How Effective are Terpenes When Taking CBD?

It’s not surprising that when we discuss the hemp plant, most of the discussion revolves around CBD and not terpenes and CBD.  CBD being the most prominent compound in the hemp plant is being researched more intensively than any other compound in the plant’s chemical composition.  CBD is a cannabinoid, and cannabinoids are unique to cannabis.  They offer fascinating balancing properties.  Thanks to the way in which they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system which is tasked with maintaining homeostasis. CBD and Terpenes can help to reduce your pain.

One may think that cannabinoids are the only compounds that matter, but that is simply not the case.  Terpenes, as you will see, are also extremely useful to the body.  Being conscious of terpenes may help you find a hemp product that is more capable of helping you reach your goals. 

lavender and sativa hemp bud shown depecting natural terpenes found in plants
basket of mixed fruit depiciting commonly found terpenes, natural pain relief from fruit and vegetables
red clove depiciting terpenes in herbs
vegetables on table depiciting

Terpenes 101

Terpenes are compounds that are abundant in all plant life,  unlike cannabinoids, which are only found in hemp and marijuana.   Because terpenes are naturally present in every plant, we all consume terpenes on a regular basis whether we know it or not.  Found in vegetables, fruits, and herbs, terpenes are a part of our diet.  They are also the compounds responsible for the properties of essential oils such as lavender and peppermint.

One role that terpenes play is determining the flavor and aroma of a specific plant.  This means that it is the terpenes that give hemp its unique flavor and smell.  Terpenes serve another role of protecting the plant.  Specific terpenes repel certain types of insects and other predators, and have properties that fight disease.  Some have properties that kill bacteria and fungus. 

Extracting terpenes and consuming them allows us to experience properties that can be useful to us.  For instance, some terpenes have gentle calming effects, while others offer anti-inflammatory effects.  Each terpene has a specific variety of properties, which is why we make a point to consider each one that is found in hemp.

Hemp naturally boasts over a hundred specific terpenes in its chemical composition, with each terpene adding to the properties of the overall plant.

Most Popular Terpenes in the Hemp Plant

Like we said, there are many individual terpenes that naturally occur in the hemp plant.  Most of these terpenes are concentrated in the flowering buds of the hemp plant, which are where we also find the dazzling array of cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol).

There are hundreds of terpenes in hemp.  Some of them are more prominent than others.  Now lets review the most popular terpenes in hemp.  These occur the most abundantly and offer the most desirable properties to the body.

hemp flower depicting cbd and terpenes for pain found in hemp flower
orange rind


Based on its name, it’s not surprising that limonene is a terpene that is also abundant in citrus.  It brings a zesty, lemony flavor note to the hemp plant.  It is known for having the potential to calm pain, and also offers uplifting properties that may be invigorating.  This terpene can be found in orange rind, other citrus fruits, caraway and celery seed oils, mint and dill.


Myrcene is a terpene that adds sweet notes to hemp.  It is known for being a very calming terpene that may relax the muscles as well as the nervous system.  Myrcene is commonly sought-after for sleep and stress relief.  It can be found in lemongrass, hops, mangos and most commonly in cannabis. 

dish of mangos sepiciting terpenes
lavender field depicting terpene linalool


This terpene is shared with the lavender plant.  It offers a woody and floral aroma and flavor, while being potentially calming.  Properties of linalool are anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-depression, and analgesic.   Linalool can also be found in basil, thyme, rosewood and jasmine.

A study in 2016 showed that the terpene linalool reversed some cognitive and behavioral impairments associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.


Caryophyllene is yet another terpene that may offer both calming and anti-inflammatory properties.  It has the taste of black pepper, offering spicy notes to hemp.  It can also be found in basil, cinnamon, cloves, lavender, oregano, rosemary. 

A study in 2016 shows that caryophyllene can help to increase cancer cells to be more receptive to chemotherapy. 



Unsurprisingly, pinene has a pine-like flavor and aroma, and is known for uplifting properties that may give euphoria-inducing effects.  Pinene is a known bronchodilator and is a anti-inflammatory which may give some relief to those with arthritis and fibromyalgia.  This amazing terpene can be found in basil, cedar, conifer trees, dill, eucalyptus, oranges, parsley, pine trees (needles), and rosemary.


With its naturally bitter taste, borneol is largely used as an antispasmodic, making it sought-after for muscle spasms.  A recent study shows that borneol may help to prevent strokes due to its anti-coagulative qualities.  The Chinese have known of the theraputic effects of borneol since as far back as 475 BC. 

artemisia mugwort depicting borneol
hops flower cones depicting humulene


Humulene has a reputation for tasting like beer, which is not surprising due to its prominence in hops. Humulene is a known appetite suppressant.  It is both an anti-inflammatory and analgesic.  It can also be found in basil, sage, black pepper and clove.

A study done in 2016 showed that when humulene was combined with the terpene caryophyllene that the anti-tumor properties of humulene were increased.  It helped to shrink cancerous tumor growth.  


Eucalyptol also happens to be the dominant terpene in eucalyptus.  It has a strong minty flavor, and may improve concentration and mood with its energizing properties.  Eucalyptol may also be an analgesic, meaning it may have a numbing effect on pain.

eucalyptus tree shown depicting eucalytpol
pine cones shown on fir tree depiciting the terpenecamphene


With it’s earthy woodsy aroma, this antioxidant terpene can be found in camphor oil, citronella, sage oil, ginger oil, nutmeg, fir and hemp just to name a few. 

This terpene is know to lower cholesterol and triglycerides (study).  Camphene also has known analgesic, antibiotic and antifungal properties.  It may be used for eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. 


The Impact of Terpenes on Strains

When we consider the individual terpenes of the hemp plant, we have to discuss their relationship to strains.  The strain of the hemp plant is another term for its breed, which results from two parent strains producing a new strain with its own unique chemical composition.  Terpenes can exist in different levels between one strain and the next.  Now that you know how each terpene promotes specific effects, you can see why some strains are associated with specific types of overall properties.

The strain you choose can have such an impact on the nature of your experience with hemp that producing strains through cross-breeding is a huge industry.  Some strains are developed for sleep, and others for enhancing creativity, focus and so on, all by creating specific compositions of terpenes.

Generally speaking, there are three categories of strains available on the hemp market.  The main determining factor is the myrcene content. 

  • A strain with more than 0.5% myrcene is classified as an indica strain, and indica strains are associated with calming effects in both the mind and the muscles.
  • A strain with less than 0.5% myrcene is a sativa strain, which may be more energizing and uplifting, not to mention cerebral.
  • Hybrid strains are the result of crossing a sativa with an indica, and these strains produce a balanced experience between the properties of both.

How to Apply Your Knowledge of Terpenes to Your CBD Purchases

Now that you have a good idea about what terpenes are and the effect they have on hemp as a whole, you can apply this information to your future shopping.  Keep in mind that any product made with a CBD isolate is terpene-free.  If you want to experience the properties of terpenes, you’ll need to choose a formula made with broad spectrum or full spectrum hemp extract.  These naturally contain the complete terpene profile of the hemp plant.

Anyone who wants to seek out specific strains needs to find a CBD product that comes in a variety of strain options.  CBD flower is available in a generous array of strains, and many vaping products are as well.

When choosing a strain, consider your main goals with using hemp. 

  • Are you looking for something calming? If so, choose indica. 
  • Do you want to feel more uplifted? Then opt for sativa. 
  • If you want something in-between, a hybrid is the way to go.

Then, look up the individual strains that are available to see which effects each type has to offer.

human head graphic depiciting brain with lightning bolt of hemp terpene knowledge
hemp field shown

Final Terpene Thoughts

While cannabinoids rightfully get a lot of attention when it comes to the hemp plant, the terpenes in the plant are also valuable and worth exploring.  As you can see, terpenes play a crucial role in the properties of the overall plant.  Knowing this, you can begin to seek out hemp products that consist of specific terpenes associated with properties that you desire as part of your daily routine.

We hope that you now can see the wellness value of terpenes.  When using a Full or Broad Spectrum CBD product the added benefits of terpenes can be tremendous.  In review an isolate CBD product will only contain CBD If you desire the added benefits of Terpenes remember to look for either a Broad or Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture.  There are many Topicals now that are formulated with Broad and Full Spectrum CBD check out these favorites. 

The information provided is for your knowledge.  We invite you to do your own research on Terepenes.  None of this information is a cure for any disease.  We feel it’s important for you to know about natural ways for feeling well and being more rested and more active.  Always consult with your physician before adding CBD to your daily regiment. 

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