Things To Know About Cannabis Terpenes

Have you ever wondered why oranges smell the way they do or thought about the unique taste of a ripe watermelon? Substances called terpenes are responsible for flavor and scent profiles in plants, fruit, and cannabis.

Terpenes play an interesting role for the plant, they emit pungent aromas that deter herbivores. Terpene’s have an even more mischievous method of defense, by attracting herbivores’ predators, Sherman explained. The old adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” applies here.

Jake Sherman is employed by Select Label, a tier-three marijuana grow operation.

Marijuana terpenes are secreted from the same gland as THC and CBD come from, per Leafly. Along with creating aromatherapy profiles for each strain, terpene bind and interact with THC and CBD in different ways known as the “entourage effect.” Some of these effects include higher amounts of THC binding to cannabinoid receptors in your brain or controlling how much THC passes through the blood-brain barrier, Sherman said.

There are six common types of terpenes: Caryophyllene, humulene, linalool, limomene, myrcene and pinene. Each one has different characteristics and flavors, Leafly reports.


Caryophyllene showed to voluntarily reduce alcohol consumption in mice, and has cancer and depression-fighting properties.

Humulene also has anti-cancer effects, as well as anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects to go with its woody tone.

Linalool is a sedative and antidepressant and has a floral aroma, according to Leafly.

Limomene is the Inspector Gadget terpene, it has a multitude of functions: It helps with depression, stomach and digestion problems, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It allows other terpenes to be absorbed easier through the skin and the digestive-track.

Myrcene is a sedative, analgesic and antibiotic and has citrus and musky qualities.

Pinene is a broncholilator, meaning it dilates the lungs and decreases restrictions in the airway, according to Wikipedia. It can help neutralize short-term memory loss that comes with THC and promotes alertness. It has a sharp, sweet profile.

High Terpene cannabis strains or concentrates with added terpenes are becoming popular in the recreational market because of their flavor and consistency.

“They taste so damn good,” Sherman said.

Karen Sakai works at The Fire House in Ellensburg, Washington. Terpene focused products are in high demand right now. Sakai compares the scene to wine tasting scenes, where taste, flavor, and experience are the main objective of the consumer.


“It’s all the rage right now,” Sakai said.

High terpene strains take more care to extract. The increased difficulty and precision of the extraction process increases the price, Sakai said.

Sometimes, there’s a tradeoff for high terpene content, and that’s a lower THC level. They can have more flavor than effect, but it’s not always the point to get as high as possible.

“I love them, they can really set the tone for having a great day,” Sherman said.

GreenRush Cannabis is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. We produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for our consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.

What I Learned About Terpenes At CannaCon Seattle 2018

As it stands, terpene information isn’t necessary to sell cannabis to your basic consumer. A combination of hybrid, sativa indica, strain name, THC percentages, brand loyalty, and price are the factors most purchase decisions revolve around.

I was pleasantly pleased with CannaCon that the terpene conversation will continue, grow, and evolve the consumer-terpene relationship. True Terpenes had an information booth and a seminar lead by Ben Cassiday. Cassiday mentioned True Terpenes is currently working open-sourced research to help educate consumers. There were several other seminars discussing terpenes from both scientific and consumer standpoints.

Terpenes are found in the essential oils of all plants. The aromas released by terpenes give fruit and plants their signature smells. Many people who enjoy cannabis have a strong connection to the smell of a specific strain, like Dutch Treat for example. A chemical reaction occurs between your body and terpenes as soon as you smell a strain. This is the reason aromatherapy is an effective method to relieve stress and anxiety or why mentholatum relieves inflammation in your chest and helps you breathe through a chest cold.

Terps is a slang term thrown around in head shops and cannabis retailers all the time in reference to terpenes. Terps or terpy is a term often associated with vibrant aromatics and flavors in cannabis flower and concentrates. While it may sound like generic stoner slang, terpy is somewhat of an accurate term to describe a strain that has a pungent smell because it’s slang for terpenes. Terpene education is quickly gaining momentum in the industry.

The cannabis industry is barely scratching the surface of terpene research and how they interact with cannabinoids. The truth is there hasn’t been enough research done to say with certainty what each terpene does. It’s easy to isolate a terpene, see what it smells like and match those aromas to cannabis strains. Myrcene and limonene release vibrant lime and citrus aromas found in Tangie phenotypes while terpinolene is the hazy pine smell associated with Haze and Dutch phenotypes.  It’s something entirely different to guarantee a specific terpene has designated effects. It’s important to note that a lot of the terpene information is somewhat anecdotal.

Virginia Hoyer touched on this during her talk at CannaCon 2018. Hoyer is a natural product chemist and herbalist. She’s worked at Analytical 360 and Laboratory Manager at PhytaLab, laboratories providing quality assurance testing for compliance with Washington’s recreational cannabis regulations. She says many cannabis blogs promote misinformation about terpenes and just issued caution when sourcing terpene information.

Hoyer brought up slides breaking down the attributes of seven common terpenes that she could find research corroborating their effects: beta-caryophyllene, humulene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, alpha-pinene, and terpinolene. All the while, passing around samples of isolated terpenes. This allowed the audience to smell individual terpenes to get a better sense of what you’re actually smelling when you smell “loud” cannabis. The biggest realization I had during this exercise was when the terpinolene sample came around. I’ve always struggled to explain the distinct aroma that is associated with Dutch Treat and Haze phenotypes. A pungent hazy aroma is the best I could come up with, but it’s actually the terpene called terpinolene that creates that distinct “hazy” aroma found in strains Dutch Treat and  Durban Poison.

Ethan B Russo is a cannabis researcher who published a paper on this very topic in the British Journal of Pharmacology. In the paper, Russo breaks down the commonly found terpenes listed above and talks about the role terpenes play in the entourage effect. Russo’s name came up multiple times during CannaCon seminars I attended, he’s respected in the space and his research on cannabis backs up a lot of the anecdotal evidence about terpenes.

The industry is still catching on and basic cannabis users know even less about terpenes. In general, few cannabis cultivators invest in terpene information on their packaging. Cannabis concentrate producers have made more of an effort to educate consumers about their product’s terpene profiles, but in general, it’s still a limited method of dispersing education. It’s limited because it’s dependent on budtenders going out of their way to teach customers about terpenes and teach them the right thing or curious customers researching terpene effects and cannabinoids on their own volition. 

Solutions for increasing the effectiveness of consumer-based terpene education still need to be thought up, but it’s good to know the industry is pushing the wave towards unlocking the secrets of terpene and cannabinoid knowledge

Terpy GreenRush Products

Sour Georgia Pine

Tsi Fly

Mt. Rainier

GreenRush Cannabis is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. We produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for our consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.


Learn About The Nurse Joy Strain

Outside of cannabis culture, there is still a stereotype of the lazy stoner. The guy who just sits on the couch eating Doritos, using his shirt as a napkin. Maybe they aren’t lazy, but just smoking the wrong strain. Nurse Joy from Green Rush is something you can smoke in the morning with your cup of coffee and turbo charge your morning routine and your entire day.

Nurse Joy flower is frosty purple with brilliant rust orange hairs, Blake Brush said. Brush is the Green Rush lead grower. Nurse Joy has vibrant terpene profile: An aroma that resembles lemon-lime, grape Kool-Aid. Nurse Joy’s smoke has a sweet, citrusy candy flavor.

Learn About The Nurse Joy Strain

“A great thought provoking hybrid,” Brush said.

This is strain is best used during the daytime. This is a bright and brilliant mood elevator that’s good for PTSD or depression, Brush said. Nurse Joy proved all the mental stimulation without any raciness. Nurse Joy has it all: taste, bag appeal, and effect. The numbers won’t pop off the bag, testing around 14-18 percent. The effect are noticeable, so don’t pass this one up chasing THC and cannabinoid numbers.

Brush’s passion for Nurse Joy pours out of him when he’s talking about the strain.

“It’s a great day to be alive, because I’m smoking Nurse Joy,” Brush exuded.

GreenRush Cannabis is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. We produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for our consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.