Sensing Terpenes: A Guide to Terpene Aromas and Flavors

Terpenes As Aroma & Flavoring Agents

Terpenes are the scent molecules found in all plants and serve as a major component of plant resins. This makes them the primary ingredients of any given plant’s essential oil. Thus, terpenes contribute to providing the unique essence, or aromatic fingerprint, we associate with familiar botanical species.

Although terpenes are found in most plants and some insects, today they are widely recognized as the potent molecules that give the cannabis plant its unique aroma, flavor, and therapeutic qualities. The essential oil derived from cannabis contains the pure essence (flavor, scent) of the plant from which it is extracted. Even the untrained nose can identify differences of citrus, spicy, to herbal and skunky, woody, piney, diesel, and coffee. We have terpenes to thank for it all, and cannabis provides a spectrum of profiles for every palette.

At Lab Effects our clients use terpenes to add flavor, fragrance, and therapeutic value to their product formulations. By isolating and extracting botanical or cannabis terpenes, we’re able to capture these diverse aromas and flavors and create much broader profile formulations.

We’ve broken down some of the most common isolated terpenes by their four key aromas and flavors, equipping you with everything you need to formulate an edible so tasty we’ll want to bring it to our next potluck.

lab effects terpene flavor aroma pine

Alpha-Pinene

Aromatic Profile: Sharp, sweet, fresh and piny

Botanical Sources: Pine and conifer trees, rosemary, orange peels

Associated Cannabis Strains: Jack Herer, Dutch Treat, OG Kush, Blue Dream, ChemDawg, Trainwreck, Romulan, Island Sweet Skunk, Strawberry Cough, Bubba Kush

Beta-Pinene

Aromatic Profile: Fresh, piny, earthy, spicy

Botanical Sources: Cedar, pine, and conifer trees, dill, eucalyptus, oranges, parsley, rosemary, basil

Associated Cannabis Strains: Jack Herer, Dutch Treat, Romulan, Blue Dream, Island Sweet Skunk, OG Kush, Bubba Kush, ChemDawg, God Bud, LA Confidential, Mango Haze, Strawberry Cough, Haze Berry, Royal Jack, Trainwreck

Carene

Aromatic Profile: Sweet, piny, woody, pungent

Botanical Sources: Turpentine, rosemary, basil, pepper, cedar

Associated Cannabis Strains: Lemon Shining Silver Haze, Skunk XL, Arjan’s Ultra Haze #2, Super Silver Haze, Lemon Haze

lab effects fruity terpene flavors

 

Limonene

Aromatic Profile: Citrusy, bitter

Botanical Sources: Citrus fruits, piny, rosemary, mint, fennel, juniper, cannabis

Associated Cannabis Strains: Cookies and Cream, Dirty Girl, Lemon G, Liberty Haze, Emerald Jack, Shining Silver Haze

Myrcene

Aromatic Profile: Fruity, earthy, clove-like

Botanical Sources: Sweet basil, hops, mangos

Associated Cannabis Strains: OG Kush, Remedy, 9 Pound Hammer, Grape Ape, FPOG, AK-47, Granddaddy Purple, Blue Dream, Tangie, Harlequin

Para-Cymene

Aromatic Profile: Citrusy, sweet

Botanical Sources: Cumin, thyme, angelica root, bay leaves, basil, carrot seed, cloves, clary sage, grapefruit, anise, oregano, eucalyptus, coriander, mace

lab effects woody terpene flavor

Beta-Caryophyllene

Aromatic Profile: Woody, spicy

Botanical Sources: Black pepper, basil, copaiba, black caraway, oregano, lavender, allspice, fig, roman chamomile, cloves, hops, cinnamon, ylang-ylang, rosemary, cannabis

Associated Cannabis Strains: Royal Cookies, OG Kush, White Widow, Death Star, Blueberry Cheesecake, Candyland, GSC, Cookies and Cream, GG4, Purple Punch

Humulene

Aromatic Profile: Earthy, woody, spicy

Botanical Sources: Hops, cannabis, basil, clove, black pepper, sage, ginseng

Associated Cannabis Strains: Death Star, Headband, Thin Mint GSC, Original Glue, Candyland, White Widow, Pink Kush, Bubba Kush, Super Lemon Haze, Sour Diesel, Skywalker OG

Terpinolene

Aromatic Profile: Smoky, woody, herbal

Botanical Sources: Lilac, tea tree, nutmeg, pine trees, apples, cannabis, cumin

Associated Cannabis Strains: Dutch Treat, Sensi Star, J1, Super Jack, Lemon Sour Diesel, Afghani, Jean Guy, Super Lemon Haze, Arjan’s Haze #3, Sour Tangie, Snowcap, Shipwreck, Sour Tsunami

lab effects floral terpene flavor

Citronellol

Aromatic Profile: Floral, rose, citrus

Botanical Sources: Lemongrass, rose, geranium, chamomile, sandalwood, cannabis, catnip 

Associated Cannabis Strains: Amnesia Haze, Great White Shark, Island Sweet Skunk

Geraniol

Aromatic Profile: Sweet, rose, slightly citrusy

Botanical Sources: Rose, palmarosa, citronella, geranium, lemon

Associated Cannabis Strains: Afghan, Skunk Headband, Island Sweet Skunk, Afghani, Lavender, Amnesia Haze

Linalool

Aromatic Profile: Floral, spicy

Botanical Sources: Lavender, laurel, cinnamon, rosewood, mint, birch trees, citrus fruits

Associated Cannabis Strains: Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, Lavender, LA Confidential, OG Shark

 

lab effects terpene flavors terpene aroma infographic

 

Interested to learn more about the flavors and aromas of pure isolated terpenes? Check out our terpene glossary or email us at info@labeffects.com.

 

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