Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Can a DNA Test Tell You Which Terpenes Are Best for You?

Two companies, Endocanna Health and Eybna Technologies, are betting on it.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Cannabis biotech company Endocanna Health and terpene producer Eybna Technologies recently announced a new partnership that could help customers match their DNA with various terpenes.


Endocanna uses genetic testing to recommend personalized cannabis and CBD products that align with an individual’s unique genome. Eybna is in the process of developing proprietary terpene formulations that, among other things, may reduce the severity of cytokine storms associated with COVID-19.

Related: One Company's Quest to be the 23andMe of Cannabis

By incorporating Eybna’s terpene profiles into its new product formulations, called EndoAligned, Endocanna Health wants to further optimize the outcomes of consumers who use its genetically-aligned products. Eybna intends to use the data acquired from consumer responses to its terpene formulations to further its research into the utility of specific terpene formulations for particular conditions and diseases

“We believe incorporating EndoDNA’s patented algorithmic approach to genotyping will achieve a formulation design that specifically targets inflammatory conditions such as cytokine storms while helping to navigate possible adverse events,” says Endocanna CEO Len May. Eybna CEO Nadav Eyal echoes the sentiment: “The partnership aims to further study Eybna’s proprietary formulations to add more data points to our database.”

Why terpenes matter

Cannabis sativa is a complex plant that’s home to dozens of different compounds. While the majority of contemporary research has focused on the benefits of particular cannabinoids, the terpenes present in cannabis can be equally impactful on the effects this plant provides.

Endocanna Health has compiled a vast catalog of genetic SNPs (“snips”) that respond to the substances present in cannabis. Some snips react to cannabinoids while others react to terpenes.

The cannabis-responsive snips in the human genome form a complex grid of potential reactions to cannabinoids and terpenes. To derive the most optimal outcomes from the cannabis experience, it’s necessary to perfectly align this genetic grid with specific combinations of terpenes and cannabinoids.

Even the most carefully bred cannabis strains are incapable of perfectly matching your particular genetic profile. If you have trouble sleeping, for instance, certain terpenes and cannabinoids in a cannabis strain may positively impact the genes involved in insomnia, but other constituents in that same strain might block the activation of genes that will help you sleep.

That’s why Endocanna says it’s necessary to formulate cannabis products that only contain the cannabinoids and terpenes that align with your particular indication. By deriving certain cannabinoids from cannabis and combining them with carefully selected terpenes, Endocanna Health has begun producing personalized products that match your specific genetic profile.

Eybna will supply Endocanna Health with botanically derived terpene profiles that match the genes associated with specific indications. In return, Endocanna Health will provide Eybna with critical consumer data that will allow this terpene producer to perfect its indication-specific terpene profiles.

Valuable scientific data

Israel-based Eybna Technologies recently made headlines with its research into the potential benefits of terpenes for COVID-19. Patenting the proprietary terpene formulation NT-VRL™, Eybna has embarked on studies regarding the utility of terpenes for cytokine storms, one of the most deadly coronavirus symptoms.

Cytokines are important components of the immune system. They are released by white blood cells to counter potentially deadly threats.

COVID-19, however, can trigger cytokine releases that get out of control and damage important tissues. Coronavirus-related cytokine storms can cause fatigue, vomiting, and respiratory issues so severe that ventilators become required.

Endocanna Health intends to supplement Eybna’s overseas research efforts with laboratory studies into NT-VRL™ conducted in the US. In addition, Endocanna Health will supply Eybna with valuable data regarding the effects that Eybna’s proprietary botanical terpenes provide when included in Endocanna’s EndoAligned products.

Together, Endocanna Health and Eybna Technologies will contribute to ongoing efforts to reduce the severity of COVID-19 complications