Definition of Terpenes

Terpenes are organic compounds produced by plants and some animals and insects. More broadly the are hydrocarbons (C5H8)n found most often in essential oils, resins, and balsams. They produce aroma and flavours. The odour is emitted to protect the plants from predators. Terpenes attract insects that pollinate their host plant. They have been found to create a relaxing effect and can aid in sleeping or promote heightened awareness. Think about the smell of freshly squeezed oranges or a rose garden. Those scents are from the terpenes.

With relation to cannabis, the terpene myrcene is the particular terpene which gives the plant the smell that’s known so well. Terpens are also the reason that certain cannabis strains like strawberry kush or agent orange take on the smell and slight taste of the fruits they are named for. 

Recent studies are showing that certain terpenes from the cannabis plant when working together with the cannabinoids (entourage effect) in the plant are creating even stronger mental and physical reactions.