Molecular Mass: 136.23404g/mol
Boiling Point: 155 °C (311 °F)
Vapor Pressure: Not Available
LD50 (Lethal Dose): 3700mg/kg for mice (Compare to Nicotine: for rats – 50 mg/kg, for humans – 0.5-1 mg/kg)
Pinene is the main terpene in pine trees which gives them their characteristic scent. It’s a major constituent of turpentine and is also found in high amounts in rosemary and cannabis. Although pinene has two main isomers, alpha and beta-pinene, alpha-pinene is the dominant one found in cannabis and what I will be referring to when I mention pinene within this article. Pinene is the most commonly found terpene in the world and is commonly found in higher concentrations in sativa strains like Jack Herer, Chemdawg, Bubba Kush, Trainwreck, and Super Silver Haze. Pinene is also crucial to our bodies because it forms the biosynthetic base for CB2 ligands in the endocannabinoid system.
Evidence shows that pinene can be a bronchodilator, increasing airflow to the lungs and helping with conditions such as asthma. Like many terpenes and cannabinoids, pinene is both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, making it useful for a sufferer of chronic pain. Pinene helps fight cancer by encouraging apoptosis and being an anti-proliferative. Pinene is an antioxidant and even appears to aid in memory retention.
Analgesic: Relieves pain.
Antibacterial: Slows bacterial growth.
Anti-inflammatory: Reduces inflammation systemically.
Anti-Proliferative: Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Antioxidant: Prevents oxidation damage to other molecules in the body.
Halent 2011 – Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart
Currently Being Studied For
Anti-Inflammatory: A 2012 study examined pinene’s role in modulating inflammation in regards to Acute Pancreatitis, which is a complex inflammation disorder with an unknown cause. The researchers found that pinene does indeed have anti-inflammatory effects on controlled AP. A 2011 study by Ethan Russo, a cannabis researcher who works with GW Pharmaceuticals, strengthened our understanding of how pinene works as an anti-inflammatory. In 2014 pinene was re-examined to determine its anti-inflammatory abilities in humans and it was found to be a potential candidate to be a newÂ anti-osteoarthritic drug. This means that cannabis rich in pinene can help with arthritis, but clearly this potential application needs further study.
Anti-Microbial: Pinene’s anti-bacterial properties have been known about since the late 1980’s, but have only seen further study in the past decade. This 2007 study, which looked at pinene as a potential treatment for infectious endocarditis, found both alpha- and beta-pinene to be effective anti-microbial agents. A study published in the January 2011 issue of Molecules found both alpha- and beta-pinene to be effective treatments for infectious bronchitis virus; what makes this fascinating is that viruses are not bacteria and are normally much harder to treat. A 2012 study broadly examined pinene’s role as a treatment for bacterial infections and found it to be effective with the effectiveness varying depending on the bacteria at play.
Bronchodilator: Ethan Russ’s 2011 study, Taming THC, vindicated pinene’s centuries of use as a folk remedy for asthma by showing that pinene works as a bronchodilator. Despite this benefit to the upper respiratory tract, pinene has not been shown to be risk free: as this 2002 study shows, prolonged exposure can irritate the upper airway. Irritation seems relatively minor, however, compared to its benefits as a bronchodilator.
Cancer: This 2012 study on mice showed, for the first time, that pinene could slow the growth of tumors but could not identify the mechanism through which it worked. A 2013 study looking at its effects on neuroblastoma cells found that pinene decreased proliferation of cancerous cells. Most recently, we learned earlier this year that pinene was also helpful at mitigating the damages of hepatoma carcinoma and was viable as a potential anti-tumor drug.
Memory: It was known as early as 2005 that pinene can inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain which has been shown to increase memory retention. Taming THCÂ also explored pinene’s ability to boost memory by acetylcholinesterase inhibition and found it to help with retention.