Datrianna Meeks
Datrianna Meeks Photograph: Kristine Condon

I keep hearing about terpenes. What are they, and how do they affect my high?

That’s awesome! This means you’re learning about the plant and evolving your consumption. Terpenes, or terps, are compounds in the essential oils of cannabis that influence aroma, flavor, and effects.

Myrcene, linalool, and limonene are some of the most common. Myrcene, which is also in hops and mangoes, often has a relaxing effect. The same can be said for linalool, which boasts a lavender scent. And limonene, which smells like citrus, can be energizing.

These are just three examples. Once you figure out which terps meet your needs — do you want to reduce inflammation? get relief from anxiety? treat insomnia? — you can better determine which strains of cannabis to try. The more you know …

Datrianna Meeks is a cannabis writer and educator.

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