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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.

Collegian Blogger Dylan Simonson can be reached online at or on Twitter @DylanSimonson0.


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