secretes terpenes from the same glands where therapeutic cannabinoids CBD and THC are produced. So, while cannabinoids are highly recognized for their therapeutic potential, terpenes are showing that they may play a bigger part in the therapeutic effects of cannabis than we thought.
Scientists have found over 100 different terpenes in the cannabis plant. Here is a list of the most abundant terpenes found in cannabis.
Named for its citrus aroma, limonene is another common cannabis terpene. This one is a great choice when you need a pick-me-up, and it has serious mood-boosting powers . Studies have also found limonene to be highly bioavailable with 70% human intake upon ingestion.
This terpene is best known for creating lavender’s signature relaxing aroma, and is also quite common in cannabis. CBD containing linalool is sure to help you get a good night’s rest. It’s been shown to possess soothing properties because of its modulatory activity on glutamate and GABA neurotransmitter systems.
The most widely encountered terpene found in nature, appearing in conifers and innumerable plant essential oils. The most compelling aspect of this compound is its newfound potential to support memory. It is believed by some researchers that it has the ability to counteract short-term memory loss induced by THC consumption.
The only compound known to directly activate cannabinoid receptors that isn’t a cannabinoid. Beta-caryophyllene is a full agonist of the CB2 receptor sites primarily located on immune cells. That means that caryophyllene-rich CBD will have generally stronger effects than CBD products that lack it.
A highly soothing terpene that’s currently being used as a sleep aid in Germany. It’s thought that the calming effects may be the cause of the “couch-lock” phenomenon of physical sedation that is commonly described by recreational cannabis users.
Humulene is another terpene known for its sleep-promoting properties . It’s known to be anti-bacterial and may help soothe sore muscles as well. Commonly found throughout several different plant species, humulene is responsible for the hoppy aroma released when hops steep.
Found in german chamomile, honey, and apples, bisabolol has a pleasantly warm aroma. While it’s known to possess a myriad of beneficial properties such as antioxidant and antimicrobial, it has also been found to express enhancements to the skin’s absorption of other substances.
the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes
We’ve only just scratched the surface at all of the different terpenes that are found in nature and in cannabis. As you can tell, they all either have similar or vastly different characteristics which can greatly affect the way that they interact with the body.
Scientists used to believe that terpenes only influenced the body through olfactory processing. It was easy to make that assumption since aromas are known to have an indirect effect on mood. Therefore, terpenes were thought to trigger olfactory sensations, thus affecting emotions.
While olfactory sensations may play a part in terpenes effect on our body and mind, it is now believed that terpenes directly modulate the behavior of brain cells. We’ve also discovered that this modulating effect is enhanced with the help of cannabinoids. The synergistic amplification of terpenoids and cannabinoids working together is referred to as the entourage effect.
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 and phytochemicals to enhance the therapeutic effects that they have on the body.
In a 2011 study conducted by a board-certified neurologist and pioneer in cannabis research, Dr. Ethan B. Russo, he states that “a better future via cannabis phytochemistry may be an achievable goal through further research of the entourage effect. [The entourage effect] may help fulfill [this versatile plants’] promise as a pharmacological treasure trove.”
To learn more, check out our blog post here where we dive deep into the intricacies of the entourage effect
terpenes in your cbd products
It should be pretty clear by now that there are huge benefits to taking CBD products loaded with all those naturally occurring terpenes. However, finding CBD that contains terpenes can be a bit of a challenge.
As CBD is often extracted from hemp plants and isolated , most of the terpene content gets intentionally left behind in processing. Even when CBD producers try to maintain some of the terpenes, it doesn’t always work. Terpenes are volatile and easily damaged, so the high heat and long processing time typically required to extract CBD from hemp plants destroy a lot of the terpenes before they make it into your CBD.
Pachamama doesn’t let that happen, though. We use a proprietary extraction method that significantly reduces the amount of time that our hemp spends in processing. By doing this, we ensure our CBD extracts are exceptionally rich in terpenes and have a host of other super-beneficial and naturally occurring compounds found in hemp.
If you do want to start taking advantage of terpenes in your CBD, be on the lookout for full spectrum CBD products . These are products that bring CBD together with all of the other compounds found in hemp, allowing you to take advantage of the entourage effect and feel your best.
Sign up for our email list for new product notifications, lifestyle and CBD content, and special offers!
Terpenes —the universal language between plants, bacteria, fungi and humans. They're not just for plants. Learn all about the most abundant terpenes found in nature and their interaction with the human body.