When you’re ready to look beyond the standard vape juice selections and start custom-making your own liquids, it can be helpful to have a few different terpene flavors in your collection. But where do you start? The first step is to know your terpenes.
Here, we explain the role of terpenes in vaping and provide a handy terpenes list complete with isolates and recommended blends for each one to get you started. While some terpene blends are more popular in general, the essentials that you’ll want to have on hand greatly depend on your tastes, your personality, and what you’re hoping to get out of your vape. Let’s start with a quick review of what terpenes are, and then we’ll jump into our top seven terpenes list!
Terpenes: The Essence of an Aroma
Found in the resin of every plant, terpenes are the aromatic chemicals that give each flower, tree, fruit, and cannabis strain its unique flavor and aromatic profile. Terpenes are what make spices smell spicy, lemons taste sour, and bananas taste sweet. In vaping, we use terpenes as an emulsifier to turn cannabis concentrates and extracts into a liquid that can be vaped.
Terpenes and Cannabinoids Working Together
In addition to playing a major role in the aroma and vaping of cannabis, the unique terpenes present in each strain (see examples in our terpenes list below) interact with each other and with the cannabinoids to influence the way that each one behaves in the body. This is known as the “entourage effect.”
For example, terpenes can increase or decrease the uptake of THC in the brain and change the intensity of your high; this is just one reason why it’s so important to know your terpenes. These organic chemicals also have medicinal properties of their own, many of which are being researched for their therapeutic potential. Let’s take a look at seven of the most abundant terpenes in cannabis and the effects they can have on your vape.
Top Seven Terpenes List
The most abundant terpene in cannabis and the first on our terpenes list is myrcene. This monoterpene can make up as little as 0.5% and as much as 50% of the total terpene content of a cannabis strain and is especially popular for its sedative and pain-relieving properties. If you add a myrcene-strong terpene blend to your vape, it’s important to be aware that this terpene isolate can contribute to the “couch lock” effect.
Myrcene in the Plant World
Where can myrcene be found in nature apart from cannabis? Myrcene is present to varying degrees in:
In fact, anecdotal evidence indicates that eating a ripe mango about 45 minutes before cannabis ingestion can accelerate the onset of THC’s psychoactive effects!
What is the flavor of myrcene? If you know your terpenes and are looking for a relaxing cannabis strain that is high in myrcene, look out for earthy and musky tones that are similar to cloves. Strains of cannabis that are especially high in myrcene include Blue Dream and Sour Diesel.
The second isolate on our terpenes list is pinene, which is the terpene that occurs most frequently in the natural world. While this terpene has two forms—alpha-pinene and beta-pinene—alpha-pinene is the most commonly found form in cannabis.
Supported by anecdotal evidence, pinene is thought to contribute to cerebral effects when vaped, such as:
- Heightened short-term memory
As part of the synergistic or “entourage effect,” pinene is also thought to lesson paranoia and some of the other adverse effects of THC. Research-wise, this item on our terpenes list is being investigated for uses with respiratory conditions such as asthma as well as having potential as an anti-inflammatory.
Pinene in the Plant World
In nature, pinene can be found in pine trees as well as in a number of herbs:
Next on our terpenes list is limonene. Smelling of citrus, this terpene is found in many popular cannabis strains, household cleaning products, and cosmetics. Representing 1 – 2% of the terpene content in these strains, limonene is thought to provide a boost in mood and relief from stress. Medicinally, limonene has potential benefits for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as helping with reflux, inflammation, and cancer.
Limonene in Nature
Limonene is one of the most abundant terpenes in fruit rinds—especially citrus. This isolate (third on our terpenes list) is also found in herbs such as rosemary, juniper, and peppermint.
It’s important to know your terpenes and be careful not to assume that a lemon-scented terpene blend contains limonene. There are actually a number of terpenes that can contribute to a citrusy aroma—including myrcene, caryophyllene, terpinolene, and humulene.
Lab-tested cannabis strains and terpene blends that generally contain high levels of limonene include:
If there’s an isolate on our terpenes list that is famous for pain relief, it’s caryophyllene—specifically beta-caryophyllene. Smelling of fragrant spices like black pepper and cloves, this unique terpene has a cannabinoid-like effect on the body when vaped or ingested—making it an especially interesting candidate for research.
So far, studies indicate that caryophyllene can reduce pain in mice and also make lower doses of morphine more effective. Another mouse study showed that beta-caryophyllene reduced the accumulation of brain plaques that is common in Alzheimer’s disease.
Which Strains Have the Highest Concentration?
If you feel like you know your terpenes and want to try beta-caryophyllene in your vape blend, here is a short terpenes list of blends that contain this cannabinoid-like chemical:
Next on our terpenes list is the monoterpene linalool. Present in over 200 plant types, this floral terpene isolate smells of lavender with spicy undertones. Unlike many cannabinoids, linalool exits the body quickly and doesn’t accumulate in the fatty tissues of the body and brain. In fact, it is so common and easily processed by the body that most people consume 2 grams of linalool annually through their diets without even knowing!
Medicinal Benefits of Linalool
Several studies have been conducted involving linalool that are of particular interest to vaping enthusiasts. According to these studies, linalool appears to offer the following potential benefits:
- Immune protection in times of stress
- Reduction in pain when inhaled
- Cognitive repair for Alzheimer’s
If you know your terpenes in natural medicine, you may also have heard that linalool is often used traditionally as a sedative, anti-convulsant, and anti-inflammatory.
Cannabis Strains containing Linalool
While Kosher Kush has the highest measured linalool content in our terpenes list, the following cannabis strains are also known to contain a high amount of this lavender-scented terpene:
One of the less-represented isolates on our common terpenes list is terpinolene. This intriguing terpene is only present in a few cannabis strains (mostly sativas) but has been found to be an extremely common component of plants, including:
- Tea tree
Terpinolene in Cannabis
While it is more common in sativas, terpinolene actually demonstrates a sedative effect in mice when inhaled. It also shows promise as having a number of other medicinal properties, including the following:
Which Cannabis Strains Contain Terpinolene?
If you know your terpenes and are looking to include this terpene in your vape juice combination, Jack Herer is the most well-known and popular terpinolene-rich blend. Other strains with measurable amounts of terpinolene include Pineapple Kush and Pineapple Jack.
The final terpene on our top terpenes list is camphene. While camphene is a natural component of delicious flavorings like rosemary, nutmeg, and ginger, it’s an ingredient you don’t want to overdo when vaping. When heated to high temperatures, this terpene lets off an acrid smoke and irritating fumes.
To make sure you keep your vape juice temperatures low, we recommend a temperature-controlled hotplate that can be maintained at or below 150 degrees Fahrenheit (see our vape juice mixing guide for more info).
Benefits of Camphene
Fortunately, if you know your terpenes and include very low amounts of camphene in your vape, this terpene could bring you several benefits. Studies show that camphene may help with the following:
- High cholesterol and triglycerides
- Preventing kidney stones
- Pain reduction
- Bacteria and yeast control
The cannabis strains and terpene blends that are likely to include some camphene are:
- Ghost OG
- Mendocino Purps
- Strawberry Banana
As we don’t currently stock any camphene-strong blends, we recommend using one of these strains as your base concentrate and flavoring it with one of our delicious Pure terpene blends or Flavored E-Liquids.
Shop All-Natural Terpenes at Vapeur Terp
If you’ve been inspired by our common terpenes list, browse our collections of all-natural, plant-derived Pure and Strain-Specific terpene blends to enjoy their flavors and effects. Please be aware that when combined with other terpenes and cannabinoids, the compounds on our terpenes list could display modified effects as part of the “entourage effect.” We also encourage you to see a licensed health professional if you have a medical condition that could be affected by vaping.
Find out more about our terpenes by contacting us. We love answering your vaping-related questions and usually get back to you very quickly. Shop our natural terpene blends and awaken your inner scientist today.