Terpenes, like α-pinene are fragrant oils secreted by cannabis trichomes (stalk-like glands) as a defense mechanism, primarily against insects. As its name implies, α-pinene has a strong scent of pine and can be found in high concentrations in conifer trees. However, α-pinene can also be found in plants such as: parsley, rosemary, mint, and sage. Furthermore, terpenes like α-pinene have been found to provide possible medicinal benefits to humans.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

A 2012 animal model study of acute pancreatitis showed anti-inflammatory effects related to α-pinene. Another study in 2014 showed that α-pinene had both anti-inflammatory effects and was protective towards human cartilage cells (chondrocytes). The researchers concluded α-pinene may have value in the treatment of arthritis.

Anti-Microbial Effects

A study published in 2010 demonstrated α-pinene can significantly inhibit the growth of microbes including some bacteria and yeast. In 2011, α-pinene’s activity against an infectious bronchitis virus was tested. Researchers concluded α-pinene may possess anti-viral properties against this pathogen.

Effects on human lungs

Alpha-pinene was studied in 2011 for its effects on the human respiratory system through inhalation. Researchers found low concentrations of inhaled α-pinene resulted in an airway-dilating effect. This suggests it may have a beneficial effect for people with asthma.

Memory Effects

Possibly the most compelling evidence for the health benefits of α-pinene was found in a study published in 2000. Researchers noted inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity in humans resulting in improved memory. This characteristic may improve short-term memory deficits caused by intoxicating doses of THC.

Alpha-pinene is what gives an evergreen tree its distinctive, fresh scent. Generally regarded simply as a pleasant aroma, scientific studies over the past few decades have also found promising health benefits of this commonly occurring terpene.

 

Bae G et al; Protective effects of alpha-pinene in mice with cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis; Life Sciences; 2012 Oct; 91(17-18): 866-871.

Rufino A et al; Anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective activity of (+)-α-pinene: structural and enantiomeric selectivity; Journal of Natural Products; 2014 Feb; 77(2): 264-269.

Gil M et al; Comparative study of different essential oils of Bupleurum gibraltaricum Lamarck; Pharmazie; 1989 Apr; 44(4): 284–287.

Yang Z et al; Comparative anti-infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) activity of (-)-pinene: effect on nucleocapsid (N) protein; Molecules; 2011 Jan; 16(2): 1044-1054.

Falk A et al; Uptake, distribution and elimination of alpha‐pinene in man after exposure by inhalation; Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health; 1990 Oct; 16(5): 372–378.

Nissen L et al; Characterization and antimicrobial activity of essential oils of industrial hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L.); Fitoterapia; 2010 Jul; 81(5): 413–419.

Perry N et al; In‐vitro inhibition of human erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase by salvia lavandulaefolia essential oil and constituent terpenes; Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology; 2000 Jul; 52(7): 895–902.

 

This content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers of this content should consult their physician or qualified healthcare professional regarding specific health questions, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. CannaGlobe does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person reading and/or following this informational content.

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