Are cannabinoids terpenes? No. But they do contain terpenes. Cannabis consists of several hundred chemical compounds that are naturally occurring. These compounds will play a crucial role by interacting directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found throughout the body. Terpenes are a type of compound that’s responsible for a cannabis plant’s flavor and scent. But unlike other plants, each type of cannabis has a unique terpene profile. Cannabis cannabinoids and terpenes can work together to develop a specific strain/s flavor and aroma which can result in a better high. This is known as the entourage effect

Are cannabinoids terpenes? No. Cannabinoids and terpenes are both found in cannabis plants and when combined, they can boost the power and potency of any strain. This is referred to as the entourage effect. Cannabinoids are classified as a chemical compound that interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body. Cannabinoids have the ability to improve many of the systems in the body. Terpenes are created in the leaves and flower’s resin glands and are responsible for the aroma and flavor of cannabis. As you can see, both compounds are very different, but when combined they can naturally boost the effects of cannabis.

A Look at Cannabinoids

Terpenes and cannabinoids develop in the resin glands on the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. These days, most Growers aspire to create strains that contain high concentrations of both terpenes and cannabinoids due to their important therapeutic effects.

Cannabinoids themselves are a type of chemical compound derived from Cannabis and hemp and it interacts directly with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body.  Most of the health benefits of cannabis are due to the cannabinoid’s ability to activate the CB2 and CB1 receptors in the body and brain. When these receptors have been activated, they work by improving how the body’s different organs and systems function.

Terpenes and cannabinoids are developed in the leave’s and flower’s resin glands. There are many other types of plants that produce cannabinoids but they are found in a higher concentration in cannabis only. Cannabinoids and terpenes can work together to create a specific strain’s flavor, which as I mentioned earlier, results in the entourage effect. These compounds will synergistically interact in order to boost the plant’s benefits. Basically, the cannabis is supercharged due to is cannabinoid and terpene content

How it All Works

An extensive amount of cannabis research has been focused on cannabinoids and how they work. These compounds are similar to the structure of neurotransmitters that are found in the central and peripheral nervous system. When we ingest cannabis, the compounds communicate with these neurotransmitters on a cellular level, which is referred to as endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system refers to the network of these cannabinoids in the body. When the nervous system fails, these cannabis-derived compounds are what helps the body to improve stability and regain natural balance.

Cannabinoid Types

Each type of cannabinoid offers a different type of effect. There are certain types that can provide anticonvulsant properties, while others will provide pain relief. Basically, these chemical compounds are very different however, more research is needed in order to truly understand the therapeutic effects and the versatility of these important compounds.

  • THC-A is a type of psychoactive cannabinoid and it’s the most abundant compound in cannabis. This compound is heated in order to convert it to THC. However, this is also a naturally occurring process that happens when fresh cannabis cures and dries.
  • THC is the most commonly known cannabinoid and it’s the main psychoactive compound.
  • CBN is another cannabinoid that naturally occurs once THC has been exposed to oxygen and heat. It’s often found in low amounts of cannabis.
  • CBD is another type of non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s found in low amounts in cannabis. This compound is believed to provide pain-relieving benefits.
  • CBD-V is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid with very low anti-seizure and anticonvulsant effects.
  • THC-V is considered potentially psychoactive. Some research has shown that it can have positive psychological effects on conditions such as PTSD. Unfortunately, the studies have been very limited. Other effects include a decrease in appetite.
  • CBD is considered one of the most versatile of all cannabinoids and offers a wide range of health benefits and therapeutic effects. This compound’s non-psychoactive properties will provide some of the same benefits that THC can, while helping to improve mental focus and clarity. It’s widely used for its anti-seizure, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties.

Understanding the different types of cannabinoids is important if you’re considering using cannabis treatment. Research has shown that we still don’t know the full benefits of using cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, what we do know this far is that it works well to help manage inflammation and pain.

A Look at Terpenes

Learning what terpenes are and how they work, is crucial to navigating the use of cannabis for medicinal treatment. Research has shown so far that does CBD and THC content in a strain isn’t the only thing that matters. In reality, terpene concentration can also offer a wide range of health benefits and can even increase cannabinoid content and potency.

As I mentioned earlier, terpenes are compounds that are responsible for the flavor and scent of cannabis. Researchers have identified more than one hundred different types of terpenes in cannabis.

But unlike other types of plants, each strain of cannabis possesses its own unique terpene profile. The term profile refers to the different types of terpenes that every type of plant possesses. Many scientists and botanists believe that terpenes were originally developed in plants as a way to deter animals and pests from eating the plant matter or leaching some of the plant’s nutrients. Some types of terpenes found in flowers can even work as a natural way to repel insects. While terpenes were intended as a protective mechanism initially, they’re actually responsible for attracting animals, people, and insects to plant life.

With the increase in cannabis use these days, many people rely on how your body responds to certain types of terpene profiles. This makes it easier for a person to identify what type of strain will work the best for them, based on their symptoms and/or the intended use.

Organic Hydrocarbons

A terpene is a type of organic hydrocarbon that naturally occurs in a plant’s essential oils. Basically, these compounds are a combination of hydrogen and carbon.

Chicoms are crystal-like, mushroom-shaped, resin glands that cover the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. This is where terpenes are produced. These compounds can evaporate easily and are considered very volatile which is why the cannabis plant is very easy to smell. Many types of terpenes such as menthol and camphor offer many health benefits. Today there are thousands of terpenes in the world, and over a hundred found in the cannabis plant alone.

The terpenes in cannabis are responsible for the psychological effects that are associated with cannabis use. As an example, beta-caryophyllene is considered a powerful terpene that can also be used for autoimmune disorder treatment and gastrointestinal conditions.

These compounds have a wide range of medicinal properties and work with cannabinoids in order to provide therapeutic effects. When combined, cannabinoids and terpenes create a type of reaction that enhances the plant’s therapeutic properties.

Each type of strain of cannabis possesses its own percentage of terpene content. While each type of terpene offers medicinal benefits, a diverse terpene profile can create a powerful and unique effect. In cases such as these, it can be a matter of experimenting with different terpene blends in order to find the profile that works the best for you.

As I mentioned earlier, the particular terpene profile in any given strain of cannabis will influence the type of high you experience. Certain types of terpenes can alter the psychoactive effects of THC which can enhance its medicinal benefits.

Some can affect your mental clarity, physical state, and mood. If you’ve ever felt a mental boost after drinking a glass of orange juice, this is probably due to the limonene content which is known for its stress-reducing and mood-elevating properties.

Common Terpene Types

Terpenes are crucial in terms of how a person experiences cannabis. From sedative properties to anti-inflammatory properties, research has only begun to show us the medicinal benefits of these compounds. Currently, researchers have identified hundreds of types of terpenes in a variety of species of plants found all over the world, many of which offer different uses. Some people will take terpenes for sleep, while others will use certain terpenes to improve their mood or energy level. However, only a handful of these terpenes have been found in high concentrations in cannabis. Below is a list of the most common cannabis terpenes.


This type of terpene is commonly used to treat inflammation, pain, and insomnia. It’s considered one of the most unique terpenes because it will allow the chemicals to cross the blood-brain barrier easily which will allow cannabinoids to take effect faster. This terpene also has a reputation for boosting the psychoactive effects of THC which gives the user a more intense high. This specific terpene is naturally occurring in hops, thyme, and lemongrass.


This type of terpene offers a potent citrus scent that’s very energizing. It can be used to combat heartburn and gastric reflux. It’s also considered an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal terpene. It can help to naturally reduce stress and elevate the mood. It occurs naturally in oranges, limes, lemons, and other types of citrus fruits.


This terpene is commonly found in hops. But it’s also present in basil, cloves, sage, and ginseng. It has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine and can be used to reduce inflammation, treat bacterial infections, and naturally suppress the appetite.

Related Questions

Can Terpenes Get You High?

No. Terpenes are not psychoactive, so they cannot get you high, however, potent profiles, such as Lev8 Labs Ltd. Zkittles Strain Specific Terpenes can help to reduce pain and inflammation, and promote relaxation. However, you will not feel a head change like you will when you smoke cannabis. This is because terpenes do not contain THC, which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. To learn more about terpenes and how they work, click here to read my ultimate terpenes buyer’s guide.

What are the Benefits of Terpenes?

Terpenes can provide a wide range of benefits, depending on which type of terpene you use. Many profiles contain a variety of terpenes that are designed to reduce pain and inflammation, minimize stress, boost energy, improve mental clarity, and promote relaxation.

Can You Mix CBN with CBD?

Yes. In fact, when mixed, CBD will eliminate any psychoactive effects caused by CBN use. Since CBN is derived from THC, it does contain some psychoactive properties, although the effects are nowhere near the same as what you’ll experience when you take THC infused products. To learn more about CBN, click here to read my article on does CBN get you high?

What Do Terpenes Do in CBD Oil?

Terpenes will help to boost the feelings of relaxation and can also provide increased pain relief, stress relief, and enhances the CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. Basically, it will boost the effects of CBD. However, this will depend on the type of terpenes you mix with CBD drops.

Final Thoughts

Terpenes and cannabinoids are very powerful natural compounds, however, they work very differently. Are cannabinoids terpenes? They are not. Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds that are responsible for the aroma and flavor of cannabis, while cannabinoids are chemical compounds that activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body and brain. When used together, terpenes and cannabinoids are more effective, resulting in a more powerful high. This process is referred to as the entourage effect. Each strain of cannabis possesses its own unique terpene profile and cannabinoid content. By experimenting with different cannabinoids and terpenes you can customize your treatment and experiment with different combinations in order to find the right blend that offers the results you’re looking for.