What the Hemp are Terpenes? thumbnail image
  • CBD

February 5, 2021

What the Hemp are Terpenes?

Estimated Read Time: 5 min

Author Image

By Valerie Orta on February 5, 2021

Terpenes are everywhere, and their benefits and uses may surprise you. There are over 20,000 different terpenes that exist, and roughly 140 found within the cannabis plant alone. Find out how they may impact the benefits of CBD products.

Citrus, fruity, peppery, pine, and herbal are some scents you might find when sniffing through CBD hemp flowers or oils. Those wonderful scents come from terpenes, which are the aromatic oils that are found in an abundance of plants and herbs.

What are Hemp Terpenes?

Terpenes are one type of compound found in all plants, including hemp. However, cannabis plants like hemp are particularly abundant in terpenes. Have you ever noticed a particular aroma to the cannabis products you use? You can thank terpenes, which are responsible for how plants smell and taste.

Many factors play into a plant’s development of terpenes, including weather, climate, fertilizers, soil type, age and maturation, and time of day.

Terpenes play a significant role in plants. In some plants, they attract pollinators, while in other plants, they repel predators. Some terpenes have even been shown to aid the plant in recovery from injury.

How Hemp Terpenes Affect CBD

Terpenes also play a significant role in CBD products - some terpenes may help promote relaxation and stress relief, while others may increase focus and acuity.

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD extracts retain hemp's natural terpenes. They have a wealth of benefits on their own. However, they also work synergistically with CBD and the plant's other cannabinoids to enhance natural effects through a theory called the Entourage Effect. Generally, it is believed that CBD with terpenes is far more effective at promoting health and well-being than a product that only has CBD.

However, terpenes are also in many everyday products, not just hemp or CBD. Manufacturers use isolated terpenes to create the scents and flavors of many products, such as perfume, body wash, and even food.

Terpenes are everywhere, and their benefits and uses may surprise you. There are over 20,000 different terpenes that exist, and roughly 140 found within the cannabis plant alone. Some of the most common terpenes in hemp include myrcene, linalool, limonene, humulene, beta-caryophyllene, pinene, ocimene, and terpinolene.

hemp terpenes diagram

Read on to learn more about these hemp terpenes found in CBD oil, with an overview of their benefits and effects.


Myrcene is a common terpene also found in hops, thyme, lemongrass, and mangos. This terpene often produces a musky, earthy, and herbal aroma and is a powerful antioxidant.

Myrcene has been used to promote relaxation and calming effects. Research has shown that other potential benefits of myrcene include treatment of insomnia, pain, and inflammation, but further studies are needed.


The linalool terpene is responsible for the rich scent found in the lavender plant. Linalool can also be found naturally in rosewood and sage. It has a floral and sweet aroma with a hint of citrus.

It is one of the most important compounds used for aromatherapy and can help with mood enhancement and relaxation. Some potential benefits of linalool include treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, and inflammation, but further studies must be done.


This terpene is in fruit rinds, mainly citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, and oranges. Limonene can also be found in rosemary and peppermint, giving these plants strong citrus, sweet-tart, and fresh scent.

The limonene terpene may provide mood-enhancing effects resulting in stress-relief and a feeling of elevated focus. Research has shown that additional benefits of limonene may include the treatment of anxiety, depression, inflammation, and pain, but more studies are needed.


This terpene is commonly found in the hops plant and cloves, ginger, ginseng, and basil. It produces an earthy, musky, and slightly spicy scent. Humulene has been demonstrated to provide anti-inflammatory benefits in some studies, but further research must be done.


Beta-caryophyllene, or β-Caryophyllene, is a complex terpene found in herbs and spices, such as cloves, black pepper, and cinnamon, and is characterized by a peppery, spicy, woody aroma.

Caryophyllene has been used to promote stress relief, and studies have shown that it may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Additional benefits of this terpene that have been identified in research studies may include the treatment of pain, anxiety, depression, and ulcers.


This terpene is the most common terpene found in nature. Pinene is found in two forms: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene.

Pinene produces a fresh, earthy, and woodsy scent and is most commonly found in pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill. Pinene promotes an energizing effect with a sense of calmness.

Research has shown that pinene may provide additional benefits, including enhanced alertness and memory retention, with potential uses as a treatment of asthma, pain, anxiety, and inflammation.


Ocimene is another common terpene found in many plants. Ocimene provides a sweet, woodsy, and herbal aroma, frequently used in perfume. This terpene can be found in fragrant herbs such as mint, parsley, basil, and orchids.

This terpene supplies an uplifting and energizing effect. Additional benefits may include antioxidant action, and some studies suggest its usefulness in cough suppression and decongestion.


This terpene is one of the least-abundant terpenes found in cannabis but is nonetheless very important in providing a characteristic scent to the cannabis plant. It provides a floral, herbal, and piney scent.

Outside of cannabis, this terpene is most commonly found in lilacs, nutmeg, cumin, apples, and tea tree oil. Findings suggest terpinolene provides an uplifting effect and may serve as an antioxidant.

Learn More About CBD Benefits

Discover more about CBD, including what CBD is and how much CBD you should take through the Koi CBD blog.

Related Posts
Popular Products