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Naturally secreted by the cannabis plant, terpenes are said to offer a number of health benefits. (Photo: Shutterstock) Naturally secreted by the cannabis plant, terpenes are said to offer several health benefits. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Terpenes are highly aromatic compounds that create the characteristic scent of many plants (think pine, citrus fruits, lavender and rosemary. In fact, the fragrance of most plants is due to a combination of terpenes that, in nature, help plants repel animals and insects, attract pollinators and protect the plant’s immune system from infectious germs.

Terpenes are the natural form of these compounds when they are in the live plant; however, as a plant dries — as in the production of cannabis, for example — the terpenes oxidize and become terpenoids.

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