What is Terpinolene and How Can This Cannabis Terpene Help Me?

What is Terpinolene and How Can This Cannabis Terpene Help Me?

Published on 1/6/22

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD (and even the cannabinoids newer to the scene like CBC, CBN, CBG, and THCV ) tend to get the spotlight when discussing cannabis, but terpenes are the unsung heroes of weed. One type of terpene that we don't mention enough is Terpinolene, which is why it's getting its own writeup here in this article. Let's talk about Terpinolene, how it differs from other terpenes, and what benefits it can provide you.

Terpenes Definition

Terpenes, also known as terpenoids, are naturally occurring oils secreted from glands on cannabis flower called trichomes. They are responsible for a plant's unique smell and flavor, nor are they exclusively found in cannabis. The strong odors are used as a defense mechanism for the plants to repel potential predators, just as the sticky trichome glands that produce them lure in wanted insects that will help pollination. There are over 50,000 types of terpenes recorded throughout all the various plants worldwide, and cannabis plants are known to have between 145-150 of them. Like the limelight cannabinoids we discussed earlier, terpenes also interact with our bodies to produce specific beneficial effects, and each terpene is different.

Terpinolene Definition


One of the many terpenes found in cannabis, Terpinolene is known to produce flavors and aromas that are floral, piney, and slightly citrusy. It has a simple chemical structure compared to other terpenes. It is a liquid and has a clear amber color. Terpinolene can be found in other herbs, spices, and vegetables like nutmeg, cumin, apples, juniper, celery, and sage (to name a few). While it is found in quite a few cannabis strains, it is considered one of the least-prevalent of the common terpenes and is rarely found in large quantities. Additionally, there are several beneficial medicinal qualities attributed to Terpinolene. 

Terpinolene Therapeutic Benefits

Terpenes benefit our body via our endocannabinoid system, binding to receptors and increasing the uptake of cannabinoids into our bloodstream. Terpinolene, specifically, is thought to have several vital therapeutic benefits. Early studies suggest that Terpinolene may help inhibit the growth of various bacteria. Initial Terpinolene cancer research has given reason to be optimistic, with studies indicating that it might help combat inflammation and may even inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells. Other promising Terpinolene effects include the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease and specific antioxidant effects.

Please note that most of these studies were conducted with Terpinolene as an active ingredient, not as the sole ingredient. There is still a lot of research that needs to happen to understand Terpinolene (and many other terpenes within cannabis), but the initial results and what we do know look very promising. 

Strains High in Terpinolene

While high-concentration Terpinolene strains are fairly uncommon, a couple of well-known strains have higher levels of our hero terpene.

Snow Cap

This Sativa-dominant strain (aka "Sno Cap") from the Pacific Northwest is a highly aromatic hybrid that most notably smells of lemon and menthol. It is known to produce a mild body high that boosts mood, energy, and creativity. On average, Snow Cap has boasts roughly 16% THC with little to no CBD. 

Dutch Treat

This sweet Dutch hybrid was made famous in the coffee houses of Amsterdam and was. It has a strong aroma of fruit, pine, and eucalyptus, and it shares its high with more stereotypical Sativa strains. It offers a mild, energized high that hits fast and is known for its noticeable pain relief qualities. On average, Dutch Treat has between 16% and 20% THC with little to no CBD. 

Super Lemon Haze

This two-time Cannabis Cup Champion Sativa strain offers an unforgettable high. As its name suggests, this strain smells and tastes like sour lemon. It provides a clear head high that can last for hours and boosts energy and creativity in a very noticeable way. Its hybrid parentage consists of lemon skunk and super silver haze. On average, Super Lemon Haze boasts a higher THC of roughly 18% with little to no CBD. 

Jack Herer

Named after one of the most iconic figures in modern cannabis history, this Sativa usually provides an upbeat, energetic high, along with mental clarity and a boost in creativity. It has a spicy, earthy aroma and tastes slightly of citrus. Jack Herer was bred from a mix of haze and crossbred with Northern Lights and Shiva Skunk. On average, it has a hard-hitting average THC content of roughly 20% with little to no CBD. 

What else should we talk about when we talk about Terpinolene? Let us know in the comments below, along with some of your favorite strains high in Terpinolene. 

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