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  • Jennifer Betz

Terpenes: What are They, and Which Ones Should You Look For at Missouri Dispensaries?

Terpene 101

Why Do Terpenes in Medical Marijuana Matter?

“Terpene” is the latest buzzword in cannabis, but what is a terpene anyway? Why is it important when choosing your medical marijuana? The short answer is that they change the effects of cannabis strains to create different results depending on their profile.

Keep reading to learn more about why having a good understanding of terpene profiles will help you choose the right strains to meet your treatment needs.

Medical Marijuana Strains: More Complicated than Indica Versus Sativa

When you first get your Missouri marijuana card, you have a lot of new information to take in at once. However, the excitement of finding an open dispensary in the state may overshadow the details about what works best for your symptoms.

Once you get past the second set of doors and have to make a decision about which strain to buy, it finally sets in that medical marijuana can legitimately help you treat your condition. But no one told you which strains to use!

Some cannabis strains are better for chronic pain than others, and the same goes for anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and any other symptom you use medical marijuana to treat.

The difference isn’t always as simple as indica versus sativa, either. While it may be obvious that you don’t want to take a strong sativa strain to help you get a good night’s sleep, both categories of marijuana strains can help you relax and find relief from pain.

The nuances in their effects are a result of the balance of cannabinoids present, as well as the terpenes.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the chemical compounds that make plants smell the way they do. Lemons smell like lemons—and lavender smells like lavender—because of terpenes. When you think about why they make a difference in your treatment, picture a trip to an aromatherapy spa or even just your favorite candles.

What kinds of aromas do you prefer? How do they make you feel? That vanilla-scented shower gel lifting your mood is most likely a result of terpenes.

Terpenes contribute to what’s called the entourage effect in cannabis. This effect is the result of all the elements of a medical marijuana strain coming together to create something even more powerful than the individual elements alone.

Which Terpenes Are Found in Medical Marijuana?

There are more than 20,000 terpenes in the natural world. About 100 different terpenes are found in medical marijuana, with closer to a dozen of them present in the highest concentrations.

The terpenes and their varying concentrations give marijuana plants their taste, smell, appearance, and effect. Primary terpenes are the terpenes that are dominant in a strain, and secondary terpenes are present in lower concentrations.

Here are the most common terpenes found in cannabis, along with the effects most people can expect:


Limonene gives citrus its bright aroma. Lemons, limes, and oranges contain high concentrations of limonene, which is a natural mood elevator.

Why Should I Look for Limonene in Medical Marijuana?

Limonene has antidepressant, antifungal, and antispasmodic properties. This means that medical marijuana strains high in limonene concentrations are good for depression, chronic fatigue, and pain related to muscle spasms. Cannabis higher in limonene may also be good when you have a cold, because of the terpene’s immunostimulant effect.

Strains to Look for at Missouri Dispensaries

Lemon Haze

Berry White

Sour Grape


Myrcene is a powerful terpene also found in hops, basil, and mangos. It has a sedative effect, as well as anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Be careful when taking a strain high in myrcene, though. This one is famous for causing a bit of “couch lock.”

Why Should I Look for Myrcene in Medical Marijuana?

Myrcene may increase absorption of cannabinoids in the brain, making it easier for your medical marijuana to do its job. It has powerful muscle relaxing and pain-relieving effects, and it can help people suffering from insomnia get a better night’s sleep.

Strains to Look for at Missouri Dispensaries

Amnesia Haze

Diesel Train

Triangle Kush


Linalool is also found in plants like lavender and coriander. It has relaxing and anticonvulsant effects.

Why Should I Look for Linalool in Medical Marijuana?

Linalool can help elevate your mood, and it is good for depression and anxiety. Its relaxing effects are generally not so strong it keeps you on the couch, so a linalool-dominant strain may be a good daytime pain and anxiety reliever.

Strains to Look for at Missouri Dispensaries





Pinene has been referred to by researchers as “The miracle gift of nature.” It is the terpene responsible for that fresh, clean scent found in pine trees. It has antimicrobial, antibiotic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Why Should I Look for Pinene in Medical Marijuana?

Pinene can help with mental clarity, which is helpful to have in cannabis strains you want to use when you have other things to do. It is great for pain that is related to inflammation, and may even have bronchio-dialating effects.

Strains to Look for at Missouri Dispensaries

Kansas City Kush

Blue Dream


Beta-caryophyllene is found in pepper, cloves, hops, oregano, and other spicy, woody-scented plants. It binds with the CB-2 receptor in the brain, which is integral in the human endo-cannabinoid system, so it is sometimes also referred to as a cannabinoid.

Why Should I Look for Caryophyllene in Medical Marijuana

One of the biggest benefits of caryophyllene may be for patients who are using prescription medication for pain management. The terpene may make pain-killers more effective, reducing the amount that you need to take in order to get real relief. It is also excellent for anxiety, inflammation, and insomnia.

Strains to Look for at Missouri Dispensaries

Cherry Kush

Chem Scout

Popcorn Kush


Humulene is a favorite among medical marijuana patients who are trying to avoid getting the munchies when they take their medicine. Along with its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it also works as an appetite suppressant.

Why Should I Look for Humulene in Medical Marijuana

Humulene is a great terpene for pain and relaxation. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it perfect for people who suffer from arthritis or chronic pain—especially if other strains have a tendency to make you hungry when that’s not the effect you’re going for.

Strains to Look for at Missouri Dispensaries


Kansas City Kush

Why Aren’t Any of the Cannabis Strains Listed at Missouri Dispensaries Near Me?

The Missouri medical marijuana program has had a rough start. But, Missouri dispensaries are expanding their supply every day. As growers and producers roll out new products, a greater variety of strains will also be available.

As of right now, the strains listed in this article can be found at Missouri Dispensaries like Greenlight Cannabis, Swade, Missouri Health and Wellness, From the Earth, and more. You’ll have the best luck finding what you are looking for in larger cities like St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield.

However, dispensaries in smaller towns may be able to customize their focus on bringing in strains their customers prefer. If you can’t find the strain or dominant terpene you are looking for, just ask. Your local budtender will be happy to help.

Can I Grow My Own Marijuana Strains in Missouri?

One of the fabulous things about having a Missouri marijuana card is the fact that you can grow your own medical marijuana! If you have found a specific strain that works for you, but it’s constantly in short supply, you could simply get a Missouri cultivation permit and then buy the right seeds.

Within a few months, you could have an abundant supply of your favorite cannabis strains conveniently available in your own home.

How Can I Get a Missouri Marijuana Card?

If you are waiting to get your Missouri marijuana card, now is the perfect time to do it! Get your marijuana card in time to grow a few plants of your favorite strains, or enjoy sampling new strains as they come available in your local dispensary.

Give our expert staff and doctors a call at (877) 303-3117, or schedule an online evaluation appointment today!

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