Skip to content
Unlocking the Aromatic Secrets: Botanical vs. Cannabis-Derived Terpenes (5 Minute Read)

Unlocking the Aromatic Secrets: Botanical vs. Cannabis-Derived Terpenes (5 Minute Read)

Botanical vs. Cannabis-Derived Terpenes (CDT)

Terpenes are a diverse class of scent compounds responsible for the unique aroma in every cannabis strain. Once extracted, isolated terpenes or strain specific profiles can enhance the flavour and aroma of cannabis products like concentrates, tinctures, topicals, and edibles. However, not all terpene-infused products used in the cannabis industry are derived from cannabis!

Botanical terpenes are commonly used to craft scents and flavours, but cannabis-derived terpenes are now becoming more widely available to consumers. We will see more and more of these luxury cannabis terpene products on the market over the next few years. But which is better for cannabis consumers? Keep reading to learn about the differences between cannabis-derived terpenes and botanical terpenes, and how they both enhance your favourite products!

Cannabis-Derived Terpenes

Cannabis-derived terpenes come directly from cannabis plants! Every cannabis strain has a unique combination of terpenes that give it a distinctive flavour and aroma. They develop naturally in the trichomes of cannabis flowers. Trichomes are the tiny, resinous crystalline structures on cannabis flowers that produce many chemical constituents, including major cannabinoids like CBD and THC, minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. We are starting to see cannabis-derived terpenes become available in Canada, often derived by a hemp variety. These terpenes are purified to remove any cannabinoids, which make it a legal option that is now available to customers. Furthermore, one of the big differences between a standard strain profile and cannabis-derived terpenes (CDT) is that the strain profiles only contain terpenes, whereas CDT include esters, aldehydes, and flavonoids, that are naturally occurring within the plant.  This provides a more authentic consumption and product experience.   

Some of the most abundant terpenes found in cannabis strains include:

  • Myrcene is known for its musky, earthy aroma
  • Limonene is known for its citrusy aroma
  • Pinene is known for its piney aroma
  • Linalool is known for its floral aroma

The Entourage Effect

Terpenes are currently being studied for potential therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Many consider the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids responsible for the potent entourage effect. It is believed that cannabis-derived terpenes can enhance the therapeutic properties of cannabis more than botanical terpenes. However, technically speaking, whether they are sourced from cannabis or other botanical means, the terpenes are molecularly identical.

Terpenes are not psychoactive, meaning they will not get you high, but they can offer therapeutic benefits. For example, the terpene Linalool found in some strains of cannabis is known to have sedative properties and may help to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. Scientists are studying how these effects can be boosted when combined with additional constituents like cannabinoids and flavonoids from cannabis.

Botanical Terpenes

Botanical terpenes are found in many plants and are responsible for the unique aromas and flavours associated with different types of flowers, fruits, and herbs. They are used in a variety of everyday consumer goods, such as perfumes, food and beverage, and personal care products. Botanical terpenes are extracted from more widely available and affordable plants, such as mint, lavender, and citrus. The easily recognized botanical terpene, Limonene, is known for its intense citrus aroma. It is abundant in the rinds of citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. Other common botanical terpenes include Myrcene, found in mangos and hops, and Linalool, which is common in lavender flowers. These terpenes are created by extracting the essential oils of botanical plants and then further refining them to their individual terpenes. These individual terpenes are then reconstituted into terpene strain profiles that are made to replicate strain specific terpene profiles, to provide an authentic experience.

Benefits of Terpenes

In addition to their aromatics, botanical terpenes are widely studied for their potential health benefits. Terpenes that are naturally present in plants' essential oils have been used in aromatherapy or terpene therapy to treat various emotional, mental, and physical conditions for over a century. The terpene Pinene is found in the essential oils of evergreens like pine and cedar, it is known to have stimulating properties. It is often added to aromatherapy diffuser blends to improve alertness and treat mental fatigue.

Many terpenes have already been found to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain relieving), and anti-anxiety properties when diffused or used in topical preparations. And some studies have also suggested that terpenes may have various other effects that can help treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Botanical Terpenes in Cannabis Products

Botanical terpenes are commonly used in the cannabis industry to add to 510 cartridges, edibles, dried flower and concentrates, to improve the scent, flavour and effect of the customers' consumption experience. They are sometimes added to either boost the existing products or combined with cannabis-derived terpenes (ie. Live Resin Infused terpenes) to create unique aroma or flavour profiles that mimic popular cannabis strains, or to invent creative new profiles. 

Isolated Molecules

While botanical terpenes may not come directly from cannabis plants, they have similar properties to cannabis-derived terpenes. Scientifically speaking, a particular terpene molecule is exactly the same as another once the terpenes have been isolated and extracted from any plant source. Isolated limonene from oranges is identical to an isolated limonene molecule found in cannabis.

Scientists can develop exact formulas to recreate your favourite strains in a lab, because botanical terpene strains start as isolated terpenes. Imagine terpene isolates as the ingredients in a recipe. They can be mixed and blended to formulate specific strain scents, flavours, and effect profiles, or invent new and exciting flavours. The possibilities are endless! 

Uses of Terpenes

Terpenes are added to enhance products by boosting the flavour and aroma, especially in products such as food and beverage, dried flower, tinctures, concentrates, distillates and topicals. Terpenes are often used to create strain-specific blends for 510 cartridge pens, as many of the flavour and scent constituents are removed when distillingTHC or isolating CBD. But terpene-infused products can also be formulated to target specific conditions like anxiety or pain management and promote relaxation and stress relief. Combining terpenes with other natural cannabis compounds like CBD and THC produces more potent products and supports the entourage effect.

The Big Difference

The main difference between cannabis-derived terpenes and botanical terpenes is the origin of the terpenes. Cannabis-derived terpenes come directly from the cannabis plant, while botanical terpenes are extracted from other plants. Practically speaking, all terpenes can enhance the flavour and aroma of products, and both cannabis-derived and botanical terpenes have therapeutic properties.

It is easier to extract terpenes from other more abundant plant sources and combine them to create strain-inspired blends, rather than to extract them from cannabis flowers. Also, regulations can make it difficult to access cannabis-derived terpenes. Botanical terpenes are readily available in bulk from commonly cultivated plants worldwide, compared to their single-plant cannabis-derived counterparts. The extraction process is established, standardized, and overall, much more affordable.  CannTerp offers the only cannabis-derived terpenes on the market, specifically derived from hemp variety, which make them legal to use

Strain Profiles: Strain profile terpene blends are inspired by your favourite strains. Each strain profile was carefully selected and blended, to provide the same familiar scent, taste and effects of your ideal strains.

Flavour Infused Strain Profiles: Add an extra boost of flavour, from 100% naturally occurring esters, flavonoids and aldehydes. Take your flavour and taste to the next level.

Live Resin Boosted: Boosted by hemp-derived terpenes, to provide a comprehensive flavour and scent experience, while offering it an affordable price.

Cannabis-Derived Terpenes: Ultra-premium line of terpenes derived 100% from Cannabis Sativa. This product line delivers the most authentic aromatic and flavour experience.

In Conclusion: The Cost of Luxury 

A higher cost is associated with extracting terpenes directly from cannabis plants because of the amount of work and time involved in cannabis cultivation. Cannabis-derived terpenes are definitely considered a luxury product. Specific strains are cultivated for their robust aromatics and terpene profiles, and they are much closer to the source on meticulously curated cannabis farms. So the next time you stop into a dispensary or shop online, why not try terpenes extracted directly from cannabis or hemp, to experience your favourite terpenes right from the plants!

Buy CannTerp Premium Terpenes, the top supplier of premium terpenes for sale in Canada and the greater Toronto area. We offer the best terpenes for sale across a wide range of product lines including strain profiles, flavour boosted profiles, live resin boosted and hemp-derived terpenes, as well as our unique terpene infusion product line. Shop our award-winning selection today!


Amanda Breeze is an enthusiastic educator on all things terpenes and aroma. She hosts The Smoking Spot podcast, featuring stories and sensory evaluations of our favourite plant. Follow her on Instagram: 

Older Post
Newer Post
Close (esc)

Sign-up for our newsletter

10% Off Your First Order

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Added to cart