Top Answer

Medical Jane

Last updated: May 30th, 2016

Terpenes (TUR-peens) are a large class of organic hydrocarbons produced by a wide variety of plants, and are referred to as terpenoids when denatured by oxidation (drying and curing the flowers). They are the main building block of any plant resin or “essential oils” and contribute to the scent, flavor, and colors. Some are even known to have medicinal value.

Terpenes are the main class of aromatic compounds found in cannabis and have even been proven to interact synergistically with cannabinoids to provide for a range of different effects. While many people believe that it is the sticky glands of THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) that provide cannabis with its peculiar aroma, it is actually the more unstable monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes that are responsible. In fact, it is the smell of the specific sesquiterpene, Caryophyllene oxide that drug dogs are able to detect when probing for cannabis.

Understanding the importance of terpenes allows for a true “cannasseur” to broaden their approach to searching for new strains based on smells and tastes, rather than purely effects.

Click here to view a list of terpenes found in cannabis.

Related Questions

Ask Jane a New Question

Have a question about the cannabis plant or its potential medical applications? Ask Jane by first searching Medical Jane’s database of frequently asked questions and answers. Chances are, someone has already asked and answered your question, so be sure to search Medical Jane before asking the Medical Jane community to answer your question.

Ask a new question


Thank you for subscribing!
There was a problem subscribing, please try again later.

Sign-up to receive the latest medical cannabis research, news, and special offers straight to your inbox.

By subscribing I agree to the Privacy Policy