CBD Crackdown Forces The James Beard Foundation To Change Course

When Los Angeles-based chef Holden Jagger announced an appearance at the James Beard House via Instagram earlier this month, he proclaimed proudly it was “a lifelong dream” and “historic moment” for the iconic institution of American food culture to host a CBD-infused feast.

Three days later, Reuters released the report, “In New York, confusion reigns in the emerging CBD edibles business,” which warned owners of restaurants and cafés to cease sales of CBD-infused food and drink products or face penalties.

Following a phone interview that same week with Jagger, he reached back out to let me know there had been a major shift in the then-titled “An Introduction to CBD Cuisine” due to legal concerns. Scheduled for May 15, it’s now instead an “An Exploration of Terpenes” where he and Rachel Burkons will present a dinner examining the molecules responsible for flavor and aroma in cannabis and how they can enhance food.

One of Jagger's creations at a recent Altered Plates cannabis pairing dinner in Los Angeles.

One of Jagger’s creations at a recent Altered Plates cannabis pairing dinner in Los Angeles.COURTESY: ALTERED PLATES

Siobhan Flaherty Haber, vice president of events at the James Beard Foundation says of the switch, “CBD is a very hot topic, but there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding cannabis, especially following new rules instituted earlier this year in NYC. Most people aren’t aware that terpenes give cannabis its distinctive smell and taste, so a dedicated dinner on the subject is a great first step for those who want to learn more about the many flavor profiles found in cannabis.”

However, the upcoming event is not the James Beard Foundation’s first foray into educating about the cannabinoid known to be less psychoactive than THC. CBD made its debut on the Beard House dinner table late last year for “A Modern Filipino Feast” featuring infused dishes from chefs Jordan Andino and Gabe Kennedy, who is also the co-founder of cannabis wellness brand Plant People.


The Burkons (he took his nickname as a chef name early-on in his career) are a brother-sister team who co-founded Altered Plates in 2016, a self-described “creative culinary collective,” who have grown into authorities among the modern cannabis food movement through their year-round calendar of private pairing dinners and infused fine dining experiences. The duo is also readying for the opening of one of the City of West Hollywood’s first-ever, licensed cannabis consumption loungesmatched with their signature brand of high-minded hospitality.

“While it’s not what we originally pitched, we are just as excited and honored to have this opportunity to still bring cannabis to the JBF table,” says Jagger. “Due to the climate of the legal space, we just have to be flexible and constantly shift the dialogue of how we actually can present the plant in a way that is acceptable — especially in states where it is not yet recreationally legal.”

An Altered Plates table scape for a private, consumption-friendly event earlier this year in Los Angeles.

An Altered Plates table scape for a private, consumption-friendly event earlier this year in Los Angeles. COURTESY: ALTERED PLATES

Despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing cannabis extracts derived from hemp, the CBD landscape is increasingly complex due to its U.S. Food and Drug Administration classification as a listed drug and unlawful stance on adding it into food and drink or distributing it as a dietary supplement. The FDA has recently stated, though, that it could make an exception and will hold a public forum on May 31 in Maryland.

Haber adds, “People have long looked to the [James Beard] Foundation as a resource for food, especially in recent years as new, progressive formats and offerings have hit the scene … and the plate. Obviously, CBD has become a point of fascination among food conscious consumers — and the industry — but a lot of questions remain. We feel like we have a responsibility, now more than ever, to provide education and perspective on the issue and Chef Jagger and his sister are so well versed in the area, we felt they were the perfect conduits for this conversation.”

As one of the few chefs that also cultivates his own cannabis, Jagger’s passion for the plant started as a teenager growing up in Southern California. He even credits pot for helping him focus to improve his grades in high school. He moved to San Francisco in 2002, working in kitchens for the next eight years and spending time off exploring Humbolt County, growing marijuana and starting to experiment with edibles. After moving back to Los Angeles, he held stints at MaudeSoho House and Craft — primarily as a pastry chef — earning accolades like Zagat’s 30 Under 30 in 2013.

“Seeing the industry first hand up in the Bay Area was super eye opening for me. I have always been very upfront and very vocal about my passion for cannabis, as it truly helped me find my role in life as a chef.”

Jagger cultivates his own cannabis in his Toluca Lake backyard and on an additional property in the area.

Jagger cultivates his own cannabis in his Toluca Lake backyard and on an additional property in the area. COURTESY: ALTERED PLATES

But don’t call Jagger a cannabis chef … or a cannabis sommelier. He prefers “ganjier,” a title he created because, “Both terms just sounded so cumbersome to me. The suffix ‘ganja’ is the magic. There’s no formal hospitality standard or guideline around this yet … no regulatory body … so I wanted to build off of what I have learned as both a chef and a cultivator to help push this idea of how we can appreciate craft cannabis in the same vein as fine wine forward.”

Jagger’s menu will spotlight five, fresh for spring dishes including: carrot–tangerine Soup with smoked parsnip, honey, and jamón; charred little gem lettuce with white icicle radish, ricotta salata, walnuts and green goddess dressing; duck carnitas with peanut, garnet yam, salsa verde, and cotija; lemongrass-braised beef short ribs with jasmine-scented barley, tamari, and soft-cured egg yolk; and thyme–lemon beignets with lemon curd.

According to Jagger, who will present different pairings for aromatic effect during each course, “Terpenes on their own are not psychoactive. They are not a scheduled substance and a major building block for food and igniting the senses. I believe cannabis is a crop … a vegetable … and like the farm-to-table movement, I celebrate responsible farmers and their techniques. I am very interested in spreading awareness through table-side activism that if cannabis is embraced in this light, it can have a tremendous effect on the future of our health and our planet.”

"An Exploration of Terpenes" will be presented by Altered Plates at the Beard House in Manhattan on May 15.

“An Exploration of Terpenes” will be presented by Altered Plates at the Beard House in Manhattan on May 15. COURTESY: JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION

Cannabis Terpene Phellandrene

Of the long list of discovered terpenes found in cannabis, only about 30 or so are relatively common in most commercial cannabis strains. Within that list, eight of the most common terpenes include: limonene, pinene, humulene, ocimene, myrcene, linalool, caryophyllene, and terpinolene. Aside from those, about 20 more sit on a list of secondary terpenes and are generally less prevalent in cannabis and less studied.

Phellandrene is one of these secondary terpenes that hasn’t received much attention from researchers. What we do know is that it represents a pair of organic compounds—alpha-phellandrene and beta-phellandrene—that are commonly derived from several eucalyptus plant species.

Phellandrene produces a minty, woody, and mildly citrus aromatic profile and it is easily absorbed, making it a fairly common additive to a host of cosmetic products. It has also been a staple in holistic Eastern medicine for a long time, used for its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Despite the lack of extensive research, there is some on this secondary terpene.

Cannabis Strains That Contain Phellandrene

Although this terpene is somewhat mysterious, cannabis legalization has opened up the possibility of examining it more. In a 2017 study, alpha-phellandrene was detected in the cannabis strains Trainwreck and Jack Herer. This was done by testing 233 samples from 30 cultivars from a California dispensary via gas chromatography.

In the study, phellandrene was classified as a secondary characteristic in strains containing high amounts of terpinolene. In a later model of the study, the strains Ace of Spades and SAGE were also found to have trace amounts of alpha- and beta-phellandrene.RELATED STORYTerpinolene: The Least-Common Common Terpene

Phellandrene’s Unique Profile

Alpha- and beta-phellandrene are a pair of organic compounds that are very similar but slightly different in their chemical structure. Prior to their discovery in the early 1900s, the phellandrenes were often misidentified as limonene and pinene. Only after the compounds were tested in eucalyptus oil was it discovered that phellandrene is actually two distinct isomeric compounds instead of one. The compound is easily absorbable, making this terpene a common additive to a host of cosmetic products.

Although most prominent in eucalyptus, phellandrene also exists in the essential oils of a variety of plants including:

  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Parsley
  • Pine
  • Lavender
  • Water fennel
  • Ginger grass
  • R

The Medical Benefits of Phellandrene

2015 rodent model study tested the stimulating properties of phellandrene alongside limonene, showing that the two terpenes exhibit both antihyperalgesic and antidepressive properties. However, it isn’t clear whether phellandrene would display these same characteristics in isolation.

Phellandrene is also believed to have other potential anti-cancer (in vitro study) and anti-inflammatory (rodent study) benefits. This early research doesn’t tell us much about phellandrene’s effects in humans, particularly at the trace levels in which it’s found in cannabis.

Buy Cannabis Terpenes

Primary Cannabis Terpenes Explained

As mentioned in our earlier Terpene series, there are more than 100 terpenes in just one cannabis flower. Here are some of the most well known terpenes right now, most of which you’ll find in legal cannabis products in your area. You can also Buy Cannabis Terpenes direct from companies like Mr Terps.


Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, which is where it’s mostly found
in nature. In fact, one study showed that myrcene makes up as much as 65% of
total terpene profile in some strains.Myrcene smell often reminds of earthy, musky notes, resembling cloves. Also, it has
a fruity, red grape-like aroma.

Strains that contain 0.5% of this terpene are usually indicas with sedative effects. It
has also been reported that myrcene is useful in reducing inflammation and chronic
pain, which is why it’s usually recommended as a supplement during cancer

Strains that are rich in myrcene are Skunk XL, White Widow, and Special Kush.
Bonus tip: If you want to experience a stronger buzz from marijuana, get yourself a
mango and eat it about 45 minutes before smoking.

Mango contains significant amount of myrcene, so eating it before consuming
cannabis will strengthen the effects of THC and increase its absorption rate


Limonene is the second most abundant terpene in all cannabis strains, but not all
strains necessarily have it.

As its name says, limonene gives strains a citrusy smell that resembles lemons,
which is no surprise as all citrus fruits contain large amounts of this compound.
Limonene is used in cosmetics and also in cleaning products.

For therapeutic purposes, limonene is known to improve mood and reduce stress.
Researchers also found it to have antifungal and antibacterial properties and one
research even found it to have a role in reducing tumor size.

Strains that have “lemon” or “sour” in their name are usually rich in limonene.
High levels of limonene can be found in strains like O.G. Kush, Sour Diesel, Super
Lemon Haze, Durban Poison, Jack Herer, and Jack the Ripper.


This terpene is the most responsible for the recognizable marijuana smell with its
spicy and floral notes.
Linalool is also found in lavender, mint, cinnamon and coriander. What’s interesting
is that just like those aromatic herbs, it has very strong sedative and relaxing

Patients suffering from arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia and even cancer,
have all found aid in this amazing terpene.
Some well known linalool strains are Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, Lavender, LA
Confidential, and OG Shark.


Best known for its spicy and peppery note, caryophyllene is also found in black
pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and spices like oregano, basil and rosemary.
Beta-caryophyllene binds to CB2 receptors, which makes it an ingredient in
anti-inflammatory topicals and creams. Caryophyllene is the only terpene that binds
to cannabinoid receptors.

Besides its analgesic and anti-anxiety properties, some studies have found that
caryophyllene has some very promising properties when it comes to alcoholism

A group of scientists performed research on mice and found that this terpene
reduces voluntary intake of alcohol. They even recommended caryophyllene for
treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

You can benefit from caryophyllene by using strains like Super Silver Haze,
Skywalker and Rock Star.

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pineneThese two terpenes smell like pine trees and that’s also where they can be found in
large amounts. Other plants rich in pinene include rosemary, orange peels, basil,
parsley and cannabis of course.

Like many other, pinene terpenes have an anti-inflammatory effect on humans.
But more importantly, they help improve airflow and respiratory functions, while
also helping to reduce memory loss related to THC. I know that this can sound
weird because we’re talking about cannabis, but if the strain is rich in alpha and
beta pinene, it can actually help with asthma.

Pinene also helps patients with arthritis, Crohn’s disease and cancer.
You can find pinene in strains like Jack Herer, Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream,
Island Sweet Skunk, Dutch Treat and Romulan.

Alpha-bisabolol (also known as levomenol and bisabolol) has a pleasant floral
aroma and can also be found in chamomile flower and candeia tree.
This terpene found its use primarily in the cosmetics industry, but lately it has
caught the attention of researchers since it showed medical benefits, especially in

Alpha-bisabolol proved to be effective in treating bacterial infections and wounds
and is a great antioxidant with anti-irritation and analgesic properties.
It can be found in strains like Harle-Tsu, Pink Kush, Headband, OG Shark, and

Also known as cineole, eucalyptol is the primary terpene of the eucalyptus tree. It
has recognizable minty and cool tones in its smell but most cannabis strains do not
contain large amounts of it. It usually makes up around 0.06% of a strains
complete terpene profile.

This terpene has been used in cosmetics as well as medicine. When it comes to its
medical value, eucalyptol relieves pain but also slows the growth of bacteria and

Although it is still in the early stages in research, this terpene has shown some
promising effects on Alzheimer’s as well.
Eucalyptol can be found in Super Silver Haze and Headband.


This one is a secondary terpene found mostly in flowers like jasmine, lemongrass,
and tea tree oil. The smell of trans-nerolidol reminds of a mixture of rose, citrus
and apples and can be described in general as woody, citrus and floral.

Trans-nerolidol is best known for its antiparasitic, antioxidant, antifungal,
anticancer and antimicrobial properties.

Strains like Island Jack Herer, Sweet Skunk, and Skywalker OG are rich in nerolidol.

Humulene was the first terpene found in hops. Its aroma contains earthy, woody
and spicy notes.

Besides cannabis, it can be also found in clove, sage, and black pepper.
It has a variety of medical properties. Early research has shown humulene to be
anti-proliferative, meaning it prevents cancer cells from growing. Also, it proved to
be effective in suppressing appetite, making it a potential weight loss tool.
Furthermore, like many other terpenes mentioned above, it also reduces
inflammation, relieves pain and fights bacterial infections.

You can find humulene in strains like White Widow, Headband, Girl Scout Cookies,
Sour Diesel, Pink Kush and Skywalker OG.

Delta 3 Carene

This terpene is found in a number of plants like rosemary, basil, bell peppers, cedar
and pine. Its aroma is sweet and resembles the smell of cypress tree.
When it comes to the medical side of carene, it seems to be mostly beneficial in
healing broken bones. That gives hope to patients suffering from osteoporosis,
arthritis and even fibromyalgia.

What is also interesting about this terpene is that it stimulates our memory and
helps memory retention. This is a major point in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s


The best way to describe the smell of camphene is fir needles, musky earth and
damp woodlands. Camphene aroma is often mistaken with myrcene, which is that
trademark marijuana smell as most of us know it.
From the medical point of view, camphene has great potential. When mixed with
vitamin C, it becomes a powerful antioxidant.

It is widely used in conventional medicine as a topical for skin issues like eczema
and psoriasis.

Its greatest potential lies in its ability to lower the levels of cholesterol and
triglycerides in the blood, further lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Camphene is present in Ghost OG, Strawberry Banana, Mendocino Purps.

Borneol, with its herbal minty scent, can be found in herbs like rosemary, mint and

This terpene is a good natural insect repellent which makes it great in preventing
diseases like the West Nile virus, being passed by ticks, fleas, mosquitoes etc.
One study found that borneol kills breast cancer cells. It’s also widely used in
Chinese traditional medicine, in acupuncture to be precise.

Strains high in borneol are Amnesia Haze, Golden Haze, K13 Haze.


The aroma of terpineol can be best described as floral-like, reminiscent of lilacs,
apple blossom, and a little bit citrusy. Terpineol tastes like anise and mint.
Terpineol has a pleasant scent, similar to lilac, and is a common ingredient in
perfumes, cosmetics, and flavors.

It relaxes heavily and it’s usually the one responsible for the notorious couch lock
effect. Medical benefits of terpineol also include antibiotic and antioxidant

It can be found Girl Scout Cookies, Jack Herer, and OG Kush strains.


This terpene got its name from sweet Valencia oranges — where it’s been found in
large amounts. With its sweet citrusy aromas and flavors, it’s used as an insect
repellant, too.

Valencene can be found in strains like Tangie and Agent Orange.


Besides cannabis, geraniol can be found in lemons and tobacco. Its smell reminds
of rose grass, peaches and plums.

It’s usually used in aromatic bath products and body lotions.
Geraniol has shown a lot of potential as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant.

It’s present in strains like Amnesia Haze, Great White Shark, Afghani, Headband,
Island Sweet Skunk, OG Shark and Master Kush.



In addition to the terpenes found in medical cannabis strains, these compounds are also produced and found in a large array of other plants. Each terpene contributes to the plant’s aroma, texture and flavour, albeit some more than others. Each strain contains its own specific range of terpenes, which add their own unique properties. Not only do they modify the effects of THC and other cannabinoids, but they have also been shown to increase a strain’s medicinal properties.  Buy Cannabis Terpenes from Mr Terps.

While there are many more terpenes than the ones listed below, some of the most prominent and common terpenes in cannabis strains include the following:

Caryophyllene: Common in two main forms, beta caryophyllene, also commonly seen as β-Caryophyllene or abbreviated to BCP, and trans-caryophyllene or TC. Aside from cannabis, this terpene can be found in clove, black pepper and cotton.

Humulene: Found naturally in ginger, hops and sage, this terpene is known for its earthy, woody aroma and flavour.

Limonene: Known for its citrus aroma and flavour, this terpene is found in high concentrations in citrus fruit rinds, juniper, and rosemary.

Linalool: This terpene is found in many flowers and spice plants, such as lavender, coriander, and basil – which explains its floral scent.

Myrcene: The smallest of all terpenes and yet the most abundant in cannabis, Myrcene can be found in mangoes, hops and thyme. It produces a spicy, balsamic flavour and aroma.

Pinene: A terpene found primarily in cannabis and conifers, which smells strongly of pine.

Terpene Code

In the grand scheme of cannabis cultivation, few things have been as exciting as continually developing laboratory practices that let us know which compounds are driving the flavor profiles and effects we love.

Master cultivators and breeders use this lab data to produce the heaviest terpene profiles of the winningest strains. Apart from a reasonable amount of cannabinoids and not ruining them in post-production, terpenes are the third leg on the table that holds up world-class cannabis. These days, certain terpenes are associated with varying experiences of both the body and mind. Below are three award-winning strains that demonstrate the importance of terpenes when raising a champion.

Award winning weed strain with beta-caryophyllene: zkittlez
(Matt Stangel for Leafly)

Grown by: 3rd Gen Fam / Dying Breed Seeds

Dominant terpenes: Beta-caryophyllene (0.75%); humulene (0.33%)

The strain that demonstrated how good outdoor-grown can be, the terpenes of Zkittlez—more than its THC—places the strain in the winner’s circle time and again. And the stand-out terp of Zkittlez is beta-caryophyllenelab reports show. It’s so iconic, they train police dogs on the smell.

Beta-caryophyllene’s peppery, dank, herbaceous complexity combines with a diverse mix of secondary terpenes captained by humulene—the earthy, woody, hoppy terpene—as well as floral linalool.

Buy Zkittlez Terpenes

Rozé: Myrcene

California Black Roze. Courtesy of Dying Breed Seeds. Photo by Kandid Kush.

Grown by: 3rd Gen Fam / Dying Breed Seeds

Dominant terpenes: Pinene (0.87%); myrcene (0.45%)

There’s nothing heavier than a THC-dominant strain with a lot of myrcene, as it contributes to the tranquilizing body high of cannabis. But that is simply some people’s cup of tea, and Rozé is serving myrcene up hot, lab reportsshow.

“There are not many terps left on the flavor wheel that have not already been discovered. The art of winning is in selection.”

Zkilltez’s offspring, Rozé, blew up after a big run at the 2017 Emerald Cup. It beat out hundreds of entries, only to lose to Lemon Crush.

Balancing out myrcene’s couchlock effect is the alerting terpene pinene. Both are bronchodilators that open up the airways and can decrease inflammation. It’s proper forest therapy in jar.

Finding trophy-level terps started early for the growers, Third Gen Family and Dying Breed Seeds team.

To find Zkittlez’s best offspring, they started in early in the growing season, going out in the early morning when terpenes are loudest.

“It all goes back to being able to classify stuff as undeniably different,” Brandon of 3rd Gen told Leafly. “When you’re looking for new things, you have to be looking with an open mind, because there are not many terps left on the flavor wheel that have not already been discovered. The art of winning is in selection.”

Super Lemon Haze: Limonene

Award winning weed strain with myrcene: roze
C.R.A.F.T.. Super Lemon Haze comes straight from the source in Amsterdam. (Courtesy CRAFT/SC Labs)

Grown by: C.R.A.F.T. Bay Area

Dominant terpenes: Beta-caryophyllene (0.48%); limonone (0.44%)

For those who don’t drink coffee, few things in the world are as uplifting as a strain packed with the lemony goodness of limonene. Its flavor profile—as expressed in award-winning California samples of Super Lemon Haze—has kept the strain at the top of the food chain for 10 years since it won back-to-back Cannabis Cups in Amsterdam.

Americans in Amsterdam like California cultivators C.R.A.F.T. scooped up Super Lemon Haze and hunted down rare offspring to take to market. We asked C.R.A.F.T. founder Alan if he thought it would hold up the way it has.

“Yes!” he told Leafly, “[We] planted 50 seeds from Greenhouse Seed Company back in 2007, and picked the number one stunna we have now. This cut has more electric candy [genetics] of Lemon Skunk versus the piney sharpness of [its] mom, Super Silver Haze.”

Lab data shows limonene as the number two terpene by volume, behind beta-caryophyllene, in C.R.A.F.T.’s Cup-winning sativa. By contrast, surveys of Washington cannabis samples found less limonene and more terpinolene. Multiple terpenes combine to create cannabis’ lemon smell.