Known for its piney aroma, this terpene is found in the essential oils of plants like tea tree and peppermint, and is also found in some strains of cannabis. There is some evidence that terpinene can be used as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer agent. 

“This tea tree oil has high levels of terpinene.”

“I’m putting terpinene in this anti-inflammatory topical.”

What is terpinene used for?

Terpinene is a terpene found in cannabis as well as other plants. Known for its piney aroma, it is in the essential oils of tea tree and peppermint, and is also common in cardamom, marjoram, eucalyptus, and vervain or verbena, a perennial herb, as well as the leaf of the betel plant. 

Terpinene is the primary chemical constituent of tea tree oil, which has been used in Australia since the early 20th century and is available throughout the world today as both an oil and an active component in other products. It is sometimes used in automobile care in cleaning, polishing, and waxing products, as well as in cigarettes and tobacco products.

Historically, it has been used for its presumed antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects. Still these effects are unclear. Recent research suggests the common belief of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may be accurate, while other studies cast doubt. There is also some research suggesting it may have promising anticancer properties. 

How to use terpinene

Terpinene is easiest to use via tea tree oil, as it is the primary chemical constituent of the oil. Tea tree oil is widely available and primarily used topically, either on its own in small amounts or infused into another topical. 

Apply to the target area in which you seek symptom relief, and know that it can smell very strong. To use terpinene in cannabis, look for products that test high in it.