What is terpinolene and its properties?

When it comes to cannabis, there are several different terpenes that not only define the flavour and aroma of each strain, but also have a number of health benefits depending on how they interact with other terpenes and cannabinoids. One of these terpenes is called terpinolene.

If you have ever tasted woody, floral, herbal or piney flavours when consuming cannabis buds, chances are you consumed marijuana buds rich in terpinolene. However, what is terpinolene and what are its properties? We’ll tell you all about it below.

What is terpinolene?

Terpinolene is a relatively rare terpene in the cannabis terpene family. As said before, its smell and taste are characteristic of floral, woody and even slightly fruity tones.

Terpinolene, like many other terpenes, has evolved as a defense mechanism for plants, which use its powerful aromas and flavors to deter pests and insects from attacking them.

Moreover, terpinolene, like most other terpenes, is formed in the trichomes of cannabis plants, which are shiny mushroom-shaped glands that also contain other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.

However, it is important to clarify that these oils, which are not psychoactive by themselves, are not only responsible for the fragrance of plants and herbs, they also have a number of benefits and properties for the well-being of people.


How is terpinolene used?

Because terpinolene’s distinctive aroma is often characterized as “fresh,” you’ll find many of these terpenes as an additive to a variety of cleaning and cosmetic items, including soaps, perfumes, and fragrance sprays.

Insecticides and insect repellents are another popular application of terpinolene terpenes. In fact, they share this property with limonene and pinene, two other well-known terpenes in the cannabis family.

It can even be used to flavor foods and beverages, as well as to make plastics and resins. At the same time, this terpene offers several health benefits, including:

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • It also acts as a natural antiseptic,
  • Not only that, it can even inhibit the development of some cancer cells.
  • It is also known to have antifungal and antibacterial properties.
  • It is considered a powerful antioxidant, in addition to providing sedative effects to help you fall asleep.

Properties of terpinolene

Let’s see in detail the properties of terpinolene:

As a natural antiseptic

Terpinolene, unlike the other terpenes, has no anti-inflammatory or analgesic effects on the body, but acts as a natural antiseptic. For thousands of years, this terpene has been used as a natural alternative for the treatment of open wounds, helping to keep them clean and free of bacteria and infection. At the same time, it works externally by reducing inflammation and relieving pain.

Fights bacteria and fungi

Terpinolene’s ability to function as an antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal is one of its most notable characteristics. Not surprisingly, terpinolene is an effective component in combating the growth and proliferation of bacteria and fungi, due to its presence in tea tree oil, which has been used as a type of traditional medicine for centuries.

This property in terpinolene terpenes was verified in a study conducted in 2015. The study used a variety of the plant Diplotaenia damavandica with a terpinolene content of 20% in its genetic makeup.

The study findings revealed that this terpene is effective against E. coli bacteria, Salmonella and other common bacteria and fungi. Not only that, terpinolene evolved to meet the needs of plants in their natural environments and protect them from predators.

As a result, a 2009 study found that this terpene, along with many others, is an important component in pesticides, aiding in the control of mosquitoes, beetles and weevils.

terpinolene properties

The effects of terpinolene on sleep and its relationship to CBN

Cannabinol, or CBN, is one of the ten most popular cannabinoids found in different strains of cannabis. This is the cannabinoid that is sometimes referred to as the sleepy cannabinoid because of its profound sedative effect.

Terpinolene, on the other hand, is a fantastic sedative compound in the cannabis family tree. This is not only because it enhances the effects of CBN cannabinoids, but also because it has these effects on its own.

Researchers working on a 2013 rat study were determined to prove this property of terpinolene terpenes. When the rats in the sample were exposed to inhalation of these compounds, they were put to sleep.

As a result, it is fair to assume that cannabis strains rich in terpinolene can help people who have trouble sleeping and relieve anxiety and stress.

terpinolene cancer

Terpinolene and cancer

Terpinolene is a potent anti-cancer agent, according to a study published in the journal in 2012. According to the research, this terpene reduced the expression levels of a protein known to promote the spread of cancer cells.

Interestingly, instead of cannabis, the researchers used extracts of rosemary and sage, both of which are rich in terpinolene. This not only supports the anti-cancer properties of these compounds, but also their ability to inhibit malignant cancer cells.

terpinolene antioxidant

As an antioxidant and heart disease treatment

We keep looking for sources of antioxidants because we live in a world where we all want to stay young forever. Antioxidants are substances that fight oxidation, which is the process by which the human body ages.

It has been shown that terpinolene effectively inhibits the oxidation process. This is supported by research from 2005 that showed that terpinolene inhibits the oxidation of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), also known as “bad cholesterol”.

These terpenes minimize cell damage and reduce the risk of heart disease, which is closely related to these conditions, by inhibiting LDL and LDL cholesterol.

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