This Mysterious Marijuana Ingredient Is What Makes Your Weed Smell and Taste Great

Like many emerging cannabis companies, Mr Terps was founded largely out of personal necessity. Although the owner  (who requested we don’t use his last name as L.A.’s legal market is still in a gray area) had started a small-scale grow operation with his wife, he soon realized the growing popularity of cannabis oils and extracts. Upon puffing on a vape pen himself, he realized many of these concentrate-filled cartridges had a harsh, artificial taste to them.

“Why did I buy an OG Kush that tasted like Pine Sol?” he says.

What he soon realized was that many oil manufacturers use chemicals or synthetic materials to fake the taste and aroma of the cannabis strains they’re named after. Ever wonder why Girl Scout Cookies weed tastes so much like, well … Girl Scout Cookies?

The answer, without going down a scientific rabbit hole, is terpenes. A terpene is an organic compound found in all plants — fruits, vegetables and cannabis included — which provides the product with its aroma and flavor. Terpenes commonly found in cannabis strains include Pinene (which smells like a pine forest and is the most traditionally dank smell), limonene (which has a bright, citrusy vibe) and Humulene (a hoppy, woodsy aroma). Many say that terpenes also contribute to the “entourage effect” of weed, a hotly contested principle that refers to how the different components of cannabis — THC, CBD, terpenes, and more — interact to produce distinct physical or therapeutic effects.

While terpenes are naturally occurring in cannabis plants, extracting and refining them for use in a concentrate or oil is a difficult process. More important, it’s an extremely expensive one, as the weed plant that it’s being extracted from is destroyed in the process. Cannabis terpenes on the market today can cost upward of $250 per milliliter, says Ryan, which is why they are relatively rare, in low supply and not often used by California manufacturers.

So Ryan began researching the process, experimenting with extraction, and through trial and error came up with a system that uses cold temperatures to keep the full terpene profile intact — high heat can destroy some terpene molecules, he says. Los Angeles Refinery now sources its organic cannabis from “strategic” partners and then uses a proprietary process to break the plant down into molecular parts, remove contaminants such as waxes and lipids, and then reassemble the desired ingredients of THC and terpenes into a final product, he says.

Ryan C. uses a proprietary process to manufacture his own cannabis oil that uses actual cannabis-derived terpenes.EXPAND

Ryan C. uses a proprietary process to manufacture his own cannabis oil that uses actual cannabis-derived terpenes.
Courtesy Los Angeles Refinery

“If you vape on our product versus another company that puts in artificial flavor … you can tell,” Ryan says. “We’re trying to capture that [flavor] profile that nature created … rather than create our own.”

While cannabis terpenes may work for a small-scale, boutique company like Los Angeles Refinery, which produces them in house, they can be hugely cost-prohibitive for larger manufacturers. That’s why most producers opt for food-based terpenes instead — a safer, better-tasting alternative to chemicals and much more affordable and readily available than cannabis, explains Drew Jones, founder and owner of Connoisseur Concentrates.

“What would be preferable would be if everyone extracted it [terpenes] from cannabis, but there’s just not enough of it,” he says.

A weed industry vet and one of the first to sell terpenes, Jones officially founded his Portland, Oregon–based company in 2014 and, earlier this year, opened the Terpene Lab in downtown L.A. Jones’ business now consists largely of selling terpenes wholesale to companies flavoring distillates or creating vape pen cartridges. At Jones’ store in L.A., cannabis business owners can come in to sample terpenes, mix and match flavors and create their own blends — cherry mixed with cheesecake mixed with gelato, he says as an example. The Terpene Lab itself mixes flavors including Skittles, Tangerine and Sour Diesel.

Connoisseur Concentrates uses organic terpenes sourced from non-cannabis plants — from lemons to pine trees — to re-create the cannabis aroma. After all, the Pinene found in cannabis is the same that’s found in a pine tree, says Jones.

“It’s all the same terpene,” he says.

Obtaining the right cannabis flavor isn’t as simple as pure extraction, however. For one, a high-quality blend that accurately re-creates a flavor could contain up to 20 different terpenes, Jones says. But some manufacturers will use just one.

“It’s like saying I’m going to make a cake but just [using] an egg,” he says.

Like any specialty product, terpenes have fostered a bit of a cult following and become the stuff of cannabis connoisseurs. Mixing and matching strains to come up with new aromas, developing proprietary methods of refinement and figuring out how to best preserve the true cannabis essence, terpenes have become the subject of much experimentation.

In addition to use in weed products, cannabis terpenes — which, if refined properly, contain no THC or CBD and are legal to sell on regular grocery store shelves — are being used in the culinary world as well. Holden Jagger is a longtime chef and pastry chef in L.A.; he’s worked at the Soho House, was named one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30” and, two years ago, began to focus on cooking with cannabis.

Through his company Altered Plates, Jagger works as an educator, brand consultant, and chef, using cannabis terpenes as a potent flavor component in everything from salads to baked goods.

“Terpenes, I think, are probably the more interesting thing I’ve come across in cannabis,” Jagger says.
“It’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things about flavor, about taste.”

The Blue Dream Salad is inspired by the blueberry-esque Blue Dream cannabis, one of the most popular strains of weed in states where it's legal.EXPAND

The Blue Dream Salad is inspired by the blueberry-esque Blue Dream cannabis, one of the most popular strains of weed in states where it’s legal.
Courtesy Holden Jagger

Analyzing terpene profiles and discussing and experimenting with cannabis aromas is much more interesting than simply getting people high, Jagger says. While he does create cannabis-infused foods that contain the standard THC or CBD, he also makes his own terpene sugars and salts, which are more intended to capture the essence of the cannabis as opposed to the psychoactive effects. Jagger also makes his own terpene honey, by taking raw cannabis he grows himself, placing it in a jar, pouring honey over it and then storing it in a cold, dark place for three to six months.

The chef also builds entire dishes around cannabis strains. One example is the Blue Dream Salad, which includes terpenes of its namesake blueberry weed and plays off these flavors with dehydrated blueberries, pine nuts and aged Gouda cheese.

Overall, cannabis terpenes are simply a new, creative tool for creating flavor, Jagger says.

“I really think that just like there’s a place for fine wine, there’s a place for fine cannabis, and a lot of that is going to be terpene-rich cannabis,” he says.

Check out Mr Terps to purchase terpenes.

What are terpenes and why do they matter when it comes to cannabis?

Most cannabis consumers take a whiff of the bud jar before buying flowers. But what exactly are they smelling? And why?

The answer — whether these shoppers know it or not — is terpenes.

As marijuana becomes more mainstream, awareness of terpenes is becoming so common that it’s now a category in many cannabis competitions. And as our collective knowledge of the plant grows, more people are subscribing to the idea that terpenes — much like essential oils — play a role that goes far beyond smell.

The science and insider lingo can get pretty thick here. But you don’t have to be a cannabis sommelier to get in on the terpene talk.

The Cannifornian discussed the basics of terpenes with John Bailey of DaVinci Vaporizers, a Las Vegas-based company that makes some of the most popular high-end dry herb vaporizers.

Cannifornian: What are terpenes?

Bailey: Simply put, terpenes are aroma profiles derived from naturally produced oils from resin glands of the cannabis flower. Terpenes can be found in various other fruits, plants and common legal herbs.


Cannifornian: Why do terpenes matter? Do they actually change how cannabis strains affect consumers?

Bailey: They matter because as we start to further research and expand our knowledge of cannabis, we are finding they may have a great role in understanding medicinal benefits and potency. Not only do terpenes enhance flavor, but also contribute to the effects of cannabis and have been known to increase THC absorption therefore enhancing your high, while others are what gives certain sativas that alertness.

Cannifornian: Do you think growers and manufacturers should test for terpenes and include that information on product labels?

Bailey: Yes, absolutely. The more information we can reference and guide to customers the better — and what better trusted source than straight from the originator?

Cannifornian: What should consumers look for when buying products with terpenes in mind?

Bailey: Consumers should look to leverage the knowledge of budtenders while identifying commonalities in the relief from each strain. They should try to become more familiar with pungent, piney, citrus and earthy, and then correlate this when purchasing from dispensaries.

Cannifornian: Do you have a favorite terpene that you personally always look out for?

Bailey: Given that I tend to drift towards mood uplifting and energetic strains, I’m a personal fan of strains heavy in limonene, like Tangy and Durban Poison. These strains tend to have a citrusy aroma and are subtly sweet.

Cannifornian: What’s your view on inserting terpenes from marijuana into non-cannabis products, such as beer?

Bailey: Beer brewers have been inserting terpenes into beer for a long time for flavor profiles. Just think about all of the popular beers that contain orange peel, coriander and other herbs.

I think the difference will be that the terpenes are going to be marketed as derived from cannabis instead of other plants.

Personally, I’m all for maximizing the benefits of the plant. But with anything that people are putting into their body, I caution each to do their research on the effects prior to consumption.

Read more about terpenes here.

Green Report: Getting on the terpene train

What to know about terpenes:

Smell and flavor of plants, specifically marijuana

Legal for everyone

Medical benefits

Terpene examples: Pinene, Limonene

Four small bottles of liquid terpenes/essential oils surrounded by colorful flowers
Terpenes/essential oils Photo Credit:

Marijuana terpenes have recently been gaining ground in the cannabis community, particularly in legalized states, but what are terpenes? And who can enjoy them?

Terpenes are the chemicals found in marijuana—and every other plant—that give the marijuana its smell and flavor. Without terpenes, Blueberry Yum Yum would not have its distinctive blueberry flavor that makes it tastier, to most, than say that of Pink Kush, which has an earthier flavor.  Other plants have terpenes too, like the pine tree, or tangerine tree, that give them their signature scent.

These terpenes are extracted in the same way other cannabinoids like THC and CBD are for various forms of hash, or hashish.  They come in a liquid like an essential oil and can be applied to anything you are about to smoke for a more flavorful experience.

Different scents and flavors come from different terpene chemicals. For instance, a piney scent comes from the terpene pinene, but a more citrusy scent would come from the terpene limonene.

Application of the terpenes can be difficult, and it is suggested to use an eyedropper, as a little goes a long way, which is a good thing when you realize terpenes cost at least $20 per milliliter. That is about as much as a gram of hash. Just a single drop can add a lot of depth to the flavor of your smoke, so much so you probably will not be able to taste your flower or hash hardly at all.

Now for the real question: who can purchase and consume terpenes? Anyone in the United States can buy it. Since terpenes are found in every plant, they cannot be made illegal; otherwise we would not be able to eat things like oranges. Terpenes are also free of cannabis’ psychoactive chemical, THC, the product is also free of other cannabinoids like CBD and others.

Terpenes are sold as concentrate and flower enhancers, and it does an excellent job at this, especially if your stuff is not the normal dank, it usually is. As great as putting terpenes on good tasting weed is, it is even better on your shake and other low-quality weed, meaning these are great for those out of state, since you should only be on that fire while in Colorado.

Although terpenes can be smoked with flower or dabbed, for the best flavor experience, the lower the temperature the better. High temperatures can easily damage the flavor profile of the terpenes, although, you will still be able to taste them, it just will not be as good.

Another great benefit of terpenes are the benefits that they provide, they are not just for recreation, they can help medically. Each terpene has its own benefit. Use the terpenes from earlier as examples. Pinene is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help improve airflow to the lungs and counteract the short-term memory loss associated with using marijuana. Limonene helps to elevate mood and relieve stress.

Terpenes are a new craze in the marijuana community, and it is not just a fade that will go away from the looks of it. Check Out Mr Terps for quality Terpenes For Sale.

Terpenes: What happens when these aromatic compounds in cannabis enter the body?

If you’ve been keeping up with our series on terpenes, you’ll be familiar with what they are, and how they interact with other compounds in cannabis to create something called the entourage effect. 

But what do these powerful organic compounds actually do in the body?

Terpenes, like cannabinoids, interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules that help regulate sleep, appetite, mood, motor control, immune function, reproduction, pleasure, pain, memory, and even temperature. Humans produce their own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids (endo meaning ‘within’) with help from fatty acids, particularly Omega-3’s.

Not only do terpenes assist cannabinoids in penetrating the blood-brain barrier; scientists have found that they can also influence the amount of THC that passes through that barrier. Different terpenes will affect the brain in different ways: while some might boost your energy, others might ease your anxiety.

This intersection is what interests scientists most, and it’s why manufacturers who have integrated terpenes into their single-compound products have an edge among cannabis patients in search of the most effective medicine.

There are too many terpenes to list in this short series, but we’re rounding out our list of nine today with limonene, eucalyptol, and terpineol. As terpene profiles become more and more important to the consumer experience, it’s good to get in the habit of trying to identify them when you’re purchasing cannabis at a retail shop.

Limonene is the same terpene found in citrus fruits.


That unmistakable citrus smell we associate with lemons and limes comes from this distinct terpene, which is also the second-most common terpene in cannabis. It’s also found in oranges, rosemary, juniper, and peppermint.

Cannabis varieties that are high in limonene include Super Lemon Haze, Lemon Skunk, OG Kush, Jack Herer, and Durban Poison, among others.

The benefits of inhaling or ingesting this uplifting terpene can include elevated mood, stress relief, and increase mental focus. Limonene also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which is why it’s found in so many household cleaners. Beyond that, it also helps the digestive tract, mucous membranes, and skin absorb other terpenes and chemicals more effectively

Eucalyptol actually gets its name from eucalyptus leaves.


This terpene gets its name from the eucalyptus plant, which is where it’s most commonly found. Bay leaves, tea trees, and cannabis also contain eucalyptol.

While concentrations of eucalyptol in varieties of cannabis are relatively low in comparison to terpenes like myrcene and limonene, it has been found in small amounts in Super Silver Haze.

This terpene has many medicinal properties, including as an analgesic, antibacterial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fungal and insecticide. It’s currently being studied as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s and has been shown to reduce the neuro-inflammation that causes the disease.

It can be hard to detect terpineol beacuse it often appears alongside alpha-pinene, which also has a distinct smell associated with pine.


This terpene, common in pine trees, lilacs, eucalyptus sap, and lime blossoms, and is also responsible for the smoky aroma in lapsang souchong tea. It can be difficult to detect this terpene in cannabis by the nose alone as it often occurs alongside alpha-pinene, which has a similar aroma. It’s used frequently in perfumes and cosmetics.

You’ll find terpineol in cultivars of cannabis like Jack Herer, Jack the Ripper, OG Kush, and Girl Scout Cookies.

Medicinally, terpineol can be an effective antibiotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anti-tumor, antimalarial, and a mild sedative. Studies have shown that terpineol is also a powerful anti-cancer agent.

If your looking for cannabis terpenes for sale, check out

Terpenes: The powerful organic compounds in cannabis you don’t know about

The unmistakable scent of fresh cannabis can provide an intoxicating aromatic experience, but from one variety to the next, smell and flavour can vary greatly, thanks to powerful compounds known as terpenes.

 You might not be familiar with the term, but you’ve definitely been around terpenes before: This diverse class of organic compounds is found in a variety of plants, and is responsible for giving things like pine trees, citrus fruits, and lavender their distinct smells.


Think about the odour of a dank U.K. Cheese variety, and then try to imagine it next to tropical notes of Lemon Haze. That difference? It’s terpenes at work.

Understanding the important healing properties that terpenes can provide is crucial in knowing just how a variety of cannabis can affect the body, especially when used in conjunction with cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

While there has been a proliferation of THC- and CBD-only products hitting the both the legal and grey markets in Canada, research has shown that when terpenes and cannabinoids work in conjunction—that is, when all the compounds of the plant are being used—cannabis is at its most effective. (Industry pros sometimes refer to this synergy among compounds as ‘the entourage effect’).

Factors like climate, weather, age, maturity, and soil all influence the way a plant develops terpenes, so even among the same cultivars, terpenes can present themselves in very different ways. (As such, take our recommendations below with a grain of salt, and just follow your nose).

Take a look through our guide below, and next time you visit your local dispensary, ask to compare a few strains side-by-side to see if you can identify some of the terpenes we’ve mentioned.

A-pinene can be found in pine needles and rosemary, to name a few.


Pinene is the most commonly found terpene in the world, and is responsible for the smell you might associate with pine needles or rosemary. It actually has two isomers, alpha- and beta-pinene. Alpha-pinene is more common in cannabis. (Beta-pinene is more reminiscent of dill, basil, and hops.)

You’ll find a-pinene in high concentrations of varieties like Bubba Kush, Dutch Treat, Jack Herer, and Trainwreck, to name a few.

A-pinene is anti-cancerous, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and also promotes brain function and improved respiration. Pinene can also counteract the negative effects of THC that some users might experience, like anxiety or short-term memory loss.

Linalool can be found in lavender and coriander.


Commonly found in flowers and spices including lavender and coriander, linalool provides a sweet, floral scent that is often found in aromatherpy products formulated for stress relief.

Varieties of cannabis that are often high in linalool include Amnesia Haze, G-13, and Grandaddy Purple, among others.

While this terpene is anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, and analgesic, it’s biggest draw is relief from stress, anxiety, and depression. Linalool can also serve as a sedative, and supports brain function.

Myrcene can be found in mangos.


While pinene might be the most common terpene in the world, myrcene is the most commonly found terpene in cannabis, sometimes composing up to 50 percent of a cannabis plant’s terpene volume. It produces an earthy, spicy, clove-like odour that can have tropical or citrus notes. (It’s also found in huge quantities in mangos.)

Find it in cultivars like Himalayan Gold, White Widow, and AK-47.

Myrcene is often referred to as the “couch-lock” terpene, for its intense sedative effects. This anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic terpene is also good for brain function, pain relief, stress, and insomnia.

Here’s an urban legend you may have already heard about, but it holds some merit: Next time you plan to consume cannabis, eat a mango about 45 minutes ahead of time. Mangos are incredibly high in myrcene, which can help THC molecules reach specialized receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, enhancing the psychoactivity and euphoria of your high.

Check Out Mr Terps for Terpenes For Sale.