What Do Terpenes Do for Your High?

Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2022
Terpenes are produced from cannabis and offer a unique way to use them for more personalized results.

Terpenes, although have psychoactive properties, do not get you high. Instead, they provide a relaxing effect and relieve pain.

  • Terpenes are not cannabinoids. However, they come from the same section of the medicinal cannabis plant as cannabinoids and have the same effect on your endocannabinoid system.
  • Terpenes can enhance the effects of cannabinoids when combined or taken with them. This is referred to as the entourage effect.
  • It is not known precisely how terpenes contribute to your high, but the entourage effect demands that the contents of a cannabis plant's extract stay unaltered.

Terpenes alter the way cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol, interact with the brain. The type of terpenes in a strain, as well as their concentration, might influence the type of high you may feel.

Terpenes used for aromatherapy can influence your mood, influencing your high. It is smooth sailing if you are high and in a good mood. Researchers are still attempting to figure out why various strains of cannabis, even those that are closely related to sativa or indica, may have such varied effects.

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are substances that stimulate your body's olfactory glands and excite your sense of smell, allowing your mind to make inferences about what your body finds pleasing naturally.

Terpenes are frequently recognized to stimulate various aspects of sensory awareness, and they may influence how you feel after inhaling or ingesting them. 

These powerful chemicals are present in all plants, including those you eat for physical and mental nutrition. This includes entire meals, such as fruits and vegetables, and the natural medicines or essential oils you use.

You may widen your awareness of terpenes by simply contemplating how other plants and plant extracts make you feel, as well as how your palate may influence your reception of various plants, including cannabis.

Terpenes produced from cannabis are unique because many individuals are now employing them to help develop more personalized results.

How are terpenes different from cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are a family of hemp and cannabis components that interact directly with cannabinoid receptors present in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is now recognized to have a role in the regulation of several activities and processes in the body, including:

The ECS is active in your body whether you are using cannabis. Cannabinoids control how cells interact or signals are transmitted, received, and processed.

Terpenes and cannabinoids improve blood flow, boost brain activity, and eliminate respiratory infections. Terpenes and cannabinoids work together to produce what is called the entourage effect. This effect outlines how various cannabinoids and terpenes mix and bind to multiple receptors in the brain to generate a distinct high.

Researchers have found that cannabinoid-terpene interactions may provide balance in the treatment of:

Another identified advantage of cannabinoid-terpene interactions is that they enhance positive cannabis effects and reduce THC-induced anxiety.


What are opioids used to treat? See Answer

5 main types of terpenes to look out for

There are about 400 terpenes, but just a few have been recognized to have the most significant effects.

The top five terpenes to look for include:

  1. Myrcene
    • The most common terpene detected in indica strains.
    • Can relieve pain and inflammation.
    • Work as a muscle relaxant and mild sedative.
  2. Pinene
    • Responsible for the natural perfume of pine trees and is the reason why certain strains smell so similar.
    • A potent anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator, commonly present in stimulating strains, such as Jack Herer.
  3. Limonene
    • Imparts the characteristic lemony scent of citrus fruits.
    • May alleviate anxiety symptoms by enhancing serotonin and dopamine levels.
    • Especially beneficial for individuals who seek energy.
    • Causes uplifting euphoria and has antibacterial properties.
    • Some studies report that it may have anticancer properties.
  4. Linalool
    • Present in lavender and is responsible for the flowery aroma in some strains.
    • Has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, pain-relieving, and sedative properties.
    • An excellent choice for individuals seeking relaxation and de-stress after a hectic day.
  5. Caryophyllene
    • Also called beta-caryophyllene and gives a spicy and peppery smell and flavor in some strains.
    • Present in black pepper and is possibly good for digestive health.
    • Is the least psychotropic but can efficiently provide a relaxed feeling and sense of overall well-being, making it valuable in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2022
Image Source: Getty image

Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7120914/

The Difference between Cannabinoids and Terpenes (and why it’s important to know). https://cannacon.org/cannabinoids-and-terpenes/

How Terpenes Affect Cannabinoids. https://cannacon.org/terpenes-affect-cannabinoids/