This blog post is part of Understanding Terpenes—a short series devoted to educating our audience on a few of the main terpenes in CBD and why they are so important. Terpenes are aromatic compounds responsible for giving cannabis and other plants their distinctive scents. But far from being just a treat for the nose, these helpful little molecules may have far-reaching therapeutic benefits. In this post, we will provide a brief overview of Pinene.
Pinene is also called alpha-pinene, a-pinene, or beta-pinene and is the most abundant terpene found in nature. This common substance has an unmistakable pine scent usually attributed to spruce or pine trees and the resin of other conifers. It is also found in sage, rosemary, turpentine, basil, dill, parsley, and of course, cannabis.
Pinene is an effective natural insect repellent that protects plants against pests and has historically been used in cleaning products due to its natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is said to help with staying focused and alert and may combat paranoia and other uncomfortable states when smoking or ingesting too much THC.
From a physical standpoint, this terpene has been heavily researched for far longer than cannabis and there are many claims as to its beneficial effects on the human body. It has been used for centuries in ancient Chinese medicine for treating cancer, and recent studies confirm that it does, in fact, inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.
A 2011 study suggests that at low levels, alpha-pinene may act as a bronchodilator by opening up the respiratory tract. This is promising research for those with asthma and other breathing conditions.
Another 2011 study concluded that alpha-pinene could be a potential therapeutic agent for conditions such as Crohn’s disease, MS, and arthritis as a result of its potent anti-inflammatory effects. This property alone may explain why cannabidiol appears to work so well for inflammation. Notably, the terpene also has shown a marked ability to aid in short term memory.
Using a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD product with all of the terpenes and plant matter of the hemp plant intact is an ideal way to benefit from pinene.