10 Popular Hemp Terpenes Ranked by Effect

hemp terpenes ranked

Hemp Terpenes are an important element of many of our CBD-based products. Terpenes add flavor and aroma to hemp products and may naturally boost the effectiveness of some ingredients, as well. Today, we’ll outline some characteristics of ten common hemp terpenes, but first, let’s discuss why you should care in the first place.

What are Hemp Terpenes and Why Do We Care?

Terpenes are the aromatic oils that develop in most plants (and even some insects). Interestingly, terpenes serve many proposed functions within nature. For example, they might attract pollinators, deter pests, or facilitate other means of environmental interaction.

Importantly, many manufacturers add terpenes to consumer goods to help improve flavor, aroma, and more. What’s more, some experts suggest that terpenes may exert unique effects on the body, such as sedating or invigorating sensations.

Notably, many cannabis experts claim terpenes exert synergistic qualities when consumed alongside cannabinoids. The phenomenon, commonly called the Entourage Effect, suggests that cannabinoids and terpenes work together to promote more well-rounded wellness. For example, CBD products that include relaxing terpenes may promote more restful qualities, whereas hemp wellness products that include uplifting terpenes may exert the opposite effect.

Hemp Terpene Profile

Most hemp terpenes develop on hemp flowers, particularly the flower’s mushroom-like trichomes. Notably, many factors contribute to hemp’s terpene profile, such as flower maturity, growing conditions, plant variety, and more. However, generally speaking, terpenes make up about 1 to 2 percent of an average hemp flower.

Each hemp plant boasts a unique terpene profile which means that different hemp products may taste or smell slightly different, as well. Though most pure, full-spectrum hemp oils exhibit flavors relevant to the specific cultivar used during manufacturing, some processors infuse additional terpenes (either hemp-based or otherwise) to maintain a more consistent flavor profile.

Hemp Terpenes (Ranked by Effect)

As mentioned, terpenes develop in countless plant varieties, including cannabis. In fact, scientists have identified more than 400 terpenes in the cannabis plant, alone! Notably, hemp terpenes are not exclusive to cannabis varieties with many of these same terpenes appearing in countless other plant varieties, as well.

Each terpene possesses different qualities and exerts slightly different effects on the body. Here, we’ve outlined ten of the most common hemp terpenes and ranked them by effect, beginning with the most invigorating terpene, limonene. 


Limonene is a sour, citrusy terpene common in many citrus fruits and pine needles as well as dill and bergamot. Importantly, it is a common flavor additive and is generally safest to consume orally as high quantities can cause some skin irritation. Limonene is one of the most uplifting hemp terpenes, so it is most common in daytime-use products.


Pinene is a woody, earthy terpene with wonderfully uplifting qualities. It’s common in cedar, pine, and evergreen trees and herbs like dill, rosemary, eucalyptus, and parsley. Notably, many claim that pinene can help improve focus and lessen some of the negative effects of THC. Pinene is also bronchiolar, which may help open airways for easy breathing.


Guaiol is a woody, piney terpene common in cypress trees, nutmeg, apples, tea tree leaves, lilac, and cumin. Importantly, some suggest that guaiol may help relieve congestion and help stop coughing, though it’s mostly used as an insect repellant. Manufacturers primarily use guaiol for its aromatic properties as an additive in cosmetics and other topical products.


Terpinene is a spicy flavor additive most common in marjoram, tea tree leaves, and cardamom. Notably, terpinene is the terpene that gives allspice its spicy kick and lends extensively to tea tree’s antifungal and antibacterial properties.


Commonly found in sage and chamomile, bisabolol boasts a warm, floral, honey-like aroma. Research suggests that bisabolol may improve transdermal absorption, making it an attractive addition to topical CBD products.  Notably, some suggest that its warm, nutty, herbal aroma can help boost mood and promote restful sleep.


Caryophyllene is a hemp terpene but also develops in black pepper, oregano, basil, and cloves. Importantly, this spicy terpene also interacts with the Endocannabinoid System by binding to CB2 receptors to trigger their activation. In doing, caryophyllene may counteract the effects of some cannabinoids, including THC.


Humulene is a woody, earthy, spicy terpene common in hops, ginseng, and black pepper. Notably, some experts suggest that humulene exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties and may also suppress appetite in some consumers.


Linalool is a floral, slightly spicy terpene with gentle sedative qualities. It’s most common in plants like lavender, jasmine, thyme, and rosewood where it works to protect plants from disease. Additionally, some experts believe linalool can also protect humans when ingested by boosting mood, improving sleep, and warding against bacterial and fungal infections.


Myrcene is the most common terpene that develops in cannabis flowers. It boasts an earthy, musky aroma and produces an obvious sedative effect. This terpene also develops in mangos, hops, lemongrass, bay, and parsley and is a common additive in both food and cosmetic products.


Nerolidol is a powerfully sedating terpene common in rose, citronella, jasmine, ginger, and tea tree. It has a beautiful floral, woody aroma, making it a great addition to both food and cosmetic products. Notably, nerolidol may exhibit antifungal and antibacterial properties, as well.

Hemp Terpenes Closing Thoughts

VCM is proud to produce some of the nation’s best hemp CBD products. Notably, many of our products include an array of naturally-occurring hemp terpenes like the ones listed above. Our hemp farmers and extraction experts carefully preserve the terpene profiles throughout all developmental stages to ensure robust terpene levels in our full- and broad-spectrum products.

Contact us to learn more about our extensive selection of terpene-rich CBD hemp products or view our online catalog, now. You can also follow us on social media or join our mailing list for hemp news and brand updates.

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