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Terpenes: Alpha-Pinene

 January 08, 2020  Written by Emma Chasen
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It is important to note that when we talk about pinene we are referring to alpha-pinene. There is another form of pinene named beta-pinene that does not share the following therapeutic properties. 

Pinene, like its name would suggest, is found in pine needles. It is also one of the first terpenes that cannabis produces. If you have ever found yourself in a cannabis garden with plants in early flower you may have smelled fresh pine. Because pinene is one of the first terpenes produced in flower, it does not show up in dominant concentrations too often. However, when it does, it packs a therapeutic punch. 

Pinene is not only found in cannabis, but also pine needles. When walking through a pine forest, the smell can create feelings of clarity, focus, and heightened awareness and presence. This experience is a result of all the pinene! When pinene does exist in dominant concentrations in cannabis varieties, it creates a similar experience to walking through a pine forest. It can produce heightened focus, cerebral clarity and greater awareness. However, pinene’s greatest therapeutic value is in its ability to mitigate the uncomfortable side effects associated with THC. Pinene can help to offset anxiety, elevated heart rate and memory impairment from THC. Along with this, pinene has a plethora of therapeutic properties. Here is a snapshot of how pinene may influence a cannabis experience:

Aroma. Aroma helps us to identify terpenes when we don’t have lab results. Terpenes are consumed through our olfactory glands before we even inhale or ingest. Therefore, the smell of a variety can affect the experience. It also may contribute to taste. 


Pinene’s Aroma: fresh pine, woody, sharp, bright

Effects on mood: In cannabis, pinene most likely contributes to a focusing experience and creates the cerebral clarity, heightened awareness and focus often associated with some cannabis varieties. This may occur because pinene is a bronchodilator; it opens up the lungs and allows them to receive more oxygen thereby transmitting more oxygen into the bloodstream and tissues. When more oxygen reaches our bloodstream, it reaches our brain. More oxygen in our brain equals more focus and cerebral clarity.  Pinene may also help to stabilize mood and act as an anti-anxiety. 

Medicinal Properties: Anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, increase muscle motility, antiproliferative 

Greatest Therapeutic Value: Pinene’s ability to offset the negative side effects associated with THC is the compound’s greatest therapeutic value. It can help to reduce the anxiety, elevated heart rate and memory impairment often associated with THC. If you want to experience the euphoria and psychotropic activity of THC and don’t want the brain fog, look for a variety with a dominant concentration of pinene. 

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