Terpenes and Cannabis: Things You Should Know When Buying Cannabis

This article is all about terpenes and cannabis. If you’re familiar with legalized marijuana, you might’ve heard budtenders talking about “terpy” weed or how certain strains have specific terps that drive the types of high cannabis users experience. For those of you who aren’t familiar, there is an endless amount of weed strains and genetic variations. Terpenes are hydrocarbons found in the oils of plants and are an important aspect of the cannabis plant.

They are also found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs, plus terpenes are responsible for providing flavors and important vitamins, which can also produce a highly potent natural aroma at times. While terpenes differ from strain to strain, there are a number of terps that are scene more frequently than others.

There are literally hundreds of terpenes that exist both in cannabis and plants. While some are commonly encountered in cannabis, others are rarely seen or not even found at all. Today, we’re going to focus on the major terpenes people often see the most often.


Humulene is best known for helping people with cancer as it has shown that it can reduce inflammation throughout the body. This terpene has also demonstrated that it can potentially aid in decreasing one’s appetite. Studies have shown that humulene can effectively provide relief for arthritis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia. Humulene is most frequently found in “sativa” strains. Outside of cannabis, Humulene can be described as having a beer scent and is also found in hops, cloves, and basil. Common strains that contain this terpene include White Widow and Headband. 


Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene that has the scent of sweet, woody, and spicy flavors. While this terpene is found among various different strains, it is most commonly seen in topical products due to bonding closely with peripheral CB2 receptors. There are a fair number of medical benefits from this terpene, as it has consistently shown to decrease inflammation and fight against anxiety and depression. One of the most interesting facts about beta-caryophyllene is that it can reduce an individual’s craving for alcohol. While this terpene exists in many strains, the most popular can be found in OG Kush, Bubba Kush, and Chemdawg. 



Linalool contains spicy and flowery scents, which is one of the most popular smells encountered with cannabis. It can easily mesh with other terpenes and scents easily, so while it may not be at the forefront of a particular strain is it commonly seen in both indica and sativa strains. This terpene can also be found primarily in mind and lavender.

This terpene is significant because it provides a huge relief to individuals who have arthritis and depression. Common strains that contain the Linalool terpene include OG Shark and Special Kush. 


This terpene is isn’t as prominent compared to other terpenes found in cannabis, but it’s one of the most researched to date. Eucalyptol is seen from the eucalyptus tree, and contains minty and cool tones. What makes this terpene unique is that it can be seen in both cosmetics and medicine. In regards to research, it is currently being studied to see if it has a direct impact in curing Alzheimer's disease. Common strains that contain the eucalyptol terpene are Super Silver Haze and Headband. 


Camphene is a terpene that includes scents that more earthy and musky. It’s proven that this terpene is an excellent antioxidant when mixed with Vitamin C. Camphene is commonly used in medicine and can be seen in the form of a topical to be directly applied to the skin. One of the most interesting things about this terpene is that it can decrease cholesterol levels in addition to lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Common strains that include the camphene terpene are Mendocino Purps and Ghost OG. 

Limonene and Pinene Terpenes

A few other common terpenes seen in cannabis includes limonene and pinene. Limonene contains a scent that is more citrus and lemon based, giving off a more acidic feel. It’s definitely a terpene that is considered to have more relaxing effects, as it’s most commonly found in indica strains. In contrast, the pinene terpene has a far different as it has a more natural earthy flavor. It can be described as having the taste and scent of pine needles. This terpene is known to have an uplifting and energetic effect that is seen in sativa strains. 

Additional Information

What makes terpenes so interesting is the possibilities of cures that come with them. While having certain smells within the cannabis flower heightens the consumption experience, the possibilities some terpenes have provided in relation to cures and medicine is staggering. With many terpenes, research is in its early stages and there isn’t enough concrete proof for certain terpenes to be immersed into the medicine world just yet. With cannabis rapidly being accepted not only in the United States, but around the world; it will most likely prompt for more research to be done. As more evidence towards cures is developed over time, there will most likely be more of a crossover between the medical and cannabis industries. 

Legal Purchasing Limits for Cannabis Products

Adults 21 and over can purchase up to one ounce of usable cannabis flower, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces of cannabis drinkables, and 7 grams of cannabis concentrates.

Three ounces of usable cannabis flower, forty-eight ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, two hundred sixteen ounces of cannabis drinkables, and twenty-one grams of cannabis concentrates, per the Washington State Department of Health.