July 23, 2020

It’s time to talk about Terpenes

Are you interested in what brings unique flavours and scents to your cannabis? Let’s dive into terpenes. The aromatic oils which give cannabis flower and products their unique properties. These special oils go way beyond THC and CBD.

Unique and Multifaceted

Terpenes are considered the essential oils of the cannabis flower. Terpenes are secreted in trichomes (the same hard-working glandular structures that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD). There are over 30 terpenes found in cannabis in significant quantities. Terpenes are the “choose your own adventure” of cannabis. Each one contains their unique expressions of colour, olfactory, and flavour profiles. These Terpenes can make your Blueberry Kush taste and look like blueberry and your Lemon Haze taste like lemon.

Did you know that terpenes aren’t just found in cannabis? There are 200+ existing terpenes found in most flora and even some insects. Certain terpenes in spices and fruit can enhance or reduce the effects of cannabis.


Are you wondering how these scented little wonders evolved? Terpenes were developed in organisms because they needed to attract pollination and repel potential predators by causing a negative olfactory sensation. Translation: this is because nasty smelling plants have a higher survival rate. However, this defense mechanism backfired when humans discovered cannabis. Because of this evolutionary error, these characteristics became highly sought after by cannabis enthusiasts.


Mother Nature made terpenes, but humans have perfected them. Terpenes are naturally occurring. Many variables play into the development of terpenes. These variables include genetics, age, climate, spectrums of light, soil type, and fertilizers used. Years of careful cannabis cultivation have led to the isolation and cross-breeding of popular terpenes. This has resulted in mashups such as Sour Tangie (Cross between East Coast Sour Diesel and Tangie). It’s interesting to note that while cross-breeding has isolated terpenes, breeders were intentionally isolating physiological characteristics and effects of the plant, not terpenes themselves. As our understanding of genetics and terpenes grows, so will our library of terpene dominant strains.

Team Players

Terpenes are team players! Much has been said about the Terpenes Entourage Effect, which refers to the way that cannabis compounds interact with each other. Cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together. Because of these qualities, they help to amplify the overall effects of cannabis through feeling, flavour, and scent. Terpenes are truly greater than the sum of their parts.

Now you know a little more about these personality-fueled compounds! We recommend researching the strains you like (and the ones you don’t) to discover what terpenes are present. So when you begin your flavour journey, the first step to choosing your canna-fit starts with your sense of smell. Check out the top five most dominant terpenes found in cannabis to get to know your bud better, because a little extra knowledge always helps!


Scent: Herbal, Earthy, Musky

Sniff for this terpene in parsley, thyme, mango and lemongrass.


Scent: Pine

Sniff for this terpene in pine needles, basil, dill, and rosemary.


Scent: Spicy, Woody, Peppery

Sniff for this terpene in cloves, cinnamon and black pepper.


Scent: Citrus, Fruity

Sniff for this terpene in lemons, oranges and limes.


Scent: Floral

Sniff for this terpene in lilacs, sage, cumin, nutmeg and apples.


Interested in learning more about terpenes? Visit us in store today to speak to our Cannabis Advisors.


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