What are terpenes? - The CUT Barcelona News

Terpenes are a type of compound found in different plants. However, they are associated with cannabis, because this particular type has high concentrations. They are responsible for its characteristic odor and also have some health benefits.

In this article, we are going to show you what terpenes are and the types that exist.

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that can be found in plants and some types of animals. They are also often used to recreate flavors and aromas in various everyday products.

They play a fundamental role in nature. In some plants they act to attract pollinators, while in others they repel predators. They also serve as protectors for plants by helping them recover from various forms of damage and keeping the immune system healthy.

Cannabis prepared for consumption usually contains terpenoids, which are basically terpenes that have been oxidized, after going through a drying and curing process.

Terpenes and cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are a chemical compound specific to cannabis. These compounds trigger a response in the body's endocannabinoid system. Both CBD and THC are two cannabinoids that influence the body in a unique way.

Terpenes, as we explained, determine the aroma. But some from the cannabis plant can influence the body in a similar way to cannabinoids. The difference is that the body absorbs and uses them in different ways.

How do terpenes affect the body?

Many terpenes are bioactive, so they have an effect on the organism. This effect, however, varies according to the concentration and the person using it.

Because of the scents they produce, they are the basis for essential oils and aromatherapy. Therapy with aromas from plants can influence mood and anxiety levels.

Research supports the belief that terpenes can modify the effects of THC and CBD. Thus, it has been determined that these compounds can modify the way the body uses CBD.

Some types of terpenes that can be found in nature are the following:


Limonene is easily recognized by its aroma. It is found in the peel of fruits such as lemons and oranges. It has therapeutic properties as it is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antidiabetic and anticarcinogenic.

It modifies the way some cells behave, so it can protect the body from various disorders. It can be safely consumed as a supplement.


Pinene is the terpene responsible for the refreshing aroma characteristic of pine needles, basil and other leaves. It may have therapeutic benefits and is used in Japan in various therapies.

Likewise, its benefits were replicated in a study where it was found to act as a bronchodilator allowing the lungs to take in more air. It also has some anti-inflammatory effect which may be useful in the fight against certain infectious germs.


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