Vaping Terpenes. Guide to Full Spectrum CBD Vape

Vaping Terpenes. Guide to Full Spectrum CBD Vape


Vaping terpenes

Note: This is a rather lengthy article. You can jump to different sections if you wish.

What are Terpenes




What are terpenes and why should you be vaping terpenes

Vaping cbd has jumped onto the stage of health and wellness so fast that it’s caught a lot of people off guard. Because inhaling a supplement is quite novel. Also because, along with it comes a whole, new, strange terminology:

cannabiniol, cannabinoids, THC, CBN, endocannabinoid system, terpenoids and…


It’s a word many of us hadn’t heard of a short while ago.  Now we are asking how and whether we should be vaping terpenes.

This article will explain what they are, what they do and how to make sure your vape juice, oil or concentrate is loaded with them.  Let’s begin.

First off – What are terpenes?

terpenes are pungent chemical compounds that plants produce. They are also more commonly known as essential oils. For the most part, the biological purpose of these phytochemicals is to attract pollinators to pollinate their flowers and animals of all sorts to eat their fruit. It’s why gardenias smell perfumey and bananas taste yummy.

Red wine terpenes

When a wine lover tastes notes of cocoa, coffee or blackberry in their wine, they are actually tasting specific terpenes that grapes have in common with these other plants.

And there is something marvelous when you detect a terpene like this. It’s almost more “real” than eating the real thing.

I always say one of the best cups of cappuccino that I ever had was a Trinidad Fundador cigar. Mmmmm.

But I digress.

Anyway, scientists have cataloged over 20,000 different terpenes.

Types of Cannabis terpenes

When it comes to cannabis – hemp and marijuana produce between  100 – 200 different terpenes. They are complex, gooey and funky.

The mature plants have hair-like glands on their leaves and flowers, called trichomes. These glands ooze out cannabinoids (cbd, THC, etc.)

Additionally, they produce glorious, aromatic terpenes.

Magical Gooey Funk!

Keep in mind that terpenes and cannabinoids -cbd for example –  are two different things. More on that later.

The prominent terpenes in cannabis and their flavor profiles are shared with other familiar plants. Here are the dominant ones.

  • Myrcene –  musk, dank earth, over-ripe or fermented fruit – especially rotten mangoes. Myrcene is the dominant cannbis terpene and largely responsible for the familiar odor of marijuana
  • Pinene – Pine resin
  • Limonene – Citrus, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerines
  • Linalool – spice, flower, lavender, coriander
  • Humulene – hops, earth, deep spice
  • Terpinolene – wood, smoke, sage
  • Caryophyllene – black pepper, clove, cinnamon


Tasting Notes of Cannabis terpenes

Of course none of this is news to veteran pot smokers. They are well aware that there are endless combinations of terpenes that are distinctive taste markers.

They have long since been naming strains of marijuana by their predominant smell and taste.

For Example:

  • Skunk#1
  • Sour Deisel
  • Grape Ape
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate Thai
  • Cherry Pie
  • Super Lemon Haze
Hemp flower with pineapple

These are all descriptive names of famous strains that have a distinctive mix of terpenes that produce a recognizable flavor profile.

Weed enthusiasts look for notes like pine resin, dank earth, lemon zest, musk, spice, incense, flowers, wine, cheese, over-ripe fruit.

OK, Fine. So What? 

You may be saying “I want to know about vaping terpenes – not smoking pot”

OK   Hold your pants on. Remember marijuana and hemp are both cannabis. And the facts about their terpenes apply to both.

Firstly, appreciating the flavors of cannabis goes a long way to making vaping cbd a pleasurable experience. A lot of people are vaping cbd to relieve anxiety. So, actually enjoying the whole the process adds a calming relaxation.

Secondly, nature doesn’t do things for no reason. Usually if something tastes or smells appealing, it is good for you. terpenes are no exception.

Terpenes in general have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-bacterial and stress-relieving and even

Additionally, They appear to increase the speed and efficiency with which cbd is absorbed into the body and past the blood-brain barrier.

Even further – each terpene can have its own effect on the consumer. And the taste markers indicate which can be expected from a particular strain.

Terpenes in general have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-bacterial and stress-relieving and evenAdditionally, They appear to increase the speed and efficiency with which cbd is absorbed into the body and past the blood-brain barrier.

Even further – each terpene can have its own effect on the consumer. And the taste markers indicate which can be expected from a particular strain.

Myrcene, Linalool, Terpinolene – anti-anxiety, stress-relieving, sedative

Limonene – mood lifting, anti-depressant

Pinene – Alertness, mood lifting

On top of all that – the cannabis terpenes work with the cannabinoids to pull off the famous “Entourage Effect”

The Entourage Effect



Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts


Just to recap – Hemp and marijuana contain cannabinoids (cbd, THC, CBC, CBG)  and terpenes.  They are not the same and they can be extracted separately. cbd – short for cannabidiol – is a specific molecular chemical:

Here’s the little feller right here!

And I think we can agree that cbd and terpenes are each pretty special in their potential to provide relief and improve lives. But if they are working together to perform the entourage effect? They are an unbeatable team.

Nature has created a super-robust weed that is literally dripping with chemicals that happen to line up with human biology in a way that is truly amazing. Working as a team – These compounds have the potential to correct us physically – and make us feel really good.

The goal is to be vaping terpenes and CDB and THC (less than .3% legally). In other words –  vaping the whole plant in essence. Vaping the “full spectrum” of phytochemicals that cannabis has to offer.

There’s a problem, however.

Extraction and cbd Isolate

To maintain all these health-giving hydrocarbons together requires delicate handling during extraction and refinement.

But the demand for cbd is so strong that manufacturers process industrial hemp by he least-cost method solely to extract the cbd all by itself. This is called cbd isolate. It’s white crystalline powder that is colorless and odorless.

Hemp Distillation

If the goal is to produce cheapest cbd isolate, the manufacturer will soak the raw plant matter in a solvent (ethanol or butane) and then heat this stew to distill off the solvents and separate out the cbd. Everything else is discarded.

One problem with this method is that quite often residual solvents remain in the finished product. This is why independent lab reports are so important.

Don’t get me wrong – cbd isolate is still good stuff (assuming there is no butane in it). It can still be somewhat effective. But all that beneficial phyto-funk is stripped away and wasted.  All the wonderful terpenes are gone. And so is the entourage effect.

Producers destroy and discard the terpenes because it’s too costly and difficult to try to preserve them. And if you put a few milligrams of cbd isolate in vape juice or body lotion or dog treat, you can charge 3 times as much.

Hemp soaking in ethanol ready for distillation
Hemp soaking in ethanol
CO2 Extraction

On the other hand, if the manufacturer is trying to produce top-quality, full-spectrum cbd vape juice, they will use the costlier CO2 or “supercritical” method.

Basically, this method mixes the raw hemp plant matter with CO2.  a combination of very low temperature and high pressure forces the carbon dioxide to act like a liquid solvent.

Then the temperature is raised and the pressure lowered causing the CO2 to revert back to a gas and evaporate.

The CO2 extraction method avoids all possibility of leaving any left-over solvents.

Even better – this method leaves the full-spectrum properties of the hemp plant pretty much intact. This method produces superior cbd vape liquid.

The only downside is that this process is more costly and time-consuming than distillation. This, of course results in a more expensive product.

Don’t Look for bargains

But the whole point is that you definitely want to be vaping terpenes along with your cbd. It can make your cbd vaping exponentially more effective.

Be safe and avoid shady cbd producers 

Seek out brands that use CO2 extraction. They pay more for it and they will proudly state it on their packaging and website.

This is your health and with cbd vape products you get what you pay for.

A simple rule of thumb is how the product looks and smells. If it is clear and odorless – it has little or no terpenes.  If you don’t smell grass or hemp or pine or lemon – it’s most likely cbd isolate. And you will not be vaping any terpenes.


Preparing cannabis for smoking is pretty easy. Basically, you dry it and clean it up a bit.

Consequently, when a person smokes a bud or flower from marijuana – they are smoking the whole plant. They are getting the full spectrum.

Additionally, smoking does something else. It burns up any natural waxes that the weed has in it. That’s a good thing.

Cannabis (and most other plants) have a waxy coating on their leaves called cuticle wax. Like I said, it’s not a problem when smoking dried leaves or flowers.

But when producing a cbd product to be vaped, the plant waxes (lipids) have to be removed. Otherwise, it will not be stable and the waxes will eventually separate.

The two methods of removing the plant waxes are winterization and Dewaxing.

Dewaxing and Winterization

The two processes are similar. They both  use solvents and sub-zero temperatures to separate the plant lipids or waxes and other impurities.

Long story short: Winterizing produces a higher yield but pretty much obliterates all the terpenes.

Dewaxing leaves the terpenes and flavonoids (color) largely intact.

So do some research to see which process has been used to refine the cbd.  Try to find a cbd product that has been dewaxed rather than winterized.  Because most likely, if it has been winterized,  it will be devoid of terpenes.


Reintroducing terpenes
small bottles of terpene blends on a wooden desk
Terpene Blends

Many manufacturers add terpenes back to cbd isolate in order to make more of a broad spectrum product. This product is technically called tepsolate.

Plus some excellent producers sell terpenes blends that can be added to your cbd vape according to the effects that you are trying to achieve.  These may or may not come from hemp. They could come from other plant such as lavender and citrus peels.

There is a lot of debate whether this creates an effective cbd vape juice. It’s definitely better that just vaping cbd isolate. You are certainly going to be vaping some beneficial terpenes.

But it is logical to assume that a hemp vape product that has been handled as gently as possible – taking care to leave all cannabinoids and terpenes intact – will offer a better experience and effect than one that was concocted in the lab.

Seek out producers that make a full spectrum or whole plant vape juice. You want to make sure you are vaping terpenes that have occurred naturally.

The brands you are at should provide an easily accessible COA (certificate of analysis) or lab report.  One page should be a terpene profile. If you can’t find it, email the company and ask for it. Also – ask if the terpenes are natural or added back in.

Adding Your Own terpenes

You can buy terpenes very easily on the internet. terpenes not cheap, but they are highly concentrated and you only need a couple of drops to make a difference.

They are oil-based and generally thin in viscosity. They’re usually sold in tiny plastic squeeze bottles.

Also usually they are blends of several different terpenes. A lot of brands will clearly indicate what physical effect their particular blends are made for – such as sleep, relaxation, alertness or energy.

They mix fairly well with MCT oil vape juice, but not PG/VG so much.

I recommend adding 6 – 10 drops to a 1 ml refillable cartridge or pod. Start low.  terpenes are very powerful and can also be harsh to vape.

Also – and this holds true for any hemp extract -vape at a low wattage/heat/voltage setting.  Low and slow.


Ask The Manufacturer

bottle of hemp extract vape juice with a question mark

So we always recommend checking out a producer’s website before purchasing anything.

If you can’t find the info on there website, shoot them an email. You can ask:

  • Is the hemp certified organic? Do you have certification that I can see?
  • What is the color and odor of the product?
  • What extraction method was used?
  • How were the lipids or waxes removed?
  • What is the cannabinoid profile?
  • What is the terpene profile? Were they left whole or reintroduced?
  • Is it full spectrum? Whole plant?
  • Do you have independent lab reports I can see?

A reputable company will be more than happy to answer these questions.

Vaping High-cbd hemp flower

Of course the best and easiest way to make sure you are getting a whole-plant product with naturally occurring terpenes is to vape high-cbd hemp flower.

It requires an herb vaporizer and is a bit less convenient than vape juice, but it is well worth it. It is an authentic cannabis experience with no additives.



terpenes are powerful plant compounds that are found in abundant amounts in hemp. Having these in the cbd vape product you are using can enhance the enjoyment and benefits of vaping cbd/hemp extract.

Things to know about vaping terpenes:

  • Terpenes give flavor and added health benefits
  • Vaping naturally occuring is better than reintroduced
  • Added terpenes usually come from other plants besides hemp
  • Vaping terpenes can be harsh – terpenes are potent
  • Terpenes Should be vaped at low temp and wattage
  • Vape full spectrum, whole plant extracts or hemp flower for best effects


So get some good terpene-rich cbd hemp extract and start vaping!


Breath in the goodness of cbd

John Astrab


Neither Hemp nor its byproducts are medicine. They not intended to treat any specific ailment. We make no claims as such.

All information, content, and material of this blog post is for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

All healthcare decisions are yours and yours alone.

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