Terpene Tuesday: Terpinolene

It’s Terpene Tuesday. So let’s talk terpinolene. Not to be confused with terpineol, this secondary terpene is more of a background character but it can definitely still steal the show.


So Fresh and So Clean

Known formally as delta terpinene, terpinolene is a minor or secondary terpene that shows up in many strains of cannabis, but only in small amounts. Even so, its layered aromas of pine, florals and citrus help play a significant role in creating fresh flavors on both the nose and palate. 

Terpinolene is also found in many other plants: tea trees, conifer trees, apple trees, lilacs, sage and cumin. In the household, terpinolene is used in many soaps and cleaning agents thanks to its woodsy, herbal smell. Likewise, it is often an additive to perfumes. Terpinolene has been found to repel insects including mosquitoes, weevils and beetles. It may be a minor terpene, but it’s still mighty.


You’re Getting Sleepy…

Terpinolene can have highly sedative effects, making it a great terpene for those with insomnia to seek out. Because of the sedative effects, it can be used to treat anxiety. It also has the potential to ease migraines as research has shown it to directly sedate the central nervous system. 

Unlike many terpenes, terpinolene doesn’t have analgesic or anti-inflammatory properties. But it can be anti-bacterial and anti-fungal — perhaps another reason it’s such a popular soap additive. Studies are still ongoing, but it has proven to be anticancer, prohibiting the growth of certain cancer cells, and antioxidant, effective against heart disease. It might make you sleepy, but it’s working overtime.


Strains High in Terpinolene

Not many strains are terpinolene-dominant, but those that are can be pretty legendary. 

  • Jack Herer
  • Pineapple Kush
  • Royal Jack Automatic
  • Dutch Treat
Minor But Mighty

Even though it is one of the least common terpenes, terpinolene has a large impact on both the flavor profile and medical benefits of cannabis.

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