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Terpenes Common to Cannabis Found in Cordyceps Militaris Mushrooms

If you're even remotely familiar with cannabis culture, you've most likely heard the term Terpenes or "terps" emerge a few times.

Heady definitions aside, terpenes are components found throughout the botanical kingdom that impart both aesthetically pleasing aromas, flavor and medicinal benefits. As humans, we interact with the natural world through our senses.

Because terpenes are expressed immensely throughout the web of life, we can gain a deeper, even intuitive and sensory understanding of these characteristic expressions.

Within Cannabis, the presence of various terpenes are currently being evaluated with how they change the experience of the high itself.

"It's a different high's all about the terps..."

Terpenes such as Limonene and Pinene, which we've found within a tested strain of mushroom, present a little bit of a clearer picture of the medicinal properties offered within the Fungal Kingdom.

In partnership with Litica Laboratories, an organization that primarily focuses on lab testing and optimization of cannabis, Evolved Mushrooms aims to explore terpenes profiles found within the fungal kingdom to better understand the depth of medicinally viable benefits within not only different species, but between various strains within the same species. We also aim to do cross comparisons between terpenes present in extracts versus fresh fruiting bodies to give us a better picture of what elements are present within our extractions and which elements are left behind in the process.

This is just the beginning of a journey, and we decided to begin with Cordyceps Militaris

Cordyceps Militaris has been one of the most unique mushrooms we've had the pleasure of cultivating and getting to better understand.


Hundreds of various species and god knows how many strains of Cordyceps are found within unique ecosystems around the world.

They are a parasitic mushroom found within the Ascomycetes phylum that parasitizes insects.

Once an insect ingests Cordyceps spores, the spores germinate within the insect body and spreads throughout its nervous system, influencing the insect's very motor functions.

Once it finds a suitable spot, the fungus will then begin to form the fruiting body, the mushroom, and emerge from the insect itself....

Artwork by Martin Bridge


Entamopathogenic- organisms pathogenic to arthropods such as insects...

Cordyceps have been incredibly popular as medicine in countries such as China and Nepal, renowned for bestowing vigor, stamina and even a libido boost.

Known as the "Caterpillar Fungus," they are commonly found emerging from caterpillars and harvested as a whole symbiotic medicine, caterpillar and all. Such a mushroom caterpillar find was TREASURED and is still offered today at a high value market price. Many of these Cordyceps were broadly categorized into the species Cordyceps Sinensis, sinensis meaning "derived from China."

Today cultivators are showing favor with a new species, Cordyceps Militaris, a species shown to have higher than average amounts of active Cordycepin and Adenosine than other species, and fortunately, can be cultivated without damaging any insect populations. These two nutritional components are linked to the increase in energy among other effects imparted through Cordyceps ingestion.


A Brief Profile of Cordyceps Terpene Expression.....

Using fresh Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom fruiting bodies, Litica ran a small sample under Mass Spectrometry to reveal the presence of a few familiar terpenes commonly found within cannabis.

Fig. 1. % Expression of Terpene Compounds within 1g of Cordyceps Militaris

III Terpenes found within Cordyceps Militaris


  • Found Commonly Within Citrus Fruit

  • Deters predators

  • As an Aromatic, Known to Improve Calm States of Mind

  • Reduces Inflammation

  • Antioxidant Effects

  • Improves Cardiovascular Health

  • May Decrease Stress and Anxiety


  • Piney, Sweet Aroma

  • Reduces Inflammation

  • Helps with Memory

  • Promotes Alertness


  • Fresh-Smelling, Floral, Herbal

  • Antioxidant

  • Antimicrobial

  • Improves Anxiety

  • May Help Against Cancer

~Within cannabis culture and even aromatherapy, citrus/piney smells are associated with energetically uplifting effects~

The primary finding also revealed a deeper level of exploration needed in identifying the other primary terpenes present in Cordyceps Militaris. Follow up terpene profiles will be conducted to explore these further.

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