What is a Terpene and why is it in my weed?!  Although it sounds like an ingredient you might find in a weed killer, terpenes actually play a vital role in giving your favorite strain it’s character. Terpenes are natural essential oils produced by plants.  They are responsible for the diverse flavors and aromas found in your favorite bud. They play an essential role in differentiating the effects of various cannabis strains. This is the reason why cannabis varieties have distinctive flavors like mint, berry, pine, and citrus. Some terpenes promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others promote focus and keenness. These are the top 5 most common essential oils, and exactly why you should embrace as many terpenes in your cannabis.


  • This is the primary terpene found in cannabis plants (can also be found in mangoes, yum). Various plants can have up to 65 percent of their profile made up by Myrcene alone. The presence of this essential oil often determines whether a strain is considered indica or sativa. It’s highly responsible for giving marijuana its distinctive aroma. It is popular for its ability to promote relaxation as well as anti-inflammatory properties. At Tops Cannabis, we all scream for Myrcene.
  • Strains that are high in Myrcene are Skunk XL, White Widow, Headband, and Master Kush.


  • Limonene, stay with me class, is often found in various citrus fruits. It is responsible for that pungent citrus aroma commonly found in your favorite sativa strains. Limonene has powerful anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, helps enhance mood, as well as alleviating stress. It sounds like a great terpene to have around on house cleaning days!
  • Strains high in Limonene are common in sativas, but can also be found in some indicas. These include Hindu Kush, Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Super Lemon Haze, Girl Scout Cookies (GSC), and Cookies and Cream. 


  • This stinky guy comes in two varieties; alpha, which is responsible for that wonderful pine aroma, and beta, which has a scent like dill, rosemary, or parsley. Like a breath of fresh air during a hike in the woods, pinene is excellent for treating asthma as it opens airways. If you happen to cut or sprain your ankle on that hike, it also has strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects.
  • It can be found in strains like Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream, AK-47, Pineapple Express, and Grape Ape.


  • Try saying that 5 times fast! If you’ve ever used lavender for its relaxing effects, then you’re probably already familiar with the terpene Linalool. It’s widely known for its anti-anxiety, stress-relieving, and anti-depressant effects. No need to drop that lavender bath bomb, just reach for a strain heavy on this terpene. It’s ideal for treating anxiety because it helps balance out the anxious side effect sometimes produced by high amounts of THC. Go ahead, get your relax on.
  • Commonly found in strains like LA Confidential, Amnesia Haze, Sunset, and OG Shark.  


  • This specific terpene has a peppery, spicy, woody, and cinnamon scent. It’s like a campfire singalong for your senses. It can help treat anxiety, depression, addiction, and inflammation. This stress-relieving terpene is present in many hybrids that are known to cause relaxation and reduce anxiety.
  • It is found in such strains as Sour Diesel, Chemdawg, Candyland, Skywalker OG, and Bubba Kush. (as well as any of the Cookies strain varieties. Mmmm, cookies)


  • Need to come down from that munchie attack? While many marijuana strains help increase appetite, Humulene can have the opposite effect. Maybe that’s why they call it humulene(human lean, get it?)  This terpene is commonly found in hops, cloves, ginger, sage, and basil. It is shown to have anti-inflammatory, pain relief, and antibacterial properties. It’s believed to be active in fighting tumors and may help terminate cancer cells.
  • Strains that contain Humulene include White Widow, Girl Scout Cookies, Death Star, and Sour Diesel.

Cannabis contains over 100 known terpenes, all of which produce their unique effects. The future of cannabis may just be in the cultivation of strains rich in certain terpenes and cannabinoids. This would enable growers to create strains tailored to produce certain effects. Essential oils make each cannabis strain unique and why it’s a must to embrace as many terpenes in your cannabis as possible. Without our knowledge of them, we would all be smoking that boring bud from the 70’s. It’s holistic medicine without all the incense and wind chimes. Your nose knows! Let it lead the way to broaden your senses by getting a full service California weed delivery experience with Tops Cannabis.