Terpene Spotlight: Pinene
Pinene, also called alpha-pinene or α-pinene, is the most common terpene in nature, and one of the most commonly found in cannabis plants.
Our terpene spotlight is an in-depth exploration of the 5 most common terpenes found in cannabis: myrcene, limonene, linalool and beta-caryophyllene.
In case you forgot — terpenes are fragrant oils found in plants (not just cannabis) that produce a unique taste and smell. One of the reasons for pinene’s abundance in nature is that it’s found in coniferous trees such as fir, pine and spruce which are found on 11% of the earth’s surface.
In the natural world, pinene acts as an insect repellant. Commercially, pinene is isolated and added to a wide range of products, from bug spray to confectionary and beverages.
What aromas are associated with pinene?
True to its name, pinene gives cannabis a strong pine scent. Some people find that pinene gives off the scent of rosemary. It’s found in coniferous trees like pine, as well as rosemary and sage.
Keep in mind, each cannabis strain has many terpenes that work together to create a complex aroma profile.
What are the reported effects of pinene?
While some people believe that cannabis strains with prominent levels of pinene create certain effects, it’s an area that needs further research. There have been a limited number of studies conducted on pinene.
In one study, a pinene extract produced an increase in mouse movement by 13.8%; another study showed that when pinene was given to mice with hay fever, their symptoms improved. While both studies are interesting, there is not enough evidence to determine with certainty that the same result would be achieved in humans.
Research on cannabis and its related effects is still being conducted and over time, more information on terpenes such as pinene will become widely available. It’s important to balance any perceived positive effects with the reported negative effects of cannabis consumption.
The bottom line: there just isn’t enough research to link the amount of pinene in a strain to its effect. You can use a strain’s terpene profile to choose your favourite aroma or taste.
What’s a terpene, again?
To learn more, read our terpene overview, or dig a bit deeper and explore the other most common terpenes found in cannabis such as myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, limonene and linalool.