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The Truth About Cannabis Terpenes

Apr 8, 2024

When shopping for cannabis in Jersey City, you may have heard a budtender mention “indica, sativa, or hybrid.” These terms categorize the baseline experience expected from cannabis flower or products – but they don’t fully contribute to the effects of cannabis when consumed.

That’s where terpenes come in. 

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give cannabis (and many other plants) their distinct smells and flavors. They’re like nature’s little flavor factories, working their magic to create those unique scents we all know and love. Even more, terpenes have been researched for providing specific effects when consumed with cannabis and other cannabinoids. 

Many cannabis consumers in NJ have trouble understanding why they should care about cannabis terpenes. At The Leaf Joint, we’re all about sharing the benefits of these incredible compounds to further educate the community on finding the right fit in their cannabis journey. 

Each product on our dispensary shelf boasts a plethora of different terpene profiles, and we’re here to help you understand why they matter.

Defining Cannabis Terpenes 

When you take a walk outside, the natural essence of terpenes is all around you – not just in cannabis, but in plants, flowers, and trees. 

Terpenes are a diverse group of organic compounds that are highly volatile and found in a large variety of plant species. Found mainly in herbs, fruits, and flowers, terpenes are aromatic molecules responsible for specific scents and flavors. 

Terpenes have two important roles in nature. These compounds contribute to the distinctive scents and flavors of various plants. They also serve as a natural defense mechanism against herbivores and unwanted pathogens. Interestingly, these same terpenes can attract pollinators by producing sweet and alluring scents.

In general, there are thousands of terpenes in existence. Each one acts as a unique fingerprint in how it holds a unique aromatic profile that produces therapeutic effects.

How Do Terpenes Work in Cannabis? 

Terpenes are a significant contributor to the unique chemical flavor profiles of cannabis. A terpene profile in cannabis includes the aroma, taste, and overall experience when consumed. When consumed, this distinct combination and concentration of terpenes for each cannabis provides a unique array of effects. 

If cannabinoids are the car, terpenes are the driver. While cannabinoids such as THC or CBD will provide specific signals and psychoactive responses, terpenes will steer you into the therapeutic effect or experience felt. 


Common Terpenes in Cannabis

There are many common types of terpenes found in cannabis. From the terpenes discovered in cannabis, there are individual therapeutic benefits and effects expected from each. 

Terpenes, through their interaction with the endocannabinoid system and other physiological pathways, contribute to the overall complexity and variability of the cannabis experience, making each strain unique in its effects and potential health benefits.

Check out some of the most common terpenes you’ll find in cannabis, and what to expect from the effects of each: 


Known for its earthy and musky aroma, myrcene is often found in high concentrations in indica strains. It’s believed to contribute to sedative effects and may have anti-inflammatory properties.


As the name suggests, limonene offers a citrusy scent. It’s associated with uplifting and mood-enhancing effects. Limonene is commonly found in sativa strains and is believed to have potential anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties.


Found in pine trees, pinene gives off a fresh, piney aroma. It’s thought to have a range of potential benefits, including improved focus, increased alertness, and bronchodilation. Pinene is often found in both sativa and indica strains.


Tea trees, apples, nutmeg, and cumin share the fresh scent of terpinolene. With a spicy, peppery, and earthy combination of aromas, terpinolene’s strong therapeutic effects have been noted to inhibit tumor growth or positively impact cardiovascular health. 


This terpene has a spicy, peppery aroma and is found in herbs and spices like black pepper and cloves. Beta-caryophyllene may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and is unique among terpenes for its ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors.


With a floral and lavender-like scent, linalool is associated with calming and relaxing effects. It’s often found in strains that are used to alleviate stress, anxiety, and insomnia.


Known for its earthy and woody aroma, humulene is found in hops, cloves, and basil. It’s thought to have anti-inflammatory and appetite-suppressing properties.

As you can imagine, terpenes are not just about the smell – they also play a significant role in the effects of cannabis when consumed. And while strains with the same terpene profile may have similar characteristics, they’re not identical. Terpenes aren’t solely responsible for indica vs. sativa effects – it’s all about the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids working together.

How do terpenes affect my cannabis experience?

For consumers who prefer flower or pre-rolls, terpenes play a significant role in shaping their cannabis experience. Maximizing the effects of terpenes involves paying attention to factors such as smell and taste, as they greatly enhance the aroma and flavor of the cannabis product. 

When consuming a whole ensemble of cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis, users experience the Entourage Effect. This is the synergistic manner in which all cannabis compounds interact and influence together through their absorption and activity in the body. For instance, a cannabis strain high in myrcene may induce different effects than a strain high in pinene. It’s all about the other compounds and cannabinoids that come into play when consumed. 

When it comes to choosing the best cannabis strain at our Jersey City dispensary, it’s helpful to understand the different terpene profiles and what to expect from each. You can even tailor your personal cannabis experience by harnessing the therapeutic power of specific terpenes, such as myrcene for relaxation or limonene for energy and a boost in mood. 

Talk Terpenes at The Leaf Joint

The intricate depths of cannabis and its effects go beyond indica, sativa, or hybrid! Browse our full menu at The Leaf Joint and explore the wide variety of cannabis strains and the therapeutic effects and properties that signify each terpene profile. 

Understanding the role of terpenes in cannabis can help you personalize your high experience and harness their therapeutic powers. Our highly trained team of budtenders is here to help you navigate the realm of terpenes and help choose the best cannabis product for your desired effects. 

Want to talk more terps? Come visit our Jersey City dispensary to chat with a budtender on all things terpenes! To explore the exclusive menu of terpene-rich cannabis strains, browse The Leaf Joint dispensary menu and order for pick-up today!