30 May 2015

Cannabis Terpene Pinene (α-pinene and β-pinene)

Pinene is one of the most common monoterpenes which occurs naturally as two isomers (α-pinene and β-pinene, usually sourced from turpentine via dry distillation of coniferous wood [α-pinene makes up 58-65% and β-pinene around 30%]) and smells a lot like – you guessed it – a forest of pine trees! But pinene brings a lot more to a strain than just flavour. Terpenes such as pinene are essentially oils secreted in cannabis trichomes and while they originally developed as an adaptive protection against predators, these compounds offer us humans a variety of benefits. Found in cannabis, pines and other conifers, sage (salvia), sagebrush (artemisia) and eucalyptus, α-pinene is also found in olive, rosemary (memory herb), sassafras, bergamot and β-pinene is also found in hops and cumin. Pinene has been used for centuries in 'alternative' medicine.

Just as different cannabinoids have different effects, so do terpenes. These unique attributes contribute to the overall composition of a cannabis strain, adding a dimension to each one’s 'personality'. Some of pinene’s known effects and benefits include:*aids alertness *analgesic (pain relief) *antibacterial *antibiotic *anti-inflammatory *antioxidant (prevents oxidation damage to other molecules in the body) *anti-proliferative (inhibits cancer cell growth) *apoptosis (genetically directed cell self-destruction) *bronchodilator (helps improve airflow to lungs) *euphoric *expectorant.

It also crosses the blood-brain barrier very easily, where it acts to prevent destruction of molecules responsible for transmission of information which results in memory improvement. This terpene, in part, counteracts the effects of THC (short-term memory loss) as memory fails more with pure THC than with THC mixed with pinene. 'Skunk' strains are recognised for their high levels of pinenes.

You should note that these effects are modulated by other compounds. For example, strains containing high levels of the sedating terpene myrcene may not provide the alert effects mentioned. It’s important to consider the entire chemical composition of a strain when looking for a specific effect. The presence of pinene is highly dependent on a variety of environmental factors like soil/grow medium, flowering time and curing processes. These strains have the genetic potential to produce high levels of pinene, but the only way to know for sure is through lab-tested product. Luckily, pinene’s distinct aroma lets you follow your nose to many strains containing this terpene, however, it is not as simple as sniffing out the pine-scented varieties (306 as at June 2015) as some 'hide' behind other aromas including blueberry, lemon-pine, sweet candy and strawberry!

Here's just a sample of pinene-rich cannabis varieties, compliments of Leafly:

Cannabis sativa

Jack Herer is one of the most prolific sources of pinene. This staple sativa is an excellent example of both pinene’s aroma and effects, delivering a one-two punch of focus and pine-flavoured goodness while also boosting mood and appetite.

Island Sweet Skunk's aroma is more likely to incite images of a tropical escape than forests of pine, but the high pinene content hiding under its sweet skunky bouquet will nevertheless carry you to place where energy meets focus.

Strawberry Cough may bear the distinctive smell of strawberries, but the pinene is still there, ready to take you to an uplifted, creative and alert mindset.

Cannabis indica

Dominant pine flavour ushers in soothing relaxation, but Romulan is an example of how compounds like myrcene can blunt pinene's alert qualities.

Cannabis hybrids

With an aroma that straddles the border between earthy pine and sweet candy, Dutch Treat delivers a hefty euphoric blast that keeps you uplifted and engaged in creative tasks.

Blue Dream is a hard-to-hate, easy-to-find hybrid that induces mellow euphoria with a gentle spark of creative energy. Its pine scent is hard to detect under its pungent blueberry aroma, but lab tests show that Blue Dream has the potential to boast a decent pinene content.

This hybrid’s distinctive lemon-pine aroma has become a mark of OG genetics, but pinene isn’t the only terpene OG Kush carries in abundance. The relaxing terpene myrcene and the mood-enhancing limonene also influence the OG Kush experience.

α-pinene and β-pinene can be vaporised at or around their boiling point of 155°C (311°F).

expanded from What is Pinene and What are the Benefits of this Cannabis Terpene?

No comments:

Post a Comment