What is Pinene?

Written by Jamal Barghouti January 10, 2019
The Plant

In last week’s article, we continued our series on terpenes with myrcene, the chemical compound that gives off the herbaceous and balsam-like fragrance found in cannabis. Today, we’ll discuss pinene, another pungent terpene and the most common in the plant kingdom.

What are Terpenes?

As we discussed in this article, terpenes are the aromatic chemical compounds that give cannabis its distinct smell and taste. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis and are found throughout nature; plants with strong fragrances like basil or eucalyptus are also full of terpenes.

Humans have been using terpenes in the form of essential oils for thousands of years. Research suggests that these chemicals interact with receptors in our endocrine, neuroendocrine, and endocannabinoid systems—the systems responsible for homeostasis within the body. Terpenes promote the natural production of chemicals in our bodies, and therefore our overall health, by activating receptors in each of these systems.

What is Pinene?

Pinene is the most abundant terpene in the plant kingdom. It is characterized by a pine and rosemary-like fragrance. There is evidence that pinene has the unique ability to cross the blood brain barrier, carrying cannabinoids and other terpenes with it. Pinene is said to temper the psychoactive effects of THC, resulting in a more clear-headed high. Pinene can be found in pine needles, ginger, rosemary, and basil, among other things.

Alpha-Pinene vs. Beta-pinene

There are two varieties of pinene: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. They are isomers, which means they have the same chemical formula but differ in the arrangement of their atoms and, therefore, have different chemical properties. Alpha-pinene is found in pine needles and rosemary, while beta-pinene is found in dill, parsley, and basil.

Where can you find Pinene?

Pinene is more often found in higher concentrations in sativa-dominant strains. Popular strains with high levels of pinene include Bubba Kush, Chemdawg, and Blue Dream; however, the concentration of pinene may vary widely from grower to grower. If you’re interested in getting your hands on some pinene, we suggest the Chemdawg Disposable Vape pen from Silver State Trading, or, if you prefer flower, the Pre 98 Bubba Kush from Sol Cannabis.

What are the medical benefits of Pinene?

While there is a long medical history of using terpenes in homeopathic treatments, the prohibition of cannabis severely limits the amount of information available for the combined effect of cannabis and pinene. As always, this information is intended solely for educational purposes. If you have serious medical issues, you should reach out to a trusted medical professional.

The Entourage Effect and Total Plant Medicine

Research suggests that the use of pure extracts of any terpene or cannabinoid is not as effective as when they are paired with other terpenes or cannabinoids. These compounds have a synergistic effect, working in tandem to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Studies have shown that consistent use, as well as the use of a variety of terpenes at different potencies, shows better results in the treatment of various symptoms.

Think of it like taking a multivitamin—the increased and consistent levels of vitamins in your immune system promote the overall efficiency of your immune system and will show improvement over time. Similarly, research suggests that consistency of use of cannabinoids and terpenes promotes the overall effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system.

- Cresco Labs
- My DX life
- Cannador
- Wikileaf
- Woah Stork
- Purdue

Disclaimer: Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.