Terpenes (general)

Terpenes in Essential Oils: Pairing Cultivars By Effect

Written by Shasta Nelson

In the last article, we touched on some of the reasons terpenes are so important to the medicinal and therapeutic process of cannabis, and how you can find these same terpenes in essential oils specifically.


It can be overwhelming to try to decide which terpenes in essential oils to pair with what strains, so I’ve put together a few suggestions that can help you get started. Remember, strains can vary in terpene profile depending on growing conditions, so though the strains I’ll mention generally test high in certain terpenes, the only real way to know is by buying lab-tested cannabis. Mention to your budtender what terps you’re interested in and they should be able to give you some suggestions.


To beat the blues or bring on good humor try diffusing wild orange or lime. Combine with a citrusy Sour Diesel or Durban Poison. The main terpene at play will be Limonene, an uplifting, energizing constituent that’s refreshing and clarifying. If you want to add an element of calm diffuse or use bergamot topically.


Ever notice how some days it seems like there isn’t even time to take a deep breath? It can be so fulfilling to just stop for a moment and breathe. The terpene pinene is great for opening up your airways and is found in most cannabis strains. I recommend Blue Dream, vaporized if possible, combined with diffused juniper berry and/or white fir to encourage deep breathing.



Sleep can be an elusive mistress. Everyone I know has had trouble sleeping at one time or another, and cannabis on its own can be very effective in combatting this. The terpene myrcene is the main element in cannabis that causes drowsiness. Linalool is also great for sleep due to its calming effects. Both of these terpenes are commonly present in indica strains, and you may recognize the scent of linalool best from the lavender plant. Try smoking Grandaddy Purple and diffusing the terpenes in essential oils of lavender, patchouli, and/or rosemary.

For further ideas check out Leafly’s diagram of terpenes here, it’s easy-to-use and a great starting point to search for strains. Remember to go with your gut, and follow your nose!

About the author

Shasta Nelson

Author and cannabis connoisseur Shasta Nelson was born and raised in the foothills of Northern California. She’s been involved in the cannabis industry at many levels from managing a delivery service, to studying and reporting on cannabis culture & news at DOPE Magazine. Her favorite strains are Candyland, Roses, and OG Kush and her favorite Terps are Pinene and Linalool.
“Mary Jane she’s my one true love/my very best friend
Never had a better girl/never gon’ leave her again"

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