Cannabis 3 minute read

What Are Terpenes? What Do They Have To Do With CBD?

was sind terpene vaay magazin

Terpenes - Aromatherapy Active Substance

Terpenes are no closed book; they’re the main component of essential oils. More precisely, they are chemical compounds, which occur mainly in plants such as conifers or hemp plants. Terpenes are often responsible for a plant’s characteristic smell. That typical hemp scent? It’s the result of the unique terpene mixture found in the hemp plant. However, terpenes not only determine smell, but also support the positive effects of the cannabinoids.

What Are Terpenes?

...and what does this have to do with CBD?

  1. What are terpenes?
  2. Terpenes in nature
  3. What do terpenes do in the human body?
  4. Nine terpenes you should know
  5. What do terpenes have to do with CBD?

1. What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are natural compounds that are abundant in many plants, fruits, and herbs. They have a common basic structure, but each individual one looks very different. This is why they can smell as different as lavender and mint, for example. The effects of terpenes in nature are just as varied.

2. Terpenes In Nature

When we touch a resinous tree, our fingers feel sticky. However, apart from biology students, hardly anyone knows about the secret weapon that makes up the main component of the Harz forest: terpenoids.

Terpenes are found in all plants; their concentration is especially high in flowers. Why? It’s simple: terpene aromas attract insects for pollination. At the same time, the terpenes also protect against pests, as a natural insecticide so to speak. But that’s not all; when it gets warmer, trees release more terpenes and actually manage to produce clouds. The natural umbrella of the forest thus has a regulatory effect on the temperature.

Some insects also use terpenes because of their intense odour. They’re ejected to lead other members of their species to a food source.

3. What Do Terpenes Do In Humans?

The variety of effects from terpenes is astounding. Terpenes work their magic partly through their smell, which is used in aromatherapy. Who doesn’t know that calming effect of lavender oil in a fragrance lamp?

Terpenes are particularly effective if absorbed through the skin or swallowed. Essential oils, rich in terpenes, are therefore used in cosmetics, but also as natural preservatives in food, as they prevent the spread of bacteria. They’re an all-rounder whose diverse properties continue to be explored further.

4. Nine terpenes you should know and their effect

Scientists have identified and characterised the molecular structure of about 20,000 terpenes. They form the largest category in plant chemistry. Around 200 of them were found in the cannabis plant, and we know their benefits from aromatherapy. Here is a small overview:


Properties of the terpenes


  • Fragrances: Clove-like with notes of citrus
  • Taste: sweet citrus
  • Found in: Balsamic, fruit, geraniums, herbs, cannabis
  • Suspected effect: anti-inflammatory, calming


    • Fragrances: Citrus (lemon and orange)
    • Taste: Lemon and mint
    • Found in: Orange, juniper, peppermint, cannabis
    • Suspected effect: Mood-lifting


      • Fragrances: floral with a hint of spice
      • Taste: Coriander, flowers, lavender, lemon, rose
      • Found in: Lavender, mint, cinnamon, citrus fruits, cannabis plant
      • Suspected effect: Soothing, sleep-inducing


        • Fragrances: Wood, cinnamon, cloves
        • Taste: Hops, spices
        • Found in: Basil, whole grain, figs, black pepper, cannabis
        • Suspected effect: Anti-inflammatory, calming


          • Fragrances: spicy, earthy
          • Taste: Hops, pepper and spices
          • Found in: Coriander, basil, cloves, cannabis
          • Suspected effect: Anti-inflammatory


            • Fragrances: Pine forest, rosemary
            • Taste: Rosemary, cedarwood, pine, cannabis
            • Found in: Conifers, parsley, orange peel
            • Suspected effect: Relieving anxiety, stimulating concentration


              • Fragrances: Eucalyptus and mint
              • Taste: spicy and cooling, like camphor
              • Found in: Bay leaves, eucalyptus, tee tree, cannabis plant
              • Suspected effect: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial


              • Fragrances: flowery and lilac
              • Taste: sweet lime and slightly flowery
              • Found in: Lime blossom, pine, lilac, cannabis
              • Suspected effect: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial


              • Fragrances: Rose and lemongrass
              • Taste: Passion fruit, lemon peel, peach
              • Found in: Geranium, lemon, cannabis
              • Suspected effect: Soporific, anti-oxidative

              5. What Do Terpenes Have To Do With CBD?

              Apart from the important cannabinoids, hemp also contains a large number of terpenes, which produce the typical hemp smell. But that’s not the only favorable effect of terpenes; they also support the positive function of cannabinoids. Scientists call the interaction of terpenes with cannabinoids the "entourage effect": the effect of the plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

              Many researchers believe that hemp extracts containing not only CBD, but also the broad spectrum of natural terpenes in the hemp plant, are more effective. Therefore the motto is to use the richest possible, natural hemp extract instead of isolated CBD. Our cosmetic CBD oil, our CBD tablets and our CBD vape pen also contain terpenes. Learn more about hemp in our Wiki article: Cannabis vs. hemp

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