What are Terpenoids?
What are Terpenoids?

Today we'll be talking about what are terpenoids. If you smoke marijuana, odds are you have come across this term, the question you may be asking is what are they exactly. Follow the rest of the article to find out more.

What are Terpenoids?

what are terpenoids

What are Terpenoids and Terpenes could be a quite mind-boggling question to answer. In fact, both the words Terpenoid and Terpene are often used intermingled. Even though they are close related, there is a difference between them.

Terpenoids (isoprenoids) is a subclass of prenyllipids or terpenes, prenylquinones and sterols. They are small molecular products synthesized by plants and are the most widespread of natural products. Terpenoids could be best described as modified terpenes where methyl groups are moved or removed and oxygen atoms are added. In general, the term terpenes are mostly used as it includes terpenoids.

Oxidation is what forms terpenoids and this mostly happen when cannabis gets dried or cured. Terpenes are then modified to terpenoids.  Terpenoids are thus the reason why we can smell the scent of flowers and spices.

Under Cannabis growers there is the thought that terpenes and terpenoids might be able to change the effect of THC on your body. It is believed that smaller amounts of THC’s potency could be increased, but it not sure how yet. As studies increase, it enlightens us to how cannabis as a whole is more than just THC and CBD. All compounds work in synergy to affect our bodies.

There are some factors that influence the terpene and terpenoid content in a plant such as:  weather, climate, fertilization and maturity of the plant.  During flowering of the cannabis plant, the smell is also more potent.

Fun Fact: a weaker smelling plant will have fewer flavors.

As there are more than 200 different terpenes in the cannabis plant, each strain offers its own unique terpene and terpenoid composition. Lavender would be florally and sweet and blueberry would smell more like berries. Other than the aroma Terpenes provide for the Cannabis plant, they also offer natural protection against insects, bacteria and fungi.

How Terpenes in Cannabis work?

what are terpenoids


Just like cannabinoids, terpenes bind to the receptors in the brain. It can either inhibit or activate the effects of other cannabis compounds. Different growing techniques makes it difficult to know exactly how many terpenes are available in a plant and the only real way to know is by testing in a laboratory. The good thing is that you don’t need be too knowledgeable to know what would work for what.

Certain strains that smell like lemon help to lift up attitude and mood and have high limonene terpene levels. Those struggling with anxiety should look for strains that have a musky or clove smell because they are higher in myrcene terpene levels. Strains smelling like pine are high with pinene terpene levels help with memory retention and alertness.

What do Terpenoids do?

Terpenoids are very helpful in reducing THC-induced anxiety. It also helps with immunosuppression and cholinergic deficit. On the other hand it enhances cerebral blood flow and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and kills respiratory pathogens. Terpoids have a great amount of biological properties like:

  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti – hyperglycemic
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Reduction of chemotherapy side effects
  • Skin penetration

Healthy for us Studies found that terpenes and terpenoids are very healthy for us. Some qualities of terpenoids aren’t found in CBD only products. Cannabinoid- terpenoid interactions are very good for inflammation, pain, addiction, depression, cancer and epilepsy to name a few. The entourage effect is often mentioned and is a perfect description of how the cannabis plant with all its components acts to have the maximum effect on your body.