A terpene chart is a visual representation of all the terpene isolates in a particular terpene blend, but how exactly are you supposed to read it?
Reading Time - 7 min
In the past, essential oils were the purest form of any scent. Today, however, we’re able to break those down even further into terpene isolates that each have their own unique aroma and effect. Now we can design boutique blends that consist of many terpene isolates for more powerful effects. Those effects are, of course, determined by the precise ratio of isolates used in each blend. You can even see a visual representation of that blend in the form of a terpene chart.
This is one of those moments when you have to just stop and admire how freaking cool science can be. Technology now lets us see how something smells--we’ll wait while you recover from your mind being blown...you good? Let’s continue...
We now have data that accurately illustrates scents that were previously indescribable. The visual representation of that data comes in the form of a terpene chart. If you don’t actually know how to read a terpene chart, however, it makes understanding all that data pretty tricky. But don’t sweat it, because that’s what we’re covering today.
How to Read a Terpene Chart
For those of you short on time, here’s the gist of what we’ll cover today:
- A terpene chart is a visual that represents the different terpenes isolated in a terpene blend and what their ratios are.
- A terpene chart helps you understand what scent and effects a blend may possess.
- To interpret that information, it’s important to understand how different terpene isolates smell and what their individual effects are.
- This is useful information if you’re looking for a particular scent or effect for a product.
What is a Terpene Chart?
In the simplest sense, a terpene chart is a visual representation of all the terpene isolates in a particular terpene blend. If you hear it called a “terpene wheel” that’s the same thing. Why would you need a terpene chart though?
These visuals allow you to “read” the different aromas and effects of a particular blend. The more familiar you become with reading these charts, the better you’ll understand which blends create certain types of experiences. For example, blends with a larger ratio of beta-caryophyllene and myrcene tend to have powerful pain-relieving and calming effects.
Let’s see what kind of effects you might experience from a blend like Rose Gold. If you were looking for a terpene blend to help people both focus and relax, you might want to look for a terpene chart like the one below.
This above terpene chart is a visual representation of our Rose Gold blend. It’s pleasantly sweet with subtle diesel and sandalwood tones. This chart can also tell you that this blend is stimulating, yet soothing. We can deduce that information by looking at the dominant terpene isolates and their ratios (Rose Gold has a LOT of geraniol and smaller amounts of alpha-bisabolol and nerolidol).
With that information in mind, this would be an ideal blend for laid back events that still require a degree of focus. So games, sporting events, or even just running errands.
Admittedly, it takes a lot of practice to interpret a chart with such depth. If you’re interested in becoming a master of sensorial experiences though, it’s worth the effort. So, here’s what you need to know to read a terpene chart.
How to Read a Terpene Chart
Our terpene charts are hexagonal, but you may find some that are circular. The benefit of these shapes is that they allow you to visualize the percentage of each isolate in the blend. Pretty much they’re just fancy pie charts.
You may have noticed that this terpene chart looks like it has a LOT more “pieces of pie” than the previous Rose Gold blend. Don’t let that fool you though, because all of our blends have over forty different terpene isolates in them. It might look like this Gelato blend has more “slices of pie” than the Rose Gold blend, but when you actually examine the isolates they’re equally complex. They might have a different blend of terpenes, but the biggest difference is the percentage of different terpenes.
Let’s break down the dominant terpene isolates for the Gelato blend and what their effects are:
- 28% Limonene: Mood elevating, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, etc.
- 23% Myrcene: Sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.
- 20% Beta-Caryophyllene: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, mood-elevating, etc.
- 7% Linalool: Sedative, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-epileptic, etc.
- 6% Beta-Pinene: Anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, anxiolytic, improved memory, etc.
- The remaining 16% consists of Alpha-Terpineol, Alpha-Pinene, Alpha-Bisabolol, Terpinolene, plus over 30 other additional terpene isolates.
Since limonene makes up the majority of the Gelato blend, the effects of limonene will be felt the most powerfully (mood-elevating, less anxiety, etc.) However, Myrcene and Beta-Caryophyllene make up a large part of that blend as well, so their effects will also be prominent. Overall, the ratio of terpene isolates creates an uplifting blend that will ease anxiety and promote pain-relief.
Take a look at the Terpene Chart for our San Fernando Valley OG blend below.
Like most blends that mimic the terpene profile of cannabis strains, it’s particularly complex. Each section represents a different terpene isolate, and if you look at the list on the right you’ll see each isolate is color-coded to match its corresponding percentage on the chart.
It’s important to remember that our terpenes and our terpene blends are 100% cannabis free and derived from botanicals. However, because we can accurately replicate the exact terpene profile of a cannabis strain, we can recreate the scent and non-psychoactive effects of a cannabis strain.
Take another look at the SFV OG GAS terpene chart above.
Its three most dominant terpenes include limonene, myrcene, and beta-caryophyllene. We know that limonene can elevate mood, myrcene has sedative and analgesic properties, and beta-caryophyllene is a powerful analgesic. The addition of myrcene, however, increases the effectiveness of the other two terpenes because of its ability to increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.
What does all that mean?
It means that this blend has incredible pain-killing effects, but because of the limonene, it’s still pretty energizing and mood-elevating. The other terpenes provide additional benefits and scents, but the dominant terpenes are what create the overall experience and effects.
So, to get the most out of a terpene chart you need to know the aroma of each isolate, and you need to know what their effects are. Reading a terpene chart is part science and part art, so let’s practice looking for specific effects with terpene charts.
Look for Specific Effects with Terpene Charts
Most products are made with a particular purpose in mind. Those purposes can vary depending on the industry, but by using terpenes in it you can design a scent that will intensify its desired effect.
If you’re looking for a terpene blend that will promote pain relief, you’ll want one that looks like the terpene chart below.
You might notice that it looks pretty similar to the SFV OG GAS blend. That’s because they have the same dominant terpenes that work together to create powerful analgesic effects.
What’s amazing is that these blends are so complex with similar effects, and yet they smell entirely different.
The differences between pain-relieving blends and more relaxing blends are small but important. Check out the Mimosa blend below. It has the same three dominant terpenes as SFV OG GAS and Diablo OG, but the ratios are slightly different. The different ratios, plus the higher amount of linalool, creates an uplifting, euphoric effect perfect for calming anxiety and kicking back at the end of a long day.
If you’re interested in reading more about using terpenes for anxiety, click here!
If you’re looking for something to put a little more pep in your step, you’ll want to look for a chart similar to the Pineapple Orange one below. Its dominant terpene is myrcene which is both calming and relieves pain. However, the ratio of other terpenes (beta-caryophyllene, limonene, linalool, alpha-bisabolol) creates an energetic effect that’s perfect for days when you need to focus.
Hopefully, by now you’ve noticed that a lot of these blends use the same terpene isolates. It’s the careful blend of those terpenes in precise ratios that creates the unique experiences of each blend.
Don’t forget that terpenes are phenomenal for a variety of products, including topicals. Anything that goes on your skin can benefit from the addition of terpenes. Not only can they make products smell incredible, but they can also boost the effectiveness of topicals.
The dominant terpenes of the Mint Chip Ice Cream blend (see below) include beta-caryophyllene, limonene, and valencene. We know that beta-caryophyllene has pain-relieving effects, but the combination of limonene and valencene is particularly useful for skincare products.
Valencene has only recently caught the eye of skincare experts, but it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic properties and ability to combat sun damage make it particularly useful for topical products. There have even been studies that it may be a useful therapy for atopic dermatitis. Limonene is important in this instance because it can improve how well skincare products penetrate the skin.
The combination of these particular terpenes in these precise ratios creates a blend with huge potential for skincare products. Plus, it smells pretty amazing too.
If you’re interested in reading more about terpenes in skincare, click here!
The whole point of a terpene chart is to be able to describe something that’s kind of indescribable. Imagine if you could recreate the scent of your grandmother’s secret oatmeal cookie recipe. Before you get excited--no, we don’t have the terpene blend for that. However, it’s possible that one day we’ll be able to recreate the scents for all sorts of things!
We hope this helped you understand what terpene charts are and what kind of information you can get from being able to read them. Creating complex terpene blends requires a delicate balance of science and artistry, but when you get it right you create something powerful and one-of-a-kind.Don’t forget to follow us for all the latest updates, and feel free to contact us when you’re ready to partner with the experts at the forefront of terpene science.