The Science Behind Cannabis Terpenes

Cannabis is known for its extraordinary flavor and aroma, which is due to the presence of terpenes in the plant. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in cannabis that contribute to the psychoactive and therapeutic effects. The variety of terpenes in weed is responsible for the subtle differences in aroma and flavor in different strains of the plant. In this article we will explain the science behind cannabis terpenes and their effects on the body.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, found in plants such as cannabis, pine trees, and lemongrass. They are typically hydrocarbons that are composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms.

They are responsible for the distinct aroma and flavor of various plants, and they also play a role in the therapeutic effects of cannabis. There are over 100 types of terpenes that have been identified in weed and more than 20,000 types in the plant kingdom.

Functions of Terpenes in Cannabis

Terpenes play a variety of functional roles in cannabis. They can act as a deterrent to predators and a attractor to pollinators, they can help to control the growth and development of the plant, and they can help to protect the plant from environmental stressors.

They also modulate the effects of the psychoactive and therapeutic compounds in cannabis, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and contribute to the subtle differences in aroma and flavor between strains.

The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis Terpenes

Terpenes have been studied for their potential therapeutic benefits and have been found to have a wide range of effects on the body and mind. Some of them have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-oxidative effects, while others are known to have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

Terpenes have also been found to influence the pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids, meaning that they can enhance or moderate the effects of these compounds. Furthermore, they have also been found to have synergistic effects when combined with cannabinoids, meaning that the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids can produce greater therapeutic benefits than when used separately.

The Entourage Effect

The concept of the entourage effect is based on the idea that the combination of the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis produces a different, and often greater, therapeutic effect than when the individual compounds are used separately.

The entourage effect is thought to result from the interaction between the various cannabinoids and terpenes, and is believed to contribute to the diverse range of therapeutic effects of different strains of weed.


Terpenes are complex organic compounds that are found in cannabis and can influence the aroma and flavor of the plant. They play an important functional role in the growth and development of the plant. Furthermore, they can modulate the effects of the psychoactive and therapeutic compounds in cannabis. More research is needed to fully understand their therapeutic potential and the entourage effect. Nevertheless, it is clear that terpenes play an important role in the therapeutic effects of cannabis.


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