Skip to main content

This article has been scientifically reviewed for accuracy by our Chief Science Officer, a Terpene researcher, Dr. John Streicher, Ph.D.

Terpenes – Cannabis’s Tiny, Mighty Warriors


What are Terpenes “Terps”?

Terpenes are organic compounds found in a multitude of living things. Flowers, plants, fruits, and even some insects contain terpenes. They are incredibly prevalent and so tiny the naked eye cannot capture them. Fun factoid: in nature, we can find over 20,000 terpenes. 

Chemically speaking, terpenes are hydrocarbons. But, what is a hydrocarbon? It simply means terpenes are hydrogen and carbon-linked structures. These mighty little hydrocarbons are smaller than most molecules. There are several different types of terpenes, but we won’t bore you with the chemical makeup of each type. However, click here for a detailed scientific explanation if you are so inclined.

Terpenes are essentially the scent molecules in our natural habitat. If lavender relaxes you, mint rejuvenates you, and you love the smell of pine trees, thank the terpene. Cannabis-derived terpenes provide distinctive aromatics which produce the fragrance for the different strains of cannabis.

These delightfully tiny therapeutic compounds are naturally occurring molecules located in the trichomes of the cannabis plant.

Terpenes also offer flavor profiles for differing varieties of cannabis strains. If the cannabis plant produced no terpenes, your cannabis would likely have very little smell or taste. Terpenes also enrich the color and pigmentation of the leaves and the buds.

So, these tiny unsung heroes of the cannabis plant produce the smell, the taste, and the color. What more could we hope for from these little guys? I’m glad you asked.

Interesting scientific tidbit – because of the terpene’s chemical makeup, they assist in assimilating other substances in the absorption process. (1) That’s why when we ingest them or apply them topically, super cool stuff happens.


Our body’s immune systems are activated when a foreign pathogen, virus, or bacteria enters our system. The cells in our body then begin to act and send out an inflammatory response to aid our bodies in healing. However, there are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic.

Acute inflammation, for instance, is when you receive a cut, and your body reacts by sending inflammatory cells to the injured area to start healing the damaged tissue. In a healthy immune system, these first responders heal and retreat.

Chronic inflammation is when your body mistakenly continues to send out inflammatory cells for healing when they are not needed. (2) A good example would be an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis. The body attacks itself, and inflammation becomes chronic and painful. You may experience joint pain, tenderness, and muscle pain. If this is you, please keep reading. Inflammation can be debilitating.

But, the cannabis-derived terpenes are to the rescue.


Anti-Inflammatory Terpenes

You might ask yourself how the cannabis-derived terpene can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent. And, we are glad you asked. The following is a list of terpenes that have been proven effective in relieving inflammation.

Bisabolol – These botanical-smelling terpenes are commonly found in floral cannabis strains such as lavender, jasmine, and cotton candy kush. This particular cannabis-derived terpene has been shown to reduce cytokines. Cytokines are small proteins secreted into the body in response to invading pathogens which can create an inflammatory response. Research has demonstrated bisabolol can reduce the active inflammatory response. This terp has multiple uses. Its analgesic properties also aid in pain reduction. Inflammation causes pain, so this little guy helps to combat both. (3)

Borneol – Produces a camphor/menthol aroma with a slightly bitter taste. This particular terpene has been a staple in the Asian medical community for thousands of years. As an effective anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, this terpene has proven its effectiveness. (4) This medical wonder facilitates inflammation reduction. When we reduce inflammation, we reduce pain—a win-win for all.

Formulated with anti-inflammatory essential oils and terpenes, our CBD Muscle Balm will precisely give your aching joints and tired muscles what you need to find some relief.

Caryophyllene – When it comes to the aroma of this terpene, we welcome a spicy, warm scent to the nose. This terpene is customarily found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon spices.

Cannabis strains that predominately feature this terpene are Sour Diesel, Bubba Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, and many other strains offer a higher than average amount of caryophyllene.

But here’s where this terpene stands out above many others: It is one of the terpenes known to activate our endocannabinoid system. Our very own Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. John Streicher, Ph.D., has produced a scientific report which concurs that several terpenes work in a synergistic method to activate our ECS. (5) We know a thing or two because we’ve researched a thing or two.

Our human bodies consist of an immense network of receptors. CB1 receptors can be found in our brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are found in our peripheral nervous system. Because of its distinctive molecular structure, caryophyllene binds readily to our CB2 receptors. This unique terpene can actively reduce inflammation.

Delta 3 Carene – This terpene brings a scent with pine and wood notes to the olfactory senses. This highly effective terp can be found in cannabis strains such as OG Kush, Super Lemon Haze, and AK-47, to name a few.

Here’s where this terp excels – it effectively combats systemic inflammation throughout the human body. (6) How amazing, right? Something natural, which is a proven relief method. But, the most fantastic part of Delta 3 Carene has been proven to repair diseased and damaged bone effectively. (7)  If you have arthritis or any other systemic issue, this terp is for you!

Limonene – As the name implies, it offers a citrusy zest fragrance. If you have ever cleaned with a lemon-scented cleaner, you have been introduced to limonene. Limonene is found in numerous cannabis strains such as Lemon G, Cookies and Cream, and Liberty Haze, to name a few.

This particular terp has anti-inflammatory properties and healing properties as well. According to a study done in 2017 in the journal Molecular Medicine Report, limonene was shown to reduce inflammation, disease, and damage to organs effectively. Is there nothing these cannabis-derived terpenes cannot do?

Myrcene (Beta-myrcene) is the MOST COMMON terpene in the cannabis flower. Interestingly enough, this is often found in hops, one of the main ingredients in beer. This terpene can be predominately found in OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple, Cherry Pie, and many other well-known cannabis strains.

Myrcene is proven to block the production of inflammatory markers. (8) It’s a miracle in its ability to lower inflammatory markers in people who have osteoarthritis. The inflammation subsides by reducing the markers, and the pain begins to lessen.

Terpenes are natural healers. We use only organically grown hemp, which we source in the U.S. Our Relieve CBD Cream – 3,000mg carries the distinction of being chosen as 1 of the top 6 CBD products in 2019. Visit us here if you are ready to start combating your pain and inflammation.


We 100% believe in terpenes’ healing power, and we think you will also. All of our products are crafted with your inflammation relief in mind. Don’t spend another day in pain.

Our goal is to provide a superior product for your use. But, our primary goal is to provide you with scientific-driven data to educate you on the benefit of this natural wonder, the terpene.

Check out our Hempire Podcast on Cannabis Radio for those who prefer listening to reading.

The knowledge is yours for the taking!


Leave a Reply