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Your Favorite Cannabis Strains and Their Main Terpenes

August 8, 2018
(Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)
Ahh, the terpene, that flavorful element of cannabis offering a rich display of flavors and physical benefits which are currently receiving a surge of popularity and scientific research. As our knowledge behind the science of cannabis expands, so too does our knowledge of terpenes.


What are cannabis terpenes and what do they do?

An ever-changing element that can unlock the healthy nuances of our favorite plant, terpenes provide fragrant oils which lend aromatic and beneficial dynamics to cannabis. The scent of cannabis is built by a combination of various terpenes, and different harvests—even of the same strain—can yield slightly different terpene profiles. So keep that in mind when choosing your next strain.

More than 100 terpenes have been identified in cannabis so far, and each strain presents their terpene profile like a unique fingerprint. In addition, the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids—like THC and CBD—provide a punch of perks through the entourage effect, giving way to whole-plant medicine which can provide relief in a number of physical or mental ailments.

Have you always been curious about the primary terpenes often formed in your favorite strains? We culled a few of our top go-tos to help you navigate this unique world of healing aromas.

Blue Dream: Myrcene

Easily one of the most popular strains on the market, Blue Dream is flush with sweet berry aromas and cerebral effects. Myrcene, its most abundant terpene, provides anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities. When you toke up this cerebral strain, pair it with other foods and herbs rich in myrcene, including mangoes, thyme, cardamom, and lemongrass. Bonus: myrcene is naturally synergistic with THC, which opens up an easy pathway for cannabinoids to pass the blood-brain barrier.

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Sour Diesel: Myrcene & Limonene

A lofty mix of myrcene and limonene grace the famous Sour Diesel strain. Sour Diesel is uplifting and energizing, and its limonene profile highlights its therapeutic, mood-elevating effects. Most citrusy fruits carry this same terpene in their rinds, so the next time you purchase a gram of Sour Diesel, consider nabbing a few oranges to maximize the effects. Bonus: limonene improves absorption of other terpenes and chemicals by way of the skin, mucous membranes, and digestive tract.

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Dutch Treat: Terpinolene

Apples, allspice, and cumin contain the piney and floral terpinolene, which is also found in the stress-reducing and uplifting Dutch Treat. An anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial element (among other beneficial “antis”), terpinolene’s effects soothe the central nervous system and can provide relief for insomnia. Visit your local farmer’s market and pick up a bouquet of terpinolene-laden lilacs to pair with this fragrant and healing strain.

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Northern Lights: Caryophyllene

Found in many plants and herbs, caryophyllene boasts a peppery aroma and anti-inflammatory benefits. Load up on cloves, cinnamon, and rosemary to pair with this rich terpene usually bountiful in the ever-lasting Northern Lights. Bonus: prefer cannabis over alcohol? Caryphophyllene was shown to reduce voluntary alcohol intake (in mice), so it may be beneficial in reducing overall alcohol dependence.

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Pineapple: Pinene

If you need a boost in concentration, consider a strain coated in the anti-inflammatory and alertness-promoting terpene pinene. The deliciously tropical Pineapple will grant you uplifting effects and is frequently home to a hefty dose of this wonder terpene. Along with dill, turpentine, and pine needles, pinene sources can help counter the short-term memory loss effects commonly associated with THC.

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Fire OG: Linalool

Anti-microbial properties and relaxing effects can be felt with the uplifting Fire OG, but also in one of its terpenes, linalool. Linalool is known for its lavender-like scent which gives way to anti-anxiety components. Interestingly, linalool doesn’t stick around in the body for long, but its benefits provide much needed relief for high-stress and depressive moods. Bonus: linalool has been connected to Alzheimer treatments. In 2016, a study was published highlighting the reversal of behavioral and cognitive impairments in Alzheimers-afflicted mice who were provided with linalool.

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Hannah Meadows's Bio Image

Hannah Meadows

Hannah Meadows is an associate editor at Leafly, where she contributes to lifestyle content.

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  • BubbaYeat

    I’m thrilled to see an article like this.Three years ago I started producing Terpene profiles (currently as a partner at Lev8 Labs. LTD) and even at tradeshows and cannabis conventions scarcely anyone was aware of what terpenes are, let alone how they might be used. Flash-forward three years and Terps are recognized as being as significant as THC or CBD levels. Truly a Golden-green Age for us all,

  • Dicey

    Where can I find those Terpene Charts for other strains? They are awesome! Do want!

    • informativex

      want? more like need! haha

      • Shawna Dries

        I would really love some. I use medical marijuana and have had my card for over 2 yrs now but I have had strange and bad reactions randomly to it so it makes it very difficult. I keep trying to learn everything I can bc I’m desperate for it to help on a regular basis. I have full body and organ late stage crps and neuropathy and siezures the list goes on but I find it sometimes triggers severe episodes of my dystonia or worse and I’m overwhelmed w all the information for all the strains the Terrapins profiles the best uses the different batches of each strain being drastically different could I have any information tou have that might help me please

  • Peppi Holliday

    just found this site and am very interested in this product. do they have vape pens for cbd oil?

    • Susie Nonko


  • Robert Wayne

    For decades all most growers were concerned with was THC, creating strains with High THC and certain Terps. Now CBD almost is completely absent from most strains. It is hard to get the whole plant effect when most of it was breed out. I love the Old School Strains from the 70s, 80s. Some afgan you could smell a mile away, Skunk. They bred that out by cross breeding. Now they are discovering they fucked the plants up with all the THC Hype.

  • Zestos

    Enjoyed the article. My olfactory kicked in as I was reading, but…the find nearby button was not working. Was the article demographic specific?

  • Hope

    Thank you for this valuable information!!!!

  • informativex

    Well written we need more of this charted data for the masses to enable the little people to do their own research and bypass big pharma before they finish dunking people on to less useful less healthful and much more expensive synthetic garbage.

  • Dante-the-cat

    Terpenes is a key reason I love cannabis so much. I buy small quantities of all different strains for that very reason.

  • JohnnyV7

    Is it discretion that keeps you from naming the Cannabis companies that develop these extraordinary terpenes and strains that are for the more discriminating tastes? I think the market will gravitate into exclusive flavors and experiences that will appeal to best of clientele.