In today's article, we take you into this exciting area of the cannabis industry where terpenes are becoming the next big thing. We'll find out what terpenes are, why they're becoming increasingly popular and how they can enrich your cannabis experience. Get ready for the explosion of aromas and flavours that awaits you!

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants and are known primarily for their aroma. They are responsible for the characteristic smells and tastes of various plants, including cannabis. They consist of carbon and hydrogen and have different chemical structures, leading to their different aromatic profiles.

Role of terpenes in plants

  • Protection from pests: Some terpenes have a deterrent scent to pests, which helps plants defend themselves from attack.
  • Attraction to pollinators: Some terpenes attract pollinators and help in the pollination process of flowers.
  • Growth regulation: Terpenes can influence plant growth, including leaf and root growth.
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties: Some terpenes have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help protect the plant from infections.

The effect of terpenes on the odour and flavour profile of cannabis

Terpenes have a significant effect on the smell and taste profile of cannabis. Each variety of cannabis has its own specific blend of terpenes, which gives each variety its unique smell and taste. For example, the terpene myrcene contributes earthy and spicy notes, while limonene adds a citrusy aroma. Terpenes can also influence the effects of cannabis. For example, the terpene linalool has relaxing effects, while the terpene pinene can increase concentration and energy.

Why isolate terpenes?

There are several benefits to isolating terpenes and they can serve different purposes

Better control of the aromatic profile: terpene isolation allows producers and end-users to better control the odour and flavour profile of cannabis. This means that specific aroma and flavour preferences can be achieved.

Better consistency: Isolated terpenes can ensure a consistent taste and aroma of cannabis products, which is important for producers and consumers.

Limit undesirable substances: Terpene isolation can also help separate terpenes from undesirable substances, which can improve the quality of cannabis products.

How does terpene isolation contribute to better cannabis consumption?

Adding to cannabis products: Terpenes can be added to a variety of cannabis products such as oils, tinctures, teas or edibles to improve their taste and aroma.

Aromatherapy: Terpenes are often used in aromatherapy for their potential therapeutic effects. Users can inhale terpenes or use them in aromatherapy diffusers.

Research and analysis: Isolated terpenes are used in scientific research and analysis to study their properties and effects.

Techniques for isolating terpenes

Distillation: Distillation is one of the most common methods of isolating terpenes. By heating cannabis, the terpenes are vaporized and then the terpene vapor is cooled and condensed back to a liquid. This technique allows the terpenes to be separated from the other compounds in the cannabis.

Solvent extraction: This method involves the use of solvents, such as ethanol or hexane, to extract terpenes from cannabis. The cannabis is soaked in the solvent, which then extracts the terpenes. After evaporation of the solvent , the terpenes remain in pure form.

Steam distillation: This technique uses water or nitrogen steam to separate the terpenes from the cannabis. The terpenes are vaporized at low temperatures, minimizing their decomposition.

Detailed description of the selected techniques and their advantages

Distillation is often the preferred method of terpene isolation because it allows the extraction of highly pure terpenes. This method can be adapted to obtain terpenes with different profiles of aromatic compounds.

Solventextraction can be a fast and efficient method, but requires careful handling of the solvent to ensure removal of any unwanted substances.

Steam distillation is gentler on terpenes as it minimises the risk of decomposition at higher temperatures. This method is often used to preserve as many quality terpenes as possible.

Safety and control

Safety aspects

Handling of chemicals: The process of isolating terpenes often involves the use of solvents and chemicals. It is important that workers are familiar with safety procedures and use appropriate protective equipment.

Ventilation: Handling terpenes can produce vapors and concentrations that should not be inhaled. Ensuring good ventilation is key to protecting worker health.

Storage: terpenes should be stored in secure containers and according to the manufacturer's instructions. Some terpenes may be flammable or reactive.


FDA and GRAS: In some countries, such as the United States, terpenes are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA). Some terpenes are considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), which means they are considered safe for consumption in food.

Geographical restrictions: regulation of terpenes may vary by country. Some countries may have specific rules for the manufacture and sale of terpenes.

Cannabis laws: Terpenes found in cannabis may be subject to specific cannabis regulations. In some states and countries , cannabis is still illegal, which may affect terpenes derived from these plants.

The future of terpene isolation

Process innovation: The terpene isolation industry is likely to continue to look for innovative ways to extract terpenes from plants. This may include the development of greener and more efficient extraction techniques.

Increased demand: As awareness of terpenes and their various properties increases, demand for isolated terpenes is likely to grow not only in the cannabis industry but also in the food, cosmetic and medical industries.

Improving identification and classification: The industry is likely to work on better ways to identify and classify terpenes, which may lead to the development of standards and quality criteria.

Terpenes and personalised care: In the future, personalised care could include terpenes and their specific profiles to better meet the needs of individual patients.

International market: The increasing internationalisation of the cannabis industry may open new opportunities for trade in isolated terpenes between different countries.

If you found this article on terpenes interesting, feel free to check out our other interesting blog articles and discover the world of cannabis in all its forms!

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an endorsement of illegal cannabis use or a violation of any applicable laws.