Terpineol: A Cannabis Terpene Profile

Cannabis contains dozens of terpenes, which is why the flowers from this plant have such a rich variety of aromas and flavors. Terpenes aren’t unique to cannabis. They consist of a large group of hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of numerous plant species, particularly conifers and citrus trees.

Among the primary cannabis terpenes, terpineol can be more difficult to detect than some of the others. Frequently, terpineol is found in cannabis strains that also are rich in pinene, which has a bold aroma that often masks the more subtle terpineol. As a lone terpene, terpineol’s aroma is best described as floral, with a soft fragrance of lilac blossoms with a slight citrus twist. In the flavor department, terpineol has been likened to mint and anise, with semi-sweet lime notes. Terpineol is found in a number of other plant species besides cannabis, including lilac, pine and fir trees, eucalyptus, and lime blossoms.

Commercial Uses

Terpineol is found in many commercial products like perfumes, skin creams, and soaps, providing a pleasing aroma. In fact, terpineol is found in a variety of soothing aromatherapy products. The benefits of aromatherapy have been recognized for many years, but the practice has increased in popularity during the past decade. Aromatherapy not only results in a pleasant olfactory experience, but it addresses and treats a broad range of physical ailments.

Aromatherapy often utilizes essential oils, and terpineol is one of the most popular of them. Aromatherapy includes a variety of products besides essential oil kettles. The pungent aromas of terpineol and other terpenes like limonene and linalool also see use in aromatherapy as an ingredient in topicals like skin cream, balms, salves, and lotions. Bubble baths, bath bombs, and bath salts also contain terpineol and other terpenes. Blends of essential oils mixed together prove effective in aromatherapy, as well as essential oils used singly. Many people enjoy terpenes for massage therapy. Some of the best health benefits derived from using terpenes is when they see use as part of a comprehensive holistic approach to treating a range of health conditions. Terpineol is found in pine oil, which is a natural substance sometimes used to minimize inflammation, including allergic inflammation conditions such as asthma. Turpentine contains terpineol and is derived from pine oil, which is a common household product that’s used as a paint thinner as an option other than petroleum-derived commercial products.

Terpineol also is found in lime oil, which is created from the fruit or peel of the fruit through cold-press and distillate extraction methods. Cold-pressed lime oil has a particularly pleasing fresh and cool aroma, which makes lime oil a common additive in edible products like drinks, candies, and a variety of food flavors in commercial food items.

Research conducted on rodents indicates that terpineol, like myrcene, reduces motility in mice. While reducing motility in mice, terpineol is not thought to affect motor behavior. This may help explain why the indica strains so rich in myrcene and terpineol usually result in a relaxing, deeply sedative “couch lock” effect. As research leads to a better understanding of the role terpenes play in cannabis, it becomes increasingly easy to understand why the complicated interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids play such a large role in the individual effects of specific strains. Other rodent research indicates that terpineol acts as a gastroprotective agent against stomach ulcers in rats.

This terpene has several potential benefits for those who consume it, including uses as an antibiotic and antioxidant, uses as an anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antimalarial agent, and uses as a sedative. There also is evidence to suggest terpineol can help manage pain and reduce the intensity and severity of seizures. As a specific treatment for seizures, at doses of 100-400 mg/kg, terpineol has been demonstrated to reduce the latency and severity of seizures.

Cannabis Strains That Contain Terpineol

While terpineol may not be as easy to detect in cannabis as some of the others like pinene, there is a long list of popular strains that contain it. Unless you’re a newcomer to the world of recreational or medical cannabis, most likely you’ve tried at least one strain that contains it. Terpineol is more common in sativa and hybrid strains than some of the heavy-hitting indicas.

The following popular strains are known to contain this primary cannabis terpene:

Jack Herer

A flagship strain by Sensi Seeds of Amsterdam, this popular cannabis strain has effects that lean heavily to the sativa side. There are several phenotypes, most of them quite good. There are hints of Haze present in most phenos, with the best ones also containing hints of fruit flavor as well. The effects were upbeat and nicely balanced, with a subtle mellowness from the Northern Lights #5 genetics used to create it.

Girl Scout Cookies

This hybrid strain has become a staple in the cannabis industry. It leans slightly to the indica side, with strong potency when grown correctly. Girl Scout Cookies has a very pleasing flavor that differs distinctly from its Durban Poison and OG Kush parents. With its outstanding flavor and hard-hitting potency, it should come as no surprise that Girl Scout Cookies has been the recipient of numerous cannabis cups.

Blue Dream

Polls conducted in leading legal cannabis states indicate that Blue Dream is the most popular strain sold in dispensaries. This hybrid leans slightly to the sativa side and contains Blueberry (indica) and Haze (sativa) in its genetics. There are several phenotypes, and they vary a bit in flavor and effect, some hinting more at their indica genetics than the others that fall more into the sativa category.

White Widow

The iconic White Widow is one of Amsterdam’s most popular strains, and it still appears on many coffee shop cannabis menus. White Widow was used as a cornerstone strain in the creation of a host of other notable strains. Controversy exists about who exactly created White Widow, but most agree that it’s a Greenhouse Seeds creation. Several versions exist.

OG Kush

A classic strain on the West Coast for quite some time, OG Kush defined the “LA flavor” of the Southern California cannabis scene. The “OG” part of the name is generally agreed to be an acronym for “Original Gangsta,” but a minority of people maintain it stands for “Ocean Grown” due to LA’s close proximity to the sea. The genetics background of OG Kush is largely unknown, but some believe Chemdawg was a parent.

Skywalker OG

Unlike several other strains on this list, Skywalker OG has strong indica effects, although there is enough sativa present to make itself evident. Potency is quite good, with this strain often reaching the mid-20s in THC content. The flavor is both unique and outstanding, with spicy, floral, and diesel notes combining in a very complementary way.

Fire OG

Developed in California, Fire OG is the potent offspring of OG Kush and San Fernando Valley OG parents. Like many other strains on this list, Fire OG has balanced, but deeply relaxing effects that make it a favorite of medical marijuana patients. Although it contains terpineol, Fire OG has a pleasing lemon citrus aroma and flavor.

Jack Flash

A spin-off strain of the famous Jack Herer, Jack Flash contains a bit more indica and has a quicker finishing time than Jack Herer, but there is a notable similarity between the two. Although still producing an effect that reflects its sativa background, Jack Flash has enough indica, thanks to its Super Skunk genetics, to keep it nicely balanced.

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by Dieter Reichelt |
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