What is the terpene Pinene?

What is the terpene Pinene?
May 16, 2024
3 min read

Pinene is a common terpene found in cannabis and throughout nature. It is primarily produced by plants to communicate with each other, repel insects, and inhibit the root growth of competing plants. It occurs as a mixture of two isomers (different arrangements of the same atoms), α-pinene and β-pinene. It has a characteristic aroma of pine, and is said to contribute to the effects of cannabis. Pinene can also be found in many other plants, including eucalyptus, rosemary, basil, citrus, and more.

What is the terpene Pinene?

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are volatile hydrocarbons commonly found in nature, giving many plants their characteristic scent. They are partly responsible for the aroma of cannabis, and they are thought to contribute to its effects. If you would like to learn more about the aromas and properties of terpenes, check out our article – What are cannabis terpenes?

Pinene and its properties

What does pinene smell like?

Despite their near-identical chemical structures, α-pinene and β-pinene have different aromas. Both are pine-like; however, α-pinene has an aroma commonly described as woody and turpentine, whereas β-pinene has more of a herbal or mint character.

What are the properties of Pinene?

Patients commonly report that pinene offsets the mental “cloudiness” of THC. Some patients report that cannabis cultivars with high levels of pinene provide a clearer, more functional experience and may lead to less forgetfulness compared to other varieties.

Despite the relative lack of studies on the effects of terpenes, research has shown that certain monoterpenes including α-pinene cross the Blood-Brain-Barrier in mice. This implies that it may have medical or minor psychoactive effects. Patients commonly believe that terpenes and cannabinoids synergise (called the “Entourage Effect”), however it is not yet known how this occurs.

Pinene is currently being studied for various effects on human health. If you would like to know more about this and the effects of pinene on the body, please ask your prescriber.

Where is pinene found in nature?

α-pinene is the most widely occurring terpene found in nature and is responsible for more than half of all global terpene emissions. However, it occurs naturally as a mixture of its two isomers.

α-pinene and β-pinene can be found in:

  • Pine and conifers
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Citrus
  • Hops
  • Parsley
  • Lavender
  • Cumin
  • Cannabis
What strains have the most pinene?

Pinene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. It is most commonly associated with the “Sweets and Dreams” Emerald Cup class of cultivars. Sweets and Dreams are represented by any dominant combination of myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene. These include classic “Indica” type strains such as Tangie, Cherry AK, Purps, and Blue Dream.

Pinene is also sometimes associated with:
  • The “Dessert” class, including Bubba Kush, GSCs, Gelatos, and Cakes
  • The “Jacks and Haze” class, containing Trainwreck, Jack Herer, Durban Poison, and Super Lemon Haze
  • The “OGs and gas” include OG Kush, Chemdawg, Sour Diesel, and Gorilla Glue.
What temperature do a-pinene and b-pinene vaporise at?

α-pinene has a boiling point of 156°C. 

β-pinene has a boiling point of 167°C.

As monoterpenes, the pinene isomers are some of the first terpenes to begin vaporising when heat is applied to cannabis, contributing to the “fresh” and “bright” aromas that are prominent during the initial inhalation.

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For The Extra Curious:

A-pinene vs β-pinene

The two forms of α-pinene

Chemical structure of β-pinene

What type of terpene is Pinene?

Pinene is a monoterpene consisting of 2 isoprene units (terpene building blocks), it occurs as a mixture of α-pinene and β-pinene. However monoterpenes like α-pinene and β-pinene are the most volatile type of terpene and they are some of the first terpenes to vaporise when heat is applied to cannabis.

We hope that this article on pinene in cannabis has been useful. If you would like to find out more about the terpenes in your flower, you may be able to find the CoA (Certificate of Analysis) on Catalyst or Cannareviews. If you have any questions about the health effects of pinene, be sure to ask your prescriber.


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Please note that this blog was not written by a licensed medical practitioner and therefore is not providing medical advice. We do not endorse the use of cannabis or any other illicit drugs. Like any medication, cannabis has potential negative side effects and should only be used under the guidance of a qualified medical professional. For the latest information on cannabis prescription and use, please visit the TGA website. If you are considering cannabis as a treatment option, we encourage you to consult with a licensed healthcare professional.

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