- Pinene is one of the most abundant terpenes in cannabis.
- The substance is found in the fragrant oil secreted in the plant’s resin glands, which gives cannabis its distinctive aroma.
- The function of pinene is mostly protective, as its strong smell is perceived as a threat by most insects.
Besides being found in cannabis, pinene is abundant in fruit, trees and other plants, including conifers, orange peel, pine, rosemary, dill, basil and parsley.
As with all terpenes, cannabis contains varying amounts of pinene depending on the strain. Strictly speaking, pinene is a bicyclic monoterpenoid that exists in two isomeric forms – α-pinene and β-pinene – meaning that while its molecular form is always the same, it exists as two chemical structures or isomers (alpha and beta) with different properties, the most abundant in cannabis being α-pinene.
What does pinene smell like?
The organoleptic properties of pinene vary depending on the isomer. Thus, while α-pinene smells like pine and rosemary, β-pinene is reminiscent of dill, parsley and basil. Factors influencing the pinene content in cannabis include the substrate, the flowering period and the curing process of the buds.
What are the therapeutic benefits of pinene?
There's much more to pinene than just a wonderful aroma. Rich in health benefits, the terpene has recently been found to form the biosynthetic base for CB2 ligands in the endocannabinoid system. But the benefits associated with pinene are far from new. Known for centuries, ancient civilisations used pinene in the form of turpentine, a fluid obtained from the distillation of pine resin that helps ease a number of ailments. Nowadays, some indigenous tribes use pine needle tea to relieve fever and treat colds and lung infections.
As many studies suggest, pinene can be highly beneficial to human health. Below are some of the properties attributed to this fragrant terpene:
- Antimicrobial: A study into the treatment of infective endocarditis with pinene carried out in 2007 found the terpene can eliminate certain bacteria from the body.
- Bronchodilator: Strains that are rich in pinene have been found to help open the airways, meaning the terpene could be of use in treating asthma.
- Protects the lungs: Some studies suggest pinene helps protect the lungs from viral infections including bronchitis.
- Anti-inflammatory: Pinene has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that, as some studies suggest, may help in treating diseases like arthritis.
- Anticancer agent: There is promising evidence to suggest pinene may shrink liver tumours and inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.
- Antidepressant: Pinene is used in traditional Mexican medicine for treating clinical depression, as it has shown to have mood-improving properties.
The effect of pinene on cannabis
As explained in previous articles, terpenes not only give cannabis its characteristic aroma, but also alter its effect. This is why myrcene-rich strains have sedative effects, while varieties high in pinene increase alertness. Also, according to some studies, pinene helps combat short-term memory impairment associated with THC.
What strains contain pinene?
As with all terpenes, pinene content varies from strain to strain. As a rule, strains that smell like pine tend to be very rich in pinene, although the only way to know for sure is to carry out a laboratory test. Our technical team has tested all our strains in the Dinalab, and has identified which of our Dinagirls are richest in pinene:
Critical Jack is a cross of two heavyweights: Critical + and Jack Herer. The resulting hybrid is an extra-potent Sativa that provides a cerebral, very long-lasting high. The aroma is sweet and strong, combining notes of wood, incense, species, lemon, and pine – a tell-tale sign of the strain's high pinene content. All accompanied by super-bumper crops that will maximise your yields.
The Dinafem breeders crossed the legendary Big Skunk and OG Kush to create a mind-boggling hybrid that stands out for its monster yields and its complex aroma. If you're a Kush lover, then you'll fall for Big Kush's ultra-potent buzz.
- Inhibitory effect of β-pinene, α-pinene and eugenol on the growth of potential infectious endocarditis causing Gram-positive bacteria. Aristides Medeiros Leite, Edeltrudes de Oliveira Lima , Evandro Leite de Souza, Margareth de Fátima Formiga Melo Diniz, Vinícius Nogueira Trajano, Isac Almeida de Medeiros1.
- Comparative anti-infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) activity of (-)-pinene: effect on nucleocapsid (N) protein. Yang Z, Wu N, Zu Y, Fu Y.
- Anti-tumor effect of α-pinene on human hepatoma cell lines through inducing G2/M cell cycle arrest. Chen W, Liu Y, Li M, Mao J, Zhang L, Huang R, Jin X, Ye L.
- Antioxidative, anticancer and genotox. Elanur Aydin, Hasan Türkez, Fatime Geyikoğlu Amelioration of Scopolamine-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment by α-Pinene in C57BL/6 Mice Gil-Yong Lee, Chan Lee, Gyu Hwan Park, and Jung-Hee Jang.