Cannabis Terpenes 101: Pinene

Those on the outside looking in might mistakenly think that recreational adult cannabis users are most interested in getting rip-roaring high from consuming the related products. 

Undoubtedly, potency has its role, but people’s desire for psychoactive responses isn’t black and white. Some enjoy intense experiences, others prefer a mellow high, and many can go either way on any given day.

Something else to consider is the cannabis experience goes beyond one’s psychoactive response. 

For instance–and most relevant to this article–the aromatic component of consuming cannabis can’t be overlooked. Think about it. Wine connoisseurs don’t drink wine only to get drunk. They enjoy factors like the poignant bouquet of a cab-sav.

While wine has traits like tannins, body, and acidity, cannabis has components like terpenes, impacting scent and the overall pleasantness of consumption. 

Pinene (the topic of this article) and other crucial terpenes are responsible for scents found in orange peel, lavender, pine, etc., featuring prominently in cannabis strains.

What Is Pinene?

The most common plant terpene, pinene, can be found in conifer trees, eucalyptus, orange rind, pine needles, parsley, rosemary, basil, and the list keeps going. 

Two varieties of pinene exist:

  • Alpha-pinene.
  • Beta-pinene.

Alpha is more frequently in cannabis, and what’s likely being referenced when pinene is being blanketly discussed. Pine needle and rosemary aromas can be attributed to alpha-pinene. Conversely, beta-pinene is associated with dill, basil, parsley, and hops [1]. 

Pinene’s Role In Cannabis

Pinene interacts synergistically with THC–the psychoactive component of cannabis. Thus, it’s believed to open the airways, offering a bronchodilatory response (when consumed in moderation) to aid asthma (and similar conditions) while increasing alertness.

Moreover, pinene can help offset anxiety and short-term memory loss–both potential side effects of THC [2].

Pinene’s role as a terpene also revolves around the entourage effect–the idea that the human body interacts with all components of the cannabis plant. While it seems that THC would be the primary contributor to how our bodies interact with any given strain, the entourage effect suggests how other components like pinene impact the overall experience.

As the explanation above indicates, pinene can help you reap more of the benefits offered by the plant’s psychoactive effects while offsetting some of the pitfalls. 

Pinene’s Impact On Different Strains

Every strain with pinene will have varying amounts of the terpene. You’ll typically find it more in sativa strains (affectionately known as “daytime cannabis”). Still, it can be found in indica (“nighttime” cannabis) and hybrids, too.

In an indica, the pinene makes itself known through soothing and relaxing effects. In a sativa, you can attribute the more uplifting effects to pinene. 

Pinene-rich strains include Chemdawg, Bubba Kush, Funky Charms, and Jack Herer. 

You can always check the terpene profile on your cannabis products, if available, to ensure it’s rich with pinene.

If you don’t have a terpene profile to reference, sniff your flower for piney, parsley, or basil-like aromas [3].

Pinene And Aromatherapy

Research tells us that pinene is a significant element in essential oils for aromatherapy. Thus, you’ll find it in products (e.g., lotions, soaps, and other cosmetics) you buy at various bath and body oil businesses. Pinene-rich plants are frequently incorporated into traditional medicines to help treat the following conditions [4]:

  • Seizures.
  • Snake bites.
  • Colds.
  • Rheumatism.
  • Fungal infection.
  • Depression.
  • Inflammation.
  • Fevers.
  • Pain.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.
  • And more.

All of these factors contribute to heightened mood and well-being.

Seeking cannabis products with pinene and consuming in moderation will help maximize these effects. 

What do we mean by the above statement?

First, before answering, we’ll point out how we aren’t doctors or medical professionals. This is not medical advice, and any therapeutic usage of cannabis products should be discussed with your physician or a psychiatrist. 

However, you’d be amazed at the customers we serve who are go-go-go daily, working stressful jobs with demanding family lives. They find that consuming cannabis during their free time helps them slow down and relax, forgetting their many responsibilities for a few hours (sometimes before bed, for instance).

Pinene-rich cannabis strains enhance those therapeutic effects and increase your quality of life and overall wellness, according to anecdotal research.

Identifying Pinene-Rich Cannabis Products

As we discussed earlier, you’ll discover the terpene levels in your cannabis by reading the labels of lab-tested products. 

Say your packaging doesn’t have such information. Smell your flower for pine, parsley, basil, and other spicy and sweet hints.

A crucial consideration for purchasing pinene-rich strains is an awareness that it’s not a magic bullet cure-all. Yes, we can assume it contributes to a rich experience with a given strain, but that’s no reason to be reckless. Moderation still wins the day; finding your ideal dosage and the right strain might take time and experimentation.

We suggest always starting small and then adjusting based on your tolerance levels.

Precautions To Consider

Pinene can cause allergic reactions, potentially leading to rashes, itchy throat, abdominal discomfort, and sneezing. However, the allergy can be more severe, leading to life-threatening anaphylactic responses (e.g., chest tightness, heart failure, shock, and coma) [5].

We’ll reiterate the importance of dosage control. Specifically, we’ll delve into issues you can run into.

Too much, too fast, will typically yield unfavorable outcomes. When your dosages are too heavy, the chances of experiencing anxiety, paranoia, acute moments of depression, etc., increase drastically. This notion rings true no matter the strain and the terpenes it carries.

Even if your dosage amounts are moderate, you can dull the desired effects by dosing too frequently. Consuming cannabis multiple times per day, even in smaller, manageable amounts, will dampen its more positive, therapeutic effects. 

Truly, cannabis is best enjoyed moderately and responsibly (unless a medical professional suggests frequent, ongoing doses). This way, your tolerance won’t increase to the point of not feeling anything. Also, you won’t waste tons of money on a demanding cannabis habit.

Final Thoughts

The terpene pinene is responsible for the piny, sweet, and spicy aromas you notice in cannabis strains in which it’s most prevalent. 

In sativa strains, pinene can be responsible for the rejuvenating, refreshing effects you feel. In indica strains, it tends to yield a more calming and relaxing response.

As recreational adult-use cannabis becomes more mainstream and legal throughout the US, expect more to be discovered about pinene and the many benefits it offers. Through this research, cannabis products will be better honed and refined to offer more potent therapeutic effects. 

It’s an exciting time to be part of the industry and even more thrilling to be a customer and enthusiast. 

Love Pinene-Rich Cannabis Strains? We’d Love To Hear About Your Experiences

You’ll notice how you can leave a comment beneath our blogs! 

We’ve left that option there for a reason–we want to hear from you, our readers (and customers), about your experiences with cannabis products. This extends to pinene-rich strains. 

What do you find is the primary difference between pinene-rich strains and strains rich in other terpenes like linalool? We look forward to hearing about your experiences, doubly so if it’s about interactions with and feedback for our products.

You’ll also notice–while exploring our vast cannabis menu–that we list the existent terpenes in our strains. 

Are you seeking cannabis with heightened levels of pinene? If so, we’ve got them on our menu. Click here to see what we’ve got to offer and decide what best suits your preferences.



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