Terpene Tour: Alpha & Beta Pinene
The terpenes alpha and beta pinene are the next entries in our Terpene Tour. As you may know, terpenes are one of the most important component of cannabis next to the famous cannabinoids. They not only give weed and other plants their characteristic smell but also have great medicinal benefits, working together in synergy with all the other elements in cannabis. In the case of pinene, it smells like a fresh, earthy pine forest.
The unmistakable aroma of pinene can be found in various plants in the world. In fact, alpha pinene is the most common terpene found in nature. Pinene appears in pine needles, conifer trees, orange peels, turpentine, rosemary, basil, dill, and parsley. To further distinguish between the two types of pinene: alpha pinene is responsible for the characteristic smells of pine needles or rosemary, while beta pinene is responsible for scents that are reminiscent of dill, parsley, basil or hops.
Cannabis strains that are known to have a high concentration of pinene are Jack Herer, Dutch Treat, OG Kush, Blue Dream, ChemDawg, Trainwreck, Romulan, Island Sweet Skunk, Strawberry Cough and Bubba Kush. In a lot of these strains, pinene dominates the aroma, although sometimes it is hidden behind the smell of other equally pungent terpenes.
Science has shown that alpha pinene is one of the most powerful terpenes around, with promising properties. Researchers found that pinene helps counteract some of the negative effects of THC like short-term memory loss or anxiety. It also improves alertness, increasing focus and energy. However, this is often counteracted by myrcene, another terpene found in cannabis that has sedating properties. This is why some strains of cannabis are much more sedating than others, as each strain has different ratios of terpenes.
A lot of the powers of pinene derive from its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Pinene has encouraging features that still need to be studied more. But remember - the promising medicinal values are often a result of the so-called entourage effect. All the different components in cannabis work in synergy to have such great force than the sum of their parts. Let’s hope research continues to find positive results!
Written by: Guest Writer
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