Aromatherapy often involves floral, pine, and citrus scents. These delicate, invigorating scents aren’t the sort of thing that one would usually associate with cannabis. But a growing interest in terpenes means that this could all be set to change.

Simply put, terpenes are responsible for the smell rising from your plant. They’re an odoriferous oil that comes from the same glands that produce THC and other chemical compounds. Terpenes are more than just a novelty scent, though: they have the ability to bond and synergize with other cannabinoids, and can alter the effects of their strain in what’s known as the entourage effect.

No, not these guys.

In essences, terpenes are pretty much a form of aromatherapy — something that is normally the territory of that shady guy involved in a multi-level-marketing scheme, or a lucrative side-hustle for your aunt’s Tupperware empire.

Although more than a hundred distinct terpenes have been identified across different strains of the cannabis plant, a few types are much more common than others. They are as follows:

Pinene (available in alpha and beta varieties)

Smells like:

Take a guess. (It’s pine, yes.)


  • Promotes alertness
  • Helps counteract the short-term memory loss associated with a high
  • Anti-inflammatory


Smells like:

Cloves, herbs; a generally earthy scent.


  • Relaxing muscle tension
  • Treating pain
  • Alleviating sleeplessness


Smells like:



  • Elevated mood; stress relief
  • May help relieve heartburn and reflux
  • Antibacterial properties


Smells like:

peppers, spices, cloves, wood — a spice rack, in short.

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  • Can help relieve arthritis
  • Soothes gastrointestinal complaints
  • Anti-inflammatory


Smells like:

Candy, flowers, citrus.


  • Anxiety relief
  • Anti-convulsion
  • Can help prevent acne


It’s likely that we’re going to be hearing plenty more about terpenes in the coming years, especially with legalization spreading throughout the nation. The best way to investigate the terpene content of your weed is, of course, to have it analyzed at a cannabis analysis laboratory. If you’re buying from a legitimate distributor, however, you might be able to skip that step: places like Green House Seed Co. already have a detailed terpene analysis available for their strains.

Got a favorite weed smell? Let us know about it in the comments!