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Terpene Tuesday Terpinolene

Cannabis science is an ever-evolving field of research. Understanding different components of the cannabis plants help us discover new positive effects from each strain.

For example, one of the less common terpenes found within cannabis is the minor terpene, Terpinolene.

Terpenes are compound chemicals that give cannabis strains their powerful aroma, color, and flavor. Terpenes also add to the natural effects of cannabis and dictate whether the strain energizes or relaxes you. Not only that but there is some significant evidence to indicate there are health benefits from terpenes themselves.

What possible benefits can you look forward to when you choose a cannabis strain with terpinolene?

Improve Symptoms of Insomnia & Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Studies show that nasal transmission of terpinolene can induce sleep in mice. It’s also possible that oral administration has a similar effect on the mind and body.

It is known that terpinolene has a mild depressant effect on the central nervous system, allowing for a reduction in symptoms such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and even hypertension with the right dose.

Improve Hypertension

Another area where this terpene has proven to be beneficial in reducing hypertension. Research shows that the segment of terpenes that terpinolene stems from, monoterpenes (mentioned earlier), are good at combating high blood pressure and hypertension.

Potential Anti-Cancer Benefits

Terpinolene has the potential to reduce cancer cell proliferation. While it isn’t clear if it alone can produce anti-cancer effects, instead of working with other compounds in cannabis, it is of significant interest to cancer researchers.

The terpinolene terpene has also been shown to work against cancer tumors thanks to a key protein involved in this process—RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase. This was proven to be reduced in leukemia cells when terpinolene was used as a treatment. Brain cancer cells, too, were affected by the terpene, with no damage caused to the normal cells within the body.

While there isn’t hard-enough evidence yet to show conclusively that it can fight off cancer cells, the research is promising.


When used as an essential oil, terpinolene has shown that it is highly effective as an antibacterial and antimicrobial. A study by the journal Natural Product Research found that the oil from the terpene inhibited the growth of bacillus subtills, which are often found in the human gastrointestinal tract and the soil. It’s also effective against staphylococcus, and Escherichia coil. This is a power that most of us would be thankful to have, considering it is non-toxic to humans.


Terpinolene is also a powerful antioxidant. It has the power to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, as well, which means there is plenty of potentials for this terpene to be a powerful component in the war against heart disease. It also has the power to increase the total antioxidant capacity levels in cells without hurting the overall oxidative stress levels of the body. Once again, this is great for preventing lower quality lipoprotein which helps fight off heart disease.


One of the most commonly used essential oils tea tree oil contains terpinolene. This essential oil has been studied extensively thanks to its antifungal effects. It can work to combat ringworm and toenail fungus. It could also potentially be effective against certain types of yeast fungi, and even dandruff and fungal infections of the skin. This has the power to change the way the medical community addresses these types of issues in their patients, although the research is still out.


We’ve briefly discussed this, but the power of terpinolene to work as an anti-inflammatory is very real indeed. A study by the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of terpinolene.

The research required a team to administer low doses of both terpinolene and a popular anti-inflammatory drug. The results show that the combination reduced discomfort and swelling in the rats. This shows that there could be a real practical use for this terpene in clinical practice. This is also a great way to reduce the effects of the anti-inflammatory drug when offset by the strength of terpinolene.

Chemovars high in terpinolene

Jack Herer

Pineapple Kush

Golden Goat Ghost Train Haze


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