Updated: May 12
When you’ve encountered the unmistakable, unique, musky, skunky, and pungent aroma of cannabis, then you’ve just encountered terpenes.
Most people can smell it before they even see it. Terpenes, the aromatic compounds that determine the scent of many flowers and herbs, bestow cannabis with its distinctive odor and contribute to its flavor.
This guide will explore the various aspects of the myrcene scent, also known as β-Myrcene or Myrcene.
We have used terpenes for centuries in perfumes and personal care products. But there is more to the story, terpenes serve a protective function for the plant and may also offer some health benefits to the human body.
What is the Myrcene Scent?
Myrcene, also known as β-myrcene, is a terpene commonly found in many plants, including hops, bay leaves, and mangoes. The scent of myrcene can vary depending on the source of the terpene, but it is generally described as having a musky, earthy aroma with hints of cloves. Some people also detect a sweetness in the scent, similar to that of ripe mangoes. In high concentrations, Myrcene can also give a sedating effect, it's also used in aromatherapy for its relaxing properties.
It is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis, and it’s the single most important one. Because it helps synergize the actions of other terpenes and even cannabinoids, myrcene is a truly vital player in the cannabis ecosystem. It is known to have a strong sedative effect and may also be an effective anti-inflammatory. *
Also, research on terpenes is still ongoing, and more studies are needed to understand their full potential.
Note: Other terpenes found in cannabis that can contribute to its aroma include caryophyllene (peppery), limonene (citrusy), and pinene (piney). Some strains of cannabis can have more of these terpenes than others, which can give the buds a distinct aroma.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a class of organic compounds found in a variety of plants, including hemp and cannabis. They handle the distinct aromas of different strains of cannabis, and some research suggests they may also have therapeutic effects. Research suggest that terpenes bind to receptors in the human body and carry a variety of health benefits.*
In our Body Basic hemp-derived CBD tincture, we have blended the terpene profile to influence its effects by interacting with cannabinoids. Terpene profiles vary amongst hemp plants, influencing their unique aroma profiles. Different hemp plants will produce distinct scents based on their unique blend of terpenes.
Benefits of Terpenes
So, what are the benefits of terpenes for humans? Terpenes have been shown to cooperate with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, as well as the immune, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems*. Terpenes also support or work together with other cannabis molecules in producing desired effects. This is called the entourage effect, and it is the reason these aromatic compounds have become such a critical area of cannabis research.
Digging Into the Science – Terpene Overview
Chemical Composition of Terpenes - Terpenes are a large class of organic compounds that are found in many plants, including cannabis, conifers, citrus fruits, and other fruits, as well as in some insects.
They are composed of isoprene units and are hydrocarbons. Terpenes can be divided into several subclasses, including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, and triterpenes, depending on the number of isoprene units they contain.
Their chemical composition can be represented by the general formula C10H16. Terpenes can have various functional groups such as alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and esters, which can give them specific scents and flavors. They are also known for their medicinal properties.
Additional Terpenes in the Cannabis Plant
Some of the potential benefits of terpenes that should be explored include:
Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is known for its spicy, peppery aroma, and has been characterized by scientists for its potential therapeutic properties. It has a wide range of potential beneficial actions, most of which are based on its influence on anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.* It is also found in black pepper, cloves and other plants. Additionally, BCP is also known to be a selective agonist of the peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2, which may play a role in its therapeutic effects. *
Alpha Bisabolol – Alpha Bisabol is also known as levomenol. It is a colorless and clear oily liquid with a sweet, floral, and apple-like aroma. Some studies have shown that Alpha Bisabolol may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which may make it a potential therapeutic agent for conditions of inflammatory disorders. *
Linalool - This terpene is found in hemp, lavender, coriander, and mint and known for its floral, lavender-like aroma. Scientists have characterized it for its potential therapeutic properties that may include sedative, anti-anxiety, and anti-convulsant effects. *
Alpha – Humulene - (α-Humulene) is known for its woody, earthy aroma. Scientists have characterized α-Humulene for its potential therapeutic properties. It may have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral, anti-bacterial and appetite suppressant effects as detailed by research studies. *
Ocimene - Scientists have characterized it for its potential therapeutic antifungal and antiviral properties as well as anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects.*
Limonene – The terpene limonene is the second most common terpene found in nature. Preliminary studies have shown that limonene may have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and mood enhancing properties. * Link to research. *
Pinene – There are two main types of pinene: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. Both types have a strong pine-like aroma and are used in the production of fragrances, as well as in the food and beverage industry. The latest studies have been for their potential anti-inflammatory properties. *
HOKO Holistics and Terpenes
Our most popular HOKO Holistics™ Body Basic™ CBD tincture contains naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more. It’s our proprietary formulation to help manage everyday stresses, recovery from exercise-induced inflammation, and support a sense of calmness. * It is both powerful and smooth.
If you are interested in a premium hemp-derived CBD product with terpenes, look at our broad-spectrum CBD products. HOKO Holistics products are hemp-derived and are non-intoxicating.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
When you are ready to talk with a HOKO team member, click here to contact us.
Author, Allen Rader – LinkedIn