Red geranium flower on a blue background

Geraniol Terpene: What is Geraniol

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Stop and smell the roses?” Well, part of the reason why roses smell as sweet as they do is thanks to geraniol, a terpene also found in cannabis. In this guide, we’ll share all the interesting facts we know about geraniol—and trust us, there are plenty—including: 

  • What is Geraniol?
  • What Does Geraniol Smell Like?
  • What Does Geraniol Taste Like? 
  • What Strains Are Heavy in Geraniol?
  • FAQs About Geraniol

What is Geraniol?

Geraniol is a terpene that gives certain fruits and plants like cannabis their unique scent. It is also naturally produced by honey bees, who use the terpene to mark their territory and to identify nectar-rich plants for other bees in their hive. As if that wasn’t interesting enough, while honeybees might make it, other insects steer clear of geraniol thanks to the fact that it is also one of the main ingredients in citronella oil

Because of geraniol’s unique, aromatic characteristics, it is used in everything from food additives to perfumes, fragrances, candles, and cleaning products. It can also be found in some of our favorite strains of cannabis.

Want to learn more about terpenes? Check out our guide to humulene.  

What Does Gerniol Smell Like?

Geraniol is one of the sweetest smelling terpenes you can find in cannabis. Geraniol smells both sugary and floral with just a dash of citrus undertones. Some people describe it as smelling like roses, but the flower that is most commonly associated with geraniol is the geranium. Not surprisingly, geraniol is harvested for its fragrance and used in a variety of household products—maybe even your favorite perfumes and colognes.

What Does Geraniol Smell Like?

Geraniol tastes much like it smells—sweet like roses with a hint of citrus fruit. In fact, geraniol is found in a variety of fruits including lemons (move over, limonene), blueberries, and oranges. Like linalool, geraniol is also considered an excellent food additive, particularly in pastries.

What Strains Are Heavy in Geraniol?

Because of its aromatic and flavor versatility, geraniol can be found in a variety of unique strains. Three of our favorite geraniol strains are:

Tahoe OG

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

The earthy-meets-lemony flavors of Tahoe OG are certainly an indication that geraniol is present in this indica-dominant strain. Tahoe OG is a potent descendent of OG Kush, with 20% THC and 1% CBN. It owes its name to its original breeding grounds near Lake Tahoe, though it can typically be found throughout the state of California. If you’re lucky enough to find this outside of the West Coast, be sure to pick it up.

Purple Punch

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Purple Punch is a rare strain created when Larry OG met Grand Daddy Purps. This indica-dominant strain owes its scent and flavor to geraniol, and it is a real treat for the senses. The flower packs a blueberry punch with just a hint of sweet vanilla. As if that’s not a journey itself, there’s an undertone of sour grape flavor too. With moderate-to-high THC levels ranging from 18-20%, Purple Punch is a beginner-friendly option that you should definitely get your hands on when you find it.


Indica-Dominant Hybrid

While still an indica-dominant hybrid, Headband is closer to being balanced compared to the other three geraniol-rich strains on this list. With a 60/40 split of indica to sativa, Headband gets that extra indica push from its parent plant, OG Kush. Its flavors, however, are almost purely from its other parent, Sour Diesel. Headband tastes like a lemon creamsicle dipped in diesel fuel. It’s a little sour and a little sweet, making it a fun flavor ride for cannabis enthusiasts who are interested in experiencing the unique tastes of different cannabis strains. While Headband might be the most balanced hybrid on our list, it’s also the most potent, with THC levels cresting 24%. Be sure to enjoy this strain slowly.

Answering FAQs About Geraniol

Geraniol is a unique terpene because of its ability to be created by bees and be used for its aromatic properties in many different products, so it’s no surprise we get so many questions about it. Here are a couple of answers to the most commonly asked questions: 


Where is geraniol found?
Geraniol is found in many fruits and plants, and it is naturally produced by honey bees who use the terpene to mark their territory.

How is geraniol made? 
Geraniol is a naturally occurring terpene, so it’s made by the fruits and plants in which it’s found.

Are geraniol terpenes common in cannabis?
Geraniol isn’t as common as myrcene or caryophyllene, but it can be found in a variety of unique strains.

Does geraniol have intoxicating qualities?
No. While we are confident that geraniol is just one of the compounds in cannabis that contributes to the entourage effect, it does not have intoxicating qualities. 

What does geraniol smell like?
Geraniol smells like a Geranium flower, both sugary and floral with just a dash of citrus undertones.

Is geraniol an indica or sativa?
Because geraniol is a terpene, it’s neither indica or sativa. Terpenes grow in the trichomes of marijuana plants, and therefore, geraniol could be found in indica, sativa, or hybrid cannabis strains.

Purchasing Strains With the Geraniol Terpene

Geraniol’s sweet-meets-floral scent and flavor lends itself well to a wide variety of strains, including some of our favorites listed above. If for some reason you don’t find one of the three on our list, ask one of our cannabis experts for help. They can help you find your next favorite strain so you can experience the geraniol terpene.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.