What Are Terpenes? – Their effects and benefits

Terpenes are the natural aromatic compounds found in plants that give them distinctive aromas and flavors. They are incredibly important for a plant’s survival. Terpenes have two main functions in plants; protecting against predators such as insects and animals while also helping the plant cope and adapt to environmental stressors such as high temperatures. 

In order to protect against insects and plant eating animals, plants produce terpenes which are bitter compounds that repel them. At the same time, plants can produce compounds that attract pollinating insects or those that feed on plant eating bugs.

Terpenes and their production increase when a plant is under heat stress. When the temperature rises to a point where a plant is stressed, terpenes are released to increase the hemp plant’s thermotolerance (the ability to withstand hot temperatures). Research suggests that terpene production allows the plant to cool itself and maintain an even temperature

When you’re snacking on an orange, you notice the wonderful smell and effervescence that hits your nose as you peel it. Those are terpenes. Or how about fresh mint as you chop it and the fresh smell that envelopes your senses? Yup, terpenes. Or in the morning on a nature walk as the smell of pine hits you as you navigate a path through trees and bushes. 

Terpenes are the natural aromatic compounds found in plants that give them distinctive aromas and flavors. They are incredibly important for a plant’s survival.

Science has found thousands of terpenes in the world. Not only do most terpenes smell great, they also share another near-universal trait: they’re antimicrobial, meaning they can help defend against potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.


What’s good for the plant might be good for your body too.

One of the better known classifications of terpenes in the cannabis plant are monoterpenes. They are the smallest of terpenes and are commonly known to be the main component of essential oils. Monoterpenes have also been evaluated as showing strong antiviral activity based on studies, one of many properties that the body may be able to benefit from.

If there’s one resource that can come in handy for learning even more about the benefits of terpenes, a terpenes chart is an excellent place to start. A terpene chart breaks down the terpene profile, in other words the benefits, effects, and aromas of some of the most common terpenes found in nature. These includes: Limonene, Humulene, Pinene, Linalool, Caryophyllene and Myrcene.

Let’s use humulene as an example. According to a terpenes chart, you’ll learn that the terpene profile of humulene consists of its ability to provide anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anticancer properties to the body. While each type of terpene in any given plant has their own unique properties and benefits, a terpene chart can help you determine which speaks to what your body needs.

These, and dozens of other terpenes, also occur naturally in hemp, and it’s widely believed that, of all plants, hemp has the highest concentration of terpenes.


Now that you get the gist of some of the benefits terpenes can provide to the body, you might be curious about the best ways to consume terpenes so you can experience the benefits for yourself. One of the ways you can consume terpenes is straightforward and simple—in their natural form. Like we mentioned earlier, terpenes play a large role in the ability for plants to be able to thrive in their natural environment. Citrus fruits, basil, thyme and sage, are examples of plants that are sources of terpenes.

Another way, and one of the more common ways to consume terpenes is through full-spectrum hemp. The cannabis plant has a high concentration of terpenes for you to be able to experience terpenes’ effects.While there are over 100 different terpenes, a select few take the prize for being dominant in the hemp plant.


While there are over 100 different terpenes, a select few take the prize for being dominant in the hemp plant.

These include: myrcene, beta caryophyllene, limonene, linalool and alpha-pinene.

  • Myrcene is found to be the most abundant terpene in hemp. Its scent is earthy, sweet and somewhat clovelike. Many plant foods contain myrcene including mango, hops, lemongrass, thyme, and guava melon. It is known to have significant medical benefits including; analgesic/anti-­inflammatory, anti­-proliferative/anti­-mutagenic properties, suppress muscle spasms, be an excellent sleep aid, and have antibacterial properties as well.
  • Beta Caryophyllene is a terpene best found in black pepper, rosemary and cloves. The terpene is used in the treatment regimens of inflammation, pain, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis. It is also commonly used in herbal medicine to treat pain and known to possess anesthetic properties.
  • Limonene is a terpene that is best described as “easy to understand” given it has a citrus scent. Plants that contain high amounts of limonene include orange trees, grapefruit trees, lime and lemon trees. The medical benefits of limonene may include antidepressant/mood elevator, antimicrobial/antifungal, may be helpful for acid reflux or indigestion, and even stimulate the immune system.
  • Linalool is a floral terpene and commonly used in aromatherapy (oils & cosmetics). The terpene resides in more than 200 flowering plants. Within the hemp plant, linalool is widely used for its relaxing, stress-relieving effects while being an excellent mood modulating agent. Many consumers understand that its effects are powerful and that just a quick smell of it can calm the body and mind. Boosts metabolism, energy, and focus
  • Alpha-Pinene, often referred to just as pinene or written α-pinene is a colorless, organic oil with a fresh, earthy pine forest scent. This terpene is often hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties. We commonly use alpha-pinene herbs to accent our food including parsley, dill, basil, rosemary, and some varieties of citrus.


While we know that Terpenes work in conjunction with other parts of the plant, their true powers are uniquely supportive of nature and human health.

More than 100 different terpenes have been discovered in the hemp plant and we know there is much to learn about their impact when working in conjunction with cannabinoids and flavonoids. Science has much work to do in clarifying their exact mechanisms, but for sure, these compounds make our lives possible on so many levels.

Research has revealed that they may boost mood, decrease stress, support sleep, enhance alertness, and reduce inflammation. They may also adjust the strength of individual cannabinoids to enhance other positive effects of CBD.

There is much to learn about their impact when working in conjunction with cannabinoids and flavonoids.


If you’re looking to experience the health benefits of terpenes, Zolt offers a range of functional superdrink mixes products that support mood, mind, and body. Our superdrinks feature different terpene profiles and blends of superplants to meet your functional wellness needs.

Here are a few of our superdrinks and their featured terpene profiles:

  • Dreamy +Collagen Boost has an indica profile of 22 terpenes and supports sleep and reduces stress with help from melatonin, GABA, and SerinAid®; rejuvenates hair, skin, and nails thanks to hyaluronic acid and tremella mushroom; and promotes relaxation and recovery with organic KSM-66 ashwagandha
  • Even +Collagen Boost has a hybrid profile of 25 terpenes and rejuvenates hair, skin, and nails with hyaluronic acid and tremella mushroom; promotes calm and equilibrium thanks to its hybrid terpene complex; and supports gut health with organic agave inulin.
  • Well +Collagen Boost has a hybrid profile of 21 terpenes along with adaptogens and antioxidants to support the immune system; improve hair, skin, and nail health; improve cognition; and bolster overall wellbeing.
  • Peak +Mushroom Complex has a sativa profile of 17 terpenes and improves concentration and cognition with its sativa terpene complex and choline; reduces stress and lessens fatigue with organic lion’s mane and organic reishi mushroom; and boosts energy and metabolism thanks to its organic vitamin B blend and green tea.

The power of plant terpenes are too powerful to ignore. If you’re ready to elevate your wellness routine, Zolt’s here to help.