Terpinolene: the standard-bearer terpene of Haze

Terpinolene, cannabis terpene

Terpinolene is a terpene present in some varieties of marijuana, usually in small concentrations. It is not an abundant or frequent terpene in cannabis plants, nor is it one of the best known, but it is one of the most captivating. In this article we discover what terpinolene is, its main characteristics and effects, and find out why it is such a coveted terpene.

Terpinolene: What is it and what are the effects of this terpene in cannabis?

Introduction to terpinolene

The downpour started when we were crossing the Passeig del Born on our way home. The impetus of the storm forced the shelter and the open doors of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar invited to the shelter. Among a few parishioners and many tourists, we sat on a bench to avoid the downpour, while the rain shook the stained glass windows of the temple with such fury that we witnessed a natural concert without wanting to.

He nudged me and held his finger to his nose, inhaling, as he poked me with questioning eyes. He then pointed to my pocket, with an accusing look, as if that woody, incense-tinged smell was emanating from my CBD Vibration (Lemon Haze) flowers. . But none of those gathered there turned to me. Wasn’t that Haze smell already inside the church when we entered?

What is terpinolene?

Terpinolene is an aromatic compound found in cannabis and numerous fruits and plants. Its function in plants is as a natural defensive tool. The odor of this organic compound protects them from bacteria, fungi and other deadly predators. And in this attempt to survive, plants offer those of us who smell them unique sensations.

Terpinolene has a woody and sweet aroma, with fresh and floral notes.

Because terpinolene contains in its aroma unparalleled delights for lovers of CBD flowers. CBD flowers . And although it is one of the least studied terpenes in cannabis by science, and it is difficult to find it in large quantities in any strain, we can attribute incomparable benefits to it.


The aroma of terpinolene corresponds to a woody scent, with incense tints and a sweetish packaging. But it does not stop there, because it is a monoterpene with complex nuances. Fresh, floral and even citrus notes are also attributed to it.

If pinene presented organoleptic characteristics of freshly cut wood, terpinolene conveys the fragrance of wood that is already dry, closer to burning than not. Nothing to do with the recently felled tree. This may be why it is somewhat reminiscent of incense.

Because when the air transports the terpinolene to our nose it reminds us of smoking ribbons, even though in the last moment it will leave a fresh and sweet sensation in our nose.


Chemically, terpinolene, also known as delta-terpinolene, is classified as a monoterpene: a light terpene whose molecular structure is composed of two isoprenes (each isoprene has five carbon units). It is thus composed of ten carbons and this structure makes it a more weightless and volatile terpene than any triterpene or sesquiterpene.

Being a very small molecule, it is also very light and can therefore evaporate at relatively low temperatures. This is why it reaches our sense of smell quickly and is easy to identify.

Where is terpinolene found?

Terpinolene is not a terpene unique to cannabis and is found in various plants, herbs and fruits of the plant kingdom. Among the plants that produce terpinolene are pine trees, and others as varied as carrots, nutmeg, ginger and eucalyptus. This sesquiterpene is abundant in turpentine (in smaller quantities than pinene), which is the distillate of pine resin.

In the case of cannabis, terpinolene develops in the resinous glands of the buds called trichomes. Terpenes and cannabinoids, and therefore terpinolene, are formed in cannabis flowers when the plants begin their flowering stage, and continue to develop until the time of harvest.

CBD flower varieties rich in terpinolene

At Cannactiva you can find terpinolene in the following cannabis strains:

Terpinolene-rich marijuana strains

There are not many cannabis strains with high levels of terpinolene but those that are, are the jewels par excellence of the cannabis kingdom. Terpinolene is the flagship of Haze genetics. It’s the captivating smell of Original Haze, Amnesia or Jack Herer.

If nowadays the so-called “pure” varieties are scarce to the benefit of hybrids, where the starting strains are crossed with each other again and again to create new genetics that combine the best virtues of the existing ones. demodé starting point strains, terpinolene is the most abundant terpene of the original Haze. If not the one with the highest levels, it is usually at least among the top four terpenes present in Haze varieties.

What effect does terpinolene have on cannabis?

As we already know, terpenes modulate the effects that a particular strain of cannabis produces in us. If until not long ago it was thought that cannabinoids (especially cannabinoid CBD and the THC) were the only active compounds in marijuana capable of altering our moods, it is now known that, as a result of the cannabis entourage effectterpenes modify our experience when consuming a given variety.

Much research has been carried out on limonene, myrcene or linalool, for example, to the detriment of terpinolene, for which there are still not many enlightening conclusions as to what specific effects it may have on our organism.

Terpinolene or the responsible for the “sympathetic” effect of Haze plants

Is it only the emblematic smell of Jack Herer or Amnesia that keeps its lovers? That woody, smoky aroma with a sweet, almost floral finish that appeals to so many cannabis connoisseurs ? Or is it also this creative, energizing and, above all, happy and social effect that Haze lovers are looking for?

It is probably a mixture of the aromatic sensation and the emotional sensation that these strains awaken in them. In any case, the Haze has a noteworthy following. That is why they are not dispensed with in the creation of new varieties, such as Super Lemon Haze, which, younger than its progenitors, has gained followers in record time.

Properties and benefits of terpinolene

Although terpinolene is not one of the most studied terpenes to date, there is scientific literature from which several benefits of this monoterpene can be extracted. Among them, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative properties have been attributed to it.

Terpinolene against pain: sedative and relaxing effect

There are indications according to this study (1) conducted in 2013 that terpinolene, both inhaled and by ingestion, decreases the sensation of pain due to its ability to block pain signals in some peripheral parts of the brain.

Terpinolene against chronic inflammation: anti-inflammatory effect

Terpinolene has also been shown to be beneficial against chronic inflammation, namely numbness that persists ten days after its onset (2).

To reduce anxiety and elevate mood

However, using terpinolene extracts from plants other than cannabis, inhalation of this terpene has been shown to reduce anxiety and elevate mood (3 and 4).

While it is true that in the clinical trials from which we extract this information, the essential oils used also contained levels of other terpenes such as limonenethe myrcene or the linaloolIt is striking that these effects match perfectly with those that consumers of Haze strains attribute to their favorite flowers.

A better mood, a greater willingness to socialize and a relaxed state devoid of anxiety could be the effects of terpinolene.

Once again we witness how terpenes actively define our cannabis experience. Because regardless of the cannabinoid levels of the different strains, aromatic compounds such as terpinolene substantially shape the effects that CBD flowers awaken in us. And thanks to the hundreds of active compounds that marijuana and hemp produce on their own, the benefits they can offer us present a wide range of possibilities. We invite you to experience the aromas of terpenes with our CBD flowers.

  1. Ito K, Ito M. The sedative effect of inhaled terpinolene in mice and its structure-activity relationships. J Nat Med. 2013 Oct;67(4):833-7. doi: 10.1007/s11418-012-0732-1. Epub 2013 Jan 22. PMID: 23339024.
  2. Macedo EM, Santos WC, Sousa BP Neto, Lopes EM, Piauilino CA, Cunha FV, Sousa DP, Oliveira FA, Almeida FR. Association of terpinolene and diclofenac presents antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory synergistic effects in a model of chronic inflammation. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2016 Jun 20;49(7):e5103. doi: 10.1590/1414-431X20165103. PMID: 27332775; PMCID: PMC49187877.
  3. Arpornchayanon W, Gomonchareonsiri S, Chansakaow S, Wongpakaran T, Varnado P, Wongpakaran N. Acute effects of essential oil blend containing phlai oil on mood among healthy male volunteers: Randomized controlled trial. J Complement Integr Med. 2019 Oct 16;17(2):/j/jcim.2020.17.issue-2/jcim-2019-0097/jcim-2019-0097.xml. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2019-0097. PMID: 31618177.
  4. Chen CJ, Kumar KJ, Chen YT, Tsao NW, Chien SC, Chang ST, Chu FH, Wang SY. Effect of Hinoki and Meniki Essential Oils on Human Autonomic Nervous System Activity and Mood States. Nat Prod Commun. 2015 Jul;10(7):1305-8. PMID: 26411036.

Jásminka Romanos
Periodista especializada en comunicación para el sector del cannabis

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