by Heather Ritchie, Staff Writer at Terpenes and Testing Magazine
Terpenes are responsible for the flavors and aromas of Cannabis, as well as the effects of specific strains or chemovars of the plant. One of the primary terpenes found in Cannabis, terpineol is known for its medical efficacy. Found not only in Cannabis, terpineol also found in over 150 other plants. When used in concentrated form it’s effect is powerfully potent.
Terpineol is commonly referred to by any amalgam of four monoterpene alcohol isomers, most often α-terpineol. This terpene boils at approximately 424˚F. While it occurs naturally, terpineol is often synthesized for use in the food and cosmetics industries.
Frequently, found in chemovars that also contain high pinene levels, terpineol can be hard to differentiate because of pinene’s strong aroma. The aroma of terpineol resembles clove, lilacs, apple blossoms, and citrus. The offensive tastes and smells of terpenes in the resin of the plant play a key role in the evolutionary process of Cannabis as they repel insects and animals that would otherwise ingest it.
Also used to create aroma profiles in perfume, soap, and lotion, terpineol provides the unique pine smoke fragrance of lapsang souchong tea. Consumers recognize terpineol by its relaxing characterisitcs,and lab studies on mice illustrate decreased motility.
Terpineol provides several medical benefits. It’s used as a sedative, and with CBN it contributes to the famous “couchlock” effect of certain chemovars, mainly indicas. Additionally, it acts as an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anxiolytic, antioxidant, and has been used to treat malaria. It even prevents acne.
A study published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal claimed,
Terpineol had the highest antioxidant activity among the compounds tested.
More importantly, it fights cancer by killing tumors. Several studies revealed that strains like OG Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, and Jack Herer attacked cancer cells, killing them. Terpineol inhibits tumor growth; especially those combined with small cell lung carcinoma cells. It helps suppress the protein complex NF-kB signaling too, and chronic activation of NF-kB leads to inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.
In August of 2000, Phytotherapy Research Journal published a study about the effects of terpineol as an antioxidant. Another study conducted in June of 2010 revealed it to be an anticancer agent per the Anticancer Research Journal. The Chemico-Biological Interactions journal published a July 2016 study that illustrated how terpineol reduces pain and inflammation. Even though the research was tested on mice, researchers believe that it could be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.
The medical efficacy of terpineol solidifies its position as a highly regarded natural pain and inflammation reduction agent. Its impressive tumor inhibiting abilities bring us that much closer to finding more naturally occurring solutions for cancer treatment. For more information, visit