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Pinene Terpene: Benefits, Effects and Uses


What is Pinene, What are the Benefits of Pinene. Effects, Research, Science & More:

Heard of Pinene? But, don’t know where to start, or know what the health benefits are for you?

In this article we take you through the benefits, options, important criteria you should consider when looking at products containing the terpene Pinene.

Introduction into the Terpene Pinene

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Vance Green, PharmD.
Updated on July 17, 2021

Pinene is a terpene (a natural scented compound) frequently found in hemp and cannabis. Some scientific research suggests Pinene could add to the relaxing or soothing effects of many hemp strains.

If the name ‘pinene’ immediately makes you think of pine trees and other conifers, you’re on the right track. Pinene is a crucial component in the green, resiny smell of pine trees and pine forests. When it comes to hemp and cannabis, it’s rarely the most dominant terpene but often appears as the second most potent terpene. That makes Pinene a significant contributor to the smell of the cannabis plant in many of its forms.

While research is ongoing into whether and how Pinene can help humans, scientists already have some intriguing ideas about this compound, which we’ll outline below. After we introduce you to Pinene, we’ll also share a few of our favorite hemp and cannabis strains where you can experience its scent, taste, and, perhaps, its effects too.

Pinene Terpene Icon

Pinene also known as: α-Pinene, alpha-pinene, beta-Pinene, and β-pinene. A Terpene commonly found in Cannabis & Hemp.

What is the terpene Pinene, and what other plants contain it?

Pinene also known as: α-Pinene, alpha-pinene, beta-Pinene, and β-pinene.

In addition to trees, Pinene is found in orange peels (along with lots of limonene!), sagebrush, eucalyptus oil, herbs like rosemary, parsley, dill, basil, and even in turpentine. According to several sources, Pinene is actually the most common terpene-like compound found in nature.

Terpenes are natural, scented compounds that plants evolved to use for various purposes from defense to communication. Pinene is a type of terpene called a monoterpene and comes in two forms: alpha-pinene and beta-Pinene. Both forms make up important constituents of pine resin. However, the alpha form is a bit more common in hemp and cannabis.

This terpene gets used in the perfume industry. Insects also use Pinene as a form of communication. In concentrated form, it’s even been investigated as a possible source of biofuel!


Scientists think terpenes play a key role in the “entourage effect.” In brief, the entourage effect is the idea that all the compounds hemp or cannabis are more effective working together in harmony rather than isolated into their individual parts.

All of this is why so many consumers report better effects from full-spectrum hemp supplements, versus those made with just CBD isolate. While the additional cannabinoids like THC, CBG and CBN play a role, so do the terpenes.

For example, researchers think Pinene in hemp flower, may contribute to its anti-inflammatory effects.

α-Pinene is known to be highly bioavailable in humans. Studies show that uptake is 60% with rapid metabolism.

What are some possible benefits of Pinene?

Since it’s extremely commonplace, there’s also been a lot of research into the potential effects of Pinene. A lot of it focuses on how plants and their natural predators interact with the terpene. For example, many plants use it to repel insects.

There are some interesting ways it could benefit health in humans who consume and otherwise use Pinene. As usual with the topic of hemp and cannabis, most of this research is far from conclusive but gives us intriguing areas for future study.

α-Pinene is known to be highly bioavailable in humans. Studies show that uptake is 60% with rapid metabolism.


Learn more about hemp flower.

Dr. Ethan Russo, one of the foremost experts on cannabis and terpenes, lays out several benefits in “Taming THC,” his analysis of the various terpenes and cannabinoids. Pinene seems to be anti-inflammatory and also antibacterial. It’s been studied in other plants for its possible action against antibiotic-resistant staph infections (MRSA). At low levels, it even acts as a bronchodilator (making breathing easier). (Source)

One study looked at the ability of eucalyptus oil to fight off the bacteria responsible for some forms of acne and found alpha-Pinene to be a significant factor. (Source)

However, Russo suggests perhaps the most intriguing potential benefit of Pinene is its effect on memory. Two studies that he cites found Pinene acted as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, a type of drug used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Russo speculates that this also means Pinene might “counteract short-term memory deficits induced by THC intoxication,” in other words, the mild memory lapses sometimes caused by getting high.

There are numerous other effects that some studies tie to either alpha or beta-Pinene. In an extensive survey of the potential benefits of Pinene, published in the journal Biomolecules in 2019 (source), a global team of researchers summarized some of Pinene’s effects:

“A wide range of pharmacological activities have been reported, including antibiotic resistance modulation, anticoagulant, antitumor, antimicrobial, antimalarial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-Leishmania, and analgesic [pain-relieving] effects.”

The authors add that some research suggests it could reduce anxiety, protect the digestive system, and even acts to protect cells and brain tissue against toxins. Pinene could even act as an anticonvulsant, an antioxidant, and a treatment for pancreatitis.

It’s crucial to note that although this wide array of research suggests several potential benefits of Pinene in humans, almost none of this research looks at the interaction between Pinene and cannabis and what happens when we consume both at once.

Which hemp and cannabis strains contain high amounts of Pinene?

It’s uncommon for Pinene to be the dominant or strongest terpene in a strain of hemp or cannabis. Some exceptions include cannabis strains like Big Smooth and Megatron. Some other popular strains with a lot of Pinene include Critical Mass and Grape Ape, or medical strains like Harlequin and Remedy.

Several hemp strains are rich in Pinene, giving them a wonderfully green and fresh scent.

Strains high in Pinene

Strains of CBD hemp flower with an abundance of Pinene include Hempress 3, Suver Haze, and the mood-boosting Sour Lifter.

Top 7 Strains of Hemp containing high Pinene

  • Hempress 3
  • Suver Haze
  • Remedy
  • Cannatonic
  • Sour Lifter
  • Harlequin
  • Blue Cheese

Remember, each strain’s flavor and effects come from dozens of natural compounds working together to create the “entourage effect.” The terpene profile of any strain can vary from batch to batch, so be sure always to check the lab tests if you want to verify which terpenes and cannabinoids you’re getting.

Monoterpenes are a class of terpenes that consist of two isoprene units

Get to know our favorite ‘terps’

Thanks to the years of prohibition and the stigma that grew up around hemp and cannabis, we’re only just beginning to learn about how compounds like terpenes work and could help us.

READ MORE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TERPENES – What are Terpenes and What are the Benefits of Terpenes. Effects, Benefits, Research, Science & More.

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