Cannabis derived terpenes vs non-cannabis derived terpenes

New to the site, so sorry if this has already been discussed. Didn’t see it when I searched though.

I see a lot of claims about cannabis derived terpenes being superior. The problem is that these claims are usually made by people who make/sell a product that competes with something like distillate carts/non-cannabis derived terpenes, and I have yet to see an explanation backed by science as to why one is more or less superior.

I’m not curious what everyone’s opinion is. I want to know if there is a chemical difference between terpenes based on their source. Does it matter if the myrcene is sourced from cannabis, hemp, mangoes, or other sources? If the source matters for potential contaminants, what are some potential bad sources and contaminants? If cannabis terpenes are superior, why are they superior from a scientific standpoint?


Here’s the thing, non cannabis terpene profiles are generally somewhere between 5 and 15 terpenes mixed in a ratio that is supposed to mimic a cannabis strain. The issue is, cannabis strains generally have 25+ terpenes (mono-, di- sesqui-, etc.) As well as, flavinoids, terpenoids, and other compounds that regulate the absorption and effects of terps and cannabinoids.

We don’t genuinely know how to mimic what the plant produces (yet.)

Some of the classicly trained chemists will argue that there is no difference. Some of the people that have been using the plant for many years will argue that nothing compares to the actual plant or its’ extracts.


I buy more than 30k$ of canna-terp so far (not much in Cali, but a lot for a guy from Canada) and there is NOTHING to compare like you said. Co2 terp’s or nothing lol (microwave one are good too).


Couldn’t be more well said. They’re too complicated and the ingredients aren’t all commercially available.

None of the traditional testing labs I’m familiar with have released a test that looks at other flavor elements we know to exist.

Also, Cannabis essential oils are highly influenced by how they’re obtained. I can’t abide the smell of most hydrodistilled oils anymore. Even worse is the smell of most hydrodistilled hemp essential oil. Buy the best raw cut on amazon or from a private dealer and also get a sample of @TheFrenchie microwave or CO2 from a marijuana plant. I guarantee you’ll dump that hemp oil in the bin and vape the other one.


To answer your question, no there is no chemical difference between cannabis limonene and the limonene in lemons. Pinene is pinene, linool is linool. As mentioned, non-native strain profiles are cookie cutter versions of a standardized plant model. They can be great, don’t get me wrong. I use them all the time. But if you’re looking for the full profile of a strain with all the uniqueness intact then cannabis-derived is hard to beat.


Is it economics that makes these imitation blends attractive?

I understand the desire for exotic flavors; who didn’t love fake cherry slushees at one point in their life?

I believe so, lots of people are extracting with ethanol, which often wrecks the flavor profile. So there’s lots of distillate being made that doesn’t have good terpenes to flavor it with, so if it’s destined for carts, people use imitations.


Aren’t all terpenes C10H16 but arranged differently?

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No. The flavor terpenes you’re seeing on the Cannabis analyses two major classes, mono terpenes and sesquiterpenes. The C10H16s are called monoterpenes. The C15H24s are called sesquiterpenes. They’re built from C5H8 units called isoprenes. We also see terpene alcohols and oxides in these analyses, also common flavor compounds. Linalool is C10H18O and caryophyllene oxide is C15H24O.

However much larger terpenes exist in nature, C20s are called diterpenes, C25s are sesterterpenes and C30s are called triterpenes and so on. Floraplex uses a diterpene alcohol called phytol in one if it’s diluents. It’s a huge family of natural compounds.


:+1: learning more chemistry in 4 months on a forum than in 4 years in high school


Just for frame of reference, rubber is a terpene.


I knew all of these things but I’ve never put them together so simply and coherently- bravo :clap:


How far does, say, 1ml of real cannabis Co2 terpenes go when making carts? What I’m really wondering is can you make up the added cost vs using something like Floraplex.
Currently I’m using Floraplex and they are pretty good. No real complaints.

But I’d like a truer flavor so I guess what I’m asking is, how many carts can you make with 1ml of real terps?

well if you cut your distillate 10% and you have 1ml. Then you can cut 9ml of distillate with 1ml of cannibis terps and you will have a full 10ml of cannabis terpene flavored distillate.


So it’s basically the same as using the “cannabis derived” terps? I aim for about 10-15% diluent and 5% terps with my disty.

Sounds like you use the real terps at the same %? They don’t have more “oomph” for lack of a better term?

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Use 10% Cannabis terps, you shouldn’t need any diluent.

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Bringing the T to under or around .3 so I need to dilute a bit. I have one batch at .55 and another at .39

Also want to prevent re-crystallization.

If you cut with even 25% of a fake strain blend it will taste of perfume enough for someone who is used to cannabis derived to notice.

If you have to cut my experience is that you get a smoother product than all fake strain blends with cutting. It makes economic sense too.

Some ppl don’t mind it. I suggest you make a small batch of uncut, then do various percents and blind taste test it.

Did a test with 20% canna terps, no nose burn or discomfort, but it was way too thin for my hardware.

You can mix hemp terps into botanical blends to disguse their fake taste. Gives the shattery background taste that people equate to “realness” and the sweet/piney/citrusy flavors of the botanicals hide the grassy flavor of hemp terps


Thanks for the input.

I’ve been eyeing some of the terps from Clear Nation, so maybe I’ll grab a sample to compare. I still probably need to use a 10-20% mix of Floraplex diluent to bring the T down a bit and keep the oil viscous enough (and to help prevent it from crystallizing).