Cannabis Terpenes: What Growers Need to Know – Greenhouse Grower

The five most common plant terpenes found in cannabis. Note that there are currently over 100 known terpenes found in cannabis plants. Graphic Courtesy:

Terpenes – the naturally occurring substances that give sparkly cannabis flowers (and many other plants) their intense smell and flavor profiles (plus boosting psychological effects) – are enjoying a bit of a heightened profile of late.


Consumers who used to solely scout online dispensary menus for the highest THC percentages possible are becoming more discerning, hunting different levels and combinations of terpenes that influence the all-around consumption experience. This trend has naturally made its way into the greenhouse, where growers must now ensure production practices not only drive high THC and other cannabinoid production, but also the terpene content that today’s legal cannabis consumer is increasingly seeking out.

But, borrowing a phrase from the estimable LL Cool J (google him, Millennials), “don’t call it a comeback, terpenes have been here for years.”

Terpene Basics for Growers

“There’s no witchcraft to it or anything like that. It’s just kind of the whole combination of light and having the right genetics,” Solaris Farms owner Mike Sassano explains. “And nutrients are key as well, adding the right nutrients at the right timing, and then making sure you boost your terpene development toward the end of the process right around harvest time.”

First and foremost is choosing the right genetics for the level of terpene production one is seeking. Certain strains have

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