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  • Jennifer Betz

A Guide to Terpenes at Virginia Dispensaries

Terpene 101

What do Terpenes do, and Which Ones Should You Look For?

Terpenes are not just the latest buzzword in cannabis. In fact, terpenes are the reason medical marijuana can vary so much in taste, appearance, and effect. When you have a Virginia marijuana card, terpenes can mean the difference between pain relief while you tackle your to-do list, and relaxation so deep it borders on couch lock.

While both results are desirable depending on your treatment goals, it’s important to have an understanding of terpenes, so you can find the cannabis strains that work just right for you. Keep reading for a comprehensive look at the terpenes that are most commonly abundant in medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana Strains: More than Indica Versus Sativa

Getting your Virginia marijuana card is an exciting process, and there is often a lot of new information to take in at once. Additionally, you may have to do your own digging to learn and make a treatment plan, because some doctors who recommend medical marijuana are not particularly informed about the use of cannabis.

By the time you get escorted past the second set of doors to the Virginia dispensary where you get to shop, you may not be entirely ready to make a decision. Some medical marijuana strains are better for chronic pain than others, some are better at treating anxiety, and still others are more effective at managing nausea, and the list goes on.

You may already be familiar with the difference between indica and sativa, which refers to the general type of strain. But the differences in effect get more nuanced when you pay attention to terpenes.

What Are Terpenes?

That blast of fresh citrus you get when you slice open a lemon, or that relaxing sigh you take when you smell lavender, are both a result of terpenes. Your favorite candles, shower gel, and essential oils all have their scent (and resulting effect) because of terpenes.

The terpenes in cannabis contribute to the entourage effect that creates the results you experience with each individual strain. The effect of each cannabinoid and terpene on its own is one thing. In specific combinations, it’s something else entirely.

Which Terpenes Are Found in Medical Marijuana?

The 100 or so terpenes found in medical marijuana make up just a small portion of the more than 20,000 found in the natural world. We generally focus on a dozen or fewer of those terpenes in order to understand the effects of any particular strain.

This primer will help you get to know the most commonly dominant terpenes in cannabis, and give you a good idea of what to look for when you visit a Virginia dispensary.


Lemons, limes, and oranges contain high concentrations of limonene, which is a natural mood elevator. Limonene gives citrus its bright, clean scent, and it can be a pick-me-up when you need a little boost of energy.

Why Should I Look for Limonene in Medical Marijuana?

Limonene has antidepressant, antifungal, and antispasmodic properties. It also kicks your immune system into gear, so using a limonene-dominant strain may also be helpful if you have a cold. Limonene is effective at helping you focus, and it may be useful in treating depression, chronic fatigue, and pain related to muscle spasms.

Limonene Dominant Strains at Virginia Dispensaries

Lemon Haze

Wedding Cake

Raspberry Lemonade


Myrcene is popular for its powerful pain relieving effects, but be careful. It’s also famous for causing “couch lock.” Also found in hops, basil, and mangos, myrcene is an anti-inflammatory as well as a sedative.

Why Should I Look for Myrcene in Medical Marijuana?

One thing that makes Myrcene a good choice for pain management is its ability to increase absorption of cannabinoids in the brain. This means it will be easier for your medical marijuana to do its job. It is excellent for insomnia, and many use myrcene-dominant strains as a muscle relaxer.

Myrcene Dominant Strains Virginia Dispensaries

MAC n Cheese

LA Confidential

Sundae Fundae


Linalool has relaxing and anticonvulsant effects, and it has been studied in use as an anti-seizure medication. In addition to cannabis, linalool is also found in plants like lavender and coriander.

Why Should I Look for Linalool in Medical Marijuana?

Linalool is good for depression and anxiety, and it can elevate your mood while helping you relax. This means that linalool-dominant strains may be good to manage your anxiety on days tension is running high but you have things to do.

Linalool Dominant Strains at Virginia Dispensaries


Martian Monkey

White Sour Star


When you go for a hike in a pine forest and get that cool, relaxed feeling of being connected and grounded, that’s the result of Pinene. It has been referred to as “the miracle gift of nature by some researchers, and its wide range of uses points to why.

Why Should I Look for Pinene in Medical Marijuana?

Pinene is good for pain that is related to inflammation. It can have clarifying effects, making it a good choice for those days you have things to do but need pain relief to make it through.

Pinene Dominant Strains at Virginia Dispensaries

Topanga Canyon


Vegas OG


Beta-caryophyllene is sometimes referred to as a cannabinoid because it binds with the CB2 receptors in the brain. It can be found in pepper, cloves, hops, oregano, and other spicy, woody-scented plants.

Why Should I Look for Caryophyllene in Medical Marijuana

Beta-caryophyllene is great at reducing stress and anxiety. It is also a powerful pain reliever, and it may help your body absorb any pain medications you are already taking. This means you might be able to reduce your prescription painkillers because they are more effective when accompanied by marijuana that contains this terpene.

Caryophyllene Dominant Strains at Virginia Dispensaries

Tangie Cookies

New Glue

Star Haze


Humulene has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent choice for pain relief. It also works as an appetite suppressant, satisfying patients who use medical marijuana but want to avoid getting the munchies.

Why Should I Look for Humulene in Medical Marijuana

Humulene’s anti-inflammatory properties make it perfect for people who suffer from conditions that cause pain from swollen joints (pun only slightly intended), like arthritis.

Humulene Dominant Strains at Virginia Dispensaries

We could not find any humulene-dominant marijuana strains listed at Virginia dispensaries, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t available. Ask your local budtender, and they should be happy to help you find something that fits your needs.

Why Aren’t Any of the Cannabis Strains Listed at Virginia Dispensaries Near Me?

Virginia dispensaries have an impressive supply of marijuana products considering how restrictive the program has been so far. There are not very many dispensaries in the state, but Virginia has a lot of new legislation coming up that may quickly expand the availability of medical marijuana.

Additionally, the decision to legalize flower in Virginia means that more strains will come available as new products hit dispensary shelves in the near future. In the meantime, ask the budtender at your dispensary to point you toward strains that have the terpenes you are looking for.

How Can I Get a Virginia Marijuana Card?

If you are waiting to get your Virginia marijuana card, now is the perfect time! Enjoy sampling new strains as they come available in your local dispensary, and start finding the relief you deserve!

Give our expert staff and doctors a call at (888) 633-5808, or schedule an online evaluation appointment today!

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