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Pinene is a very useful monoterpene that is found in pine resins, and various resins from other plants, trees and herbs. Pinene, which is a major component of turpentine, is also found in hemp and marijuana plants. The terpene is known for its sharp, sweet aroma.

Pinene moderates the effects of THC

An important property of pinene is that it is able to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. The combination of THC with this monoterpene will make the consumer feel less stoned or high. Just like the terpene caryophyllene, pinene has two isomers which are formed from geranyl pyrophosphate, also known as geranyl diphosphate or GPP:
  • α-Pinene - alpha pinene
  • β-Pinene - beta pinene
The name pinene is derived from the English word pine, from pine trees. Both isomers are mainly found in the resin glands of pines. For many insects both isomers are important in the realisation of chemical communication.


Pine needles contain high levels of pinene

Pine trees contain such high concentrations of pinene that you could extract more than 1 liter of monoterpenes from a square meter of pine wood. Because pine needles contain high levels of the volatile, and therefore flammable, terpene pinene, a forest fire can spread so fast.
Alpha-pinene, the most common terpene in nature, is able to engage into reactions with a variety of different chemicals, through which other terpenes, such as d-limonene, can be formed. Besides terpenes, also a variety of other components can be formed with the aid of α-pinene.

α-Pinene has been traditionally used as an effective agent in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis. The monoterpene has the property to dilate the respiratory system. This bronchodilator effect is best noticed when you are in a pine forest on a warm afternoon.

Chemical data of pinene

  • The chemical formula of pinene is: C10H16
  • The molar mass is: 136.24 g/mol
  • The systematic name is: (1S,5S)-2,6,6-trimethylbicyclo [3.1.1]hept-2-ene

Physical properties

  • Appearance: Liquid
  • Density: 0.86 g/cm³
  • Melting point: −62 to −55 °C / −80 to −67 °F
  • Boiling point: 155 to 156 °C / 311 to 313 °F
  • Pinene is practically insoluble in water


In which plants and herbs does pinene naturally occur?

The monoterpene pinene is found in cannabis plants, pine trees, spruce trees, chamomile, saffron, parsley, rosemary, sage, mint and oregano. Pinene is also found in valerian, yarrow, absinthe wormwood and hops.


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