Pinene (or α-pinene) is an aromatic compound commonly found in cannabis that smells a lot like – you guessed it – a forest of pine trees. But pinene brings a lot more to a strain’s experience than just flavor. Terpenes such as pinene are fragrant oils secreted in marijuana trichomes, and while they originally developed as an adaptive protection against predators, these compounds offer us humans a variety of benefits. And, fun fact: pinene can also be found in conifer trees, orange peels, turpentine, pine needles, rosemary, dill, basil, and parsley.
Pinene’s 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.” Some of pinene’s known effects and benefits include:
- Bronchodilator (helps improve airflow to lungs)
- Helps counter short-term memory loss associated with THC
- Promotes alertness
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 above. It’s important to consider the entire chemical composition of a strain when looking for a specific effect.
High Pinene Cannabis Strains
The presence of pinene is highly dependent on a variety of environmental factors like 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 other strains containing this terpene – just sniff out the pine-scented varieties or use Leafly’s filters to find strains that fight inflammation, help with asthma, and promote focus.
Looking for one of the pinene-rich varieties below? Check their strain pages to see if they’re offered at a location near you.
Jack Herer is one of the most prolific sources of pinene in the cannabis circuit. This staple sativa is an excellent example of both pinene’s aroma and effects, delivering a one-two punch of focus and pine-flavored goodness while also boosting mood and appetite.
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about cannabis terpenes:
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