Common Terpenes

There are thousands of terpenes in nature, and over 100 identified terpenes in the cannabis plant. However, some terpenes are much more prevalent than others. Here are some of the most common.

Alpha Pinene

Alpha Pinene is one of the two isomers of Pinene (Beta Pinene being the other). It is one of the most commonly occurring terpenes in nature. Deep inhalations of forest air can be invigorating, largely due to Alpha Pinene’s presence.

Commonly Found In: pine trees, parsley, and rosemary.

Aroma: Woody, turpentine or pine trees

Benefits: Expectorant, bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, memory aid

Beta Pinene

Beta Pinene is another one of the most commonly occurring terpenes in nature. Similiarly to Alpha Pinene, the invigorating effects of breathing forest air is due to the presence of Beta Pinene.

Commonly Found In: Pine trees, cumin, hops

Aroma: Cooling, woody, piney

Benefits: Expectorant, bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, memory aid


Myrcene is typically found to be the most frequent terpene in cannabis, and is also highly prevalent in beers with high hop concentration. It is commonly thought of as the terpene that causes the infamous “couch lock”.

Commonly Found In: hops, mangoes, tea tree, celery, and lemongrass

Aroma: fruity, clove-like aroma, sometimes trademark “skunk” smell

Benefits: sedative, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant

Beta Caryophyllene

Beta-Caryophyllene is known commonly for being the reason behind black pepper’s spicy characteristics.. It is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. BetaCaryophyllene is also known to interact directly with the endocannabinoid system via CB2 receptors, which have involvement in anxiety and depression disorders.

It has also delayed the onset of epileptic seizures, has been studied in treatments for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and is also shown promise in treating addiction. It has even been shown to lengthen life in animal studies.

Commonly Found In: black pepper, hops, lavender, and rosemary

Aroma: spicy, peppery, woody

Benefits anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, anti-oxidant


The monoterpenoid Linalool provides lavender with its pleasing aroma and is found in quite a few different areas within nature. Linalool has demonstrated anti-cancer, anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, and sedative properties. It has also been evaluated for restoring cognitive function in degradative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Linalool is also thought as being able to reduce lung inflammation from cigarette smoking.

Linalool is known as the ingredient in lavender essential oils that’s responsible for providing relief from skin burns, without scarring. Linalool’s ability to provide pain-relief has been shown to be similar in effectiveness to procaine and menthol.

Commonly Found In: lavender, bergamot, jasmine, basil, thyme, hops, coriander, oregano, grape vines, Assam tea, bay leaf, and citrus

Aroma: lavender, floral, citrus, orange, floral

Benefits: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, sedative


Limonene is a monoterpene and is considered to be the second most widely distributed terpene in nature. It is found in citrus fruits and is used commonly is used in natural citrus based cleaning products. This terpene has anxiolytic properties, has been studied for facilitating weight-loss, and has demonstrated anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Limonene helps to facilitate the absorption of other drugs through the skin and tissue, making it potentially beneficial in topical and transdermal products.

Commonly Found In: citrus fruits, juniper, dill, mint, sage, celery, marigolds, cardamom, nutmeg

Aroma: sweet, citrus, orange

Benefits: anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, appetite suppressant


Terpineol has displayed anti-cancer activity including studies involving several different types of cancer.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties, and has been effective as an anti-nociceptive agent. It also has antibacterial and antimalarial effects, and has exhibited gastro protective properties against peptic ulcers.

Commonly Found In: pine trees, skullcap, Lapsang Souchong tea, eucalyptus, sage, tea tree, lilacs

Aroma: citrus, spice, lilacs, apple blossoms

Benefits anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive anti-bacterial, anti-malarial, gastro protective


Humulene is common to both hops and cannabis, and has been implicated as the terpene causing “hoppy” aromas in cannabis. Like Myrcene, and other terpenes, Humulene is a potent antioxidant. It has proven to be toxic to several cancer cell lines, including breast, leukemia, cervical, colorectal, and lung. Additionally, Humulene provides anti-inflammatory properties, and is a potent insecticide.

 Commonly Found In: hops, tobacco, ginger, cilantro, basil, evergreen trees

Aroma: hoppy, woody

Benefits anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory


Ocimene is frequently cited as providing a strong natural defense to the plants that produce it. It deters destructive creatures while attracting predators that feed on those destructive organisms.

Commonly Found In: lavender, marigold, tobacco, mint, parsley, basil, and mango

Aroma: herbal, sweet, and woodsy

Benefits anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-septic, anti-cancer