Terpene spotlight: terpinolene
- Jul 04, 2020
- Bridget May
One of the compounds in cannabis is also found in spices like cumin, and fruit like apples – who would have thought it? What do those things have in common, is the a compound called a terpene. Terpenes, like myrcene found in cannabis and apples, are the scent molecules and active ingredients found in the cannabis sativa plant, as well as other plant botanicals, like tea tree oil.
What are terpenes? They are the "essential oils" of the cannabis plant, created in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like the active ingredients THC and CBD. Terpenes are what make cannabis smell like it smells like – they are the aromatic oils that scent cannabis varieties with distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine (and skunk too!).
Terpenes seem to work together to alter, or temper the effects of other terpenes as well as cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. This is known as the entourage effect. More research is needed to understand each terpene’s effect when used in harmony with the other components, but it is clear that it's not just about making cannabis smell good. Terpenes like linalool are active participants in the entourage!
From Leafly.com: "Not unlike other strong-smelling plants and flowers, the development of terpenes in cannabis began for adaptive purposes: to repel predators and lure pollinators. There are many factors that influence a plant’s development of terpenes, including climate, weather, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil type, and even the time of day.
Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and every strain tends toward a unique terpene type and composition. In other words, a strain like Cheese and its descendants will likely have a discernible cheese-like smell, and Blueberry offspring often inherit the smell of berries.
Terpenes may also play a key role in differentiating the effects of various cannabis strains, but more studies are needed to understand how and to what extent."
And in our terpene round up, today, we’re celebrating the magic of terpinolene.
We like to think of terpinolene as one of cannabis’s background actors—though it plays an important role. It may be the least common terpene found in cannabis, but it’s responsible for the smell and taste of a number of strains, including Jack Herer and Golden Goat.
This incredible terpene has antifungal and antibacterial properties and may also have calming effects, though if it’s sitting alongside other terpenes in a strain like Jack, those effects will be modified. Aside from cannabis, it’s also found in cumin, apple, lilac, and tea tree oil, which is in our Perfecting Face Serum, and in rosemary, which you’ll find in our Deep Calm Massage & Body Oil.
Terpinolene has a fresh, crisp scent that covers a wide range of notes, including citrus, herb, floral, and pine. It’s often included in perfume, cleaning products, and soap formulations because of its clean scent. Additionally, it’s an effective insect repellent, so it’s found in a number of sprays and creams that repel bugs and mosquitoes.
Essential oils and cannabis plants contain a wide range of terpenes that work together with cannabinoids to nourish the skin. When the full spectrum of cannabinoids comes together, that interplay among components is known as the entourage effect. More research is needed to determine exactly how pinene functions alongside its counterparts, but it’s thought that one thing it may do is amplify the cannabinoids’ anti-inflammatory properties.