Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in the essential oils of plants and flowers. Their use is steeped in ancient traditions, where they were commonly used in religious rituals and ceremonies. 

As cannabis science advances, we realize that we are just in the infancy stages of understanding terpenes’ full potential. Terpenes are the molecules that give cannabis its distinctive smell and have an essential role in the plant’s effects. In recent years, terpenes have re-emerged and gained buzz for its potential over health and well-being. Recent studies suggest that terpenes can assist or inhibit the effects of cannabinoids through a process referred to as “the entourage effect”. 

There are around 200,000 varieties of terpenes found in nature, more than two hundred identified in cannabis, and fifty prominent in North American types. Pinene is the most common terpene in the natural world and can be found in cedar, pine, and other evergreen trees. This article will discuss the essentials of α-Pinene. 

 

What is α-Pinene? 

Pinene is one of the most well-researched terpenes and one of the primary active compounds in cannabis. There are two types of pinene structures, alpha and beta. Alpha-pinene is one of the most abundant terpenes found in nature and is part of the monoterpene family. 

Pinene can be found in pine needles, and it is responsible for the clean, uplifting aroma that can be experienced while wandering through a forest of fresh pine trees. Its earthy scent can also be found in specific cannabis cultivar profiles.   

Other Sources of Pinene found in Nature: 

Pinene is also found in various fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, dill, cedar, eucalyptus, parsley, and some citrus varietals, like lime and lemon peel. It is also present in turpentine, which has been used as a medicine, detergent, and paint solvent for thousands of years.  

 

How A-pinene interacts with other Cannabinoids 

  • In synergy with CBD, Pinene can block inflammation and stimulate antibiotic properties. 
  • CBD and THC as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, pinene has been found to aid in memory retention. 
  • In synergy with THC, pinene promotes bronchodilatory effects, opening up airways at low exposure levels to help conditions like asthma, and may increase alertness. 
  • Alpha-pinene can also counteract THC-induced anxiety or short-term memory loss. 
  • Other benefits include euphoria, reduced oil production in oily skin, and, most excitingly, anticancer properties. Studies suggest Alpha-pinene can stop tumor growth and supplement chemotherapy treatments. 

What does the research say?  

Researchers have focused on Alpha-pinene efficacy for cancer, depression, pain, and epilepsy, among others. 

A study published in 2013 concluded that Pinene reduced cancer tumor size and could be considered an anticancer agent. 

Alpha-Pinene has been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory effects, which could impact diseases like arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. Also, studies suggest that due to its impact as a bronchodilator, pinene may help manage symptoms related to bronchitis, asthma, and even COPD.  

Pinene also exhibits a broad spectrum of antibiotic properties, which could be useful in preventing MRSA. Additionally, because of its ability to enhance memory function, researchers are studying pinene’s applications to prevent and treat neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Interestingly, pinene is unattractive to insects, highlighting its potential insect-repelling benefits. 

Pinene rich cannabis cultivars: 

  • Jack Herer: known for boosting focus, mood, and appetite. 
  • Blue Dream: promoting a mellow, euphoric effect with a spark of creative energy.  
  • OG Kush: stimulating relaxation with gentle mood enhancement. 
  • Pinene can also be found at Trulieve in “Gainesville Green” by Sunshine Cannabis, “9lb Hammer,” “Blue Dream,” “Dogwalker OG,” and “Strawberry Switchblade” strains. 

 

Alpha-pinene in a nutshell: 

Terpenes like pinene are crucial for cannabis therapy. They can enhance the effects of cannabinoids and reduce the expected adverse effects. As we mentioned before, this interaction is known as “the entourage effect”. 

Pinene has many potential benefits. It can act as an anti-inflammatory, promotes pain relief and relaxation, aids in memory and respiratory function, and may reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses. Besides, another great benefit is the excellent taste that adds to different cultivars.  

 

Produced in partnership MMJ Knowledge

 

This information is not intended as medical advice, it is for educational purposes only. As always with medical conditions and symptoms, please consult with your doctor for personalized medical advice.  The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

References: 

Izzo AA, Borrelli F, Capasso R, Di marzo V, Mechoulam R. Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009;30(10):515-27. PDF  

Mechoulam R. Plant cannabinoids: a neglected pharmacological treasure trove. Br J Pharmacol. 2005;146(7):913-5. PDF 

Russo, E. (2010). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 1348. 

https://wayofleaf.com/education/what-is-pinene

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