When you start diving into the world of terpenes and really thinking about all of the thousands of terps that plants, fruits, and herbs are made of — it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Different terpenes, which give plants their unique flavors and aromas, also produce different physiological responses. Knowing the characteristics of each terp is important to ensure you’re using them in ways that make sense. To give you a better sense of how to get the most of your terps, we’ve compiled an easy-to-understand list of terpenes you should get familiar with.
Here’s the low-down to help you get to know your terpenes:
The Common List of Terpenes:
Famously referred to as “The Mother of All Terpenes”, Myrcene is the most common terpene used in commercial bud products. It is a monoterpene widely available in hemp and other botanicals. It offers a fruity, mangoey, spicy, musky aromatic profile similar to ylang-ylang, wild thyme, parsley, and hops. Myrcene is often used as an antioxidant and is known for producing sedative, relaxing effects, as well as aiding to reduce inflammation.
Another popular terp on our list of terpenes you should know is one of the most pungent of aromatic terpenes yet. Featuring a sweet citrusy scent and flavor profile, Limonene delivers all the orangey-lemony vibes you need to boost your mood and relieve stress like those found in oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruits, and more. When you know your terpenes, Limonene’s citrus aromatics are hard to miss. Limonene also has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-carcinogenic properties and can help with gallstone treatment.
Pinene is one of the most researched and documented terps in flower and other botanicals like oranges peels, parsley, basil, and more. Unlike the other compounds on our list of terpenes, Pinene is available in two varieties: Alpha-pinene, which is more common, and Beta-pinene, which is usually present in trace amounts. As the name suggests, it has a pine-like aroma that is both earthy and refreshing. It helps with improving focus, boosting energy, increasing airflow, and relieving stress.
Ever cracked open a beer and thought it smelled like hemp? If you know your terpenes, you know that that distinctive, hoppy smell (and taste) is usually Humulene. Its earthy, musky, herbal aroma and flavor profile makes it the quintessential “hoppy” ingredient for woody, spicy beers. It can also be found in plants like sage, balsam, black pepper, and ginger root. It is believed to help increase energy and have antibacterial, antifungal, and pharmacokinetic properties.
Next on our list of terpenes is Terpinolene. Often associated with being one of the least common terpenes, it is found in most flower strains, but usually in small amounts. Terpinolene has a more multi-dimensional flavor and aroma profile than other terps. It is simultaneously floral, herbal, citrusy, and piney. Other plants that contain Terpinolene include lilacs, apples, tea trees, and nutmeg. Its fresh fragrance makes it a popular additive for cleansing products and skincare.
Linalool can be found in over 200 different plants such as lavender, rose, basil, and neroli oil. If you know your terpenes, you know it isn’t exclusive to bud. This last compound on our list of terpenes has a pleasantly floral, citrusy flavor and aroma profile perfect for mellowing the vibe. In addition to boosting relaxation, Linalool may provide anti-convulsing, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant benefits, and may even help with anti-acne treatments.
These popular, well-rounded terpenes do so much more than just add taste and smell to your formulations — they each deliver unique effects to enhance your experiences in more ways than one. Knowing their characteristics and understanding the strengths of each terpene can guarantee that you’re getting the absolute most out of your terps.