Our terpene spotlights have covered limonene, myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene, and now we’ve come to the least common of the most common cannabis terpenes. Yep, we’re talking about terpinolene, a kind of wild card in the world of terpenes. Here’s what makes it so unusual.
Obligatory Terpene Recap
In the event that terpenes aren’t yet part of your lexicon, let’s quickly recap. Terpenes are the compounds responsible for giving flowers, plants, and herbs of all kinds their unique aromatic properties. If you can pinpoint citrus or spice when you’re breathing in the scent of a floral bouquet or herb garden, or you can taste a certain peppery bite in those salad greens, you have terpenes to thank. These aromatic oils are produced in the same glands as cannabinoids like CBD and THC, and there are more than 100 different terpenes identified in the cannabis plant alone, which is why there’s such diversity in terms of aroma and flavor from one strain to the next.
Of equal importance is the role terpenes play in the influence of strain effect. Some can promote stress relief or relaxation, while others are associated with increased focus. In fact, those in the know are more concerned with a given strain’s terpene profile than its THC level – and rightfully so.
All About Terpinolene
Terpinolene is an interesting terpene in that it is quite ubiquitous among various cannabis strains – and particularly sativas – but present in relatively low amounts. And yet, it still has a significant impact in the defining flavor and aroma of many strains, and likely on their unique effects as well.
While many terpenes are associated with particular scents – limonene has a lock on citrus, for example – terpinolene is a little more varied. It’s associated with many of the scents common to cannabis, with a kind of flowery, piney, herbally, even mildly citrus mix that’s well described as fresh. Terpinolene can also be found in lilac, apples, tea tree, nutmeg, and cumin.
The Effects of Terpinolene
In studies with mice, terpinolene that’s been inhaled can promote a sleepy and relaxed effect. Cannabis strains with this particular terpene may help promote a relaxing, calming state, thought it’s likely that an effect like this is tied to a synergistic relationship between different terpenes and cannabinoids. Note, too, that sativas as a whole are known for their uplifting properties, so effects will likely vary.
Other studies have linked terpinolene to potential antibacterial and antigungal properties, and it may work as an insect repellent too. Of particular note is early research associating terpinolene’s potential to reduce heart disease risk and inhibit cancer cell growth. Early days for definitive results still, but exciting nonetheless!
Where Can I Find Terpinolene?
If you’re interested in giving this terpene a go, you’ll find small amounts of it in many strains. But terpinolene-dominant strains can be a little limited. KYND actually has several terpinolene-rich strains, including Super Lemon Haze and MTF. Ask your budtender for these strains or another recommendation next time you’re considering something for relaxation.