Cannabis Terpenes: The New Rage of Aromatherapy

A relaxing massage at the end of a tiring day is probably the definition of nirvana you’ve been looking for a long time. What if we told you – enriching the experience is possible with cannabis terpenes infused oils? Don’t worry; you won’t have bouts of euphoria at work the next day. Read on to find the answers.

cannabis terpenes in aromatherapy
Photo by Christin Hume

What Brought About the Usage of Cannabis in Massage?

The legalization of cannabis in the major cities of the world brought about a paradigm shift in the usage of cannabis-infused products. Conventionally viewed as a recreational drug, cannabis is developing a whole new market among consumers who live by the motto, ‘there’s more than meets the eye.’

cannabis terpenes in aromatherapy
Photo by Kimzy Nanney

Moreover, cannabis and massage have lots in common. Both of them are ancient methods of relieving acute and chronic pain, and both of them boost a calm and composed state of mind. Although both these agents work perfectly in isolation, their combination can produce a powerful synergistic effect in therapeutic procedures.

In this article, we’ll be focussing on the immense benefits of cannabis terpenes, a family of aromatic oils that provide color to the plethora of cannabis varieties.

Cannabis Terpenes? What are Those?

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Terpenes or aromatic oils are present in almost every plant and serve different purposes, depending on the plant species. Initially, terpenes in the cannabis plant developed as a part of an adaptive process, i.e., as pest repellant and pollinator luring substances. Over time, several cross-pollination methods led to the evolution of about a hundred different types of terpenes present in the cannabis plant.

Each strain of cannabis has its unique terpene composition, which alters its ability to induce a relaxing response or a euphoric one. For example, the Indica strain promotes a relieving effect in the whole body, while the Sativa strain improves cognitive functions and focus. Using the oils present in these strains for therapeutic effects is popularly known as Aromatherapy.

What are the Benefits of Cannabis Oils in Massage?

marijuana infused oil for massage
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Any professional massager knows how to target stressed muscles and stimulate a relaxing and relieving effect on them. Even though a normal message might be enough to soothe your body, the ambiance, the lights, and the aroma of the massage parlor can enhance your overall experience in an effective manner. This is where cannabis oils come into the picture.

The well-known properties of cannabis include its pain-relieving capabilities and its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent. The cannabis plant consists of a particular group of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which trigger different responses on interaction with a specific receptor.

A typical cannabis strain would have two major cannabinoids, THC, and CBD in a fixed ratio. Intensive research on the human body led to the identification of two receptors, CB1 and CB2, which respond to cannabis. The CB1 receptors are present in a significant amount in the central nervous system and are highly proactive to the effects of THC while the CB2 receptors dominate in the peripheral nervous system and respond well to CBD. In layman terms, the CB1 receptors stimulate the brain and are responsible for producing the “high” people get from smoking cannabis. The CB2 receptors, on the other hand, act on the whole body and reduce inflammation in the muscles.

Since the past few years, most of the cannabis plants have higher levels of THC as compared to CBD, only due to their method of breeding. Thus, most people switched to terpenes as a method of analyzing the effects of a particular strain of cannabis.

Using terpenes as your choice of oil for massage can push your body into a deep relaxation state, and help the therapist in massaging your body more effectively. Moreover, cannabis shows another magnificent property of healing broken soft tissues. Thus, you derive many benefits from the usage of cannabis oils during your massage appointment. Since they are incredibly potent substances, a few drops of the oil would suffice for one whole session, making it an economical choice.

What are the Types of Terpenes Available for Massage?

cannabis terpenes in food
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A cannabis plant consists of about 140 types of terpenes. However, only some produce the effect desired during massage therapy. These include the following well-known terpenes:


Alpha-Pinene gives off the aroma which you’d smell surrounded by a bunch of pine trees. The compound has a high potential medical value and finds usage in the treatment of pain, asthma, ulcers, and many more ailments. Although one can derive the same compound from pine needles, rosemary, and basil, extracting it from the cannabis plant delivers a stronger effect on the body.


A beta-caryophyllene terpene, myrcene has some astonishing properties that make it a significant component of many essential oils, including ylang-ylang, parsley, etc. It emanates a strong earthy aroma, perfect for a calming session at your massage parlor. In addition to its pain-relieving property, myrcene can mitigate symptoms of insomnia and diabetes while being non-psychoactive.


As the name suggests, limonene is a terpene that spreads a citrus scent all around the room. If you adore the fragrance of freshly cut lemongrass, you’re going to appreciate the soothing effects of the application of limonene on your skin. Limonene is a widely used fragrance in many cosmetic products. However, do not leave limonene products open in the air for too long, as they may oxidize to form oxidized limonene and lead to skin allergies.


Suppose you enter a dark room, and there’s a lavender aroma all around; that’s what a massage with Linalool oil would feel like. It’s sedative properties help in de-stressing your muscles effectively, making it the ideal terpene to work with for a massage.


As cannabis products started gaining exposure globally, terpenes became the topic of study for an extended period. With many therapeutic benefits, cannabis terpenes became a popular choice as an infusion in oils, as compared to the minute quantities of terpenes obtained from flowers and other plants.

Read More:

What questions should you ask at a cannabis dispensary?

How to safely consume cannabis products