What is pinene and its properties?

We have talked on other occasions about the terpenes properties, as well as its many benefits. While it is true that CBD cannabidiol is the best known, there are other terpenes that are equally important and also provide many health benefits. One of them is precisely the pinene. However, what is pinene and what are its properties?

Here’s everything you need to know about pinene terpene. This includes not only its properties and health benefits. We will also tell you the difference between alpha pinene and beta pinene terpenes.

What is pinene?

Pinene is one of the most popular terpenes found in cannabis. Like many of the terpenes in the plant such as linalool, nerolidol, ocimene or humulene, pinene is being studied in multiple studies due to its ability to treat a variety of ailments, including inflammation, cancer and respiratory problems.

The terpene pinene has a piney smell, which partly explains its name. It so happens that both pine trees and other plants, including cannabis, produce pinene. It is in fact a popular ingredient in insecticides and flavourings. It can also be used as a biofuel in spark ignition engines, although this is a rare use.

This is because a pinene dimer, i.e. two identical pinene molecules connected together, has volumetric calorific values comparable to the fuel used to propel rockets.

According to this article published in 2014, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Joint Bioenergy Institute, succeeded in synthesizing pinene using bacteria.


What is the difference between alpha pinene and beta pinene?

First it is important to understand that pinene terpene is classified into two types: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. Alpha-pinene is the most common terpenoid found in nature, although it is most prevalent in cannabis.

Alpha-pinene is currently being studied to see if it can help cure or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other neurological disorders. Alpha pinene is basically a colourless organic oil with a fresh, earthy aroma.

Beta pinene is a monoterpene (like geraniol) that is also found in various plants. Although it is a colourless liquid soluble in alcohol, it cannot be dissolved in water.

Where is pinene found?

Dill, basil, rosemary and parsley, as well as the essential oils they produce, contain the aromatic pinene terpene. It is also known to be abundant in conifers, such as pine.

Even without knowing it, you may have pinene on your kitchen table, plus you may have enjoyed its soothing piney scent on a winter’s day. Pinene oil is found in pine nuts, lime zest and orange peel.

You’ve probably already tasted this terpene if you’ve eaten an orange peel candy, a salad with pine nuts or a slice of key lime pie. Pinene, on the other hand, is known to repel insects, so it is often used in a variety of insect repellents.

pinene properties

What are the therapeutic properties of pinene?

Alpha-pinene, which is the most common form of pinene found in cannabis, may also have the greatest therapeutic potential. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antimicrobial properties, as well as respiratory and neuroprotective properties.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Essential oils from plants containing pinene have been shown to minimize inflammation. In animal cells, alpha-pinene has a variety of anti-inflammatory effects, according to a 2015 report published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

According to the study researchers, pinene terpene has the ability to treat several inflammatory diseases. Its anti-inflammatory properties may even make it an effective sunscreen ingredient. According to a 2018 study published in the journal Life Sciences, pinene protects the skin from ultraviolet light damage.

Can fight cancer

Both alpha pinene and beta pinene have antitumor effects, according to several investigations carried out in animals. According to 2018 research published in the medical journal Chemotherapy, when both types of pinene are ingested together, they provide synergistic effects in reducing tumors.

In tests on mice, alpha-pinene was also found to be effective in the treatment of prostate cancer.

alpha pinene

Antimicrobial properties

The antimicrobial properties of alpha and beta pinene have also been investigated. Pinene was found to be particularly effective in combating Candida Albicans, a yeast fungus found in the human body. This is a fungus that can become dangerous if it grows out of control, according to a 2012 report.

May act as an antidepressant

Patients often use cannabis to improve their mood, which makes sense considering the results of a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2012.

By experimenting on mice, the researchers found that beta-pinene in combination with the terpene linalool tends to produce effects comparable to those of antidepressant drugs.

pinene neuroprotective


Scientists have investigated the role of alpha-pinene in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. This as part of his quest to learn more about this neurological disease, for which there is no cure.

According to a 2017 research, it was concluded that alpha-pinene might be effective not only against Alzheimer’s disease, but also against general dementia, amnesia, cognitive dysfunction, and even total memory loss.

Antiviral properties

The ability of alpha and beta pinene to fight the contagious bronchitis virus in animal tests was investigated in a 2011 study. Researchers found that both forms of pinene prevented viral activity in cells, making this terpene a possible treatment for bronchitis. Pinene was also reported to be a potential bronchodilator that could benefit people suffering from asthma.

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