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What are terpenes?


What are terpenes?

Cannabis Sativa (Industrial Hemp) is made up of a large number of different compounds, including Cannabidiol (also known as CBD), which is perhaps one of the most well-known cannabinoids in the world, having been first isolated and identified back in 1963[i].

In total, there are 104[ii] cannabinoids that can be extracted from different strains of the cannabis plant, alongside several other important compounds called terpenes.

Terpenes are a large class of organic compounds that are produced by plants (not just hemp!). They are incredibly fragrant and are what gives Cannabis its aromatic diversity. There are over 30,000 terpenes currently recorded[iii], therefore if you can find any plant that smells pleasant or a herb that tastes spicy, terpenes are likely responsible for these characteristics.


Terpenes aren’t always aromatic – some plants produce terpenoids that act as a defence mechanism[iv] by tasting bitter to animals or insects so that they are less likely to ingest the plant.

In contrast, other terpenes specifically attract certain types of insects and animals so that they can be used in the pollination process.

Some of the most common terpenes found in full-plant extract CBD oil include:

Terpene Fragrance Also found in
Alpha-Pinene Pine Pine needles, parsley, basil, rosemary and dill
Myrcene Herbal, musky, earthy, cloves Thyme, lemongrass, hops, mango
Limonene Citrus Juniper, rosemary, fruit rinds, peppermint
Beta-Caryophyllene Cloves, spicy, woody Cinnamon, cloves, black pepper


Floral Lavender


Earthy, woody, hops Cloves, basil, hops, coriander
Ocimene Woody, sweet, herbal Orchids, kumquats, mangoes, pepper, mint, parsley, basil


Herbal, floral, pine Conifers, tea tree, lilacs, cumin, nutmeg, apples

The terpenes in Hempura CBD products tend to be approximately 1% of the total solution. Some of the most prominent terpenes found in Hempura products include 1%: linalool, myrcene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, limonene, terpinolene and beta-caryophyllene.

To exactly recreate a profile is incredibly difficult, simply due to the fact hemp can have differing levels of terpenes depending on the batch. Hempura products are manufactured using a technique whereby terpenes are reintroduced to the product, to maintain consistency of taste and effect.

Like cannabinoids, terpenes also interact positively with the body’s endocannabinoid system[v] and, when taken alongside other cannabinoids in a full-plant extract CBD oil, may produce what is called the ‘entourage effect’. The entourage effect is where the different cannabinoids and terpenes interact positively together to create a stronger effect than any one of the individual components could produce alone.


Can terpenes be harmful?

A wide range of positive biological characteristics attributed to terpenes have been unearthed over the last few decades, including antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic and anti-inflammatory properties, to name but a few![vi]

Terpenes are also being used in the development of eco-friendly pesticides, due to their toxicity against insect pests[vii], highlighting the importance of ingesting these products at a safe and appropriate level to experience the benefits of these compounds alongside the other cannabinoids contained within CBD oil.


Do terpenes make you high? And are terpenes legal?

Terpenes are legal because it’s not just Cannabis Sativa that contains them – everything from coriander to peppermint does too!

When it comes to Cannabis Sativa, it’s not the terpene content that makes users feel ‘high’; it’s the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis, and it is the THC content that is strictly regulated in the UK and across the world.

In the UK, Cannabis is classed as a Class B drug[viii] under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but CBD products that meet strict UK guidelines and are sold by reputable retailers are entirely legal.CBD hemp oil and other products must contain a THC level of 0.2% or less to be considered legal in the UK. Any level of THC above 0.2% becomes a controlled substance under UK law.

Hempura’s range of CBD products is manufactured from an original high-quality hemp extract. This extract undergoes strict manufacturing processes, as well as THC removal to ensure legality and safety for our customers. As our extracts come from organically grown Cannabis Sativa plants, there are microscopic amounts of THC present in our compounds, but these are at an undetectable level (of less than 0.01%).


Terpenes are an important part of a full-spectrum CBD oil!

If you’d like to experience the benefits of terpenes in your CBD oil, our Full Spectrum and Refined Extract products are the products for you! Hempura Full-Spectrum Original extracts are left in a relatively raw state after initial extraction, therefore still contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids and compounds found in the original hemp plant (including the wide range of terpenes).

Hempura’s refined extracts are manufactured from the same base extract as our Full-Spectrum Original, but the oil is then subject to more intensive refinement and purification processes. Our elegant refined extracts still contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes. Still, it’s important to note that the refinement and purification process does slightly reduce the overall trace cannabinoid spectrum.



  1. Burstein, S., 2015. Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry23(7), pp.1377-1385.
  3. Breitmaier, E., 2006. Terpenes: flavors, fragrances, pharmaca, pheromones. John Wiley & Sons.
  4. Singh, B. and Sharma, R.A., 2015. Plant terpenes: defense responses, phylogenetic analysis, regulation and clinical applications. 3 Biotech, 5(2), pp.129-151.
  6. Paduch, R., Kandefer-Szerszeń, M., Trytek, M. and Fiedurek, J., 2007. Terpenes: substances useful in human healthcare. Archivum immunologiae et therapiae experimentalis55(5), p.315.

Last Updated on 11/03/2022

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