How to Identify Terpenes in Products When No Lab Report Is Provided

You may have noticed that different types of cannabis can have their own distinct scents. Have you ever wondered why? The unique scent that different types of cannabis flower provide comes from their terpenes. 

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are highly aromatic compounds naturally produced in plants and herbs like jasmine, rosemary, lavender, and cannabis. In nature, terpenes help to protect plants from animal grazing and infectious germs. They also help to attract pollinators. Terpenes are bioactive and depending on their concentration and how a person uses them, can offer potential health benefits. 

Now that we’ve covered what terpenes are and some of their potential health benefits, let’s talk about how you can identify different types of terpenes in products when no lab report is provided.

How to Identify Terpenes

Although many cannabis companies are now testing their products for terpenes and listing that information on their product labels, some are not. 

So, how can you identify terpenes if that information is not provided on the product labels?

  • Depending on the type of product, you may be able to determine the terpenes in your cannabis by using your sense of smell.
  • Every strain of cannabis has a unique scent that is created by that strain’s unique combination of terpenes.
  • Many dispensaries will allow you to look at and smell the cannabis flower before you purchase it. By doing so, the scent can help you determine the terpenes that might be in that strain, as well as the effects you can expect.

As a general rule of thumb, if cannabis has:

  • A fresh, minty, or citrus-like scent; it’s likely it will have a more stimulating and uplifting effect
  • An earthy or musky scent, it can tend to have more of a calming or sedating effect


Besides that, the scent of cannabis flower can also be very helpful in determining if its effects will agree with your body and endocannabinoid system.

For example, if the scent of a strain doesn’t smell appealing to you, that could be a sign that it may not work well with your system and you may not enjoy the experience. But, if the scent of a strain smells good, that could be a sign that it will go well with your system. 

Your Guide to the Sweet Smell of Terpenes

To help you out, we thought we would present a list of some terpenes along with the scents they are known for, the strains of cannabis they are found in, and their potential health benefits.

Isopulegol

Known for its minty, menthol-like smell, the terpene isopulegol is found in the essential oils of lemongrass, lemon balm, geranium, and eucalyptus. Strains of cannabis rich in isopulegol have shown to have potential health benefits that include being:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Gastroprotective
  • Anticonvulsive
  • Antiviral

Cannabis Strains Containing Isopulegol include:

  • Kosher Tangie
  • Headband
  • OG Kush 

Nerolido

Another example of a terpene with potential health benefits is Nerolidol. Known for its floral aroma with notes of citrus, apple, and rose, nerolidol is found in aromatic plants like jasmine, lemongrass, and cannabis.

Strains of cannabis rich in nerolidol have been known to have therapeutic properties that include:

  • Sedation
  • Anti-Anxiety
  • Anti-oxidant 
  • Antimicrobial

Cannabis Strains Containing Nerolidol Include: 

  • Gelato
  • Skywalker OG
  • Island Sweet Skunk 
  • Jack Herer

Bisabolol:

Bisabolol is a terpene that gives off a warm, flower-like aroma. It is said that this terpene smells like chamomile tea. Due to its pleasant scent, it is often used in herbal teas, cosmetics, and skin care products. Bisabolol is naturally found in German chamomile.

Scent: smells like chamomile tea.

Potential Health Benefits of Bisabolol Include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helping to alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial
  • Therapeutic potential for helping to treat pancreatic cancer1

Cannabis Strains Containing Bisabolol:

  • Headband
  • Mandarin Dream
  • ACDC
  • OG Kush

Ocimene:

Ocimene is a terpene that gives off  a sweet, earthy, citrus aroma with woody undertones. It is commonly found in: mint, parsley, basil, mango fruit, and orchid flowers. Due to its earthy and citrus-like aroma, ocimene is often used in perfumes, antiperspirants, soap, and shampoo. Strains of cannabis that contain the terpene Ocimene have been known to offer uplifting effects.

Scent: Sweet, fruity, citrus aroma.

Potential Health Benefits of Ocimene include:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antifungal
  • Anticonvulsant

Cannabis Strains Containing Ocimene:

  • Clementine
  • Dream Queen
  • Golden Pineapple
  • Dutch Treat

Geraniol:

Geraniol is a terpene known for its sweet aroma that includes subtle notes of rose and citrus. It is commonly found in: geranium plant, rose oil, citronella, lemon grass, and lavender. Its rose-like scent has led to its use in lotions, perfumes, soap, and detergent. Geraniol is also one of the main ingredients in citronella which is often used as a mosquito repellent. One of the most promising medical uses for geraniol is its potential to help to suppress cancer growth.2 The terpene geraniol has been known to help promote relaxation.

Scent: Sweet rose scent with notes of citrus.

Potential Health Benefits of Geraniol Include:

  • Pain reduction
  • Antioxidant & Anti-inflammatory
  • Antifungal & Antibacterial
  • Tumor reducing properties

Cannabis Strains Containing Geraniol Include:

  • Harlequin
  • Agent Orange
  • Tahoe OG
  • Black Cherry Soda

Guaiol:

Guaiol is a terpene known for its fresh, woody, and pine-like aroma, with notes of rose. It is found naturally in Cypress pine as well as in the guaiacum plant which is found in tropical and subtropical regions.

Guaiol is found in nutmeg, tea tree, cumin, ginger, and apples. Although research into guaiol’s medical potential in still in its early stages, we do know that the guaiacum tree has been used for medical purposes going back to the late 1400s–when it was used to help treat syphilis.Since then it has been used to help treat cough, congestion, arthritis, gout, and blood pressure.

Scent: Fresh, woody and pine-like aroma. 

Potential benefits of the terpene Guaiol include:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiparasitic & Antimicrobial
  • Antioxidant
  • Tumor reduction potential

Cannabis Strains containing the terpene Guaiol include:

  • Blue Kush
  • ACDC
  • Golden Pineapple
  • Chernobyl

These are just a few examples of the different terpenes that occur naturally in cannabis. Click here to learn more about the therapeutic potential of terpenes. 

Ready to Enjoy A More Complete Cannabis Experience?

When you combine the proper amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes it can create a synergetic effect known as The Entourage Effect–which creates a unique and more complete cannabis experience for each patient.

Bloom Medicinals understands this and it is the foundation of what sets us apart from most medical marijuana companies.

Through  our one-on-one patient consultations, we’ll take the time to get to know you, your qualifying conditions, symptoms, medications you’re taking, dietary restrictions, activity level, and any specific effects you are looking to experience or avoid.

Once we know that, our patient care specialists will dial in the unique blend of cannabinoids and terpenes that are right for you and your endocannabinoid system. Then, we’ll find the consumption methods and products that are the best match for your needs and lifestyle.

Click here to find a Bloom Medicinals dispensary near you and give us a call to set up your free one-on-one consultation with one of our patient care specialists today.

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28179305/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27683099/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5555855/