The Cannabis Terpenes

Molecules. 2020 Dec 8;25(24):5792. doi: 10.3390/molecules25245792.


Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis. Together with the cannabinoids, terpenes illustrate synergic and/or entourage effect and their interactions have only been speculated in for the last few decades. Hundreds of terpenes are identified that allude to cannabis sensory attributes, contributing largely to the consumer's experiences and market price. They also enhance many therapeutic benefits, especially as aromatherapy. To shed light on the importance of terpenes in the cannabis industry, the purpose of this review is to morphologically describe sources of cannabis terpenes and to explain the biosynthesis and diversity of terpene profiles in different cannabis chemovars.

Keywords: essential oil; hemp; marijuana; trichomes; volatile profile.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosynthetic Pathways
  • Cannabinoids / chemistry
  • Cannabinoids / classification
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Cannabis / metabolism
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Phenotype
  • Terpenes / chemistry*
  • Terpenes / classification
  • Terpenes / isolation & purification
  • Terpenes / metabolism
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / chemistry


  • Cannabinoids
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Terpenes
  • Volatile Organic Compounds

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