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Although we’ve known about terpenes for a while now (they have been used in many industries), terpenes in cannabis are a relatively new field full of potential. When we refer to terpenes in the cannabis world, we mean the chemical compounds that give each plant a unique aroma. Terpenes are secreted together with cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, CBG, etc. Although they do not play a significant role in the effects of your cannabis, they are the main reason your smoke smells and tastes in a particular way.

Why are terpenes important?

Naturally occurring terpenes in plants serve various purposes: some act as insect repellents, some strengthen the plant’s immune system, and others aid reproduction by attracting pollinators. Therefore, there is a lot of scientific interest in them and their positive effects on human health and wellness. 

What is terpineol

Terpineol is among the most common terpenes found in cannabis plants. Technically, it is not precisely a terpene; its chemical structure is similar to a terpene but with a small amount of hydroxyl in its molecules. The term can refer to any of the four different monoterpene alcohol isomers that are naturally present in hundreds of different plants. This particularity makes it stand out among other terpenes. 

Terpineol is frequently used in the food and cosmetics industries to create fragrances and lotions. In addition to cannabis, it can also be found in pinene-rich plants such as lime, pine trees, rosemary, and eucalyptus. 

The four monoterpenes that fall under the “terpineol” umbrella term are:

  • Alpha-terpineol, with a light, pleasant aroma similar to fresh peach
  • Beta-terpineol, with an earthy scent of fresh-cut trees.
  • Gamma-terpineol, with a zesty scent similar to lemon and orange
  • Terpinen-4-ol, with a woody smell

What does terpineol smell like

As mentioned above, terpineol is a generic term referring to any of the four monoterpene isomers found in nature. Depending on the type of terpineol you come across, you might get citrusy, pungent, or even earthy and woody smells. 

What are the benefits of terpineol?

Medical studies about terpineol and its benefits are still minimal. The substance has not been approved for medicinal purposes, and you should never use it for such unless you consult with an authorized health professional. 

In traditional medicine, plants with terpineol have been used as home remedies for many years to treat colds and reduce the discomfort from inflammation. In current years, research has been sparse, but studies from 2007 and 2010 revealed terpineol might have some anti-inflammatory effects. Also, a 2011 comparative research revealed that a-terpineol has the most significant antioxidative effects compared to the rest of the terpenes.

Cannabis strains with a high terpineol content

Many of your beloved strains contain high amounts of terpineol. This particular terpene seems to appear in higher concentrations in strains with a lot of pinene. The best-known cultivars are:

  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • White Widow
  • Blue Dream
  • Skywalker OG
  • OG Kush
  • Jack Herer
  • Fire OG


Even though there is still a lot of research to be done on terpineol, early evidence seems to be promising about its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. Whatever the scientific verdict, it is always a great compound to use in aromatherapy sessions!


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