Cannabis Terpene Dictionary

We thought it would be nice to have a one-page dictionary of the most common cannabis and hemp terpenes. So here it is. There are 36 now, but there are several newcomers currently being researched.

Terpenes are important because Indica and Sativa are not actual compounds found in cannabis, and they really only suggest a general tendency toward an active ingredient profile.

We've got a few other pages that may interest you, too:

  • For some background info, take a look at our Terpene Overview page.
  • We've grouped these top terpenes by their primary flavor or aroma on our Terpene Flavor Groups page.
  • The Effects & Ingredients page has both cannabinoids and terpenes grouped by their reported effects.
  • Our Cannabis Infographics page has some colorful infographics we created to hopefully make a complex plant a little easier to understand and control for your specific needs and goals.

The Major Terpene & Terpenoid List

Remember, everyone has unique biochemistry, so these "average" effects may be different for you. The terpenes and terpenoids in BLUE are reported to be either calming, relaxing, or sometimes a sedative. If you are aware of some references we may have omitted, please let us know.

We have provided links to boiling point temperature references for these terpenes and terpenoids (end in "ol", like linalool, and are considered alcohol compounds). Most of the boiling point references are to the US NIH National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information via their PubChem pages here: pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

ALL boiling points are for atmospheric pressure, or 760mm Hg (this is where some mistakes were made in the past).

The following eight (8) are the most common terpenes and terpenoids ordered (roughly) by their prevalence in flower:

1. Myrcene  (Beta-Myrcene)
The most common terpene in cannabis and hemp; also found in mangoes, thyme, citrus, and lemongrass and has a musky, earthy, herbal aroma.
Boiling Point: 333ºF (167ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, THC agonist (helper) - lowers resistance across the blood to brain barrier, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)
 
2. Caryophyllene (Beta- or Trans-Caryophyllene) 
Probably the second most common terpene in cannabis and hemp. It has a spicy aroma and is also found in black pepper, cloves, hops, and oregano.
Boiling Point: 493ºF (256ºC) (several reputable sources have reported this to be 266ºF, but that is NOT at atmospheric pressure of 760mm Hg; 266ºF is the boiling point at 14mm Hg)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitumor, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant, neurological disorder relief or protectant

Join our conversation:
 

3. Limonene
Contributes a citrusy aroma and is also found in lemon rinds, juniper, and peppermint.
Boiling Point: 349ºF (176ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antitumor, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant

4. Pinene (Alpha- and Beta-Pinene) 
It's said that pinene is the most common naturally-occurring terpene on earth. Both alpha- and beta-pinene have similar properties and aroma. It's got that pine forest smell and is found in pine needles, conifers, and sage. A great aroma for winter, and it has been shown to IMPROVE memory retention!
Boiling Point: alpha: 313ºF (156ºC), beta: 331ºF (166ºC
Reported Benefits: alertness/focus enhancing, anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumor, antiviral, bronchodilator, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant, memory retention

5. Humulene (Alpha-Humulene, Alpha-Caryophyllene)
Contributes a woody, earthy aroma and is also found in allspice, hops, cloves and coriander.
Boiling Point: 334ºF (168ºC)
Reported Benefits:  analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-spasmodic, anti-tumor, appetite suppressant

6. Linalool
A major terpenoid in lavender and other flowers, it has a floral, citrusy sweet aroma. Also found in citrus fruits, laurel, and rosewood.
Boiling Point: 388ºF (198ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)

ad:

7. Terpinolene (Alpha-Terpinolene, Terpinolen, Isoterpinene) 

Has a fresh herbal, sweet, piney & woody aroma and is also found in limes and rosemary.
Boiling Point: 369ºF (187ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), antidepressant, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant, energizing (when paired with THC), sedating by itself

8. Ocimene (Beta-Ocimene, Trans-Beta-Ocimene)
An aroma of tropical fruits and green citrus, it is also found in parsley, orchids, and kumquats.
Boiling Point: 352ºF (178ºC)
Reported Benefits: antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, anti-viral, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant

Alphabetical List of other important Terpenes and Terpenoids:

Anethole
A sweet aroma and flavor reminiscent of licorice and is found in anise and fennel, as well as the spirits Ouzo and Absinthe.
Boiling Point: 454ºF (234ºC)
Reported Benefits: antidiabetic, expectorant, gastrointestinal aid, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)

Bisabolol (Alpha-Bisabolol or Levomenol)  

Found in chamomile flower, it has a light, sweet, mildly coconut floral aroma.
Boiling Point: 599ºF (315ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, skin aid or softener, neurological disorder relief or protectant

Borneol (Isoborneol)

It has a cool, minty, metallic, camphor aroma and has been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time. It is commonly found in mint, rosemary, mugwort, and camphor. 
Boiling Point: 414ºF (212ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, antiviral, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant

ad:

Camphene 

An aroma of cool damp camphor & musky earth, it is also found in lavender, fir, rosemary, and sage.
Boiling Point: 318ºF (159ºC)
Reported Benefits: antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Carene (Delta-3-Carene)
A unique terpene that has an aroma of musky lemon and sweet pine, almost like pineapple, and is also found in basil, pepper, cedar, evergreens, and rosemary.
Boiling Point: 340ºF (171ºC)
Reported Benefits: memory retention, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, bone stimulant, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant
  

Caryophyllene Oxide (Beta-Caryophyllene Oxide)
A high boiling point molecule that comes from oxidized beta-caryophyllene. Found in black pepper, caraway, cloves, and basil, it has a dry, fresh, spicy-sweet aroma.
Boiling Point: 536ºF (280ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant

Cedrene (Alpha-cedrene and Beta-cedrene)
Has a light, woodsy scent found in cedarwood tree oil and can be made from the juniper and cypress trees.

Boiling Point: 505ºF (263ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-tumor


Citronellol (Beta-Citronellol)
Also found in citronella grass, roses, and geraniums, it has an aroma of rose and citrus.
Boiling Point: 435ºF (224ºC)

Reported Benefits: antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic; “When inhaled, citronella can have a relaxing effect on some people and a stimulating effect on others"

Cymene (P-Cymene, Para-Cymol)
Found in many common plants such as thyme, oregano, cumin, and cilantro, it is said to have an aroma profile of mild, sweet, aged wood and lemon.
Boiling Point: 351ºF (177ºC)

Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-tumor

Elemene (Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, y-Elemene)

Used in Chinese medicine and found in ginseng and Chinese Yu Jin, it has a waxy, herbal aroma.
Boiling Point: 487ºF (253ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-tumor (limited research)

Eucalyptol (Cineole)
Also found in eucalyptus, camphor laurel, tea tree, and mugwort, it has an aroma of cool camphor.
Boiling Point: 349ºF (176ºC)
Reported Benefits: alertness/focus enhancing, analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumor, bronchodilator, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant, neurological disorder relief or protectant, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)
ad:

Eudesmol (y-, alpha-, & beta-Eudesmol)

Found in cypress, valerian, tansy, vetiver, and Eucalyptus smithii, it has a woody-sweet aroma.
Boiling Point: 574ºF (301ºC)
Reported Benefits: antioxidant, antimicrobial, appetite stimulant, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant

Farnesene (Alpha-, Beta-Farnesene)
An aroma of green apples and found in the skins or rinds of apples, pears and other fruits.
Boiling Point: 523ºF (273ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)

Fenchol (Fenchyl Alcohol, Endo-Fenchol) 
A  lemon-lime, piney, and camphor aroma, it is also found in basil and some aster flower species.
Boiling Point: 397ºF (203ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant

Geraniol 
A sweet, floral, fruity aroma, it is also found in roses, lemongrass, and citronella.
Boiling Point: 446ºF (230ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), antidepressant, antidiabetic (reduces blood sugar), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, neurological disorder relief or protectant 

ad:

Geranyl (Geranyl Acetate)
Lemongrass, coriander, sassafras, and geraniums contain geranyl; it has a sweet floral aroma, and exudes notes of pear and calendar.
Boiling Point: 468ºF (242ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-tumor

Guaiene (Alpha-, Beta-Guaiene)
A sweet, woody, earthy, and spicy aroma and found in the Palo Santo tree.

Boiling Point: 455ºF (235ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-inflammatory

Guaiol (Champacol, Champaca camphor)

Also found in cypress pines, subtropical conifers, and the tropical guaiacum plant, it has a piney, woody, and rose-like aroma.
Boiling Point: 550ºF (288ºC
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant

Hashishene (monoterpene: 5,5-dimethyl-1-vinylbicyclo[2.1.1]hexane)

Also found in Scotch spearmint in small amounts, it has a unique earthy and floral flavor. We know very little about it since it has not been studied much. We know it is present in Moroccan and Lebanese hashish, but NOT in flower. It comes from oxidized Myrcene, so it's effects may be similar, but we just don't have enough research.
Boiling Point: unknown 
Reported Benefits: unknown

ad:

Isoborneol (Borneol)
A woody-sweet and spicy aroma, it is also found in common valerian, sage, and thyme.
Boiling Point: 414ºF (212ºC)

Reported Benefits: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, antiviral, neurological disorder relief or protectant 

Nerolidol (Cis- & Trans-Nerolidol, Peruviol and Penetrol) 
An aroma that is a faint woody, waxy, and somewhat floral, it is also found in neroli, ginger, jasmine, and lavender.
Boiling Point: 529ºF (276ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)

Phellandrene (Alpha- & Beta-Phellandrene)

Also found in several eucalyptus species, dill, and water fennel, it has a citrusy, peppermint aroma.
Boiling Point: 342ºF (172ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumor

Phytol 
Has a milder grassy aroma, and is found in most types of green tea.
Boiling Point: 637ºF (336ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitumor, mild sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)


Pulegone
A resinous, minty-camphor aroma and found in catnip, pennyroyal, rosemary, and creeping Charlie plants.
Boiling Point: 435ºF (224ºC)
Reported Benefits: analgesic, anti-anxiety, antispasmodic, gastrointestinal aid, neurological aid, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)

Sabinene (Sabinene Hydrate, Thujanol)
With a woodsy, spicy aroma, it is found in Norway Spruce trees, holm oak, & nutmeg.
Boiling Point: 396ºF (202ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, gastrointestinal aid

Terpinene (Gamma-Terpinene)
A piney, herbaceous-citrus aroma that is found in in tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and marjoram.
Boiling Point: 362ºF (183ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)

Terpineol (Alpha-Terpineol)
An aroma of lilac and flower blossoms, it is also found in cajuput oil, pine oil, and petitgrain oil.
Boiling Point: 430ºF (221ºC)
Reported Benefits: anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, anti-viral, gastrointestinal disorder relief or protectant, sedative (relaxant or sleep aid)

Valencene
Its most famous source is valencia oranges, and contributes to their sweet, fresh, citrus aroma and taste.
Boiling Point: 520ºF (271ºC)
Reported Benefits: alertness/focus enhancing, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator 

We organized these terpenes into seven (7) "flavor groups" based on their dominant aroma and taste on the Terpene Flavor Groups page.

 

ads: