Talking Terpenes

Sativa, indica, THC percentage—these common frameworks are not the best way to think about cannabis. More and more cannabis companies are pushing for people to understand that terpenes and cannabinoids really make the difference.

Today, we’re focusing on terpenes, the aromatic oils found in all plants that are also common in cannabis. Not only do terpenes have a huge impact on the smell and flavor of a strain, but they help determine how the strain affects you, the smoker. To get a better understanding of why terpenes matter, we sought the expertise of Casey Kornoelje, owner of Pharmhouse Wellness, who is currently working on building a 100% local grow space.

Why are terpenes important?

Terpenes and cannabinoids are the things that combine to make the cannabis experience what it is. Researchers and some people that are lot smarter than me believe the combination creates what’s called the entourage effect. If you’re ingesting just THC, you’re definitely getting that psychoactive component, but you’re missing out on all these additional compounds, these terpenes that attach to the same receptors. Terpenes can create a multitude of effects.

I liken it to driving a car. That THC is the accelerator on the car, terpenes are the steering column. If you’re all gas behind the car, you’re most likely going to crash into an overpass. You need that steering column to help guide you. If you have no way to steer it, the system is just much less complex. They work hand-in-hand, and they accentuate the whole experience. 

How do terpenes affect your cannabis choices?

I think the effect of them, that smell is wonderful. That’s what makes a lot of people come back to certain strains. But to me, as a user, when you actually ingest that cannabis and feel the effects, that’s where the rubber hits the road. It just depends on the effect individuals are looking for and what terpene may be most aligned with that desired effect to make it a wonderful cannabis experience.

How can the average person find their favorite terpenes?

We can certainly provide some guidance. A good starting point is to see what effect you’re looking for. From there, we can narrow it down to different strains that may be more prominent in certain terpenes to provide that desired effect. For example, if somebody just says, “Man, I’ve got a ton of energy, maybe I’ve got ADHD, I just need something to get me to relax.” Well, myrcene, which is basically the most common terpene found in cannabis, is also associated with the “couch-lock effect.” 

And, you can do a bit of baseline research yourself, picking up cannabis books, or there’s a tremendous amount of information online on the different terpenes that exist. If you’re going to be a consumer and a user, I’d highly encourage you to kick the tires a little bit, then you can go in and have an educated conversation with a budtender. And if you don’t, that’s fine, too. We’re happy to lend our expertise!

Do you have a terpene or two that you look for you in your strains?

I’m more of a “sativa” kind of guy, so terpinolene is one of my favorites. It’s sweet-y, floral-y. Some of the strains you might see it in are Jack Herer, Durban Poison, and it’s also found naturally in nutmeg, cumin, apples, lilacs and stuff. I like the effects on my body that it gives.

And then, I’m not really much for the heavy, super knockout herb. Linalool is another one. That’s prevalent in lavender, so it’s also known for anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety properties. If you’ve ever had essential oils, you know what I’m talking about. It’s just super relaxing and can be kind of analgesic. 

Anything else you want people to know?

Putting out locally owned and locally grown cannabis, and some of the beautification project we’re doing, that’s something we’re really proud about. We can’t thank the community enough for supporting our shop day in and day out. We can’t do this without GR.




Aroma: herbal

Found in: sweet basil, lemongrass, thyme, parsley, mango and hops

Properties: sedative, anti inflammatory, analgesic, muscle relaxant


Aroma: spicy

Found in: cinnamon, clove, black pepper, rosemary, oregano, basil and hops

Properties: cardioprotective, analgesic, gastroprotective, neuroprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory


Aroma: woody 

Found in: pine trees, parsley, rosemary, dill and sage 

Properties: anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, antibiotic, anxiolytic and analgesic


Aroma: floral

Found in: pepper, mango, mint, oregano, basil, tarragon and lavender

Properties: anticonvulsant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal 


Aroma: earthy

Found in: coriander, ginger, sage, clove, spearmint and ginseng, and found in high concentrations in hops (humulus lupulus)

Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic,  analgesic, antibacterial and antiviral


Aroma: floral

Found in: apples, pines, turmeric leaf, sage and cardamon, but it’s most abundant in parsnip

Properties: sedative, antioxidant, antiproliferative, , cardioprotective, analgesic and anti-inflammatory


Aroma: floral

Found in: lavender, roses, basil, laurels and cinnamon

Properties: anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, relaxant, analgesic, anti-depressant


Aroma: citrus

Found in: the rinds of all citrus fruits

Properties: anxiolytic, antidepressant, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and immune stimulant