Terpene Testing

The essential oils of plants such as Cannabis contain terpenes, a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons. Terpenes are aroma and taste molecules that produce the characteristic smells and flavors of flowers, herbs and spices. Terpenes are used by plants to attract pollinators, repel pests and discourage herbivores. Limonene, for example, gives citrus its characteristic aroma and is also found in rosemary, juniper, peppermint and Cannabis. Terpenes are also biosynthetic building blocks for various phytochemicals including THCA, the acidic precursor chemical to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).


Modern Cultivation Methods Enable Production of Strains With Consistent Ratios of
Terpenes to Cannabinoids.


Derived from isoprene (C5H8), terpenes are classified by size based on the number of isoprene units in the molecule. Most relevant to Cannabis are monoterpenes with two isoprene units (C10H16) such as pinene, myrcene and limonene as well as sesquiterpenes (C15H24) with three isoprene units such as humulene and beta-caryophyllene.

Some Common Terpines

Identify the chemotype of medical marijuana plants


The ratios of terpenes – their relative proportions in a plant – are chemotype-specific. In other words, terpene ratios are associated with the unique chemical composition of the plant, not its appearance. Absolute terpene levels seem to vary with environmental factors such as water content, soil type, nutrient, light and temperature. Modern cultivation methods enable production of strains with consistent ratios of terpenes to cannabinoids. You need to know the distinct chemotypes of your strains in order to maximize the therapeutic applications of your products.

The PhytaTechSM terpene testing is a fast and inexpensive way to identify the chemotype of your plants. Terpene testing can also define your concentrates in a way that sets you apart from the competition. PhytaTechSM is currently testing for 28 Terpenes. Contact us to learn more.



PhytaTechSM is certified by the CO MED & CDPHE for Potency Testing, Residual Solvent Testing and Microbial Contamination Testing.