What Are CBD Terpenes? Types, Benefits, and Uses

If you’re anything like most people, you’re probably seeing CBD pop up everywhere and in everything, from gummies and capsules to shampoos and lotions. And if you haven’t experienced the joys of having all your friends, family, or coworkers tell you about how CBD helped to instantly relieve discomfort, soothe tension, support their emotional health, or whatever -- then get ready because it’s coming.* 

That being said, the world of CBD comes along with some of its own lingo that many of us might not know. For example, the word “terpene.”  

Simply put, terpenes are natural compounds found in all forms of cannabis and hemp—and throughout the natural plant world—that give the versatile hemp plant its bouquet of smells.

Interested in learning more? We can help. Read on to discover everything you need to know about CBD terpenes, including the different types, benefits, and uses. 

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are compounds found in many different plants, typically responsible for their aromas. Think of the smell of fresh fruits and veggies in your kitchen, the enticing aroma of flowers from your garden, or your favorite body fragrance of choice. Terpenes are what you smell, and knowing what they are is sure to deepen your appreciation of cannabis. 

You see, some studies suggest that terpenes may have antioxidant effects, which means they might boost the effects of your favorite cannabinoids, like CBD.* Many different terpenes have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years, which lends credibility to their use in holistic applications. 

OK, What Are Terpenes in CBD Oil?

Good question. Some types of CBD extract -- such as broad-spectrum CBD oil -- preserve the terpenes that are naturally present in cannabis. When present in CBD oil, terpenes add natural flavoring as well as provide some degree of added aroma. 

Wait, Are Terpenes the Same Thing as Cannabinoids?

Many people tend to confuse terpenes and cannabinoids or use the terms interchangeably, but the truth is that they are not the same thing. 

Terpenes include only the aromatic compounds that give plants their distinct scents. Cannabinoids, on the other hand, are compounds that act on your endocannabinoid system and are touted for providing remarkable effects.* For instance, THC is the popular cannabinoid that gets you “high,” and CBD is the beloved cannabinoid often used for its incredible discomfort-relief, tension-soothing, and emotional support properties.* 

While both cannabinoids and terpenes are bioactive (they affect the human body), your body processes the two types of compounds differently.

Terpenes alone probably don’t contribute to measurable physical or mental euphoria effects, although some research suggests that terpenes may enhance the effects induced by CBD. 

What Are the Different Types of Terpenes and Their Benefits?

Currently, there are at least 20,000 different terpenes in existence, and scientists have discovered over 200 terpenes in cannabis alone. While we don’t have time to cover all 200+ terpenes, let’s take a look at some of the most prominent ones. 


First on the list is myrcene, which happens to be the primary terpene found in cannabis. In fact, some plants can have up to a whopping 65 percent of their terpene profile made up by myrcene alone. This powerful terpene is thought to have relaxing properties as well as tension-soothing properties.* 


Humulene is a common terpene found in the cannabis plant and has an earthy, woody, and slightly spicy herbal scent. This powerful terpene is soothing, cleansing and is thought to work as an appetite suppressant.* 


Pinene is the most prevalent terpene in the world and has incredible soothing properties. It's been known to promote alertness, support memory, and support respiratory function.* 


Limonene smells like -- you guessed it -- lemons. This remarkable terpene has incredible properties and might help elevate mood, relieve tension, and cleanse and clean.* Plus, it also improves absorption of other terpenes and body-nourishing compounds found in your favorite CBD oil, which makes it great in strains that you use for tinctures, ointments, and other topicals.* 


Linalool is the reason why lavender smells like, well, lavender! Scientists believe that this powerful terpene could even be responsible for lavender’s sleep-promoting effects.* Linalool is also an antioxidant and may have mood-balancing benefits.*  


Terpinolene is present in an odd assortment of plants, including mint species, citrus fruits, juniper, and parsnips. It’s tough to pin down the exact flavor profile of this elusive terpene -- one moment, it smells like citrus, and then the next moment, it smells like flowers. What we do know is that terpinolene could be the terpene responsible for the calming effects commonly associated with CBD.*   


Caryophyllene has a soothing effect (like most terpenes found in CBD), as well as antioxidant effects.* Another unbelievable attribute of this terpene is its ability to potentially help reduce stress levels in the body and help reduce long-term harmful effects of stress.*

Does All CBD Contain Terpenes, and What’s the Best Way To Consume Terpenes?

Nope -- not all CBD products contain terpenes. Cannabis and hemp naturally produce a number of terpenes, which is why so many strains smell so different from one another. So if your CBD is derived from cannabis or hemp, then it might contain terpenes as well. However, it all depends on whether your CBD oil has been isolated or if it’s what is usually called full- or broad-spectrum oil. 

 These beloved types of oils contain CBD that has been extracted from hemp along with everything else that’s in there, terpenes and all. The difference between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum boils down to one single compound: THC. 

Full-spectrum oil is made with THC, while broad-spectrum oil forgoes the intoxicating ingredient. On the other hand, CBD isolates have stripped away everything that isn't a pure CBD molecule. So if you’re looking to reap the benefits of body-nourishing terpenes found in CBD, skip the isolate.  

Across all of our products here at Healist, we have custom terpene blends added to our drops and chews, and we’ve chosen to use the highest quality, organic broad-spectrum hemp extract. As the name suggests, broad-spectrum hemp extract not only contains high levels of CBD but includes other healing cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, CBC, and CBDA, as well as therapeutic compounds like terpenes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that work in synergy with each other to power your body as nature intended.* This phenomenon is known as the desired “entourage effect.” 

Unlike its counterpart -- full-spectrum hemp extract, which contains around 0.3% THC -- our broad-spectrum hemp extracts contain undetectable levels of THC, i.e. less than 0.0%. While both full- and broad-spectrum CBD oil have their pros and cons, broad-spectrum is an extremely popular choice, especially for those living in states that don’t allow any trace of THC

A Final Word 

To find out about the terpenes in your favorite CBD oil, make sure the product has been tested by a third-party lab and has a valid Certificate of Analysis (COA). This will give you a much better chance of knowing whether it contains terpenes -- and if so, which ones!

On every Healist product, you’ll find a QR code and batch code that will allow you to view all lab reports so you can see exactly what goes into each and every product-- including terpenes. Our pact to you is total transparency. We’re taking action against misinformation, deceptive labeling, white lies, and soft truths to equip you with all you need to stay informed. 

Whether you’re looking to soothe tension, promote better sleep, or find quick relief from discomfort, Healist is here to help with 100% clean and natural ingredients, always 100% benefit-focused products.*