Terpenes, often referred to as the essential oils of cannabis, are oils secreted by the cannabis plant. Each strain has a unique make up of terpenes and it’s these terpenes that create the aromas and taste profiles.
There are hundreds of different terpenes in cannabis but the most common are Myrcene, Pinene, Limonene, Caryophyllene, Linalool, Humulene. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis and you can find them in fruit, herbs, and other plants. Myrcene, for example, is found in highly fragrant plants such as mangoes, hops, bay leaves, thyme, basil and lemongrass.
The science is still fairly new on how terpenes contribute to the effects felt when consuming cannabis. Terpene content varies from strain to strain, grower to grower, and plant to plant.
To learn more about terpenes, check out this article on Leafly.