white label cbd terpenes

Formulating CBD Products With Terpenes

Similar to cannabinoids, terpenes are naturally-occurring compounds that are found in cannabis. These plant compounds play an important role in CBD and other cannabis products, with many companies utilizing terpenes to enhance flavor, aroma, user experience, and boost potential health benefits. Having terpenes in your product formula can also act as a significant differentiator, adding additional USPs. Understanding the impact of terpenes in cannabis products can help you make the most informed decisions regarding your own product line whether you’re looking into white label CBD or custom formulation services.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes or terpenoids are naturally-occurring compounds that are found predominantly in various plant life and comprise more than 30,000 unique physical and chemical properties. As the primary constituents of essential oils of many plants and flowers, terpenes are responsible for each botanical’s particular aromas, flavors, and, less commonly, colors. Their biological function plays a role in disease resistance, attraction of pollinators, plant to plant communication, and other essential properties for supporting the plant’s immune system. These plant compounds have been popularly used for fragrances and flavors in consumer products such as perfumes, cosmetics, beverages, and foods. Preliminary clinical research supports that many terpenes have exclusive medicinal potential that differs from compound to compound. These have been an important component of some traditional treatments like aromatherapy. Historically, our communities have harnessed terpenes for mood alteration like stress relief and relaxation. From citrus fruits to savory herbs, terpenes are abundantly found throughout nature. All plants synthesize a different suite of several hundred terpene compounds with individual roles for unique benefits. One of the most prevalent plant sources of terpenes is cannabis. Cannabis has been identified to contain more than 150 types of terpenes that work together to provide diverse strains and each signature scent profile. The compounds develop naturally in female cannabis plants within the trichomes’ resin glands which are found throughout the surface of flower buds and in smaller concentrations on the leaves and stems.

What Are the Benefits of Cannabis Terpenes?

Beyond the exclusive scent profiles created by each suite of terpenes, these compounds may also produce a scope of therapeutic effects. They have been identified as a revolutionary frontier in cannabis treatment as more and more emerging research on popular cannabinoids like CBD and THC have become center stage. It is believed that all terpenes exhibit individual combinations of therapeutic and medicinal properties. Studies show that some of the effects that terpenes have on people mimic their immune support function in cannabis and other plants. Emerging science points to promising antiviral, antimicrobial, and pain relief properties along with a host of other potential benefits. In addition to boasting unique medicinal properties, researchers hypothesize that cannabis terpenes work synergistically together with cannabinoids and all other plant compounds in order to optimize cannabis’ maximum healing potential. This theory is referred to as the entourage effect. Preliminary studies support the exclusive whole-plant synergy produced by cannabis plants when all present cannabinoids and terpenes are consumed together, rather than in isolated forms. Recent studies, like this one, show better therapeutic promise from full-spectrum CBD products containing whole-plant cannabinoids and terpenes, as opposed to CBD isolate. Subsequently, the cannabis industry has been utilizing this emerging research, formulating CBD products with added terpenes to create specific wellness supports and enhanced health potential. While the science on terpenes is still widely in its infancy, up-and-coming research on each of these common cannabis terpenes may help you find a better-suited CBD product for your needs.

The Most Common Cannabis Terpenes and Their Promising Benefits

While there are over 150 different types of terpenes found in cannabis, many only occur in trace amounts. Here are the most common cannabis terpenes and their potential effects:


Also referred to as beta-caryophyllene or β-caryophyllene, this terpene is also common in rosemary, cloves, black pepper, and oregano. The peppery, spicy aroma produced by caryophyllene is very distinctive and is actually dominant in many cannabis strains. Caryophyllene is the only cannabis-specific terpene that’s been discovered to bind to the CB2 receptor, explaining why it is at times classified as an atypical cannabinoid. Caryophyllene may offer the following medical benefits:
  • Recent studies on the terpene show its promising anti-anxiety properties while offering symptom support for various chronic conditions ranging from degenerative neurological conditions to liver fibrosis.
  • Caryophyllene may offer antidepressant-like effects by targeting the CB2 receptor.
  • Current studies on the terpene’s CB2 receptor activity point to its potential for treating conditions with an inflammatory component.
  • It may also enhance wound healing through cell proliferation and migration as well as activating the CB2 receptor for decreased pain.


Myrcene is another dominant terpene among cannabis strains and is also quite common among hops and lemongrass. The musky, earthy, herbaceous nature of this terpene is responsible for the subtly sweet flavor profile in cannabis as well as mangoes. The terpene content in cannabis strains also impacts its corresponding sedating and energetic effects- strains with high concentrations of 0.5% or more are more likely to be relaxing while strains with less than 0.5% are more inclined to be alerting. Studies on myrcene support the following promising benefits:
  • Myrcene may offer pain-relief properties. These studies report that it may inhibit pain perception and offer a local opioid-mediated effect.
  • It may prove beneficial for chronic pain management by targeting the TRPV1 channel.
  • Studies also show potential for anti-inflammatory and pro-anabolic properties for chronic conditions like osteoarthritis.


Predominantly found in citrus fruits, ginger, and cannabis, limonene has a fresh, citrus aroma and is commonly known as an uplifting terpene. It has been popularly used in a variety of items ranging from cosmetics to household cleaning products. There are more studies that have been completed on this terpene in non-cannabis focused research, but these studies show potential for the following therapeutic applications:
  • Studies show that limonene may increase the production of antibody-producing cells that are vital to the immune system for addressing pathogenic viruses and bacteria.
  • It may also provide anti-inflammatory and anti-stress effects, reducing the physical and mental response to stressful stimuli.
  • Limonene may offer anti-anxiety properties by increasing tyrosine hydroxylase, GAD-67, and dopamine levels.
  • Several studies, like this one and this one, show promising antitumor activity in various forms of cancer.


Pinene is one of the most widely researched terpenes and is available in two different compounds called alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. Alpha-pinene is the more dominant variety found in cannabis while beta-pinene features more trace amounts. It produces an earthy, piney aroma reminiscent of Christmas trees. The terpene is also found in basil, parsley, evergreen trees, and is the most common terpene in all plant life. Preliminary studies support the following potential benefits:
  • Several studies point to pinene’s potential for gastroprotective, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, and neuroprotective effects.
  • Pinene may offer anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties for addressing a wide scope of conditions.
  • It may prove particularly beneficial for neurological conditions due to its ability to influence multiple neurotransmitter, inflammatory, and neurotrophic signals.
  • The terpene may also provide bronchodilator and pain-relieving benefits.


The floral, characteristic lavender aroma with hints of spice and sweet citrus produced by linalool is naturally occurring in over 200 plants including lavender, birch bark, and cannabis. It’s commonly produced due to the variety of benefits it can provide plants throughout their growth cycles. Many of these benefits may be mirrored similarly in therapeutic effects for people. Linalool may offer the following therapeutic promise:


Sometimes referred to as cineol, eucalyptol is a common terpene in cannabis, eucalyptus trees, sage, cardamom, and other plant species. The vibrant, fresh, minty scent has been commonly used in aromatherapy practices. Renowned for a variety of promising benefits, there are preclinical studies that support the traditional uses for this terpene. Eucalyptol may provide the following medicinal benefits:
  • Clinical trials show promise for treating common sinus infections, helping promote pain relief, and open airways.
  • Eucalyptol may offer anti-inflammatory and pain-relief properties, as shown in this study after knee replacement surgery.
  • An interesting study conducted in a nursing home supports eucalyptol’s potential for improving cognitive function for individuals with dementia.
  • The terpene may also provide antioxidant effects for providing therapeutic value for chronic conditions including respiratory disease, pancreatitis, cardiovascular disease, and more.


Humulene is known for its subtle woody, spicy, and earthy aroma that accounts for the distinct taste in hoppy beers. The herbaceous terpene is also found in ginseng, black pepper, and cannabis. Similar to pinene and myrcene, humulene is another fundamental terpene in cannabis, responsible for the overall aromatic profile of these plants. However, it’s usually present in smaller quantities than other terpene counterparts. The terpene may provide therapeutic benefits, including the following:
  • Humulene may contain anticancer and analgesic properties and may offer a beneficial influence on the efficacy of classical chemotherapeutics.
  • This terpene may promote antibacterial activity against certain bacterium like Staphylococcus aureus.
  • It may also deliver anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine effects, providing a potential tool for treating or managing inflammatory conditions.


Also referred to as alpha-bisabolol or levomenol, this terpene is known for producing a sweet, floral aroma. It is commonly used in cosmetic products due to its scent and potential skin benefits. Bisabolol is found in cannabis as well as chamomile flowers and other herbal teas. Emerging research is showing promising health benefits like:
  • The terpene may reduce inflammation in the skin, offering potential skin-healing properties. Its anti-inflammatory effects may also address other conditions.
  • It may also stimulate gastrointestinal tract receptors, causing smooth muscle relaxation.


The sweet, earthy, citrusy aroma produced by ocimene has made the terpene a common additive in perfume products. Ocimene is present in cannabis as well as hops, bergamot, parsley, mint, kumquats, and many other plant species. It is believed to act as a protective agent against harmful elements for various plant life. The terpene may provide the following therapeutic values:
  • Ocimene may provide anti-inflammatory properties shown to suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines.
  • It may also deliver antioxidative properties in addition to inhibiting essential enzymes that are connected to hypertension and type 2 diabetes.


Terpinolene is known as one of the least-abundant terpenes found in cannabis. However, it’s worth noting as its promising effects can be profound on the cannabis experience despite its small concentrations. It plays an important role in both aroma and taste in many cannabis strains and is believed to synergistically impact therapeutic qualities. The piney, herbaceous, floral, and subtly citrusy aroma produced is also present in nutmeg, cumin, and lilacs. The terpene may have these following benefits:

Picking the Right Terpenes for Your White Label CBD Product

Tenacious Labs Manufacturing has the industry-leading cannabis veterans and experts to guide you through your product formulations. Our specialists are happy to help you determine what terpenes are ideal for adding to your white label CBD products or your proprietary formulas. We source all of our terpenes from non-GMO hemp farms raised with strict organic farming practices in Colorado and Oregon. Contact us today and work with your own exclusive project manager for all of your CBD manufacturing needs.