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What Are the Terpenes Used for in CBD?

CBD can be found everywhere these days: it’s in creams and capsules, gummies and vapes, tinctures, and even chocolates. There are CBD products all over the health and wellness marketplace, and it seems like there are no signs of its demand slowing.

This CBD frenzy happened for a good reason: it has incredible health and therapeutic benefits without the high associated with THC. CBD brings the magic of hemp and its healing powers to people who do not want a THC high (though it can also be paired with THC for anyone who wants both).

You may be familiar with CBD, and perhaps you already use some CBD products as part of your daily health regimen; however, you may be unfamiliar with one of the most important components of this hemp healer: its terpenes. Read on to learn more about how terpenes function in this popular cannabinoid.

What Is CBD?

Let’s start with the basics before we dive into the specifics. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of hundreds of compounds occurring naturally in the cannabis plant. In this species, we find both hemp and marijuana plants, and CBD occurs in both. However, it is found in larger amounts in hemp, so that is how it is typically extracted (and THC is the cannabinoid found in larger amounts in marijuana).

CBD and THC are the cannabinoids that have been studied the most by scientists, so we have a thorough understanding of how they interact with our bodies’ own endocannabinoid systems.

Both THC and CBD show promising benefits in terms of therapeutic use, and CBD is especially popular since it is not psychoactive on its own (and is, therefore, legal to purchase). THC is legal in specific scenarios and smaller concentrations.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the compounds present in all plants that are biosynthetic building blocks. They act to protect the plants (from insects and harsh weather conditions) while also providing their aromas.  When it comes to cannabis, the aroma is strong and unmistakable, but plenty of other plants get their distinct aromas from terpenes as well, including aromatic herbs like thyme and sage.

What Are Terpenes?

Another common way we experience terpenes in our daily lives comes in the zesty fragrances and flavors associated with citrus fruits.

There are hundreds of different terpenes in cannabis, which is a primary reason why we think of different strains of cannabis producing different effects.

Are Terpenes and Terpenoids the Same Thing?

Whereas terpenes occur naturally in the compounds present in the cannabis plant, terpenoids are the result of terpenes being chemically modified.

In order to prepare cannabis flower for various uses, both recreational and therapeutic, we often dry the flowers and harden them, which is when the terpenoids are formed. If a product does not contain terpenoids based on the way it was created, a manufacturer might opt to add them as they are known to enhance the effects of compounds like CBD.

A Guide to Common Terpenes Used With CBD

Even though there are hundreds of terpenes, there are specific ones we commonly pair with CBD for desired benefits. CBD products target a wide range of users, from those who want to improve sleep quality to those who want to address aches and pains.

The type of terpenes present and how they work in tandem with cannabinoids can make a big difference in terms of therapeutic benefits. Typically, you will see the following terpenes in CBD oils and other products:


Caryophyllene is not only found in cannabis; it is probably in your pantry right now. This terpene is present in cinnamon, cloves, and even black pepper. It mimics the effects of endocannabinoids (which our bodies produce naturally) and is prized for its anti-inflammatory benefits.


Chances are the name was a good enough hint for you to realize this terpene is present in citrus plants. Limonene is commonly used in CBD products for a number of reasons: it increases the absorption rate of other terpenes, targets inflammation, and may quell anxiety. Limonene also has antifungal properties, making it one of the most versatile and beneficial terpenes.


Linalool is a favorite for CBD products targeted toward sleep issues, thanks to its soothing aroma. This terpene is present in plant species like lavender, which is the scent of choice in everything from bubble baths to pillow sprays designed to help us unwind and de-stress at the end of a long day. Linalool is commonly used in topical CBD products.


This terpene is one that you would commonly associate with hemp, thanks to its earthy and herbal aroma. While myrcene has beneficial analgesic and antibacterial properties, it is best known for its relaxing effects on the body. You will find myrcene in hemp products geared toward sleep.


This terpene is another one with a name that contains clues about its origins: pinene can be found in pine needles. However, it can also be found in certain hemp strains as well as certain citrus plants. Pinene has been used for years in therapeutic settings, dating back to ancient Chinese medicine. This terpene has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and can also be used as a bronchodilator.

Tips for Finding the Right CBD Products

Tips for Finding the Right CBD Products

In order to experience the best in terpenes and all of the benefits CBD has to offer, consider these practical tips as you shop:

  • Buy from trusted brands only, and be sure to read customer reviews first.
  • Look for ingredient lists and complete transparency from the manufacturer.
  • Make sure you review the ingredients to understand if the product also contains THC or any other psychoactive compounds.
  • Look for testing information from the manufacturer: all high-quality CBD products should be third-party lab tested.
  • Consider any issues or interactions that may be possible with your medications; speak to your healthcare provider before adding a CBD supplement.

What Does Full Spectrum Mean?

You have likely seen the phrase full spectrum associated with CBD products, and this refers to the way cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds all work together to create desired effects. For example, you might not find an isolated CBD product as beneficial as one that also contains terpenes and THC.

Whatever you try, whether it is a CBD gummy, a combination of CBD and THC vape, or any other number of hemp products, make sure you buy only the highest quality and freshest products for the best results.

Potency takes pride in bringing the best cannabis products to our Massachusetts customers, and we would love for you to stop by our Pittsfield dispensary and see all that we have to offer.


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