Top 13 CBD Oil Terpenes Explained—What Terpenes Are & What They Do

Hemp flower naturally expresses hundreds of different types of oils. Some of these oils, including flavonoids and terpenes, are also present in other plant species. Cannabinoids, however, such as CBD, are unique to Cannabis sativa, so they aren’t found anywhere else in nature.

Research into hemp has mainly focused on cannabinoids up until this point, but recently, scientists have also become intrigued by the terpenes present in hemp flower and their potential benefits. While some terpenes are found in almost every hemp cultivar, each strain of CBD flower has a different terpene ratio, and certain rare hemp terpenes are almost impossible to find. In this guide, we’ll tell you what terpenes are and explain how they add to your Secret Nature CBD flower experience.

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic oils found in mature Cannabis sativa buds. Each terpene has a unique aroma and flavor, and research into terpenes suggests that these oils may offer potent benefits aside from smelling and tasting good.

Some studies, for instance, suggest that terpenes may have antioxidant effects, which means they might boost the effects of cannabinoids. Many terpenes have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years, which lends credibility to their use in medical applications.

What are terpenes in CBD oil?

Some types of CBD extract, such as full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil, preserve the terpenes that are naturally present in CBD flower. When present in CBD oil, terpenes add natural flavoring. Terpenes in CBD oil also provide some degree of added aroma, but the delicious smells that terpenes offer are not as noticeable in CBD oil form as they are in CBD flower.

One notable exception is live resin CBD extract, which preserves both the flavors and aromas of hemp terpenes almost perfectly. It’s also possible to reintroduce isolated cannabis-derived terpenes into full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD products after they are formulated.

What do terpenes do?

While research into the effects of hemp terpenes is still in its infancy, thousands of anecdotal testimonials suggest that these compounds significantly alter the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids. Certain terpenes, for instance, appear to cause CBD flower to become more energizing, and other terpenes may induce a restful effect.

The separation of cannabis strains into “indica” and “sativa” phenotypes might have been the result of a taxonomical error, but these categories effectively describe the varying effects that different terpene profiles exert. Research continues to indicate that it’s the terpenes in hemp flower that make a strain either indica or sativa—not the cannabinoids.

Do terpenes get you high?

While certain terpenes, such as caryophyllene, appear to interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, there is no indication that terpenes cause an intoxicating effect. Like CBD, CBG, CBN, and all of the other cannabinoids aside from THC, marijuana terpenes appear to be non-intoxicating, which means they won’t get you high.

What are the health benefits of terpenes?

Each terpene has a different chemical composition, which means that the health benefits of terpenes are extremely varied. Most, but not all, terpenes appear to have antioxidant effects, and other terpenes might express antifungal, antibacterial, or even antispasmodic properties.

How to use terpenes

As producers of the planet’s finest hemp products, the Secret Nature team is well aware of how to extract terpenes and how to dilute terpenes. For most hemp users, however, it’s only necessary to know how to consume terpenes, not how to prepare them.

The best way to use terpenes is to consume these beneficial oils in CBD flower or in a different kind of full-spectrum CBD product. Terpenes have the best effects when they are used in combination, and it also appears that these oils are more effective when combined with cannabinoids.

You can also use terpenes in their isolated forms. Just as it's possible to isolate cannabinoids, it’s also possible to isolate terpenes, and we use isolated cannabis terpenes in our Hemp Flower Nectar tincture for flavoring and increased benefits. If you want to use terpenes specifically for their beneficial effects, however, full-spectrum hemp products are the way to go.

List of terpenes found in hemp

Hemp contains dozens of different terpenes and the exact terpene profile that hemp contains varies from strain to strain. In the following list, we’ll introduce you to 13 different CBD terpenes. Some of these terpenes are found in almost every Cannabis sativa cultivar, and others are relatively rare. Let’s dive in:

1. Pinene

Also found in pine trees, pinene has two forms that each has distinctive, piney scents. Pinene is one of the most common terpenes in hemp, and it appears to have antioxidant benefits.

2. Humulene

Humulene is an earthy terpene that is also found in the hops used to make beer. You can find this terpene in various tree species, and it has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries.

3. Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is one of the most common terpenes found in hemp, and it’s also the only terpene known to stimulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. Also found in black pepper and other spices, caryophyllene has a spicy, peppery aroma and taste that’s reminiscent of cloves.

4. Ocimene

Ocimene is relatively rare in hemp, but it’s very common in various flower and herb species. This terpene appears to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and it has woody overtones that combine with light, sweet notes to create a unique aroma. 

5. Limonene

Limonene is very common in sativa-dominant CBD flower strains, and this terpene has a powerful citrus aroma that resembles lemon zest. Chemically, limonene is very similar in structure to CBD, and this terpene is unsurprisingly found in every type of citrus fruit.

6. Linalool

Linalool is the reason that lavender smells like lavender, and scientists believe that this terpene could even be responsible for lavender’s sleep-promoting effects. Linalool is also an antioxidant, and it appears to have mood-balancing benefits

7. Myrcene

Every strain of Cannabis sativa contains at least some myrcene, and in most strains, myrcene is the dominant terpene. While most hemp strains only contain tiny concentrations of other terpenes, myrcene molecules are often present in relatively high quantities, and this terpene has a musky, earthy aroma. Myrcene is also found in thyme, lemongrass, hops, and mangoes.

8. Terpinolene

Terpinolene is present in an odd mix of plants including citrus fruits, mint species, parsnips, and juniper. It’s hard to pin down the flavor profile of this elusive terpene—one moment, it smells like citrus, and the next moment, it smells like flowers. Most hemp experts agree, though, that terpene is an essential component of the energetic buzz that sativa-dominant strains provide.

9. Sabinene

Sabinene is a rare terpene that’s present in Norway spruce, carrot seeds, and black pepper. This terpene has a spicy, woody aroma, and it appears that sabinene has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

10. Phellandrene

Phellandrene is hardly ever found in hemp, but it’s readily available in various plants including water fennel, parsley, cinnamon, dill, ginger grass, and pine trees. This terpene is commonly used in cosmetics due to its high absorption rate, and practitioners of Eastern medicine have used phellandrene for centuries. Phellandrene has a woody, minty aroma with traces of citrus. 

11. Borneol

While commonly used in Chinese medicine under the name “moxa,” Borneol hasn’t received much attention in the Western world until recently. This terpene is extremely rare in hemp, but it appears that borneol has powerful analgesic properties that complement its sharp, herbal aroma. Borneol is also found in camphor, mint, and mugwort.

12. Isoborneol

Isoborneol has the same molecules as borneol, but they are arranged in a different structure. This terpene is found in the same non-hemp plant sources as borneol, and it has a similar aroma. While borneol smells more like mint, however, isoborneol smells more like cinnamon. Like borneol, isoborneol is very rare in hemp cultivars.

13. Phytol

Phytol has a grassy aroma, and it is extremely rare in cannabis. When present, however, it appears that phytol provides potent antioxidant properties. This terpene is also present in green tea, and in the pharmaceutical industry, phytol is used to synthesize vitamin E and vitamin K.

Best Terpene-Rich Secret Nature Flower Strains

Each Secret Nature flower strain has a different taste and aroma due to the terpenes it contains. In this section, we’ll introduce you to three of our most popular strains and show how the terpene profiles in Secret Dream, Papaya Nights, and Dough Boy help explain their unique effects: 

Secret Dream

Secret Nature Secret Dream is like Blue Dream but without the THC. This sativa-dominant hybrid strain has a terpene profile that’s relaxing and invigorating at the same time, and Secret Dream has a light color profile that’s accompanied by a thick layer of frosty trichomes.

Strain details

  • Sativa-dominant
  • 19.1% CBD
  • 20.1% total cannabinoids
  • Organic, indoor-grown, and hand-trimmed

Top terpenes

  • Myrcene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Alpha-pinene
  • Terpinolene
  • Humulene

Papaya Nights

Papaya Nights is proof that terpenes have benefits that go beyond their mere effects. Due to its unique terpene profile, this sativa-dominant strain smells amazing, and Secret Nature Papaya Nights buds are so frosty you can hardly see the green underneath.

Strain details

  • Sativa-dominant
  • 19.7% CBD
  • 21.5% total cannabinoids
  • Organic, indoor-grown, and hand-trimmed

Top terpenes

  • Myrcene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Humulene
  • Alpha-pinene
  • Linalool

Dough Boy

Dough Boy is a hybrid strain, and this cultivar’s unique mix of myrcene, pinene, and linalool terpenes provides it with a taste and aroma that’s just like cake batter. This strain produces big, dense nugs, and like all Secret Nature flower options, Dough Boy is lab-tested and ships in a hermetically-sealed tin.

Strain details

  • Hybrid strain
  • 20.5% CBD
  • 21.8% total cannabinoids
  • Organic, indoor-grown, and hand-trimmed

Top terpenes

  • Myrcene
  • Alpha-pinene
  • Linalool
  • Beta-pinene
  • Limonene

Enjoy the most impressive CBD flower terpene profiles today

At Secret Nature, we take great pride in our organic, sustainable cultivation processes. Terpenes only express themselves to their fullest extent when hemp flower is grown to perfection, which is why Secret Nature flower is the dankest and most delicious hemp bud you can find.

Aside from our top-shelf hemp nugs, we also take great care to preserve the terpenes in our other products. From our Hemp Flower Nectar tincture to our Live Resin Hemp Badder, we afford terpenes the respect they deserve by only including full-spectrum hemp extract in our products. Some of our products even contain live resin, which is even more delicious and terpene-rich.

It’s time to experience everything that terpenes have to offer. Pick a Secret Nature flower option from the list above to get started today, and save 15% on your first order with the coupon code Secret 15.

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