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About Terpenes and Their Benefits

This terpene chart is more than just a list of terpenes—it explains the many potential benefits of cannabis terpenes and why you need terpenes to transform not just your skin but your life. From a certain strain of cannabis (and the primary and secondary terpenes that make it up) to a particular skincare product that uses terpenes for anti-inflammatory or other medicinal uses, you can find the best match for your goals and needs. The potential effects of each terpene vary, so it’s almost certain you’ll find one that fits your skincare needs.

But, firstly, what are terpenes? Technically speaking, terpenes are a particular class of molecules, with a molecular formula of C5H8 and two or more isoprene units. These aromatic compounds are found in a wide variety of plants and herbs, producing recognizable flavors, unique aromas, and scent or fragrance profiles like lavender, pine, and orange. You may recognize terpenes as a significant element in essential oils and similar plant extracts, or even plant-based perfumes. Some, like carene and valencene, may be used as insect repellent or insecticide, among other potential effects and uses. In a scientific sense, you could also look to terpenoids, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, and other related concepts to better understand the chemical processes behind certain terpenes.

However, they’re notably part of the hemp or cannabis plant and found in the cannabis flowers and buds. Terpenes are bioactive, meaning they affect the body when it’s ingested. Depending on the concentration and format, there are more than 200 different cannabis terpenes that can impact how the bioactivity interacts with the endocannabinoid system and are synthesized through critical pathways.

In nature, terpenes act as pheromones—a particular combination of terpenes can attract pollinators, while another might offer a defense against insects or other predators. Those using plants for their therapeutic purposes may look to both terpenes and terpenoids to craft a cosmetic, pharmaceutical, or traditional herbal remedy. In health and wellness, particularly amidst folk medicine, terpenes have been turned to for their anecdotal, yet widely reported therapeutic and medical benefits for a long time. Today, you’ll find them throughout the cosmetics industry, too.

It’s also worth noting that terpenes are not the same as cannabidiol (CBD), nor as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary compound in cannabis strains that causes a psychoactive effect. Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids that are commonly associated with cannabis and its different effects, particularly when it comes to the effects of THC. Cannabinoids and terpenes may interact to fight inflammation or insomnia within a certain strain but they aren‘t interchangeable.

So, what are some of the common terpenes—or, more specifically, common cannabis terpenes—you may encounter in Fifth & Root products and beyond? Our terpene chart can introduce you to various terpenes found in the Sativa or Indica strains—and, even more importantly, in Fifth & Root products—and the therapeutic properties of terpenes. Anecdotal and preliminary research support these benefits, but be sure to consult a dermatologist before trying a new product. Just like you wouldn’t try a new cancer treatment or cure for cardiovascular disease without consulting a healthcare provider, you should always talk to a professional about new products to avoid any side effects, interactions, or adverse effects.

The terpene chart below introduces each terpene, alongside its benefits, some plants besides cannabis it can be found in, the fragrance profile it has, and the therapeutic value it may apply to your mood, whether that’s due to being anti-inflammatory or other potential effects.

d-limonene

“the energizer”
A bright yellow square
Helps with: Take your mind to the sunny side of life with the mood-boosting effects of d-limonene, common in citrus fruits and said to have antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties*. This terpene can also act as a "penetration enhancer" to help other terpenes absorb into the skin. Many turn to d-limonene to combat acid reflux and other digestive problems. Think of d-limonene as the swiss army knife of terpenes! Along with caryophyllene and myrcene, limonene may also help stimulate appetite.
Found in: Lemons, oranges, orange peels, limes, dill, mint.
Fifth & Root products: Second Nature, Drops of Sunshine, Salvation, High Glow.
Aroma profile: Bright, citrusy smell—a pleasant scent.
Mood benefits: D-Limonene is uplifting and promotes happiness.

alpha-bisabolol

“the soother”
A pale yellow square
Helps with: Gentle and sweet, Bisabolol is like the grandma of terpenes. With powerful soothing and nurturing properties, it is stressed-out skin's best friend. It's no wonder chamomile flowers make the most comforting tea—they contain this stress-relief terpene!
Found in: Chamomile flower.
Fifth & Root products: Moonlight, High Glow.
Aroma profile: Floral and sweet.
Mood benefits: Bisabolol is soothing and promotes relaxation.

humelene

“the hoppy one”
An orange square
Helps with: Triple IPA anyone? Humulene is what gives beer its “hoppy” taste and literally gets its name from the hops plant's formal name: Homulus Lulupus. Humulene is also used for its appetite suppressant effects.
Found in: Hops, coriander.
Fifth & Root products: Drops of Sunshine.
Aroma profile: Woody, earthy aroma.
Mood benefits: Humulene supports feelings of happiness and memory function.

pinene

“the thinker”
A hunter green square
Helps with: Have a big presentation or test coming up? Then α-Pinene might be your new best friend. When you need a terpene that aids memory and alertness*, consider pinene terpenes your ally next time you're ready to get s*** done. alpha-Pinene is water-soluble, while beta-Pinene is not. Like others, Pinene is another anti-inflammatory terpene, and also has antiviral properties, and may help prevent memory loss.
Found in: Conifers, pine trees (pine needles, pine cones), fir needles, rosemary, sage, parsley, nutmeg.
Fifth & Root products: Drops of Sunshine.
Aroma profile: Sharp, woody, pine-y.
Mood benefits: Pinene heightens focus and has a calming effect.

beta-myrcene

“the sleepy one”
A light foam green square
Helps with: Known to ease discomfort and relax muscles*, this is the primary cannabis terpene for a lazy Sunday. One of the key players in the entourage effect, myrcene has been shown to lower the blood/brain barrier, giving itself and any cannabinoids that ride shotgun a fast pass to the bloodstream. Additionally, it’s known for its pain-relieving properties, easing pain sensations like those from chronic pain or arthritis. It’s a major component in most cannabis strains, and one of the most prominent terpenes in many cannabis varieties. Myrcene produces the earthy scent most people associate with cannabis and may act as a sedative.
Found in: Hops, mango, eucalyptus. bay leaves, and lemongrass.
Aroma profile: Herbal, balsamic, rooty, or spicy notes; said to have a red grape-like aroma.
Mood benefits: This widespread terpene is sedating, having a significant impact on your stress levels as well as physical discomfort.

beta-carypophyllene

“the activist”
A black square
Helps with: Ever wonder why they recommend mixing turmeric with black pepper for more bioavailability? The answer is beta-caryophyllene (also known as caryophyllene)! This strong terpene (found in black pepper as well as other ingredients like cloves and basil) has been used for centuries to enhance the nutritional impact in foods. Beta-caryophyllene binds to the CB2 receptors and is the only terpene known to do so. Because of this receptor relationship, this amazing terpene is a good example of terpenes’ anti-inflammatory properties and is a great antioxidant.
Found in: Clove, black pepper, basil, oregano.
Fifth & Root products: Drops of Sunshine.
Aroma profile: Spicy, woody, peppery notes.
Mood benefits: Beta-caryophyllene is mood-boosting.

linalool

“the chiller”
A light pink square
Helps with: Looking for a chill pill? Linalool may be your answer! Linalool is the most prominent terpene in lavender, is very common in aromatherapy, and offers a calming, relaxing sensation to the human body and mind*. Linalool also promotes the immune system and builds upon analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Found in: Lavender, citrus, mint, cinnamon, and birch.
Fifth & Root products: Second Nature, Salvation, Moonlight.
Aroma profile: Floral, citrus, spice.
Mood benefits: Linalool is calming and sedating.

geraniol

“the rosie one”
A fuchsia pink square
Helps with: If you like the pleasant floral aroma of roses, then you're probably attracted to geraniol! Known to give a soft floral taste to beer and wine, geraniol adds a feminine touch to beverages, perfumes, and skincare. Some preliminary research suggests that geraniol, along with fellow terpene eucalyptol, may benefit those with Alzheimer's disease.
Found in: Geraniums, wine grapes, roses.
Fifth & Root products: Second Nature.
Aroma profile: Rosy.
Mood benefits: Geraniol is relaxing, with a unique feminine scent.

ocimene

“the tropical one”
A reddish brown square
Helps with: Kind of like a vacation for your nose, this one is bursting with a sweet, tropical aroma. If you like your IPA’s or your perfume on the fruity side, then ocimene is your friend.
Found in: Tea tree oil, lemon, ginger, cumin seeds, celery, coriander, grapes and tea.
Aroma profile: Woody, citrus.
Mood benefits: Ocimene is energizing.

eucalyptol

“the refresher”
A bright yellow square
Helps with: As its name implies, this one is responsible for the ultra-uplifting effects of eucalyptus—it’s the primary terpene of the eucalyptus tree. It's common in mouthwashes, cough suppressants, as well as spas.
Found in: Eucalyptus, tea tree.
Fifth & Root products: Second Nature, Salvation, Moonlight.
Aroma profile: Sharp, minty, camphoraceous.
Mood benefits: Eucalyptol quenches anxious thoughts.

borneol

“the tcm one”
A pale yellow square
Helps with: Its name in Chinese (Bing Pian) translates to "Slice of Ice." Borneol has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since the early 1600s to relieve aches, reduce swelling, lower anxiety, and promote overall cooling and healing to the body*. Borneol is also thought to aid digestion.
Found in: Thyme, mugwort, marjoram, rosemary.
Fifth & Root products: Salvation.
Aroma profile: Cool, camphoraceous.
Mood benefits: Borneol is soothing and calming.

terpineol

“the breakout buster”
An orange square
Helps with: Terpineol (specifically the isomer terpinen-4-ol) makes up over 40% of tea tree oil. It is responsible for its powerful antibacterial qualities and is the reason it is so helpful for banishing breakouts*.
Found in: Tea tree, cajeput, pine.
Fifth & Root products: Karmic Cleanse, Moonlight, High Glow.
Aroma profile: Fresh, pine-y.
Mood benefits: Terpineol is relaxing and restoring.

nerolidol

“the mercenary”
A coral colored square
Helps with: If you ever need to send a terpene into battle, send Nerolidol! Bacteria, fungi, parasites, head lice, and malaria all quail in the face of this mighty terpene. Despite its mercenary qualities, humans can safely use it to their advantage for many skin ailments*.
Found in: Orange Blossom, Ginger, Jasmine, Lavender.
Fifth & Root products: Karmic Cleanse, Moonlight.
Aroma profile: Floral, citrus, woodsy.
Mood benefits: Nerolidol has a sedative effect.

camphene

“the sporty one”
A pale pink  square
Helps with: Feeling extra sore? Meet camphene, a powerful antioxidant with muscle-soothing properties*, this terpene will get you back up and running after that hard workout.
Found in: Camphor trees.
Fifth & Root products: Salvation.
Aroma profile: Pungent and musky odor.
Mood benefits: Camphene is uplifting and promotes alertness.