Are Terpenes Edible? Everything you Need to Know

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If you are just getting into the world of cannabis, a word that you might hear being thrown around a lot is terpenes. So, what exactly are terpenes in cannabis? What is a terpene profile and why does it matter?

Moreover, are terpenes edible, and can you put them into edibles? One of the most important questions that people have here is whether or not terpenes can get you high. Let's not waste any more time and get to figuring out what terpenes are, if they get you high, why they matter, and much more.

Key Takeaways

  • Terpenes are the so-called essential oils contained in cannabis and other plants.
  • Terpenes effectively create the scent and flavor profile of cannabis.
  • Decarbing weed kills terpenes. When making edibles, to preserve terpenes, they must first be extracted.
  • Terpenes are completely legal.

What Are Terpenes in Cannabis?

Without complicating things too much, you can think of terpenes in cannabis as the essential oils that produce their flavor and scent. Now, one common misconception is that cannabis is the only thing that contains these terpenes. This is simply false.

Terpenes are contained in a wide variety of naturally occurring things. For instance, citrus fruit contains some of the highest concentrations of terpenes out there. This is also true of cannabis, as well as various other herbs and plants. When it comes down to it, terpenes are the essential oils contained in cannabis and other plants that produce their flavors and aromas.

Now, it is thought that terpenes are about more than just flavor and scent. It is hypothesized that some of the terpenes contained in cannabis may have some therapeutic benefits. Although terpenes may not be psychoactive, they may interact together with the THC in cannabis to produce what is known as the entourage effect, something that will take a closer look at further below. However, the key takeaway here is that terpenes are flavor and scent.

Just to be clear, terpenes are technically not the same thing as essential oils. However, terpenes are the main chemical compound found in essential oils that produce their flavors and scents. Therefore, for the purposes of today's article, essential oils and terpenes are going to be used more or less synonymously.

What is a Terpene Profile and Why is it Important?

The terpene profile is simply a classification of the different terpenes that a specific strain of cannabis, or anything else that contains terpenes, contains. For instance, when you see a chart that displays a terpene profile for a specific strain of cannabis, you might see the name of the strain of cannabis, followed by the names of all of the different terpenes contained in that strain, as well as the percentage or quantity of each terpene.

The reason why the terpene profile of cannabis is important is that it's going to tell you exactly what it will taste and smell like. Remember, terpenes are the essential oils that produce the flavors and scents contained in cannabis. However, this is not only important because of taste and smell, but also because of the potential therapeutic benefits that terpenes may have.

Although terpenes may not be psychoactive per se, they may interact with THC to alter or enhance the high that it produces. Let's move on and take a closer look at exactly how terpenes might affect you when you consume cannabis.

Do Terpenes Get You High?

OK, so terpenes themselves are not going to get you high. Terpenes are not psychoactive substances, not like THC. For instance, the THC contained in cannabis is what gets you high and produces a psychoactive effect. If we were to compare terpenes to another substance contained in cannabis, we would say that it is more like CBD than THC.

The reason for this is that CBD is not psychoactive either, which means that it doesn't get you high, yet it still may have a variety of therapeutic benefits. This is exactly the case with terpenes. Although terpenes are not psychoactive and do not get too high, they are thought to potentially have some therapeutic benefits. Exactly what benefits they might have for you depend on the exact terpenes. Moreover, terpenes might produce what is known as the entourage effect.

In other words, this is when the therapeutic effects or benefits of those terpenes work in combination with the THC contained in cannabis. This means that those terpenes may slightly enhance or alter the high produced by the THC contained in cannabis.

It's not like the terpenes are going to get you high on their own, but they may slightly change the high that you do feel that is produced by the THC. However, you can't just eat terpene extracts and expect them to get you high. This is not how it works.

Common Terpenes and Their Effects

There are five specific terpenes that are most commonly contained in cannabis, so let's take a closer look at them and exactly what effects they might have on you.


This is a commonly found terpene in cannabis, and it smells a lot like pine trees or a conifer forest. This terpene is thought to be an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as a substance that contains neuroprotective properties.

It is thought that this terpene may have the ability to protect the human body against oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and reduce neural damage. In terms of the effect that you will feel from this terpene, it is thought to help make me feel energetic, alert, and focused. This terpene may even have benefits as far as sex is concerned.


Here we have a terpene that is known for being a bit musky, earthy, and spicy, and it tends to give cannabis a very lively sweet flavor. This is one of the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis. If you like sweet flavors, check out our Delta-9 Microdose Blue Raspberry Gummies.

It is thought that this terpene can lower resistance across the blood-brain barrier, which leads to increased permeability, therefore allowing the increased transportation of various cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, into the brain. In other words, this terpene might make you feel higher when you smoke or ingest cannabis.

Furthermore, it is thought that this terpene acts as a slight sedative that can help you get to sleep. It is also thought that it may have some anti-inflammatory effects that help control or limit inflammation.


Here we have a terpene that has the flavor of citrus. Most people say that it tastes something like a mix between oranges and lemons. Although evidence is fairly limited, it is thought that this terpene may have big benefits for your gastrointestinal system, that it may work as an antiviral agent, and that it could be anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, anti-diabetic, and antioxidant.

In terms of how this terpene affects your high, it is thought to help calm you down and reduce anxiety, specifically when it comes to the anxiety that may be caused by high levels of THC. If you like lemons, check out these Pink Lemonade Delta-8 THC Gummies.


Here we have a terpene that is similar to the one discussed previously. It features a citrusy flavor, although it's also a bit sweet and spicy. Although more research is needed, it is thought that this terpene can help elevate your mood, alleviate stress, and promote relaxation. It is thought that this terpene features what are essentially antidepressant effects.


This terpene is known for being spicy and musky. This terpene is also thought to have anti-anxiety properties, and is just very common and relaxing in general.

Are Terpenes Preserved in Edibles?

This depends on exactly how the edibles were made. The unfortunate reality is that when you make edibles, you first have to decarboxylate the weed. This means that you have to heat it to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time, to activate the THC.

If you don't activate the THC by decarboxylating your weed, your edibles won't have any effect on you and won't get you high. However, unfortunately, this decarboxylation process destroys the terpenes. In other words, heating your weed when making edibles completely destroys the terpenes, therefore destroying the flavor profile and removing any potential therapeutic benefits that they may bring to the table.

Therefore, when professional companies make edibles, if they want to preserve the terpenes, they must first be extracted from the cannabis or hemp, preserved, and then added back into the edibles after they have been decarboxylated. If you just make edibles the regular way, they will not contain any terpenes.

Can You Add Terpenes to Edibles?

Yes, you can add terpenes to edibles. You can purchase terpenes in the form of liquid, which you can then simply add to your edibles when you mix them. As a regular person at home, you definitely don't have the tools or skills required to isolate and extract terpenes from your flower before making edibles, but you can purchase terpenes online or in various locations.

As long as you know what you are doing, especially if you know how much to add, you can easily make edibles with a variety of terpenes to create some really interesting flavor profiles.

Even better, now that you know what therapeutic effects these terpenes may have, you can make edibles that will make you feel a certain way. Speaking of edibles, if you like tasty sweets, check out our Delta-10 THC Mango Gummies.

How Much Terpenes to Add to Edibles

Depending on how strong you want that flavor to be, it is recommended that you add no more than 2% to your edibles. That said, most recommend starting with as little as 0.01%, and then slowly working your way up depending on how those terpenes make you feel and what they taste like.

It's pretty easy to add way too many terpenes to your edibles, in which case the flavor is going to be greatly altered. For instance, if you add too much limonene to your brownies, they're just going to end up tasting like really strong citrus fruits.

Because terpenes do not contain any THC whatsoever, and because the molecular structure doesn't have anything to do with cannabinoids, they are completely legal in the USA.

Final Thoughts: Are Terpenes Edible?

The bottom line here is that yes, terpenes are edible, and they are exactly what produce the flavors and sense that you are used to in your favorite cannabis strains. If you are making your own edibles at home, you can always purchase some terpenes and add them yourself to produce some awesome flavor profiles.

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A close up of a woman in a bath with sunglasses on and a terpene loaded joint in her hand.
A close up of a woman in a bath with sunglasses on and a terpene loaded joint in her hand.