What Are Cannabis Derived Terpenes? Everything You Need to Know

Curious about cannabis-derived terpenes? Wondering what they are, what they do, and why they matter? This is the blog post for you! In this article, we’ll take a look at these amazing aromatic compounds found in the cannabis plant. From their fascinating properties to potential therapeutic benefits, we’ll explore it all. So, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about cannabis-derived terpenes!

Terpenes: Aromatic Oils Found in Plants

A lot of people might think that cannabis is a one-note situation when it comes to smells and tastes. After all, we all know what cannabis smells like. But, different cultivars can host hundreds of terpenes combinations that give them unique smells, tastes, and even potential therapeutic benefits.

What Are Cannabis-Derived Terpenes?

Cannabis-derived terpenes are organic compounds produced by the cannabis plant. They can be found in the resinous trichomes that cover the plant’s flowers and leaves. But, terpenes aren’t exclusive to cannabis. They are present in many other plants and are responsible for the characteristic smells of many herbs, fruits, and flowers. There are technically hundreds of terpenes that can be found in cannabis, each with its own unique aromas and potential benefits, but there are a few that are more common and well-loved among cannabis enjoyers.

What do Terpenes Do in Cannabis?

We know them for their amazing smells and flavors, but they actually serve an important ecological function. Terpenes play a vital role in the cannabis plant’s survival and defense mechanisms. They help repel pests from destroying the plant, attract pollinators, and can even protect the plant from environmental stressors. 

Terpenes are mostly talked about for the way they influence the taste and smell of cannabis. Typically, every cultivar tends to lean toward its own unique terpene composition. This means knowing which cultivars you enjoy can also hint at what some of your favorite terpenes may be and what you might like to try next. For example, if you know you love a certain cultivar, descendants of that cultivar will likely also contain the same terpenes. Knowing your terpenes can make it easier to navigate trying new cultivars.

Beyond this, terpenes can also contribute to the therapeutic effects of cannabis, These compounds can work with cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, to enhance or modify their effects. There’s even a terpene (Caryophyllene) that directly interacts with the cannabinoid system!

Common Terpenes and Their Unique Characteristics

There are hundreds of terpenes out there, but some are a lot more common than others. Let’s explore some of the most common, well-loved terpenes and their distinct traits.


Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. It’s known for its peppery, spicy notes and sweeter undertones. It’s also found in mangoes and lemongrass, and it’s known for its potential sedative effects.


Limonene is a refreshing, citrusy terpene reminiscent of lemons. It is often found in more uplifting and energizing cultivars, as it may have mood-lifting properties. It also has the potential to offer relief from stress and anxiety.


As the name suggests, pinene carries the aroma of fresh pine needles. This terpene is associated with freshness, alertness, and mental clarity. Pinene may also have anti-inflammatory properties.


Linalool is known for its sweet, floral scent. It can also be found in lavender and other aromatic plants. Linalool may help with calming and relaxing, potentially aiding in anxiety reduction and better sleep.


Caryophyllene emits a spicy, peppery aroma often found in herbs and spices like black pepper and cloves. And, as we mentioned earlier, it is the only terpene that interacts with the endocannabinoid system, making it the only terpene that is also known to act as a cannabinoid. Caryophyllene may also have anti-inflammatory effects.


Hoppy, earthy, and woody, humulene is a terpene found in cannabis as well as in the hops used to make beer. Humulene may also have anti-inflammatory properties.

Terpene FAQs

1. Are Terpenes Only Found in Cannabis?

No, terpenes are present in most plants, such as herbs, fruits, and flowers.

2. Can Terpenes Get You High?

Terpenes themselves do not cause intoxication. They can, however, influence the effects of other cannabinoids like THC, potentially enhancing or modifying their psychoactive properties.

3. Are Terpenes Legal?

Terpenes derived from non-psychoactive plants are legal. However, the legal status of cannabis-derived terpenes varies depending on local laws.

4. Can Terpenes Be Used Outside of Cannabis?

Yes! Terpenes are widely used in aromatherapy, skincare, culinary arts, and more.

5. Can Terpenes Be Used for Medicinal Purposes?

More research is needed to fully understand the potential therapeutic benefits of terpenes. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.


To close out, cannabis-derived terpenes are about more than just making your cannabis smell and taste great. They have the potential to deliver a variety of therapeutic properties and can even enhance your cannabis experience. Whether you’re looking to relax, energize, or focus, there is a terpene for you! So, next time you visit a Dreamz near you, take a look at the different terpenes in different cultivars and let your budtender know if you have any questions. We’re happy to help!

Have more questions? Let us know on our contact page or visit one of our locations across New Mexico. Shop our full selection online, and learn more about the amazing world of cannabis on our blog. Thanks for reading!