Terpene Tuesday: Pinene

In this week’s edition of terpene Tuesday we are going to explore the effects and benefits of Pinene Terpene.

This aromatic terpene can be broken down into a-pinene and b-pinene, and has a lot to offer cannabis patients. Before we dive into the medicinal uses of this cannabis terpene, let’s give you some essential background information.

What is pinene?

Not surprisingly, the pinene terpene is abundant in pine trees, and more specifically pine needles. It can also be found in orange peels, parsley, rosemary, basil, and of course, cannabis.

As the name of this cannabis terpene suggests, it gives off a heavy pine scent, and the smell alone can transport you to a memory of pine forests.

Pinene is a well-known cannabis terpene but can be used in many other applications as well. Some common places you will find this terpene are in household cleaners and perfumes for the scent.

To fully understand pinene, you need to understand that this terpene can be broken down into two compounds.

Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene

Many are unaware that cannabis strains contain both a-pinene and b-pinene. Alpha pinene is responsible for the characteristic pine scent, whereas beta-pinene contributes to the dill, parsley, and basil aromas.

These two compounds are constitutional isomers and appear identical. They have the same chemical formula, but the atom connectivity varies slightly. All you really need to know is that a-pinene (alpha-pinene) is the more dominant compound.

Pinene Terpene

Pinene benefits and effects

Feelings of alertness and focus are very common with pinene, making strains high in this terpene great day-time strains. 

Pinene plays a vital role in the entourage effect, reducing some of the less desirable effects THC can sometimes produce such as paranoia, short term memory loss, anxiety. Some of the most common benefits of pinene are:

  • Anti-inflammatory – Pinene has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and has been shown to decrease pain and swelling associated with osteoarthritis. At non-toxic levels, this terpene can regulate the body’s inflammatory response.
  • Helps with short term memory impairmentA common criticism of THC is that it can lead to short term memory loss when used in excess. Studies have found that cannabis strains high in pinene do not alter memory the same way high THC, low pinene strains do.
  • Acts as a bronchodilatorA-pinene has been found to act as an effective bronchodilator, meaning it helps open airways in your respiratory system. This can help with asthma, bronchitis, and even preventing viral infections in the lungs.
  • Potential anti-cancer propertiesA Chinese study suggested that pinene may have powerful cancer-fighting abilities. The research found a 40% reduction in Melanoma (skin cancer) in mice that were exposed to this terpene.

Cannabis strains high in pinene

As mentioned earlier, pinene-heavy strains typically produce more uplifting effects. Here are some strains high in this powerful terpene:

  • Jack Herer
  • Dutch Treatalpha-pinene and beta-pinene are two prominent cannabis terpenes
  • OG Kush
  • Blue Dream
  • Chem Dawg
  • Trainwreck
  • Romulan
  • Island Sweet Skunk
  • Strawberry Cough

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