Cannabis Terpenes: Pinene

Budtenders are a wellspring of cannabis-related knowledge. When you overhear them assisting customers, you’ll pick up nuanced details about each product—such as their terpene profiles—and how it impacts the experience with a given strain. 

As a highly critical cannabis component, terpenes impact strains’ colors, aromas, and more. 

The terpene we’re discussing in this article is pinene. Read on to learn more:

What Is Pinene?

Two types of pinene exist: Alpha-pinene (α-pinene) and beta-pinene (β-pinene).

Pine needles and rosemary are synonymous with alpha (the more common variant in cannabis). Dill, hops, parsley, and basil are linked to beta. 

Suppose someone references pinene in cannabis without clarifying whether they mean alpha or beta. There’s about a 99.9999999% chance they’re discussing alpha due to its prevalence in the plant.

Beyond being a terpene frequently present in cannabis strains, pinene is the most present terpene in plants. It’s found in cedar, basil, conifer trees, orange (rinds), eucalyptus, rosemary, and so much more (including in the needles of pine trees). 

You’ll also find pinene in turpentine (as it’s distilled from pine trees). Turpentine has been used as anything between a paint solvent and medicine over the past thousand years [1].

What Does Pinene Do? What Are Its Properties?

The bulk of pinene’s properties are medicinal or therapeutic, which we’ll shed more light on in the next section.

Pinene tends to offset the more intense psychoactive effects of cannabis, enabling lucidity—even after high doses [2]. It can also stave off the short-term memory loss often experienced during recreational cannabis usage, mainly due to intensified potencies [3].

There’s versatility to pinene’s impact on cannabis strains. Depending on the rest of the terpene profile, it can either energize or relax. For instance, if myrcene (a terpene with a sedative effect) is present at high levels, it could trigger specific characteristics of the pinene.

What Is Pinene Good For? What Are Its Medicinal Benefits?

A 2015 American Journal of Chinese Medicine study cites pinene as having anti-inflammatory effects that positively impact the entire body [4].

Furthermore, pinene—as a topical—protects the skin from UV light, according to a 2018 study [5]

Another therapeutic effect pinene might have—according to infancy-staged research—is at the microbial level. A 2012 study indicates alpha and beta-pinene prevented the harmful growth of specific organisms [6].

Alpha and beta-pinene seem to help with respiratory illnesses and breathing issues. 

For instance, pinene was discovered to protect lung cells from animal viral activity, staving off bronchitis [7]. The same study determined pinene could relieve asthma symptoms in animals, acting as a potential bronchodilator.

When combined with THC, pinene might open up airways, while it could reduce airway sensitivity, offsetting asthma sufferers’ triggers.

An additional study—this one from 2014—found that inhaling pinene reduces anxiety levels in mice, performing measurably better than a placebo [8]. Like our other examples, this benefit remains anecdotally supported but requires more research with humans to prove 100% valid.

More animal studies speak to the neuroprotective properties of pinene. Scientific researchers discovered that alpha-pinene protects against the following brain-related ailments in their subjects [9]:

  • Dementia.
  • Cognitive dysfunction.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Amnesia.
  • Overall memory loss.

What Strains Have Pinene?

The Daily Grapes hybrid strain from NEZ is rich in beta-pinene, which is relatively rare in cannabis strains. This flower stands out for its clear-headed body-high. NEZ also produces a Cadillac Rainbows Indica strain rich in beta-pinene, known for its potent sedative punch, that relaxes users to their core.

If you’re seeking alpha-pinene (and beta), look no further than the Durban Poison vape from Airo Brands. This brisk sativa sparks creativity and meshes seamlessly with your day.

We’re only scratching the surface with options rich with pinene (both alpha and beta). If you wish to find more, click through to our menu and type “pinene” into the search field. Press enter and be introduced to a variety of strains (and product types) with pinene. 

Pinene In Aromatherapy

Pinene is prevalent in many essential oils and is employed in diffusers to add flavor. You’ll find it in aromatic plant oils (e.g., rosemary) and eucalyptus. The anti-inflammatory properties cited in most essential oil applications are often attributed to pinene [10].

Detecting Pinene In Cannabis Products

First and foremost, read the labels of all cannabis products before purchasing them. Most reputable brands will have components like terpenes outlined for you. You can also ask your budtender.

Say this information isn’t clarified on the label, and your budtender is miffed. Your next best bet is smelling your bud. Pinene yields the sweet and spicy odor that emanates from pine trees. In cannabis, this scent remains but with an added woodsy flavor.

Precautions And Considerations

Pinene, as a topical, can cause skin allergies and has some links to kidney issues [11].

These are reasonably negligible issues. Your main problem is to not use pinene-rich cannabis strain as a cure-all. 

Yes, cannabis can have medicinal effects, but not everybody’s the same, and risks are always a factor with inebriating substances. Responsible usage is necessary, and therapeutic applications should be discussed with a medical professional before treating anything.


Pinene has numerous therapeutic applications when present in cannabis and is versatile in how its benefits take hold.

We’re only at the beginning of learning what pinene can do for adult recreational cannabis consumers. As the cannabis stigma keeps decreasing and knowledge grows, the sky could be the limit for this impressive terpene.

Want to learn more about pinene strains? Contact Stash Dispensaries today, or view our menu to discover more about our strains.



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