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 reduces psychoactive 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.
Which medicinal effects has pinene?
Pinene is known as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. It can reduce epileptic seizures and is effective in the treatment of viruses. The terpene stimulates an optimum memory function and may help prevent cancer. Pinene is emetic and gastric protective. It also has a relaxing and calming effect and is used as an insect repellent.
Relaxing / calming
Antiviral (active against viruses)
Effective in asthma and bronchitis conditions (dilates the airways)
Promotes optimum memory
Anticonvulsant (helps reduce seizures)
May help to prevent cancer
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
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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