Terpene Tuesday: Pinene
Pinene is an aromatic compound, commonly found in nature and cannabis, that smells a lot like pine trees. But pinene brings a lot more to a strain’s experience than just flavor. Terpenes, such as pinene, are fragrant oils secreted in marijuana trichomes, and while they developed as an adaptive protection for plants against predators, these compounds offer humans a variety of benefits.
Pinene is one of the most researched terpenes to date. As its name suggest, it is the same terpene that is responsible for the nostalgic and highly satisfying scent of pine and fir trees. Providing various cannabis strains with delightful flavors and taste sensations, pinene is also a player in the medicinal field and has been identified as a potent anti-inflammatory.
However, the presence of pinene in cannabis goes beyond its pleasurable smell. The molecule can actually dictate the way the high of a strain feels, as well as its potency. For this reason, pinene and other terpenes are as important as cannabinoid quantity for many users when selecting a strain (i.e. pinene is known to increase alertness, whereas myrcene is known to have a sedating effect). Pinene has also been discovered to ease the potential short-term memory loss that may sometimes be a side effect of too much THC.
Alpha-pinene has been found to be an effective bronchodilator, and has been known help to open airways in the respiratory system. The therapeutic values of this mechanism of action can be applied to respiratory ailments such as asthma, according to a study published in the journal “Inhalation Toxicology”. Another study published in the journal “Molecules” detailed both a-pinene and b-pinene to be effective at inhibiting infectious bronchitis virus.
Possible medical benefits:
Can help counter short-term memory loss associated with THC
Can promote alertness
Strains containing high levels of pinene: Island Sweet Skunk, OG Kush.
Pinene can also be found in conifer trees, orange peels, turpentine, pine needles, rosemary, dill, basil, and parsley.
For more information about Pinene, visit Leafly.com.