As cannabidiol (CBD) has become more popular and widely utilized for its skin conditioning benefits, there’s another plant compound that is garnering significant attention: terpenes. So, what exactly are terpenes?
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a diverse range of organic compounds produced in the resin glands of a variety of plants such as conifers, cannabis (including hemp), lavender, citrus, and even certain insects., They are a key component of essential oils, which could be one of the reasons they garner so much attention.
The infographic below demonstrates a variety of hemp terpenes, along with their scents, sensations, and chemical structures. The chemical structure of each varies between linear form, like myrcene, and that of a ring shape, such as limonene, depending on the number of cyclic rings in each terpene’s chemical makeup.
There are around 200 terpenes found in the hemp plant, but only a handful are abundant enough to emit odors. These same terpenes can also be found in other plants, which are listed below. Some of the noteworthy hemp terpenes include:
- Linalool. The same terpene found in lavender has a sweet, floral scent.
- Limonene. Limonene can also be found in lemon rind, orange rind, and juniper.
- Myrcene. Also found in lemongrass and hops and contributes to the scent of beer.
- Alpha and beta-pinene. Both are also found in pine needles and have an earthy, woody aroma.