What is a Terpene Profile, and How to Choose the Right One?

What in the world are terpenes and what do they have to do with cannabis?

Now that marijuana and hemp products have been legalized in many states, we’re starting to see dispensaries come out with a huge range of products.

This can be overwhelming for those who are new to using cannabis; our recommendation is for you to slowly learn about products you may be interested in.

When it comes to CBD and its derivative products, terpenes matter a lot.

But what are terpenes? What is a terpene profile?

Keep reading to learn more about terpenes and how to choose the right profile for you.

What Are Terpenes

It turns out that terpenes are found in most plants. There are more than 30,000 terpene compounds, all with the formula (C5H8)n.

They are responsible for a plant’s taste, aroma, and more. Plants use terpenes as a form of “emergency signaling.” The reason fresh-cut grass smells the way it does is due to that section of grass releasing terpenes into the air.

Cannabis Terpenes

The Cannabis plant will have different terpenes depending on the strain of such plant. This will affect the cannabis flavor and cannabis aroma.

If you’ve ever smelled something “dank,” you’ve definitely already experienced the potency of terpenes. Cannabis’s unique terpenes give it its own unique scent profile, to be distinguished from roses, grass, and whatnot.

A cannabis vending service like Cloud Cover will usually carry different strains, where strains are differentiated by their terpene profile.

Terpene Profile

Now we get to the good part. What is a terpene profile, and how do we select strains based on their individual profiles?

Cannabis contains more than a hundred verified terpenes.

A great way to distinguish cannabis strains is by their terpene profiles. Each profile ensures a distinct scent, taste, and (arguably) effect. For example, “lemony” cannabis strains contain proportionally more limonene, a terpene found in the peels of citrus fruits.

Here are some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis.


You’ll find this terpene in hops and lemongrass. It has a musky, herbal aroma. This terpene should have antioxidant properties.


You’ll find this terpene in citrus fruits and rosemary. It has a lemon-like aroma.


You’ll find this terpene in black pepper and cloves. It smells spicy and peppery. It should have analgesic and antioxidant effects.


This terpene has a piney aroma. You will find it in allspice and apples. It should have an antioxidant and sedative effect.

These are just some of the many terpenes that could be present in a select strain of cannabis.

Purchasing Products

If you are purchasing a cannabis product, you should confirm the product’s terpene profile or at least know what you are buying.

From buying buds to using CBD oil, you can’t escape the terpenes.

Picking a product with the right terpene profile can enhance the experience of using cannabis and its derivatives for you personally.

For more guides on what to look for, check out our site resources.

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