Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants. Used in a wide variety of food and cosmetic products, they are recognized as safe for human consumption by the FDA. Each terpene has their own unique scent and flavor. Because our noses are very sensitive to terpenes, they have been used for centuries as aromatherapy. Each terpene has its own powerful effect such as elevating mood, support for muscle and joint function, and overall wellness.

Plants can have multiple terpenes. In fact, the cannabis plant has more than 120 different ones! The tiny crystalline hairs, or trichomes, on the bud produce both terpenes and cannabinoids.

Studies suggest that terpenes also act on cannabinoid receptors and are known to modify the effects of cannabinoids. In cannabis, terpenes are produced in the highest concentrations in the plants female flowers. Each terpene type has differing effects on the body. The most common cannabis terpene is Myrcene. With an earthy scent of lemongrass, basil, and thyme, , Myrcene is known for its sedative effect, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other common cannabis terpenes include Limonene, Linalool, Pinene, and Caryophyllene.

Although terpenes do not contain CBD and are not as potent as cannabinoids, they are valuable parts of cannabis. The combination of cannabinoids and terpenes working together produces a range of effects greater than the sum of its individual components. This ability to interact with other compounds activates synergistic benefits referred to as the  Entourage Effect. That said, more research is needed to fully understand both the interrelationship of cannabinoids and terpenes and that of human biochemistry and cannabis phytochemistry.

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