What is Terpinolene?

Written by Jamal Barghouti January 17, 2019
The Plant

In last week’s article, we continued our series on terpenes with pinene, the most abundant terpene found in the plant kingdom. Today, we’ll discuss terpinolene, another pungent terpene found in cannabis as well as lilac, cumin, and tea tree.

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 Terpinolene?

Terpinolene is an odorous chemical compound that is frequently used in perfumes and cleaning products because of its distinct fragrance. It is characterized by a smoky or wood-like fragrance with subtle floral and citrus notes. Terpinolene is not unique to cannabis; it can also be found in apples, cumin, lilac, and tea tree.

Where can you find Terpinolene?

Terpinolene can be found in both indicas and sativas. Popular strains with high levels of terpinolene include Jack Herer and Island Sweet Skunk; however, the concentration of terpinolene may vary widely from grower to grower. If you’re interested in getting your hands on some terpinolene, we suggest the Terpinolene vape cartridge from High Sierra Holistics. If you prefer flower, Sol Cannabis just started selling their inaugural harvest, including an awesome Jack Herer that tested at 21.8mg of terpinolene per gram!

What are the medical benefits of Terpinolene?

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 terpinolene. 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.

- Leafly
- Royal queen seeds
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- National Center for Biotechnology Information

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