October 16, 2020 3 min read

As the name implies, pinene is the pine-scented terpene, one of over 200 found in cannabis. Both alpha-pinene and beta-pinene can be found in various cannabis strains, and they each offer slightly different effects and benefits.

Although research is limited, experts are interested in pinene’s therapeutic potential for managing a variety of issues. Particularly, research has focused on pinene’s various anxiolytic, neuroprotective, and anticonvulsant effects.

All terpenes, including pinene, are thought to react synergistically with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, a phenomenon frequently referred to as the entourage effect. This theory suggests that full spectrum CBD provides these synergistic effects, resulting in increased benefits when compared to CBD isolate.

Table of Contents
Pinene Aroma
Where Can You Find Pinene Besides
Pinene Effects and Benefits
Resources

Key Takeaways

Pinene is a terpene usually found in cannabis in trace amounts. It is responsible for the piney scent of some cannabis and hemp cultivars. You can also find pinene in pine needles, pine nuts, and orange peel, and various herbs.

Pinene has not been heavily studied, but various animal studies and other preliminary research reveals the terpene’s wellness potential.

More research is needed before any of pinene’s benefits can be completely confirmed, but research potentially points to a variety of anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, neuroprotective, and pain-reducing effects.

According to the entourage effect theory, pinene may play an important role in the suggested enhanced benefits of full spectrum CBD products. Many of pinene’s benefits are thought to work synergistically with the proposed benefits of various cannabinoids.

Pinene Aroma

Basil and rosemary, a rich source of pinene.

Pinene has a strong piney smell with earthy undertones. Strains with high concentrations of pinene may have a fresh, crisp smell.

Where Can You Find Pinene Besides Cannabis?

Pinene is found in so many plants you may encounter on a regular basis, like orange peel, pine nuts, rosemary, basil, dill and parsley.

Pinene Effects and Benefits

Pinene’s benefits generally only appear in preliminary studies, but researchers have highlighted several areas of interest, and future research may help establish pinene as a regular therapeutic supplement.

For now, here’s what we know:

  • One study suggests that both a-pinene and b-pinene may exert certain antimicrobial effects that potentially make it effective against some bacteria.
  • Another study evaluating the anti-inflammatory effects of various compounds found a-pinene to potentially be the most effective, and even suggested that it had potential as an anti-osteoarthritis drug.
  • Yet another study found that pinene may be effective at reducing inflammation in mice, and suggests that pinene has potential as a new anti-inflammatory drug to treat various forms of disease.
  • One study found that a group of patients with Alzheimer’s disease who were treated with pinene experienced more improvement to memory function than the control group.
  • Another study further examined pinene’s potential benefits for memory loss. In amnesia-induced mice, the pinene-treated group experienced 72.7% more memory recall than the control group.
  • One comprehensive article outlines a collection of pinene-focused research that highlights potential “cytogenetic, gastroprotective, anxiolytic, cytoprotective, anticonvulsant, and neuroprotective effects, as well as their effects against H2O2-stimulated oxidative stress, pancreatitis, stress-stimulated hyperthermia, and pulpal pain.”

Resources

  1. “Inhibitory effect of b-pinene, a-pinene and eugenol on the growth of potential infectious endocarditis causing Gram-positive bacteria” https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1516-93322007000100015&script=sci_arttext
  2. “Anti-inflammatory and Chondroprotective Activity of (+)-α-Pinene: Structural and Enantiomeric Selectivity” https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/np400828x
  3. “Alpha-Pinene Exhibits Anti-Inflammatory Activity Through the Suppression of MAPKs and the NF-κB Pathway in Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages” https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S0192415X15500457
  4. “Amelioration of Scopolamine-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment by α-Pinene in C57BL/6 Mice” https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/4926815/
  5. “Memory-Enhancing Effect of a Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Fluid Extract of the Needles of Abies koreana on Scopolamine-Induced Amnesia in Mice” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1271/bbb.50608
  6. “Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6920849/

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