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Terpinolene: A Rare and Calming Terpene


Terpinolene is a terpene found in cannabis, sage, lilac, rosemary, conifer trees, apple trees, and tea trees. In cannabis, it is normally only present in minor amounts (if at all). It is similar to pinene and has a wide array of flavors and aromas from pine and wood to sweet and citrus [3]. Though they are uncommon, there are some terpinolene dominant cannabis strains.

Table Of Contents

Terpinolene Benefits and Effects

Oxidative stress plays a key role in many pathologies such as neurodegenerative disorders. Antioxidant compounds are molecules that can reduce oxidative stress in the body. Antioxidants often have benefits to a wide range of conditions because of this general effect. Many terpenes have antioxidant activity, so it should not be surprising that terpinolene has demonstrated such effects [1].

In addition to antioxidant benefits, terpinolene is also of interest as an anticancer agent that could inhibit tumors and cancer cell growth [1]. Although it has mainly been researched in animal models, so it is by no means a proven anti-cancer agent. Terpinolene also has antifungal properties and may also have antibacterial activity.

One thing to be aware of is that terpinolene is thought to have a mild to moderate sedative effect [2]. If you are interested in trying a terpinolene dominant strain, you may want to try it in the evening when that potentially sedating effect will not interfere with daily activities.

Terpinolene Uses

Terpinolene is widely used as a food flavoring and in perfumes and air fresheners [1, 3]. It can also be found in industrial and household cleaners, soaps, insect repellants, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, chewing gum and candies, frozen dairy products, and baked goods [3].

Molecular Structure of Terpinolene

Organoleptic Properties

High-Terpinolene Cannabis Strains

There are not very many terpinolene dominant strains of cannabis (or hemp), but among them, you might be surprised to find some very popular varieties.

Concluding Thoughts

Over 200 terpenes have been identified from the many varieties of cannabis, terpinolene is not the most common among them but it is a flavorful cannabis terpene to keep an eye out for. If you are looking for a calming hemp strain that is packed with flavor, terpinolene dominant hemp strains might be a good match for you.

If you want to explore more terpenes, you can read our other articles on limonene, humulene, caryophyllene, linalool, and myrcene.


  1. Aydin, E., Türkez, H., & Taşdemir, Ş. (2013). Anticancer and antioxidant properties of terpinolene in rat brain cells. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, 64(3), 415-424.
  2. Ito, K., & Ito, M. (2013). The sedative effect of inhaled terpinolene in mice and its structure–activity relationships. Journal of natural medicines, 67(4), 833-837.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2020). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 11463, Terpinolene.
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