Terpene nature

  • volatile essential oils in plants, which arise naturally from the hydrocarbon isoprene, C5H8, CH2=C(CH3)-CH=CH2, when 2 isoprene units join to form the most common dimers called monoterpenes.
  • hydrocarbons mostly, C10 H16, but oxygen-containing compounds such as alcohols, aldehydes or ketones (the terpenoids) are also found.
  • very fragrant, with an odor threshold in the parts-per-billion (ppb) range (see Table 2 in my report on Terpene odors escaping from cannabis growing).

Terpenes used indoors

  • solvent  (turpentine, from pine trees, is a mixture of monoterpenes, mainly d-3-carene, pinenes, and limonene)
  • perfumes,
  • varnishes, lacquers
  • flooring materials, adhesives
  • cleaning products (pine oil disinfectant)

Individual monoterpenes

  • limonene —  the most common, from lemony cleaners
  • alpha-pinene — very common, from pine oil cleaners
  • beta-pinene — common
  • camphene —
  • 3-carene —
  • eucalyptol — an alcohol, C10 H18 O, in mouthwash
  • myrcene — from cannabis growing (also much of limonene and the pinenes)
  • linalool — an alcohol, C10 H18 O
  • alpha-terpineol — an alcohol, C10 H18 O
  • menthol — an alcohol, a decanol, C10 H20 O