Best Terpenes for Pain and Inflammation: Your Path to Comfort

by Angela G

Key Findings

  • Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis that are responsible for its scent and flavor.
  • Terpenes interact with cannabinoids like THC and CBD to create specific effects, including pain relief and relaxation.
  • Certain terpenes like myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
  • Popular weed strains like Granddaddy Purple and ACDC for pain relief contain specific terpenes that enhance their effectiveness.
  • Terpenes can improve the absorption of cannabinoids in the body, ensuring they reach areas where they can relieve pain effectively.
  • While terpenes alone cannot cure pain, their synergy with cannabinoids offers a natural and comprehensive approach to pain management.

Onboard the sensory expedition through the lush, aromatic terrain of cannabis. In this botanical realm, we are on a quest to uncover the best terpenes for pain relief—a journey where nature’s fragrant molecules hold the key to unlocking a world of soothing sensations. 

While cannabinoids get the most attention, you’ll soon discover that terpenes play a significant role in shaping the pain-relieving potential of cannabis strains. Join us as we unravel the science behind these terpenes and their potential to provide relief from the challenges of pain.

Cannabis Terpenes: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Terpenes are the natural compounds found in cannabis, and they’re responsible for giving each strain its unique smell and taste. Think of them as the aromatic oils that make your bud smell like pine, citrus, or even cheese.

But terpenes do more than make weed smell nice. They also play a role in how cannabis affects you. When you smoke or vape, these terpenes mix with cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) to create a specific kind of high or buzz. 

For example, some terpenes can make you feel relaxed and sleepy, while others might boost your energy and creativity. So, the terpenes in your weed aren’t just about flavor but also how it makes you feel. Additionally, they offer potential health benefits, like reducing inflammation or anxiety. And they aren’t exclusive to cannabis, as you can find them in plants like lavender, lemon, and peppermint.

Terpenes and Pain Management: What Studies Say

Chronic pain and cancer-related pain relief with cannabis

Let’s dive into the scientific findings that highlight the potential of terpenes for pain management.


In recent years, natural compounds with potential health benefits have gained attention. A 2021 study shows how terpenes and terpenoids can be alternative treatments for inflammation-related diseases. While we don’t fully understand how terpenes reduce inflammation, we know they target various molecular factors like inflammatory proteins, cell receptors, and oxidative stress. 

Unlike current medications focusing on one pathway, terpenes can work on multiple pathways simultaneously, offering a more versatile and potentially practical approach to managing inflammatory conditions. 

Analgesic Properties

The opioid crisis and recent global statistics from the World Health Organization underscore the widespread pain problem, especially in the United States. Chronic and cancer-related pain severely affects daily life, and current opioid treatments often fall short, bringing unwanted side effects. 

Alternatively, cannabis, backed by centuries of traditional use, has gained scientific recognition for pain relief. Although more research is needed, a 2021 review article suggests that cannabis terpenes are promising as potential analgesics for various conditions, alone or alongside opioids. 

Reduction in Neuropathic Pain

Terpenes can treat neuropathic pain by activating cannabinoid receptors,” a mugglehead article reads. It goes on to explain certain terpenes, namely α-terpineol, ß-caryophyllene, and γ-terpinene, can activate CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in a way that reduces chronic pain, specifically neuropathic pain resulting from nerve damage. 

These terpenes effectively alleviated extreme sensitivity to touch (mechanical allodynia) and heightened temperature sensitivity (thermal hyperalgesia), common symptoms in people with neuropathic pain. 

Terpenes for Pain and Inflammation: List of Terpenes and Their Effects

To discover what terpenes are good for pain, we unveil a fascinating world of natural compounds found in cannabis. These terpenes hold the promise of providing relief from pain and inflammation. Let’s look at the diverse terpenes and their effects on managing discomfort.


Beta-caryophyllene terpene profile in cannabis strain

Beta-caryophyllene has a spicy, peppery aroma and is one of the best terpenes for inflammation. It interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system by activating CB2 receptors, much like cannabinoids. 

This interaction may help reduce inflammation and ease pain. Strains high in beta-caryophyllene include

  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Bubba Kush
  • Sour Diesel


Myrcene terpene profile in cannabis strain

Commonly found in Indica strains, myrcene has an earthy, musky aroma. It is known for its sedative and analgesic effects, believed to enhance the relaxing and pain-relieving qualities of cannabis. Strains rich in myrcene include

  • Granddaddy Purple
  • Blue Dream
  • Harlequin
  • OG Kush


Limonene terpene profile in cannabis strain

Limonene has a citrusy, lemon-like aroma and is known for its uplifting and mood-enhancing properties. While not a direct pain reliever, it indirectly assists with pain management by reducing stress and anxiety. Strains high in limonene include 

  • Purple Punch
  • Strawberry Banana


Linalool terpene profile in cannabis strain

Linalool has a floral, lavender-like aroma and is recognized for its potential sedative and anti-inflammatory effects. It’s associated with relaxation and pain relief. These strains have elevated linalool levels. 

  • Lavender Kush 
  • LA Confidential
  • Amnesia Haze


Pinene terpene profile in cannabis strain

Alpha-pinene has a fresh, piney aroma, while beta-pinene has a woody, earthy scent. Alpha-pinene may have anti-inflammatory properties, while beta-pinene may have analgesic effects. Both contribute to the distinct piney aroma in various cannabis strains. Strains that have pinene are

  • Strawberry Cough
  • Chemdawg 91
  • Dutch Treat


Terpinolene terpene profile in cannabis strain

Terpinolene has a fresh, piney, and slightly floral aroma. The terpene is said to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to pain and inflammation relief in some strains. Strains high in terpinolene include

  • Jack Herer
  • Lemon OG Kush
  • Super Lemon Haze

Best Weed Products for Pain Relief

Best weed products for pain relief

When it comes to cannabis, the best terpenes for pain can make all the difference. Let’s look at the weed products that offer adequate relief, focusing on fantastic cannabinoids and terpenes that comfort aches.

Cannabis Flower 

  • Strains for pain: Granddaddy Purple (myrcene-rich), ACDC (high CBD), Jack Herer (pinene and terpinolene).
  • Cannabinoids: Look for strains with balanced levels of THC and CBD. CBD helps counteract THC’s psychoactive effects while providing pain relief.
  • Terpenes: Strains with myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene can enhance pain relief.

Cannabis Tinctures

  • Products for pain: High-CBD tinctures or balanced THC/CBD ratios from brands like Papa & Barkley.
  • Cannabinoids: CBD-dominant or 1:1 THC/CBD ratios are often effective for pain relief.
  • Terpenes: Seek products with a terpene profile that includes myrcene and caryophyllene.

Cannabis Edibles

  • Recommended edibles: CBD gummies or low-dose THC edibles, beverages, or chocolates.
  • Cannabinoids: Choose edibles with your preferred cannabinoid ratio, such as high-CBD or balanced THC/CBD options.
  • Terpenes: Consider edibles made with strains rich in myrcene and caryophyllene for enhanced pain relief.

Read more: Edibles Dosage: Adapting for the Perfect High Experience

Cannabis Topicals (Creams and Balms)

  • Effective Topicals: Topical products infused with THC, CBD, or both.
  • Cannabinoids: THC can provide localized pain relief when applied topically, while CBD offers anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Terpenes: Look at topicals with terpenes like linalool or limonene for their soothing properties.

Vaporized Products (Vape Pens)

  • Vape Strains for Pain: Northern Lights (myrcene-rich), Harlequin (high CBD), Blue Dream (balanced THC/CBD).
  • Cannabinoids: Choose vape cartridges with your desired THC/CBD ratio.
  • Terpenes: Look for strains with terpenes known for pain relief, such as myrcene and caryophyllene.

Read more: Types of Cannabis Vape Carts and Their Characteristics

Popular Weed Strains for Pain: The Science Explained

Popular weed strains for pain

Here, we’ll look at the popular weed strains for pain relief and dig into the science behind their effectiveness. Plus, we’ll take a closer look at the best terpenes for pain, making it all easy to understand.

Granddaddy Purple

It contains myrcene as a dominant terpene, contributing to its analgesic effects along with pinene and caryophyllene. THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid, is present at moderate levels, typically around 17% to 23%.

Science Behind Pain Relief

Myrcene, with its earthy aroma, plays a crucial role in pain relief by promoting relaxation and enhancing the pain-relieving qualities of THC. The moderate THC content interacts with endocannabinoid receptors to help modulate pain perception.


ACDC has a minimal THC content of around 1% but boasts a high CBD concentration of approximately 12%. It contains myrcene as a dominant terpene, with pinene and caryophyllene in small amounts.

Science Behind Pain Relief

The high CBD concentration in ACDC interacts with the endocannabinoid system, helping to reduce pain without inducing a psychoactive high. Myrcene, as a terpene, complements the pain-relieving effects by promoting relaxation and potentially decreasing discomfort and inflammation.

Jack Herer

Jack Herer contains pinene and terpinolenes, along with moderate levels of THC, usually around 15-24%.

Science Behind Pain Relief

Pinene may contribute to pain relief by displaying anti-inflammatory properties and enhancing alertness, diverting attention from discomfort. Terpinolene’s fresh, piney scent might further relieve pain and inflammation. THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system to modulate pain perception.

Northern Lights

While the Northern Lights’ terpene profile can vary, it typically contains small amounts of abundant myrcene and caryophyllene with limonene. THC levels range from 18% to 26%.

Science Behind Pain Relief

Myrcene in the Northern Lights strain contributes to its soothing and analgesic effects, promoting relaxation and pain relief. Caryophyllene, another terpene, may also offer anti-inflammatory properties. The high THC content interacts with endocannabinoid receptors to alleviate pain and induce relaxation.

Can Terpenes Cure Pain?

Terpenes, though not a cure for pain, play a significant role in pain management and relief. They enhance the effects of cannabinoids like THC and CBD through the entourage effect, potentially providing more comprehensive pain relief. Some terpenes also possess anti-inflammatory properties, indirectly alleviating discomfort associated with inflammation. 

Furthermore, terpenes with calming and mood-enhancing effects may help manage pain by reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, terpenes can improve the absorption of cannabinoids in the body, ensuring that the active compounds reach the areas where they can have a pain-relieving impact. While terpenes alone cannot eliminate pain, their synergy with cannabinoids offers a natural approach to pain management.

Your Path to Painless Bliss Starts Today with Ganja Goddess

Elderly couple smoking a joint

We’ve unraveled the science behind these pain-fighting weed strains and uncovered the unsung heroes: terpenes. Knowing about the best terpenes for pain is like discovering the superpowers of your favorite superheroes. And speaking of heroes, when it comes to cannabis, Ganja Goddess is your trusty sidekick, ready to assist you on your epic quest for relief and well-being. So, keep the good vibes flowing, stay curious, and let Ganja Goddess be your cannabis companion on this exciting journey. Cheers to a world of pain-free possibilities.

FAQs About Best Terpenes for Pain

Which terpene is most sedating?

The terpene myrcene is often associated with sedative effects. It’s commonly found in Indica-dominant strains of cannabis and is known to promote relaxation and potentially sedation. Myrcene-rich strains like “Granddaddy Purple” are often favored for their calming properties.

What terpenes are good for muscle spasms?

Terpenes such as caryophyllene, pinene, and limonene are known for their potential anti-spasmodic and muscle-relaxing properties. These terpenes can be found in various cannabis strains and may relieve muscle spasms and tension.

Which cannabinoid is best for inflammation?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is often considered one of the best cannabinoids for inflammation. It has anti-inflammatory properties and interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to modulate the immune response. CBD is commonly used for managing various inflammatory conditions.

Are terpenes good for health?

Yes, terpenes can contribute to overall health and well-being. While they are primarily known for their role in the aroma and flavor of plants, research suggests that terpenes may offer a range of potential health benefits. However, the effects of terpenes can vary depending on their concentration and the specific terpene profile of a given plant or product. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using terpenes.

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