Introduction to Terpenes — Pinene & Caryophyllene
Did you know that all cannabis contains essential oils known as terpenes? There are over 100 different terpenes, and each one has its own unique fragrance, effects, and potential benefits. Terpenes are actually essential oils, and they pop up in other places, too— not just cannabis.
Terpenes are very important to the cannabis experience, because they give each cannabis strain its unique fragrance, as well as health and wellness properties similar to cannabinoids.
That’s why we wanted to highlight some of the most popular terpenes in a series of posts here on our blog. This week we’re featuring a double header of pinene and caryophyllene.
Pinene is one of the more common terpenes found in a wide range of cannabis strains. You can identify pinene-dominant strains from the strong pine smell they give off, a fresh and natural-smelling fragrance that lots of cannabis customers absolutely love.
Did you know that while pinene isn’t the most common terpene in cannabis, it’s the most common terpene in the world? That’s thanks to its abundance in pine needs, basil, rosemary, and other natural plants and herbs.
Thanks to growing research on the subject, pinene is believed to provide a range of benefits that include reduction of swelling, relief for constricted airways to improve breathing, anxiety reduction, and pain relief.
Other research suggests that when paired with THC, pinene can help cancel out some of the short-term memory reduction that THC can sometimes cause.
Products with Pinene
Even people who have never tried cannabis would have had experience with caryophyllene. That’s because besides appearing in lots of cannabis strains, it also shows up in black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and other spices.
Caryophyllene is unique from all other terpenes we know if in one important way— it’s actually a cannabinoid in addition to being a terpene. Cannabinoids are compounds in cannabis that pair with our body’s endocannabinoid system. The most famous cannabinoids are CBD and THC, which give cannabis its most well-known and prominent effects.
Caryophyllene pulls double duty as both a peppery-smelling terpene and a powerfully beneficial cannabinoid, which we think is pretty cool.
There has actually been a fair bit of research into the effects and benefits of caryophyllene, and what studies have found has been very promising. It’s been shown to be both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, and might even help treat bowel disease. Plus, very early research suggests it might even help elongate human lifespan by reducing stress on human genes. That’s like something straight out of science fiction.