What Are Terpenes & What Do They Do?

A discussion with Chef Holden Jagger, Co-Founder, Executive Chef, Altered Plates

At The Chillery we aim to provide guidance on everything CBD related. One of the lesser-known compounds found in many high-quality products is the tiny terpene. We sat down with Los Angeles based award-winning chef Holden Jagger to dive deep into terpenes and their benefits.

About Chef Holden Jagger


After more than a decade working in some of California’s top kitchens (Town Hall San Francisco, Craft Los Angeles, Maude Beverly Hills, Soho House West Hollywood), Chef Holden Jagger co-founded culinary cannabis hospitality company Altered Plates with his sister, Rachel Burkons, in 2016. Since then, Altered Plates has become a thought leader in the culinary cannabis space, where Chef Holden Jagger has pioneered pairing food with cannabis, fine dining infusions, and a variety of other culinary cannabis concepts.

In 2018, Holden was awarded Green State’s Top Cannabis Chefs in the Country, and in 2019, Holden was invited to bring cannabis education to the mainstream by curating the first cannabis education dinner at the legendary James Beard House. He is a passionate advocate for CBD and is on a quest to continue exploring the other cannabinoids in cannabis and their use in the culinary arts. Holden and Altered Plates are currently consulting in the onsite cannabis consumption space, and working on new and innovative ways to bring culinary cannabis to consumers. 


What are Terpenes?

From your favourite foods and drinks to a wide variety of plants, flowers and botanicals, terpenes are everywhere – including in cannabis and hemp. They’re so ubiquitous, in fact, but what are these molecules, and why do we talk about them so much in cannabis?

Simply put, terpenes are the aromatic molecules that are the building blocks of aroma, and because we first “taste” with our nose, they also impact the flavour of food and beverages. In cannabis, hundreds of terpenes work in conjunction to create each unique strain that produce varying effects – ranging from invigorating and uplifting, to relaxing and sleep-inducing.

The 5 major terpenes present in cannabis

1. Limonene is a bright, acidic terpene, present in lime, lemon fruit rind and juniper. 

2. Pinene can be found in pine, rosemary, basil, dill and parsley. 

3. Myrcene is an earthy, spiced terpene present in mango, hops, thyme and lemongrass. 

4. Beta-Caryophyllene is a spicy, potent terpene found in black pepper, cloves and cinnamon.

5. Linalool is a sweet, floral terpene found in lavender.


A sensory-driven experience

So how do these terpenes affect our experience with cannabis? Think of it like aromatherapy: When you’re looking for an invigorating scent in your beauty products, oil diffusers, and perfumes, you turn to bright citrus flavours for an awakening, uplifting experience. Alternately, if you’re looking for a soothing pre-bedtime bath soak or sheet spray, you’ll turn to relaxing lavender. 

You may not know it, but this sensory-driven experience is terpenes in action. In cannabis, Limonene, the terpene also present in citrus, is associated with uplifting, invigorating strains of cannabis, while sedating, relaxing strains tend to have high concentrations of linalool. Myrcene is the primary terpene found in cannabis, and is responsible for the plant’s signature smell; strains that are high in myrcene are highly relaxing and sedative.

Therapeutic benefits 

Additionally, there have been a variety of health benefits associated with terpenes such as pinene’s ability to act as a bronchial aerator, limonene’s anti-inflammatory qualities, and linalool, myrcene and limonene’s anxiety-fighting properties. These health benefits are amplified when combined with whole-plant derived cannabinoids like CBD thanks to what is known as the entourage effect.

lavender-linalool-terpeneBest terpene-packed CBD products 

With the advanced efficacy that occurs when terpenes and CBD are combined, it’s no wonder that some of the best products on the market are focused on including terpenes in their CBD products. At The Chillery you will find premier terpene-infused products, keep reading for our specially curated selection.  

Yuyo Botanics AM Formula

We love using this tincture for everyday mind and body wellness, focus, and a strong start to the day. Formulated with organically grown hemp extract, ashwagandha root, peppermint and lemon, it is perfect for daytime use. One of the reasons we adore this tincture is their use of the limonene & menthone—the main terpenes found in lemons and mint, respectively. Both containing potent healing qualities, when combined with CBD they bring clarity & confidence to any day

 Oto Balance CBD Oil Roller

Beautifully paired lavender, chamomile and cajeput are highlight notes of this luxurious essential oil roller containing the terpene linalool—one of the 5 main terpenes found in cannabis. Through their unique curation process - ‘otosynthesis' - Oto sources the highest quality essential oils, scents and flavours from around the globe, blending them with pure CBD for balance and relaxation.


We hope you feel confident to get started with terpenes! If not leave a comment or send us an email at hi@thechillery.com and we can answer all your questions. 

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