Why you should know about Terpinolene and its benefits 

Why you should know about Terpinolene and its benefits 

Terpinolene, a terpene dominant in about one in ten cannabis strains, is recognized for its woody smell combined with floral citrus notes. In addition to its fresh aroma, terpinolene is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties ( Turkez, Aydin, Cetin,2014). 

In the past, most information about cannabis focused on the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. Now we know terpenes contribute more than aroma and flavor and can significantly impact patients’ cannabis treatment outcomes.  

In 2011, Dr. Ethan Russo, a pioneer in Cannabis Therapeutics, introduced what we now recognize as "the entourage effect," and the importance of terpenes as the "drivers" of the outcomes cannabis has to offer (Russo, 2011). 

In this article, we'll dive into terpinolene and its benefits; we've gathered everything you need to know to get you up to speed. 


What is Terpinolene? 

Terpinolene, also known as alpha-terpinolene or in the research literature as TPO, is a primary terpene naturally present in lilac, sage, rosemary, nutmeg, cumin, apple conifer trees, and tea trees. This terpene is considered lightly to moderately sedative. Although it is generally present in cannabis cultivars, it is usually found in moderate amounts and predominantly in Sativa strains with higher THC content. 

Terpinolene produces a herbal or floral fragrance reminiscent of pine needles. It is used in cosmetics, soap, insect repellent (like limonene), and other household items. This terpene is known for its antioxidant properties and can be a potential anticancer agent in the body.  

Traditional terpinolene uses include natural antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial applications, and mild central nervous system depressant, exhibiting sedative effects, mainly when combined with Linalool.    

In proper dosages, terpinolene-rich essential oils may ease distress from restless leg syndrome, insomnia, hypertension, anxiety, and even panic attacks. 


Terpinolene Aroma  

Terpinolene is considered more multidimensional in comparison to other cannabis terpenes. It is characterized by its particular herb scent, citrus, and floral hints with piney touches. It usually stands out for its fresh fragrance, making it ideal for perfumes, soaps, and other cosmetic products. Besides, it is used as a preserving and flavoring agent in the food industry.  

This terpene is an excellent companion compound with vitamins and other chemical compounds rather than by itself. 


Terpinolene rich cannabis cultivars:  

Terpinolene is commonly present in strains dominantly Sativa. A notorious genetic with high concentrations of terpinolene is Jack Herer. Other cultivars with significant quantities of terpinolene include: 

Jack Herer 

Sunshine Haze

Durban Poison 

Slimer OG 


Orange Cookies 

Super Lemon Haze 


Terpinolene Benefits


Terpinolene has been studied for its antifungal effects on conditions like toenail fungus and ringworm. 


Terpinolene is a potent antioxidant. A 2015 study showed that low doses have antioxidant properties without harming lymphocytes (Turkez, Aydın, Geyikoglu, & Cetin, 2015). 

Another study showed that it prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Therefore, terpinolene might have heart health benefits (Grassmann,2005). 


A 2013 study showed sedative effects after nasal absorption into the body(Shimoadachi-cho, 2013). Terpinolene is known for its sedative properties, which is recommended when treating anxiety and insomnia. It is also mixed with lavender and lilac to treat some sleep disorders.  

Anti Cancer 

A 2013 study found that terpinolene may be a strong antiproliferative agent for brain tumor cells. These results indicate that terpinolene may provide defenses against inflammation and oxidative damage, both associated with cancer.  


Terpinolene in a nutshell 

Its predominant fresh and pleasant fragrance, apart from its anti-microbial properties, makes terpinolene an ideal ingredient for cosmetic products like perfumes, lotions, and soaps. In plants, terpenes are a natural defense against pests and are commonly used in insect repellents. 

In addition, research indicates that terpinolene may present anticancer, cardiovascular benefits, and anti-anxiety actions. These findings are undoubtedly deserving of additional clinical studies. Further investigation is needed to understand terpinolene as a treatment for mental health, cancer care, and heart disease to come to any conclusions. 

**Note: 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. 


Produced in partnership MMJ Knowledge. 

M;, H. (n.d.). Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oil of Heracleum rechingeri Manden from Iran. Retrieved October 16, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2055252 

Russo, E. (2011, August). Taming THC: Potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/ 

Turkez, H., Aydın, E., Geyikoglu, F., & Cetin, D. (2015, May). Genotoxic and oxidative damage potentials in human lymphocytes after exposure to terpinolene in vitro. Retrieved October 16, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4371562/ 

EF;, G. (n.d.). The monoterpene terpinolene from the oil of Pinus mugo L. in concert with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene effectively prevents oxidation of LDL. Retrieved October 16, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16008117/ 

Department of Pharmacognosy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Kyoto University, 46-29 Yoshida-Shimoadachi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan.PMC, E. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2020, from http://europepmc.org/article/MED/2333902 

The Monoterpene Terpinolene From the Oil of Pinus Mugo L. In Concert With Alpha-Tocopherol and Beta-Carotene Effectively Prevents Oxidation of LDL - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.g 

Terpinolene, a Component of Herbal Sage, Downregulates AKT1 Expression in K562 Cells - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov