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Which Terpenes Are Found in High-CBD Cannabis Strains?

September 27, 2018
(Ramille Soares/Unsplash)
The system of how we discuss, sell, and purchase cannabis is changing and for the average consumer, it’ll take a little adjustment. Gone should be the days of shopping by sativa/hybrid/indica classifications and bloated THC percentages. Instead, evidence suggests that cannabinoid and terpene profiles are better predictors of the way our bodies will react to cannabis.


Beyond THC: It’s time to assert the primacy of terpenes

As you educate yourself about the many compounds in the cannabis plant, you may start to notice patterns between certain attributes, namely cannabinoids and terpenes. For example, do CBD strains exhibit a wide diversity of terpenes, or do they tend to produce the same ones across different strains?

Using Leafly data, we took a look at some of the most popular CBD-dominant cannabis strains and identified the most common terpenes expressed by these varieties. Take a look.


cbd terpenes in cannabis strains: Cannatonic

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Main terpenes: Myrcene, b-caryophyllene, limonene

Cannatonic is a staple as far as CBD strains go. Consumers seek its often balanced profile of CBD and THC, which brings about mellow effects while providing relief of pain, muscle spasms, and anxiety. Though also attributable to its cannabinoids, Cannatonic’s benefits are further justified by its primary terpene, myrcene. Myrcene, one of the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis, may provide sedating effects, and may benefit those suffering insomnia, pain, and inflammation.


cbd terpenes in cannabis strains: Dancehall

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Main terpenes: Myrcene, b-caryophyllene, limonene

Dancehall is another popular CBD-dominant strain cherished for its medicinal benefits. Its main terpene is myrcene, however Dancehall is also boosted by a modest amount of b-caryophyllene, a spicy-scented terpene that’s also found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. This terpene also possesses potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, making Dancehall a popular option for consumers with chronic pain.


Try these caryophyllene cannabis strains for pain & inflammation relief


cbd terpenes in cannabis strains: Harlequin

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Main terpenes: Myrcene, a-pinene, b-caryophyllene

Harlequin is a popular sativa-dominant strain known for its eager expression of CBD. A stable variety, Harlequin almost always develops a CBD:THC ratio of 5:2, making this one of the most effective strains for treatment of pain and anxiety.

With flavors ranging from earthy musk to sweet mango, it’s no surprise that its most prevalent terpene is myrcene (are you noticing a trend yet?), but Harlequin also retains a presence of a-pinene, which offers potential medical benefits including relief of  asthma, pain, anxiety, and more.


cbd terpenes in cannabis strains: Remedy

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Main terpene: Myrcene, b-caryophyllene, a-pinene

A cross between Cannatonic and Afghan Skunk, Remedy can reach CBD levels as high as 15%. Its terpene profile is near-identical to Harlequin, which explains their similar effects. Remedy holds a woody, lemon scent that hints at a terpene profile dominated by myrcene and a-pinene. Considering the abundance of these two terpenes, it’s easy to see why patients seek Remedy to treat pain, inflammation, and anxiety disorders.


Your Favorite Cannabis Strains and Their Main Terpenes

Sour Tsunami

cbd terpenes in cannabis strains: Sour Tsunami

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Main terpenes: Myrcene, terpinolene, b-caryophyllene

Famous for being one of the first strains specifically bred for CBD rather than THC, Sour Tsunami is the only strain on this list whose terpene profile doesn’t look almost identical to the others. While it is indeed myrcene-dominant, Sour Tsunami also possesses a decent amount of terpinolene, which is apparent in this strain’s musky diesel aroma with sweet undertones.

Terpinolene—which is also found in nutmeg, tea tree, and conifers—provides potential health benefits as an antioxidant and antibacterial compound.

Dante Jordan's Bio Image

Dante Jordan

Dante Jordan is an Associate Subject Matter Expert for Leafly, where he specializes in informational and lifestyle content pertaining to cannabis strains and products. He also manages the Leafly strain database.

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  • Dante-the-cat

    Excellent article. Perfect timing too.

  • Karen Brown

    I have a question, I went through a traumatic experience, took pills for years, I dont any longer, I have smoked pot for 32 years,helped alot, is there a strain that will help with my anxiety , I also suffer from headaches & neck pain.. does pot help with headaches or make them worse, can someone suggest something maybe a butter rub .. does that shit work !!!

    • Any strain that is high in CBD will likely reduce anxiety. High-THC strains tend to increase anxiety a bit. If you vape CBD Oil, it can really help with pain & anxiety. (A 50/50 THC:CBD is my favorite for that kind of therapy.)

      • Bernie Houston

        Is a 50/50 the same as 1/1? Thanks!

        • Fishanfly

          Yes it is

          • Bernie Houston


  • jimbro44

    Yeah, thanks for this article.. I’m getting tired of citing previous leafly articles discussing sativa V indica, finally one that stated it outright and then starts the process of identifying what PROFILES have what effects.. entourage will make any 1 cannabinoid or terpene have different effects as it interacts with others, and everyone’s different.

    Can’t wait for more articles like this.


  • Bongstar420

    myrcene is a primary terp responsible for “indica” couch lock. The considerations for pharmacology along “indica/sativa” lines is not very good. I do not know why professionals continue to propagate this perspective. Producers should lead the community in accurate perspectives. “Indica/sativa” are more properly applied to morphological traits where the pharmacological considerations should be thought of in chemotype terms which vary independently from the epithet distinctions of indica/sativa. Finally, all the terps people typically look at are very common and can be acquired very cheaply outside of the artificially limited price structuring of the Cannabis industry. industrially, Cannabis is actually much much cheaper to produce oil vs other crops. Look at mint oil. You can get that for like $2/oz wholesale. Mint produces far far less essential oils than cannabis. People don’t understand that most Cannabis is really over priced. The only true value is connoisseur class flower. Every thing else can be massively produced with the artificial limitations imposed on production.