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What is Pinene and what does this cannabis terpene do?

April 2, 2015

Pinene is an aromatic compound commonly found in cannabis that smells a lot like–you guessed it–a forest of pine trees. But pinene may bring more to a strain’s experience than just flavor.


Terpenes like pinene are fragrant oils secreted in cannabis trichomes, and while they originally developed as an adaptive protection against predators, these compounds offer us humans a variety of potential benefits. And, fun fact: pinene can also be found in conifer trees, orange peels, turpentine, pine needles, rosemary, dill, basil, and parsley.


What are cannabis terpenes and what do they do?

Pinene’s potential effects and benefits

Just as different cannabinoids have different effects, so do terpenes. These unique attributes contribute to the overall composition of a strain, adding a dimension to each one’s “personality.” Though research is still substantiating pinene’s effects and benefits, the following uses are currently being investigated:


6 Cannabis Strains for People Who Love Pine Terpenes

High-Pinene cannabis strains

The abundance of any given terpene is highly dependent on a variety of environmental factors, but there are strains that tend to produce elevated levels of pinene on average, based on data from Leafly’s lab partners. Below, explore strains that tend to produce the highest relative abundance of pinene. Keep in mind that pinene-dominant strains are uncommon (meaning it’s rarely the most abundant terpene in a strain), but it’s commonly seen as the second most abundant terpene in a strain’s terpene composition.

The strain Big Smooth is a rare example of a pinene-dominant terpene profile. While most cannabis strains express high levels of myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene, or terpinolene, Big Smooth demonstrates that unique exceptions are out there!

Big Smooth cannabis strain

  • Thank you for publishing this informative article on terpenes. Understanding their role in medical Cannabis is important to getting the most relief.

  • TheBigZzzz

    What % amount is good for this terpene? My Blue Dream tested at 24.7% THC and 2.17 a-Pinene, and 1.23 b-Pinene.

    • Thomas Blank

      sounds like a great blue dream. If those are in fact accurate lab results, its near the top in pinenes for any strain. Until lab methods become cdertified and are standardized, its hard to compare between labs. Pinenes are also the first terpenes lost to evaporation(its the lowest boiling common cannabis terpene). Keep it in glass(mason jar) so your pinene doesnt drop to 1/2 that level in a few weeks. Plastic containers and bags are bad places to store terpine rich cannabis as they tend to leak and/or absorb the terpenes.

      • TheBigZzzz
        • Thomas Blank

          a pinene 2.17 mg/g= 0.00217g/g, then x100=0.217% alpha pinene, not 2.17%. 1000mg/g=100% then 100mg/g=10% and thus 10mg/g=1%. So clearly you do not have a very high alpha pinene there. 1% is high from what I have seen and 0.5% is very good. Alpha pinene evaporates more quickly than other terpenes so as you dry the cannabis you start to lose alpha pinene faster than the other terpenes.

          • Thomas Blank

            Ive seen “grease monkey 2.0” at 2.14% alpha pinene, that is very high.

      • Travis Cesarone

        Actually caryophyllene has a much lower boiling point. 129 C, but it is a heavier terpene. Pinene evaporates quickly but so does myrcene and linalool and other monoterps. Vapor rate 😉

        • tomblank

          no way they test caryophyllene at reduced torr because it boils so high. You have to be careful with reading on cannabis websites, lots of misinformation. You have to specify the pressure of the boiling measurement.

        • tomblank

          264-266F @ 14 mm hg is not comparable to the BP at atmospheric pressure (760mm hg)

  • Ane Christensen

    Why would some licensed producers remove the terpenes from some of their medicinal oils? When I asked one of them, I was told they removed the terpenes in order to make the oil taste neutral. They told me that terpenes are just what give the cannabis its flavour and nothing else. That response seems to fly in the face of what another of their reps told me about selecting a strain that had terpenes specific to the conditions I want treated. They succeeded in confusing me.

    • J Minds

      They do this for patients who are just looking for the pure effects of THC, CBD, or whatever Cannabinoid they are isolating. Terpenes can do things like change heart rate, increase blood pressure, or even cause anxiety. If you are looking for all of the erpenes in your extract ask about full spectrum extracts. Most extract companies produce both types.

    • Klonoa Namco

      Iv read that terpenes do have involvement in the effects of getting high and when I asked a bud tender he said it’s just for the smell and taste but I read enough articles saying different in past that terpenes having their own characteristic highs.

  • Dale Degroff

    what are the common
    a-pinene aromas

  • iRaHuman

    Does anyone out there know of any correlation between any strain and the fight against glaucoma and arthritis specifically. Any terpenes favorable to alleviating glaucoma or lowering interocular eye pressure? Any direction for research papers on these topics, greatly appreciated…thanks for your time…

    • Jessica Wygant

      Gelato is a good strain for glaucoma and arthritis. G6 is also a good strain in treating glaucoma, specifically eye pressure. Sour apple is also good for treating eye pressure as well. GG#4 is a good for treating arthritis. Also, any strain with higher CBG with THC is also good for glaucoma. Significant amounts of CBG can be found in Green Crack, Pincher Creek and Island Sweet Skunk for just a few examples.

  • Taste My Bud

    I like to make a tea out of basil and thyme. It certainly does intensify most of the effects. A couple of puffs and even Sativa will have you couchlocked.

  • Matt kovarsky

    pinene may have anti-anxiety effects in small amounts. but the biphasic effects are definitely that speedy, racy, experience people often experience with sativa strains. it acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which if you take too much can induce anxiety