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Terpenoid Profiling

Terpenoids (meaning terpene like)


Terpenes – Medicinal molecules and important building blocks in nature


  • diverse group of organic HydroCarbons, produced by a wide variety of plants
  • terpenoids are terpenes which have been chemically modified. They are important building blocks for certain odors, hormones, vitamins, pigments, steroids, resins, essential oils, and CANNABINOIDS!
  • they are naturally released from plants when temperatures are higher, helping to seed clouds which then cool the plants
  • they interact with each other synergistically for a range of different smells/qualities/effects

In Cannabis:


  • over 120 different terpenes can be produced by Cannabis, some only in trace amounts with others in double-digit percentage
  • produced in the Trichomes, the same glands where THC is produced, comprising between 10 and 20 percent of the total oils produced by the glands
  • about 10-29 percent of marijuana smoke resin is composed of terpenes/terpenoids
  • drug sniffing dogs are able to smell odorous terpenes, not THC
  • age, maturation and time of day can affect the amount and ratios of terpenes. They are constantly being produced but are vaporized by heat and light of the day
  • climate and weather also affect terpene and flavonoid production. The same variety, even genotype, can produce a different terpene profile when grown in different soils or with different fertilizers.
  • in addition to many circulatory and muscular effects, some terpenes interact with neurological receptors
    • a few bind weakly to Cannabinoid receptors
    • others seem to alter the permeability of cell membranes and allow in either more or less THC
    • others affect serotonin and dopamine chemistry (neurotransmitters)

Terpenes are ultimately responsible for delivering the complex effects provided by whole plant medicinal cannabis products. Any patient who has attempted to utilize only THC, CBD and CBN will quickly be able to tell you that comparing only THC values will not help you identify which strain is best for them. Screening for terpenes is important as they are critical to understanding of each strain of cannabis. Cannabis is far more complex than only one, or two, cannabinoids delivering the therapeutic effect. Terpenes modify and modulate the effects of THC and other cannabinoids and impact the overall medicinal properties of the particular cultivar. Terpenes are also predominant players in the smell and taste of medicinal cannabis.

Utilizing Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), QCL Quality Compliance Laboratories is currently able to screen for the following Terpenes:


  • α-Bisabolol
  • Borneol
  • Camphene
  • Campher
  • Δ3-Carene
  • β-Caryophyllene
  • Caryophyllene oxide
  • α-Cedrene
  • β-Eudesmol
  • (+) Fenchol
  • Geraniol
  • Guaiol
  • α-Humulene
  • Isoborneol
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Menthol
  • Myrcene
  • Nerol
  • cis-Ocimene
  • trans-Ocimene
  • α-Phellanderene
  • α-Pinene
  • β-Pinene
  • Sabinene Hydrate
  • α-Terpinene
  • α-terpineol
  • Terpinolene
  • α-Guaiene (t)
  • Elemene (t)
  • Farnesene (t)
  • Germacrene B (t)
  • Guaia-1(10),11-diene (t)
  • t-2-Pinanol (t)
  • Selina-3,7(11)-diene (t)
  • Eudesm-7(11)-en-4-ol (t)
  • Valencene (t)