The full cannabis experience involves a complex mix of compounds, but the ones that give cannabis its unique smell, define the full experience and can boost your health.

Were it not for cannabinoids, there would be no cannabis boom, and we’re going to talk today about how cannabis terpenes play an important role in things in just a bit.

After all, it’s the cannabinoids that reduce inflammation, eliminate seizures, and relieve pain. And, yes, one of the over 100 cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant gets you high.

But of the many properties cannabinoids do have, two that they don’t possess are taste and smell.

That’s right. Any single cannabinoid in its pure, powdered form is tasteless and odorless.

Now, there is tremendous opportunity in getting the “weed” out of cannabis.

Those include:

Everything I mentioned above will help meet much of tomorrow’s demand for pure cannabinoid isolates.

To find out what makes marijuana have such a distinct smell, we have to look to another class of compounds.


In addition to providing that familiar marijuana aroma, terpenes have many therapeutic properties as well.

And recognizing the power of those properties will help you spot opportunities to profit from the accelerating cannabis boom…

Terpenes Everywhere

Terpenes, in large part, are responsible for the smells of many plants. Even some insects produce terpenes to deter predators.

Terpenes form a huge class of organic compounds. Ever hear of turpentine? Terpenes are the major component in the resin used to make it. The name terpene is even derived from turpentine, which was once spelled “terpentine” (with an “e” instead of a “u”).

One common terpene is limonene. It gives the citrus smell to oranges, lemons, and limes. Another, like α-pinene, make pine needles smell like pine needles. It is also found in dill, rosemary, and basil.

Linalool provides a floral aroma to lavender, and humulene lends its woody, earthy fragrance to that close relative of cannabis – hops. In fact, the scientific name for hops, Humulus Lupulus, points to the terpene responsible for its effect on beer.

Even perfumes owe their complex, powerful bouquets to terpenes.

Now, in addition to the over 100 cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, it also produces anywhere between 200 to 300 different terpenes. And the varying concentrations between different strains lend to each a unique scent. In fact, many would contend that the full cannabis experience wouldn’t be possible without them.

That’s because terpenes have other effects on the human body, besides us noticing how they smell.

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Terpenes Affect Your State of Mind and Your Health

The linalool found in lavender has a soothing effect on the body and is considered a sleep aid. It’s a common essential oil and has a well-known calming effect. The terpene β-myrcene has a similar effect. So much so that cannabis strains with β-myrcene levels of at least 0.5% (common to Indica strains of cannabis) lock you in your couch, and you’re perfectly happy sitting there.

And limonene helps elevate your mood and can relieve stress.

It is the combination of terpenes found in cannabis that, when combined with cannabinoids, produce the full experience.

Now, not only do terpenes affect your state of mind, but they also have medical benefits. And it’s believed that the combined medical benefits cannabinoids and terpenes provide serves as a much more effective treatment than a single cannabinoid.

Cannabis Terpenes

The table above lays out the aromas, effects, and health benefits of some terpenes common to cannabis. It also identifies other plants that produce them.

And it’s these benefits that have some cannabis startups scrambling to capitalize on them. After all, the cannabis industry draws in entrepreneurs from all walks of life, and all of them are looking for an edge to dominate the cannabis industry of tomorrow.

The Terpene Blend

The booming CBD market owes a lot to that exceptionally beneficial cannabinoid working together with terpenes to relieve stress, help athletes recover from strenuous workouts, and soldiers returning from war deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

So “The Year of CBD” is about much more than just CBD. It’s opening up the $4.2 trillion health and wellness industry to an entirely new source of healing that will dramatically improve the “healthspan” of an aging population that wants to stay active.

True Terpenes is one company getting into the act. It’s a private company, like so many remarkable ventures angling for cannabis billions. It pulls terpenes out of both cannabis plants and the many other plants where these compounds can be found. The company produces around 50 terpene isolates, plus many blended products designed to create specific effects.

Now, this is where the cannabis industry starts to look a lot like the wine industry.

To replicate the flavor and effect profile of a certain cannabis strain, brands are starting to add different terpenes to their cannabis extracts for vaping, creating a consistent experience for customers. To do this, they will come to extractors like True Terpenes to get the ingredients they need.

There are well over 150 different publicly traded cannabis companies competing to scale their brands to reach a $600 billion global cannabis market. And to achieve consistency vital to all great brands, many will look to companies like True Terpenes to replicate the experience customers want.

Of those companies, those in the “Health and Wellness” segment will experience the biggest growth in the cannabis market. That’s a lot of ground to cover, but you can find analysis and our exclusive NICI Rating on the 21 different cannabis companies staking their claim to this booming sector in our NICILytics database.

Only you can decide how best to boost your cannabis investing decisions, but you are free to find out how to access this remarkable resource here to see if it’s right for you.

And should a company prove to us it has the chops to turn terpenes into profits, you’ll want to subscribe to the Cannabis Investor’s Report or The Cannabis IPO Insider to be the first to know about it.

Greg Miller

Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors

P.S. With the CBD sector on track to grow more than 15 times faster than the cannabis market, we’ve been tracking companies that stand to gain the most from this phenomenon. And we’ve found one CBD company with a major global footprint. Right now, it’s trading under $4… but if it grows at the same pace as the CBD market is expected to, it could easily see its sales jump to $1.2 billion in the next 12 months… sending its stock soaring. For investors who get in now, that could mean triple- or even quadruple-digit gains. You can find more information about this company right here.


10 responses to “All You Need to Know About Cannabis Terpenes”

  1. Hi Greg, On a slightly different avenue for the use of terpenes, perhaps one could be tailored to repel mosquitoes. Maybe a safer substitute than Deet. Either pill, cream, lotion, or vape. Plants have been repelling insects for a long time. Just a thought… Still hoping for that summer rally. –JG

  2. Hi Greg,
    thanks for this article.
    I’m doing some research for an exam project and therefore I’m looking for some deeper insights in the terpene market within the U.S. and/or Canada.
    Maybe we can get in touch and you have some more information regarding this topic?
    Thanks in advance!

  3. Hi Greg,
    great article, thanks for sharing!

    As I’m doing some research now for an academic project, I’m researching all about this topic (terpenes within the cannabis industry).
    It is so trendy right now, but I couln’t find a single number about market share, market size, terpene sales from different companies and so on.
    Or if there are some main differences between market shares from cannabis terpenes and the terpenes which are recreated from other plants like e.g. citrus?

    So it’s hard to figure out, how big this trend can get in the future, as there are no further information about the whole terpene market right now from 2019?

    Maybe you have some information which you’re allowed to share with me/us? 🙂

    many thanks in advance from Germany,

  4. It seems that we are on the precipice of a divide between big Pharma’s search for the holy grail-large scale synthetic replication of CBDs, terpenes, THC, etc, and the Organic world. The money will be in the biotech side of the equation, but Mother Nature will always be the healthier alternative in a regulated industry.

  5. Hi Jens,

    Greg – fascinating article. Jens- I am also researching this space. Did you find any useful sources on market size, share and growth for terpenes? It would be great to chat if you have time.

  6. Nice article Greg. It’s good to see terpenes getting the attention they deserve. The entourage effect (the name for the combined effects of cannabinoids and terpenes as you mentioned) is something I’m really excited about. Hopefully, more academic research will follow.

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