The Terpenes of Cannabis, Their Aromas, and Effects
THC activates the CB2 receptor, which regulates immune function and the peripheral nervous system. But this is not the reason people feel stoned when they smoke marijuana; instead, what causes the high is THC binding to the CB1 receptor, which is concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system. Stimulating the CB2 receptor doesn’t have a psychoactive effect because CB2 receptors are localized predominantly outside the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are present in the gut, spleen, liver, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands, and reproductive organs. Marijuana is such a versatile medicinal substance because it acts everywhere, not just in the brain.
In 2008, the Swiss scientist Jürg Gertsch documented beta-caryophyllene’s binding affinity for the CB2 receptor and described it as “a dietary cannabinoid.” It is the only terpenoid known to directly activate a cannabinoid receptor (which is one of the reasons why green, leafy vegetables are very healthy for people to eat). The dual status of beta-caryophyllene as a terpenoid and a CB2 activator underscores the synergistic interplay between various components of the cannabis plant. There are many, many chemical compounds in marijuana, including cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids (which give fruit skin its color). Each has specific medicinal attributes, which combine to create a holistic “entourage effect,” so that the therapeutic impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. Certain terpenoids dilate capillaries in the lungs, enabling smoked or vaporized THC to enter the bloodstream more easily. Nerolidol, a sedative terpenoid, is a skin penetrant that increases permeability and potentially facilitates cannabinoid absorption when applied topically for pain or skin conditions. Terpenoids and cannabinoids both increase blood flow, enhance cortical activity and kill respiratory pathogens – including MSRA, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that in recent years has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. Dr. Russo’s article reports that cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal, and bacterial infections.”
The mixture of terpenes play another important role: Terpenes buffer THC’s psychoactivity. Cannabinoid and Terpenoid interactions can amplify the beneficial effects of cannabis while reducing THC-induced anxiety. Some people can't handle THC dominant marijuana, while others enjoy the relaxed intensity of the cannabis high. However, Most everyone would prefer organically grown bud with its tangy, antioxidant-rich mixture of cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids, as opposed to Marinol, the pure synthetic-THC pill. For nearly everyone who has tried both, the experience of THC alone compares poorly to that of THC combined with terpenes and other components of the cannabis plant.
According to several sources, eating a good ripe mango 45 minutes before smoking cannabis increases the effect of the herb. This could be explained by the presence of Myrcene in mangos, which acts in synergy with the THC. However, you should select a very good variety of mango, because only a few have essential oil rich in myrcene (Cavalo 57.1%, Rose 52.4%, Sword 37.2% and Paulista 30.3%) Also, if the mango is not very ripe the myrcene level will be too low to notice its interaction.
THC and the other cannabinoids have no odor, so the cannabis fragrance depends on which terpenes predominate. Thus far, focus has only been placed in one area or another... first THC, now CBD. I believe this is foolish as I intend to show that many many compounds contribute to the healing properties of the plant. To focus on only one aspect is a waste of time. Chemically extracting or isolating the healing properties from single compounds simply cannot be done with cannabis due to the various terpene mixes and the fact that most terpenes have healing properties that also follow the "entourage effect".
It's not just about THC or CBD. Cannabis is a mix of many different compounds. Most of them fall into three categories: cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavanoids. Each of these compounds can significantly modify the therapeutic benefits of the plant. There are hundreds of different chemical combinations each producing a different effect. Meschler and Howlett (1999) discussed several mechanisms by which terpenoids modulate THC activity. For instance, some terpenoids bind to cannabinoid receptors sequestering THC by perturbing annular lipids surrounding the receptor, or by increasing the fluidity of neuronal membranes, and increasing cell wall permeability. Other terpenoids alter the signal by remodeling G-proteins. And then there are terpenoids that alter the pharmacokinetics of THC itself. Terpenoids may also act on other receptors and neurotransmitters. Some terpenoids act as serotonin uptake inhibitors (as does Prozac), some enhance norepinephrine activity (as do tricyclic antidepressants), some increase dopamine activity (as do monoamine oxidase inhibitors and bupropion), and some augment GABA (as do baclofen and the benzodiazepines).
Properties of Cannabinoids
Δ8-THC (∆8-Tetrahydrocannabinol) Analgesic
Δ9-THC (∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) Analgesic, Antidepressant, Antiemetic, Antiepileptic, Anti-proliferative, Antipsychotic, Antinausea, Antineoplastic, Antispasmodic, Anxiolytic, Appetite stimulant, Anti Glaucoma, Helps with Neuropathic pain.
Δ9-THCA (∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) Anti-proliferative, Antispasmodic
Δ9-THCV (∆9-Tetrahydrocannabivarin) Anorectic, Antiepileptic, Bone stimulant
CBC (Cannabichromene) Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Antiproliferative, Bone stimulant
CBCA (Cannabichromic Acid) Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory
CBD (Cannabidiol) Analgesic, Antidiabetic, Antiemetic, Antiepileptic, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-ischemic, Antimicrobial, Antineoplastic, Anti-proliferative, Antipsoriatic, Antipsychotic, Antispasmodic, Anxiolytic, Bone stimulant, Immonosuppressive, Intestinal anti-prokinetic, Neuroprotective, Vasodilative
CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid) Anti-inflammatory, Anti-proliferative
CBDV (Cannabidivarin) Anticonvulsant, Bone stimulant
CBG (Cannabigerol) Antimicrobial, Anti-proliferative, Bone stimulant
CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid) Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial
CBN (Cannabinol) Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Sedative
CBL (Cannabicyclol) Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial
AEA (Anandamide) is an often missed endocannabinoid found in the human body. Anandamide is the brain's own THC (just like "endorphin" is the brain's own morphine). Anandamide has only been found in two plants - Cacao (chocolate) and Cannabis. The name Anandamide is taken from the Sanskrit word (and Hinduistic religious term) ananda, which means "joy, bliss, delight", and amide.
Anandamide regulates the functions of our central nervous system and our immune system. AEA regulates appetite, memory, sensations of pleasure and pain, our immune system, and sleep patterns. It also inhibits certain cancers, such as breast cancer in humans. It is used in the drug therapy of hypertension and cerebrovascular spasms, as myocardial protective agents, and in the relaxation of uterine spasms. Research suggests that anandamide plays a role in the making and breaking of short-term connections between nerve cells, and this is related to learning and memory. Animal studies suggest that too much anandamide induces forgetfulness. This suggests that if substances could be developed that keep anandamide from binding to its receptor, these substances might be used to treat memory loss or even to enhance existing memory.
THC and the other cannabinoids have no odor.
Buchbauer et al. (1993) assayed the sedative effects of over 40 terpenoids upon inhalation by mice; linalool was the most powerful, reducing mouse motility 73% after 1 hour of inhalation. The study demonstrated that other terpenoids found in cannabis, such as citronellol and α-terpineol, are also deeply sedating upon inhalation, even in low concentrations. Furthermore, combinations of these terpenoids are synergistic in their sedative effects. These terpenoids may mitigate the anxiety provoked by pure THC. Inhalation of such terpenoids also provides antidepressant effects (Komori et al. 1995).
β-Myrcene has an odor that is variously described as an aroma of hops, clove like, earthy, green-vegatative, citrus, fruity with tropical, mango and minty nuances. The various odors are the result of slight differences in the overall makeup. All of these flavors and odors are commonly used to describe Cannabis.
β-Myrcene is the most prevalent terpene found in most varieties of marijuana but it is not found in hemp. It is present in significant concentrations in cannabis resin itself. It is also found in mango, hops, lemon grass, East Indian bay tree, and verbena. Because of its appealing fragrance, myrcene is used extensively in the perfume industry. Myrcene has antimicrobial, antiseptic, analgesic, antioxidant, anticarcinogen (It blocks the actions of cytochrome, aflatoxin B and other pro-mutagens that are implicated in carcinogenesis.) and anti-inflammatory properties. It has shown some promise when used as an antidepressant, or as an additive to other antidepressant drugs and is also used in massage therapy as a muscle relaxer.
Myrcene is a synergist of THC: A combination of the two molecules creates a stronger experience than THC alone. Myrcene affects the permeability of the cell membranes, thus it allows more THC to reach brain cells and increase the absorption of other terpenes. This terpene contributes strongly to the infamous “couch-lock” experience.
Acetanisole has a medium strength, sweet, anisic, vanilla-like aroma with powdery, balsamic and benzaldehyde nuances. Used in flavoring, it has been described as a sweet, anisic, fruity and cherry with powdery vanilla nuances.
Acetic Acid has an irritating, pungent, stinging, acidic, sour odor of vinegar. It is the main component of vinegar apart from water. In fact, Vinegar is simply dilute Acetic acid. Acetic acid also has the distinctive sour vinegar taste.
Phenyl Acetic Acid has a sour yet sweet, waxy, civet, honey, rosey, floral odor similar to honeysuckle with notes of chocolate and tobacco. It is also used in cosmetics for perfuming. Used as a flavoring, it has been described as sweet, floral, chocolate and honey with tobacco notes.
Anethole has a very strong, sweet, anise, licorice aroma. It is used in a wide variety of fragrances and flavors. It has a sweet, anise, and spicy licorice flavor with a lingering, sweet aftertaste. Anethole has shown some antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.
α-Bisabolol has a weak, tangy, fresh and clean, citrus, floral, sweet aroma with a peppery note, and is used in various fragrances. It is the primary constituent (up to 50%) of the essential oil from German chamomile. It has shown anti-aging, anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic, antibiotic and anticancer activities.
β-Bisabolol has a medium strength, citrus, floral, tangy, lemon, fresh, sweet, herbaceous aroma. It is used in the chemical communication system of the Cotton boll weevil. It has shown anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal and antimutagenic activities.
Borneol smells much like the menthol aroma of camphor and is easily converted into it. In Chinese medicine herbs containing borneol are recommended for fatigue and overstress. Borneal is considered a "calming sedative" in chinese medicine. It is directed for fatigue, recovery from illness and stress. It is found in small quantities in many essential oils. Comercially it is derived from artemisia plants such as wormwood and some species of cinnamon.
α-cis-Bergamotene Has a strong odor of ground black pepper. It is an aroma component of many species of the family orchidaceae. It has also shown some antioxidant activity
α-trans-Bergamotene has a medium strength, warm, tea-leaf-like odor. It is used in the chemical communication system of some species of aphids.
Butanoic Acid OR Butyric Acid has a unpleasant, acrid odor normally found in perspiration, flatulence and rancid butter. It is the primary cause of the foul smell associated with human vomit as it is one of many stomach acids that helps break down food for energy, and it is a common addition to stink bombs for this reason. It is actually used as a flavoring to my personal surprise, where it is described as acidic sour, cheesy, dairy and creamy with a fruity nuance.
(Methyl Thio) Butyrate has an odor that is sulfurous with egg and cheese notes, and tomato, tropical-fruit top notes. Used in flavorings, its taste is a musty, sulfureous, Limburger-type cheese top note, with a metallic cheese body. Some have described the odor as a sulfury, cheeseish, putrid cabbage or garlic.
α-Cadinene has a pungent, smokey, woody, guaic wood-like odor. It is listed by the FDA as a food additive permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption. It has shown some antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimalarial activities.
γ-Cadinene has an herbaceous, herbal, woody aroma. It has shown some antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Many species of termites and a few beetles utilize γ-Cadinene in their chemical communication systems.
Camphene has a pungent, herbal, fir needle smell. It's odor has been described as camphoraceous, cooling, piney woody with terpy nuances. It has citrus and green minty and green spicy notes. Camphene is used in fragrances and food additives. Its flavor has been described as Camphoraceous, cooling and minty with citrus and green spicy nuances. It is a minor constituent of many essential oils such as turpentine, cypress oil, camphor oil, citronella oil, neroli, ginger oil, and valerian.
Its mid-19th century use as a fuel for lamps was limited by its explosiveness.
Camphor has a very characteristic odor for which the tree is named. The most recognizable product that contains the extracts of camphor are medicated chest rubs, which have the same distinct scent. It is a strong, penetrating, persistent odor. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent in chewing gum and hard candy. The therapeutic properties of camphor oil are analgesic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cardiac, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, hypertensive, insecticide, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant, sudorific, vermifuge and vulnerary.
Capsaicin in its pure form is odorless. It is an irritant for mammals, known for the sensation it provokes when inhaled, eaten, or applied to the skin. In this sense, it is similar to menthol (which stimulates the bodys sensors without causing an actual change in temperature). Capsaicin is used as an analgesic in topical ointments and dermal patches to relieve pain and as an anti-inflammatory.
Δ-3-Carene has a medium strength, sweet, pungent citrus odor. It is a constituent of pine and cedar resin but is found in many other plants including rosemary. In aroma therapy, cypress oil, high in D-3-Carene, is used to dry excess fluids, tears, running noses, excess menstrual flow and perspiration. It is thought to be at least partially responsible for the dry mouth and eye problems that are common side effects experienced by some cannabis users.
Dextro-Carvone has a spicy, bready, caraway aroma. It is found in mandarin peel oil and gingergrass oil. It is the principal constituent (60-70%) of the oil from caraway seeds.
Laevo-Carvone has a sweet, minty, herbaceous, spearmint odor. L-Carvone is found in spearmint and kuromoji oils. It is used extensively in chewing gums and flavor oils such as spearmint, but is also used in spice and floral fragrances for air fresheners, perfumes, shampoos, deodorants, body wash, laundry detergents, cosmetics and toothpaste.
Castoreum Absolute has a very strong, sweet and smokey, animal leathery odor.
Carvacrol has the characteristic pungent, warm odor of oregano. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent and its flavor has been described as spicy, herbal, phenolic, medicinal and woody. Carvacrol is responsible for the biological activities of oregano. Carvacrol exhibits many diverse activities such as: antimicrobial, antitumor, antimutagenic, antigenotoxic, analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, angiogenic, antiparasitic, antiplatelet, AChe inhibitory, antielastase, insecticidal, antihepatotoxic and hepatoprotective activities.
β-Caryophyllene has a sweet, woody and dry clove odor and tastes pepper spicy with camphor and astringent citrus backgrounds. It is a major terpene found in black pepper, clove and cotton. It is found in smaller %'s in many other green, leafy vegetables, herbs, and spices. Caryophylene contributes to black pepper's spiciness. Caryophylene oil is also used industrially to enhance tobacco flavor.
Caryophylene, given in high amounts, is a calcium and potassium ion channel blocker. As a result, it impedes the pressure excerted by heart muscles. As a topical it is analgesic and is one of the active constituents that makes clove oil, a preferred treatment for toothache. It does not seem to be involved in mood change, however caryophyllene shows great promise in a salve or lotion as a therapeutic compound for inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders because of its ability to bind directly to the peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2.
Caryophyllene Oxide has a lemon balm odor. It has shown some effectiveness as an insecticidal/anti-feedant and as broad-spectrum antifungal in plant defence. Caryophyllene oxide has the distinction of being the component responsible for cannabis identification by drug-sniffing dogs.
Acetyl Cedrene has a medium strength, warm, woody, amber musky aroma. It constitutes up to 20% of some fragrance concentrates.
α-Cedrene has a medium strength, woody, sweet, fresh aroma of cedar. It is used in bakery items, sherbet and sorbet. It is a major component in the essential oil of cedar.
α-Cedrene Epoxide has a medium strength, woody, amber, tobacco, sandalwood, fresh patchouli aroma. It is commonly used as a fragrance agent and a perfuming agent for cosmetics.
β-Cedrene has a medium strength, woody, fresh aroma of cedar. It is a major component in the essential oil of cedar.
Cedrol has a very faint aroma that is sweet, soft, dry and cedarwoody. Studies have shown cedrol to show deeply sedative effects when inhaled. Cedrol is a major component of cedarwood oil. It is found in the essential oil of conifers, especially in cypress and juniper. It has also been identified in Origanum onites, a plant related to oregano.
Cinnamaldehyde has a very strong, spicy, sweet cinnamon odor, and it gives cinnamon its flavor. It occurs naturally in the bark of cinnamon trees and other species of the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamaldehyde constitutes 90% of the essential oil of cinnamon.
α-hexyl-Cinnamaldehyde has a medium strength, sweet, floral, green, jasmin, citrus and fruity aroma with powdery, tropical or spicy notes. As a flavoring it is sweet, waxy, floral and green with citrus and fruity nuances.
α-amyl-Cinnamaldehyde has a medium, sweet floral, oily, fruity, herbal, jasmin, tropical aroma. Used in flavorings it is tropical, waxy, floral, rosy and honey-like with a fruity nuance and body.
Cinnamic Acid has a weak balsamic, sweet, storax, honey-like odor. It is obtained from oil of cinnamon, or from balsams such as storax.
Cinnamyl Alcohol has a medium strength, cinnamon spice, floral, green and fermented odor with powdery balsamic nuances. As a flavor component it has a green, floral, spicy and honey flavor with a fermented yeasty nuance.
Ethyl Cinnamate has a medium strength, sweet, balsamic, spicy, powdery, fruity, berry, plum odor. It is used as a flavoring agent, where it has a balsamic, powdery, fruity, berry, punch, spice, sweet and green flavor with an amber note.
Citronellol has a floral, rosy, sweet, citrus with green, fatty, terpene nuanced odor. Used in flavorings it has a floral, rose, sweet, green with fruity citrus nuanced flavor. In studies it was shown to be deeply sedating upon inhalation.
Citronellal makes up up to 80% of the leaf oil from Kaffir lime leaves and is the compound responsible for its characteristic aroma. Citronellal has a high repellent effectiveness against mosquitoes and other insects. It is also shown to have strong antifungal qualities. Citronellal is the main component that gives citronella oil its distinctive lemon-lime scent.
α-Curcumene has an odor of Turmeric. It is found prominantly in the Zingiber genus of Ginger. It is one of the main active ingredients of both Turmeric and Ginger oils.
γ-Curcumene has an earthy aroma. It is found prominantly in the Libocedrus bidwillii tree of New Zealand. It is one of the main active ingredients of both Turmeric and Ginger oils.
p-Cymene has a musty tang of terpenes with an orange to carrot odor, although synthetic p-Cymene can have a turpentine-like odor. It has shown Antibiotic, Anticandidal and AChE inhibiting properties. p-Cymene is a constituent of a number of essential oils, most commonly the oils of cumin and thyme.
Decanal has a very powerful, waxy, orange-peel, citrus like, sweet, aldehydic odor. It is used in fragrances and flavoring. Its flavor is a waxy, fatty, citrus and orange peel with a slight green melon nuance. Decanal occurs in nature and is an important component in citrus along with octanal, citral, and sinensal.
Dehydrovomifoliol has a fruity and flowery odor. It has shown some cytostatic and antiviral activity.
Diallyl Disulfide has a strong, alliceous, onion and garlic-like odor with metallic nuances. Highly diluted, it is used as a flavoring in food. Its flavor is green onion and garlic-like with meaty nuances. It is an organosulfur (organic compounds that contain sulfur) derived from garlic. It is also one of the main components of the distilled oil of garlic. Diallyl disulfide has many of the health benefits of garlic, but it is also an allergen causing garlic allergy.
Dihydroactinidiolide has a fruity, musky, coumarin tea-like, peach aroma. It is a flavoring agent for food and tobacco and used in tea flavors, berry flavors, other fruit flavors, brown flavors, seaweed, tomato and beer. It has shown antiproliferative effects.
Dimethyl Disulfide has a high strength, sulfurous, rotten garlic, cabbage or onion type of aroma. Dimethyl disulfide along with dimethyl sulfide and dimethyl trisulfide are compounds given off by the plant known as dead-horse arum. Flies are attracted to the odor of fetid meat the combination of the three make, and they help pollinate this plant.
Eicosane has a waxy odor. It is used in fragrance concentrates. It is the shortest compound found in paraffin waxes used to form candles. It is also used in insect repellent.
β-Elemene has a medium strength, sweet aroma. The parenteral form of β-elemene is isolated from Rhizoma zedoariae, a type of ginger, although It is a volatile terpene found in botanicals such as celery, mint, and it is prevalent in a variety of medicinal plants. It has strong antiproliferative anti-cancer effects against a broad spectrum of tumors.
Ethylmethyl Acetic Acid has a medium strength, acidic fruity, dirty, cheesey, fermented odor with the strong nuance of roquefort cheese. It is used as a flavoring with a fruity, dirty, acidic flavor with a dairy, buttery and cheesey nuance.
Eucalyptol/1,8-Cineole has the camphor-minty odor of eucalyptus. In fact, it is the main ingredient in oil of eucalyptus. It is also found in other fragrant plants. It is used to increase circulation, and reduce pain and swelling when applied topically. Cineole readily crosses the blood/brain barrier, possibly helping other cannabinoids to cross more readily as well. The inhalation of cineole increases cerebral blood flow and enhances cortical activity. The effects of cineole, when combined with oral or smoked Cannabis, are reported as being very uplifting, noticeably increasing mental and physical energy. This terpene, and others like it, may be responsible for the reported difference in effect between indica and sativa strains with a similar cannabinoid profile. Cineole is most likely the stimulating and thought provoking part of the cannabis smoke.
α-Eudesmol has a sweet, woody odor. It's been shown to protect against brain injury after focal ischemia in rats. α-Eudesmol shows signs that it may become useful for the treatment of migraines.
β-Eudesmol has a sweet, green, woody, yuzu-like aroma. It has shown some antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-wood-decay fungal activities.
γ-Eudesmol has a waxy, sweet, woody, floral odor. γ-Eudesmol presents cytotoxic effect to cancer cells.
All Eudesmol isomers displayed cytotoxicity to different tumour cell lines.
Eugenol causes the aromatic smell typical of cloves. It is sometimes called clove oil because it is the active element in cloves. Eugenol is found in insect attractants as well as UV absorbers. It is an antioxidant, and When mixed with zinc oxide, eugenol is a common base for temporary fillings. This is the reason all dental offices smell the same.
Farnesol has a weak, mild, fresh, sweet, floral, linden tree odor. It is used as an agent in cosmetics, flavors and fragrances. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiproliferative effects and it has been suggested to function as a chemopreventative and antitumor agent with some analgesic potential. Farnesol is present in many essential oils such as citronella, neroli, cyclamen, lemon grass, tuberose, rose, musk, balsam and tolu. It is used in perfumery to emphasize the odors of sweet floral perfumes. It is also a natural pesticide for mites and is a pheromone for several other insects.
β-Fenchol has a camphorous, borneol, piney, woody, dry, sweet, lemon scent. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent. It is an antioxidant and antimicrobial with limited antifungal properties.
Fenchone has a camphorous, thuja, cedarleaf, herbal, earthy, woody aroma. As an additive, its flavor has been described as cooling, camphoreous, sweet and minty with a musty, earthy nuance.
Geraniol has a medium strength, floral, sweet, rosey, fruity odor with citrus to citronella-like odor nuances. Its flavor is floral, rosy, waxy and perfumey with a fruity peach-like nuance. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent. It is used in flavors such as peach, raspberry, grapefruit, red apple, plum, lime, orange, lemon, watermelon, pineapple, and blueberry. It is also used for cosmetic Uses as a perfuming agent. Geraniol is a natural antioxidant. It inhibits DNA synthesis. In one study, Geraniol was shown to suppress pancreatic tumor growth.
Geranyl Acetate has a very strong, floral aroma with a fruity twist. It is found in a variety of natural oils from plants such as citronella, lemon grass, sassafras, rose, and many others. It exhibits strong antimicrobial properties.
Germacrene B has a potent odor ranging from spicy, warm and earthy to the sweet aroma of expressed lime oil. It is not used in food or fragrances.
Germacrene D has strong, oily, spicy, green woody, floral scent compounds. It is used in bakery goods, confections, and edible ices, including sherbet and sorbet.
Germacrenes are produced in a number of plant species for their antimicrobial and insecticidal properties, though they also play a role as insect pheromones. The essential oil of the red deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) is characterized by its high contents of germacrene.
Guaia-1(10),11-diene has an elegant and sweet woody aroma. It is used as a fragrance for a wide range of products from food additives, tobacco flavorings and general cosmetics, to room odorizers.
Guaiacol has a powerful, smoke-like, phenolic, spicey, woody somewhat medicinal odor. It has a sweet, powdery, musty, vanilla, floral, almond flavor. It is used chiefly as an expectorant, but is also used as a local anesthetic, an antiseptic and an intestinal disinfectant. Guaiacol is a precursor to various flavorants, such as eugenol and vanillin.
α-Guaiene has a medium strength, sweet, earthy, woody, balsamic, peppery aroma. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent in bakery items, cereals and cereal products, including flours & starches from roots & tubers, pulses & legumes, and edible ices, including sherbet and sorbet. α-Guaiene imparts earthy, spicy aromas and tastes. α-Guaiene also shows anti-inflammatory properties.
α-Gurjunene has a slight, woody, balsamic odor. It is used in cosmetics and fragrances. It has shown to be a antimicrobial as well as an antibacterial agent.
Hexanaldehyde has a very powerful, penetrating, fatty green, freshly cut grassy odor. It is also used in the flavor industry to produce fruity flavors that are green woody, vegetative, apple, grassy, citrus and orange with fresh lingering aftertastes.
Hexanoic Acid has a pungent, oily, acrid, sour, fatty, sweaty, rancid cheese odor. It is used as a flavoring as well as in cosmetics. It is a fatty acid found naturally in various animal fats and oils. It is one of the chemicals that give the decomposing fleshy seed coat of the ginkgo its characteristic unpleasant odor.
α-Humulene (obsolete name: α-Caryophyllene) has an aroma that has been described as bitter, medium woody, and hoppy. α-Humulene has shown anti-inflammatory properties. Humulene is one of the essential oils made in the flowering cone of the hops plant Humulus lupulus. The concentration of humulene varies among different varieties of the plant, but can be up to 40% of the essential oil of noble hops.
β-Ionol has a sweet, woody, herbal, fruity, floral, violet, tropical and berry aroma. As a flavoring it is a floral, violet-like, fruity, woody, berry flavor with powdery nuances.
β-Ionone has a flowery, violet, raspberry odor. It is a significant contributor to the aroma of roses, despite its relatively low concentration, and is an important fragrance chemical used in perfumes. β-ionone, derived from grape carotenoids, plays an important role in the flavor of some red wines. The flavor imparted to wine by β-ionone is a component of fruity / floral character of some of the most sought-after red wines of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. β-Ionone demonstrates potent anticancer activity as well as antifungal properties.
Ipsdienol has a balsamic, piney aroma. It is a major component of the floral fragrance of several species of orchids. Ipsdienol is also one of the major aggregation pheromones of the bark beetle in which it is believed to be a mating attractant.
Isoamyl Alcohol has a pungent, fermented type, fusel, alcoholic, etherial cognac aroma with fruity, banana and molasses notes. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent. Its flavor is a fusel, fermented, fruity, banana, etherial and cognac.
Isoamyl Formate has a medium strength, ethereal, vinous, dry, earthy, fruity, green, plum, black currant aroma. As a flavoring it has a sharp, green, apple and fruity flavor with winey, fatty notes.
Isoborneol has a camphoraceous, sweet & musty, India ink-like aroma. It has shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and some limited antimicrobial properties. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent for beverages, ice cream, candy, baked goods, and chewing gum.
Isomyrcenol has a fresh, floral, lime-like odor. Isomyrcenol is used in the chemical communication systems of the Spruce bark beetle, the Pinyon pine beetle and the Double-spined bark beetle.
Isopulegol has a medium strength odor that is minty, cooling and bitter-sweet medicinal. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent in candies and chewing gum. It is found in the hesperozygis rhododon shrub, as well as in eucalyptus citriodora. It is also commonly used in cosmetics.
Isovaleric Acid has a strong, pungent, sour, stinky feet, sweaty cheese smell. It is a major component of the cause of unpleasant foot odor. However, its volatile esters have pleasing scents and are used widely in perfumery. Used as a flavoring it is cheesey, dairy, sweet creamy, fermented, waxy and berry. It has shown effectiveness as an anticonvulsant and antidepressant.
Limonene is found in high amounts in cannabis resin as well as tropical fruit rinds and many other fruits and flowers. Everyone is familiar with the odor of citrus resins. They explode into the air when a fruit is peeled. The exact odor is determined by the structure of the terpene. Plants use Limonene to repulse predators. For instance, flies have a group of receptors similar in function to the taste buds on our tongues. One of them detects noxious chemicals, and responds to Limonene as if it were toxic. This is hard wired into the flies brain. Limonene is a potent antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer agent. Limonene has been used clinically to dissolve gallstones, improve mood and relieve heartburn and gastrointestinal reflux. Limonene has been shown to destroy breast-cancer cells in lab experiments, and its powerful antimicrobial action can kill pathogenic bacteria. Limonene sprays are also used to treat depression.
Limonene is the second, third or fourth most prevalent terpene in almost all cannabis resins and it is a precursor to the synthesis of other cannabinoids. Limonene is highly absorbed by inhalation and quickly appears in the bloodstream. Since Limonene is known to affect the permeability of the cell membranes, it allows more THC to reach brain cells and increases the absorption of other terpenes. Limonene's design facilitates a direct response by quickly permeating the blood-brain barrier. The result is increased systolic blood pressure. One test, reported subjective alertness and restlessness.
Linalool has a floral scent reminiscent of spring flowers such as lily of the valley, but with spicy overtones. It is a terpenoid prominent in lavender. It is refined from lavender, neroli, and other essential oils. Humans can detect its odor at rates as low as one part per million in the air.
Linalool is being tested now for treatment of several types of cancer. It is also a component of several sedating essential oils including lavender oil which is believed to possess antianxiety and sedative properties. In tests on humans who inhaled it, it caused severe sedation. In tests on lab rats it reduced their activity by almost 75%. In addition to being a compound that counters anxiety and mediates stress, linalool is a strong anticonvulsant, and it also amplifies serotonin-receptor transmission, conferring an antidepressant effect. Applied topically, linalool can heal acne and skin burns without scarring.
Strains that are high in linalool may be particularly beneficial for patients who experience insomnia due to their sedating effects.
γ-Linolenic Acid has the slight, light aroma of vegetable oil. This is because it is a unsaturated fatty acid found primarily in vegetable oils. It is sold as a dietary and health supplement, although there is very limited evidence of any effectiveness, and only as a slight anti-inflammatory and blood thinning agent.
Longifolene has a medium strength, sweet, woody, rosey, medical, fir needle odor. Longifolene is also one of two most abundant aroma constituents of lapsang souchong tea, because the tea is smoked over pine fires. The Norway spruce produces longifolene as it's main product.
α-Longipinene has a pine aromatic odor. The Norway spruce produces high levels of α-Longipinene secondary to longifolene as it's main product.
Menthol has a very strong, cooling, mentholic, minty, peppermint aroma and flavor. It is obtained from cornmint, peppermint or other mint oils. Menthol has local anesthetic and counter-irritant qualities, and it is widely used to relieve minor throat irritation. Menthol also acts as a weak kappa opioid receptor agonist. Menthol is responsible for the well-known cooling sensation it provokes when inhaled, eaten, or applied to the skin. In this sense, it is similar to capsaicin, the chemical responsible for the spiciness of hot chilis (which stimulates heat sensors, also without causing an actual change in temperature).
3-Mercapto-2-Methylpentanal has a very heavy, sulfurous, savory, alliaceous, garlic odor with tropical fruit and cultured dairy nuances. As a flavoring, it has a sulfureous, alliaceous, savory flavor with cooked onion and sauteed garlic notes and tropical fruit nuances of mango and passionfruit.
3-Mercapto-2-Methylpentanol has a very strong, sulfurous, onion type aroma. It is used in seasonings as a food additive, but not used as a fragrance. It is recommended to be smelled in a 0.10 % solution or less due to its strength.
Mercaptan is the main odor constituent added to assist in the detection of natural gas (which in pure form is odorless), and the "smell of natural gas" is due to the smell of the mercaptan thiol used as the odorant.
β-Mercaptoethanol Is an extremely strong and persistent aroma that has all the basic rotten-egg sulfur-stink notes. It is an extremely intestinal and skunk-like odor.
Mercaptoacetic Acid has an ugly, sharp, acrid, skunk smell with plenty of endurance.
Allyl Mercaptan has a high strength, sulfurous and alliaceous, sauteed onion and garlic aroma with roasted, grilled and charred meaty nuances. It is used as a flavor additive and is described as alliaceous onion, garlic and leek with meaty bouillon savory nuances.
Benzyl Mercaptan has a high strength, sharp, alliaceous, sulfuraceous, onion, garlic, horseradish aroma with mint and coffee notes. It is a flavoring and is described as a green, leek, horseradish, cabbage, tomato and coffee flavor.
Butyl Mercaptan has an extremely strong, fetid, extremely foul-smelling odor, commonly described as "skunk" odor. It is structurally similar to several major components of a skunk's defensive spray but is not present in the spray itself. The scent of butyl mercaptan is so strong that the human nose can easily detect it in the air at concentrations as low as 10 parts per billion. Used as a flavor additive, it has a sulfureous, vegetative, savory meaty, garlic and onion taste.
Ethyl Mercaptan has a high strength, sulfurous, skunky odor with a slight fruity note.
Ethylene Mercaptan has a very high strength, sulfurous, skunky odor with a slight meaty note. It is so strong, it is recommend smelling it in a 0.01 % solution or less.
Furfuryl Mercaptan has a very strong, oily, fatty, roasted coffee, sulfurous skunky odor with a burnt match note. Used in flavorings, it is described as a sulfurous, roasted coffee, burnt match-like, rubbery, and slightly nutty flavor with eggy and savory meaty nuances.
Methyl Mercaptan has an extremely strong, sulfurous, decomposing cabbage, skunky aroma. It is used in flavorings and is described as sulfurous, alliaceous and creamy with a surface-ripened cheese topnote and a clean savory meaty depth.
Phenyl Mercaptan has a high strength, meaty, repulsive, penetrating, garlic, sulfuraceous odor with a rubbery, allicious backnote. Used in flavorings it is described as a meaty, phenolic taste with a burnt rubber sulfureous nuance.
Propyl Mercaptan has a high strength, alliaceous, natural gas, sweet onion, cabbage odor.
Thenyl Mercaptan has a high strength, roast coffee, fishy aroma. It is used as a flavoring agent where it has the flavor of coffee.
The spray of skunks consists mainly of low-molecular-weight Mercaptan thiols and their derivatives.
Methylbutenol has a very strong, suffocating, malty herb aroma. It is released in high concentrations from lodgepole pine trees.
Methyl Salicylate has a strong, distinct wintergreen aroma. Its flavor is sweet, salicylate and root beer like with aromatic and balsamic nuances. It is used as a fragrance, in foods and beverages, and in liniments where it is commonly used as a topical medicine for muscle, joint or soft tissue pain and inflammation.
Methyl-2-Methylvalerate has medium strength, fruity, sweet, berry, pineapple, apple, banana, green melon and tropical aromas. Used as a flavor additive in food, its taste is described as fruity, green apple, grape, bubble gum and pineapple-like.
3-Methyl-1-Butanol has an aroma that is slightly onion with gasoline, kerosene, rubber or burnt oil overtones.
γ-Muurolene has a medium strength, oily, woody type, herbal spice aroma. It is used in the chemical communication system of the Lucerne seed wasp and the European grapevine moth.
Nepetalactone has a valerian odor that is generally considered unpleasant by humans. It has a compound that resembles a component of a female cat urine odorant thought to mimic sex communication pheromones. It is one of the main attractants and stimulants in catnip which, when inhaled, incites wild play behavior in many cats (i.e., gets them 'stoned'). It has also been shown to be an active repellent for cockroaches, and recent tests on yellow fever mosquitoes showed that it was 10 times more of an effective repellent than DEET (N,N diethyl-m-toluamide), the most popular synthetic insect repellent.
Nerolidol has a mild, delicate odor that is floral, apple, rose, green and citrus-like with woody, waxy nuances. It can be found in ginger, niaouli and citronella. It is present as a low-level component in orange and other citrus peels. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent. Its flavor has been described as green, floral and woody with fruity-citrus and melon nuances. It has antifungal, antileishmaniasis and antimalarial properties. It is also known to produce a sedative effect.
Nerol has a strong, fresh, wet seashore to sweet rose odor. It is a constituent of attar of roses, oil of orange blossoms and oil of lavender. It is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and as a flavor agent. Its flavor has been described as lemon, bitter, green and fruity with a terpy nuance.
Nonanaldehyde has a high strength, soapy, axy, aldehydic, citrus odor with a fresh, slightly green, lemon peel like nuance, and a cucumber fattiness. It is a component of perfumes, although it also occurs in several natural oils. Used in flavorings, its taste is an effervescent, aldehydic, citrus, cucumber and melon rindy with raw potato and oily nutty and coconut like nuances. It has been identified as a compound that attracts mosquitoes.
Nonanoic Acid has a high strength, unpleasant, racid, waxy, dirty and cheesy aroma with a cultured dairy nuance. Used as a cosmetic a fragrance and a flavor agent, its flavor is fatty, waxy and cheesy with a mild, sweet creamy background.
α-Ocimene has a medium strength, fruity, floral aroma with a wet cloth note. It is contributor to green odor of unripe mango and of mango ginger (Curcuma amada). It is used in oriental pickles.
β-Ocimene has a medium strength, tropical, green, terpy and woody odor with vegetable nuances. It is used as a flavoring agent where it has a green, tropical, woody flavor with floral and vegetable nuances. It is a flavor and fragrance additive as well as a common component in many essential oils.
β-cis-Ocimene has a medium strength, warm, floral, herbal, sweet, citrus-like aroma. It is a component of the chemical communication system of the tea weevil and cotton bollworm. It has shown some antioxidative properties.
β-trans-Ocimene has a mild, herbaceous, citrusy sweet, orange to lemon aroma. It is used in the chemical communication system of boxelders, a few beetles, and the Phytoseiulus Persimilis predatory mite.
Octanal has a very strong aldehydic waxy citrus green orange peel nuance. As a flavoring it is aldehyde and green with a peely, citrus, orange note.
Octanoic Acid has a very strong, musty, rancid, penetrating, fatty, waxy, oily, cheesy, sweat-like odor that is repulsive to most people. It is used as a cosmetic surfactant and as a flavoring agent for processed cheeses.
α-Phellandrene has a medium strength, terpenic, citrus, herbal, slightly green, black pepper-like odor. It is a flavor additive where it is described as a terpenic, citrus lime with a fresh green note.
β-Phellandrene has a medium strength, peppery-minty and slightly citrusy odor with a slight minty-terpentine note.
Phenylacetaldehyde has a very powerful and penetrating pungent honey-like sweet and green floral odor of passion fruit. It is found in buckwheat, chocolate and many other foods and flowers. As an additive its flavor is a honey, sweet, floral, chocolate and cocoa, with a spicy nuance. It has shown some antibiotic and antiasthmatic activity.
Phenylethanethiol has the high strength odor of rubber.
Phytol has a mild, light floral, balsamic, green jasmin, green tea type of aroma. It's been shown to prevent Vitamin A teratogenesis.
α-Pinene is the familiar odor associated with pine trees and their resins. It is the major component in turpentine and is found in many other plant essential oils in noticeable amounts including rosemary, sage, eucalyptus and many others. Pinene is used medically as an expectorant, and topical antiseptic. It easily crosses the blood-brain barrier where it acts as a acetylcholinesterase inhibitor; that is, it inhibits activity of a chemical that destroys an information transfer molecule. This results in better memory. Pinene also promotes alertness and memory retention. Largely due to the presence of pinene, rosemary and sage are both considered "memory plants." Concoctions made from their leaves have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to retain and restore memory. It is also a bronchodilator. A pharmacokinetics study of inhaled α-pinene in humans demonstrated 60% uptake, and a relative bronchodilation effect. The smoke seems to expand in your lungs and the high comes on very quickly since a high percentage of the substance will pass into the bloodstream and brain. It also increases focus, self satisfaction and energy, which generally counteracts with the presence of Terpineol. α-Pinene has inhibited acetylcholinesterase suggesting utility in the clinical treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
β-Pinene has a woody-green pine-like smell. β-Pinene is one of the most abundant compounds released by forest trees. It is one of the two isomers of pinene (The other being α-Pinene) and it shares similar properties.
Propanethiol has a high strength, alliaceous odor of cabbage, sweet onion and natural gas. It belongs to the group of thiols. It is colorless with a strong, offensive odor.
Pulegone has a minty-camphor odor and flavor that is used in the candy industry. It is implicated in liver damage in very high dosages. Pulegone is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Thus, it stops the action of the protein that destroys acetylcholine, which is used by the brain to store memories. It may counteract THC's activity, which leads to low acetylcholine levels. The result is that you would forget more on THC alone than you would on THC accompanied by Pulegone.
Sabinene has a medium strength, warm, oily-peppery, woody, herbaceous and spicy pine odor with citrus notes. In flavoring it is oily, citrus and tropical fruity. It is found in oak trees, tea tree oil, black pepper and is a major constituent of carrot seed oil.
Sabinene Hydrate has a medium strength, herbal, cooling, minty, eucalyptol, green and terpy odor with a spicy nuance. It is used as a flavor additive and has a cool, minty, camphoreous, woody green, and oily flavor. It is also used in fragrances and cosmetics.
cis-Sabinene Hydrate has a medium strength balsamic odor.
trans-Sabinene Hydrate has a medium strength, more woody, balsamic odor.
Safranal is the component primarily responsible for the aroma of saffron. Its flavor is a woody, medicinal, phenolic, spicy and camphoreous with a fruity herbal nuance. Safranal is an effective anticonvulsant an agonist and it exhibits high antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity as well as cytotoxicity towards cancer cells. It has also been shown to have antidepressant properties.
α-Selinene has the distinct odor of amber. It is one of the principal components of the oil from celery seeds. It has shown analgesic antioxidant and antifungal activity with antimicrobial potential.
α-Sinensal has a medium strength, citrus orange, mandarin aroma. Its flavor is an orange, waxy and juicy citrus with a bitter peel nuance.
β-Sinensal has a medium strength, sweet, fresh, waxy, citrus, orange juicy odor. It is mainly used in fragrances.
β-Sitosterol has a charastic waxy aroma. It is a plant sterol with a chemical structure similar to that of cholesterol. It is found in pecans, avocados, pumpkin seeds, cashews, corn oils, and soybeans. It has shown anti-inflammatory properties.
α-Terpineol has a lilac, citrus or apple blossom to lime odor. It is used extensively in the perfume industry. Terpineol however, is often found in cannabis with high pinene levels. Therefore, its odor is very often masked by the pungent aromas of pinene. It is a minor constituent of many plant essential oils. It is also used in soaps for fragrance. It reduces the capability for movement by 45% in lab rat tests. It was also shown to be deeply sedating upon inhalation. This may partially account for the couchlock effects of some cannabis although it is not usually associated with body highs.
Terpineol-4-ol has a pleasantly herbaceous, peppery, woody odor and is used in commercial fragrances. Terpineol-4-ol is used in fragrances for spice types. It is considered the primary active ingredient of tea tree oil. It is the compound of highest concentration in the essential oil of nutmeg. It also occurs in oil of cypress, juniper berry, Ceylon cardamom, marjoram, thyme, and a few others. It has been shown to act as an AChE inhibitor and as an antibiotic.
α-Terpinene has a refreshing, lemony-citrus aroma. It has been isolated from cardamom and marjoram oils.
γ-Terpinene has a herbaceous, citrusy sweet aroma. It is commercially extracted from tea tree oil. γ-Terpinene shows antimicrobial properties against various human pathogens. It has also been studied for it's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities.
Terpinolene has a medium strength, herbal aroma that has been described as fresh, woody, sweet and piney with a hint of citrus. Its flavor is a sweet, woody, terpy, lemon and lime-like with a slight herbal and floral nuance. It is used as a flavor and fragrance agent. Its use in fragrances in the USA alone exceeds 50,000 lb/yr. Terpinolene is used in soap, detergent, creams, lotions, and perfume.
Thiophenol is the extremely potent, extremely persistant, foul-smelling, pure essence of burning rubber.
Thymol has the distinctive, strong flavor of the culinary herb thyme. It is found in oil of thyme, and extracted from Thymus vulgaris (common thyme) and various other kinds of plants as a white crystalline substance of a pleasant, aromatic odor and strong antiseptic properties. Thymol is a natural monoterpene phenol derivative of Cymene.
α-Tocopherol has a very bland, slight, vegetable oil-like odor. α-Tocopherol is the most active component of the vitamin E complex, and this organic substance is the most powerful antioxidant in the lipid phase of the human body. α-Tocopherol acts very effectively to deactivate free radicals and stop chain reactions before they can run away.
Tonka Undecanone has a medium strength, sweet, spicy, balsamic, tonka woody tobacco green aroma.
Undecanal has an intensely soapy, aldehydic, waxy and slightly effervescent orangey citrus-like odor with a watermelon, pineapple and cilantro background. As an additive, its flavor is Waxy, aldehydic and soapy with a citrus note and slight laundry detergent nuance. Undecanal is a common component of perfumes.
Valeraldehyde has a fermented type, diffusive, bready, fruity odor with berry nuances. Used as a flavoring agent, its flavor is a winey, fermented, bready, cocoa with chocolate notes.
Verdoxan has a medium strength odor of earthy, fruity, green, herbal, sawen old wood. It is used in fragrances and cosmetics.
α-Ylangene has a spicy, fruity aroma. It is a natural substance often found in wine and is emitted by some plants. It has shown both antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
The main differences between terpene profiles of evaluated strains belonging to the two principal biotypes are:
‘mostly indica’ strains were characterized by dominancy of β-myrcene, present in high relative contents, with limonene or α-pinene as second most abundant terpenoid
‘mostly sativa’ strains were characterized by more complex terpene profiles, with some strains having α-terpinolene or α-pinene as dominant terpenoid, and some strains having β-myrcene as dominant terpenoid with α-terpinolene or trans-β-ocimene as second most abundant terpenoid.
Breeding for specific terpenoids in plants is a fascinating research topic. In fact, the various biological activities of these compounds make the analysis of terpenoids a valuable tool for improving a considerable number of traits in cultivars of Cannabis.
Testing for these terpines is like making a recipe-book for a Chef. They tell you what the ingredients are in the dish, and in which quantities.
The “Entourage effect” of Cannabis.
The clinical contribution of cannabinoids different than THC, terpenoids and flavonoids to clinical cannabis effects has been espoused as an “entourage effect” (Mechoulam and Ben-Shabat 1999). While THC remains the most psychoactive compound found in Cannabis, all other substances present in the plant (in particular cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids) also have unique properties that will ultimately influence the effects that Cannabis has on us.
Many times patients using Cannabis as medicine have reported that a specific plant genetic seems to have better therapeutic properties on them than other ones available. When compared, those Cannabis varieties had similar cannabinoid profile (content of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD). So if the difference is not in the cannabinoid content, it must lie in the “entourage” of other substances present in the plant in order to explain the difference perceived by various patients.
Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects
Ethan Russo MD
British Journal of Pharmacology
Marijuana and the Cannabinoids
Mahmoud A. ElSohly
School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi
Terpenoids for medicine
The inheritance of chemical phenotype in Cannabis sativa L. (IV): cannabinoid-free plants
E. P. M. de Meijer, K. M. Hammond, A. Sutton