What are Terpenes? The Aroma Molecules Behind Your Favorite Plants

Posted by Flora Sophia on

Here at Flora Sophia, everything we make is full-spectrum, offering the benefits of naturally-occurring cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes in addition to CBD. But what exactly does that mean? 

We've covered what full spectrum CBD means in the past, but now it's time to dive deeper into one of the most important components of Full Spectrum CBD - terpenes. They form the organic symphony of scents in plants, offering much more than just a delightful bouquet. Found in everything from hemp and cannabis to lavender, lemons, and pine trees, terpenes are the essence of holistic medicine.

What Are Terpenes?

Don't worry, you are not alone. Many people are unaware of terpenes and their effects. Terpenes are a vast class of organic compounds, specifically volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons, found in a whole host of plants, especially conifers, citrus, and hemp/cannabis. Found in the essential oils of a plant, terpenes are what give plants its unique flavor and aroma alongside therapeutic benefits. Any time you smell a rose or the burst of oils produced when you squeeze a lemon, you are actually smelling the combination of terpenes in that flower or fruit.

In the natural world, terpenes serve a multitude of purposes. They can attract pollinators, repel herbivores, and even protect the plant from bacteria and fungi. For humans, however, terpenes are often enjoyed for their aromatic and beneficial properties. There are thousands of different terpenes, but we will cover some of the more common ones.

Different Flavors of Terpenes

Each terpene has its own distinct profile with identified effects on the body and mind. There is  more research to be done to fully comprehend the effects of each unique terpene. Still, there is already a lot known about terpenes and their potential benefits. Understanding these unique terpenes can help you better understand the science at work when consuming full-spectrum CBD products, which are naturally rich in terpenes.


Commonly found in hops, thyme, and lemongrass, Myrcene is universally one of the most abundant terpenes in many hemp and cannabis strains. Myrcene has an earthy, fruity, and clove-like aroma. It is recognized for its sedative properties. In combination with high levels of CBD, Myrcene has been linked to the “couch-lock” feeling, ideal for relaxation and sleep.


In addition to being present in many hemp strains, Limonene is found in citrus fruits and is often associated with a mood-boost and increased energy levels. Feeling a bit blue? The zesty scent of lemons might just lift your spirits! It may also have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Limonene in full-spectrum CBD may play a pivotal role in improving mood and we find strains higher in limonene are better at increasing focus and energy.


Linalool is not commonly one of the most abundant terpenes in hemp, but significant levels are still sometimes present. Linalool is very abundant in lavender and is responsible for lavender’s reputation for being relaxing. With its calming profile, Linalool is often used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety. Beyond the mind, it may also assist in reducing inflammation. Linalool present in CBD oil contributes to the entourage effect and supports calming effects.


Pinene, as the name suggests, is a terpene that brings the fresh, potent scent of pine and fir trees into our lives. This wonderful terpene is also found in rosemary, basil, some citrus fruits, and of course hemp and cannabis. The aroma of Pinene is like taking a deep breath in a lush forest, clearing your mind and refreshing your senses. Beyond its fragrance, Pinene has been studied for its potential ability to act as a bronchodilator, making breathing easier, and its anti-inflammatory properties. It's these effects that make Pinene-rich environments so rejuvenating and why we treasure the presence of Pinene in our full-spectrum CBD products—inviting a piece of nature's tranquility into your routine.

The Scent of Healing

Here at Flora Sophia, we have always championed the term "entourage effect" – the idea that the combination of various compounds in hemp, including terpenes, work synergistically to enhance or moderate the effects of CBD. Terpenes are the aromatic "sidekicks," helping  shape the experience, whether that's a serene calm, invigorating uplift, or a restful night's sleep. 

Products made with CBD that is not full spectrum do not reap the benefits of terpenes, and result in a product that is less effective. This is why we will always stay true to our commitment to full-spectrum CBD.

Terpenes Beyond Hemp and Cannabis

While hemp and cannabis certainly get a lot of press for terpenes and their effects, there are many other plants with terpenes that can serve as a beneficial addition to your wellness routine. These terpenes can still be found in hemp but they are not as common. Here are a few examples:


This terpene is found in high quantities in eucalyptus and offers not only a distinctive aroma but also potential for respiratory relief. Eucalyptol is often a star ingredient in products designed to combat coughs and clear congestion.


This multifaceted terpene is associated with sedative, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. While it isn't as regularly researched as other terpenes, its profile suggests it may have health benefits, such as in stress-reducing applications.


This terpene's name comes from 'Humulus lupulus,' which is the Latin botanical name for hops — an excellent indication of where it's most commonly found. Known for its anti-inflammatory and appetite-suppressing qualities, it may offer health benefits to those looking to curb cravings or support weight management.

Connecting with Nature's Fragrance

Terpenes are not just trendsetters in the world of aromatherapy and cannabis/hemp culture; they're gateway molecules to understanding the vast ways plants interact with our bodies. As research continues, we will learn more about the effect and application of different terpenes. 

While there is a lot to be said about these terpenes on their own, we believe in the power of them together. The hemp we grow and oil we extract from those plants boasts a robust terpene composition resulting in products that deliver more calm, joy and wellness into the world.

Next time you open one of our tinctures, or bite into our delicious gummies, let your senses navigate the complexity of the profile. When the effects start to kick in, remember, this is only possible with full-spectrum CBD rich in terpenes.

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