What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are small, volatile compounds found throughout the plant world. Most plants we associate with an aroma owe this effect to their terpene content.

Pine trees, citrus fruits, roses, and cannabis are all notoriously high in terpenes — which is what gives each of these plants their characteristic aromas. Some of these terpenes are shared by plants unrelated to each other.

For example, cannabis shares terpenes with many other plant species, including pine, lavender, eucalyptus, nutmeg, mint, and more — giving its aroma touches of these botanicals as well.

Terpenes offer therapeutic benefits of their own, further lending to the overall medicinal effects of the cannabis plant as a whole. Some terpenes improve the absorption of other molecules through the digestive tract. Many others are anti-inflammatory, sedative, or antibacterial.