What is Pinene?

a-pinene-liquid-terpene-isolate
Coniferous plant, where pinene can be found.
Pinene, the terpene found within pine and coniferous plants.

An informational guide to Pinene, the terpene or essential oil, found within MAC’s small batch cannabis.

Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give each strain their aroma and taste. Pinene, as the name suggests, offers a distinctive pine scented aroma. Of the many terpenes found naturally in the world, only a handful are considered “major”.  Pinene, like myrcene and limonene, when present in large enough quantities, deliver a discernible medical effectiveness.

Looking at MAC’s menu, you’ll notice the test results include two types of Pinene: Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. Alpha-pinene is said to convey the aroma of pine needles while beta-pinene is known to have an odor of basil, parsley, dill, rosemary, or hops. Alpha-pinene is most prevalent among the two within cannabis.

Pinene is one of the hundreds of terpenes found within the cannabis plant.

Trichomes create and store terpenes, like pinene.
Macro detail of cannabis bud with visible hairs and trichomes in late flowering stage.

The predominant type of pinene in cannabis, alpha-pinene, is also the terpene that may offer the most therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Additional research has shown that alpha-pinene provides potential benefits acting as an anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antimicrobial, in addition to providing respiratory relief and providing neuroprotective properties.

Pinene’s Potential Medicinal Effects & Benefits

Liquid pinene terpene isolate next to coniferous branch isolated on white background.

Anti-inflammatory

In 2015, researchers published a study in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine which states alpha-pinene’s ability to exhibit multiple anti-inflammatory properties in animal cells. In addition to that research, the British Journal of Pharmacology published a study in 2011 finding pinene to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent capable of delivering relief to patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Chrohn’s disease, and several other conditions that feature a root cause of inflammation (even if the inflammation occurs at the cellular level, such as in cancer).


Anticancer

In 2013, a study found that pinene reduced the size of cancerous tumors and its therapeutic use as an anticancer agent show promise as an effective cancer fighter. Studies in animals have concluded that both alpha and beta-pinene have significant anti-tumor properties appearing to have synergistic effects when consumed together.


Antimicrobial

One study published in the Swiss scientific journal, Molecules, tested the ability of both alpha and beta-pinene to fight Candida Albicans, a yeast fungus found in the human gut flora, that can be harmful if there is an overgrowth. The results of this study concluded that pinene was a powerful tool in combating this fungus. Because of Pinene’s antimicrobial abilities, this powerful terpene is commonly used as a topical antiseptic, making it potentially effective in treating bacterial and viral infections.


Antidepressant

Animal studies suggest that the uplifting effects felt by cannabis could be due to the presence of beta-pinene and linalool. Beta-pinene appears to produce these effects on mood in a similar way that antidepressant medications work. Some users experience paranoia and negative thoughts when consuming large quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Pinene has exhibited effects that buffer the effects of THC, aiding users stay calm and relaxed while still enjoying THC’s psychoactive effects. This is an example of the entourage effect, in which cannabinoids and terpenes modify and buffer the effects of one another.


Respiratory

Another study published in the Swiss scientific journal, Molecules, tested pinene’s ability to fight viral activity in cells. This study established pinene’s ability to fight bronchitis and act as a possible bronchodilator. This in conjunction with pinene’s anti-inflammatory properties, are reported to aid those affected by respiratory issues such as asthma.


Berry Chill #7 is one of MAC's strains that's known to have high amounts of alpha and beta pinene.
MAC’s small-batch cannabis strain, Berry Chill #7, isolated on white background.

MAC Strains High in Pinene

Many assume pinene is abundant in strains that smell like pine, but this isn’t always the case. No matter how great your sense of smell is, always refer to the test results on the container. MAC’s variety of small-batch cannabis offers high quality flower with full test results listed on the menu and the container. Some of MAC’s favorite high pinene strains are Berry Chill #7, Queen Mandarin, Harlequin, Punch Breath and Jack Herer.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that dive deeper into each individual terpene found within MAC’s house strains or come spark up a conversation with any of our agents!

What is Limonene?

Marijuana leaf and lemon isolated

An informational guide to Limonene, the terpene or essential oil, found within MAC’s small batch cannabis.

Imagine this, you just picked up an eighth of Crumbled Lime. You get home and it’s time to take a look at what’s in the container. You pop the top and are smacked with the overwhelming aroma of citrus and lemon. Where did that scent most likely come from? Limonene.

Cannabis leaf photographed with sliced lemons.
Marijuana leaf and citrus lemon isolated on white background.

Limonene is one of the hundreds of terpenes found within the cannabis plant.

Limonene is one of the hundreds of terpenes found within the cannabis plant. Terpenes work with cannabinoids and additional present terpenes to boost a strain’s effectiveness, this is called the entourage effect. Limonene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, also found naturally within the rinds of citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime) as well as seeds of caraway and dill, rosemary, mint and juniper.

If you missed last week’s post, or are new to cannabis, then you’re probably wondering, “What are terpenes?”. Terpenes are naturally derived chemicals found in the essential oils of the cannabis plant. The shiny, sticky, mushroom-shaped crystals found on the leaves and buds of the cannabis plant are called trichomes, where terpenes are made and stored.

Macro shot of Coughy Cake's Sister showing trichomes.
Macro shot of Mass Alternative Care’s house strain Coughy Cake’s Sister.

Limonene’s Potential Medicinal Effects & Benefits

In traditional medicine, limonene has been used as a component of remedies for bronchitis, heartburn and gallstones. Thankfully, there’s extensive research studying the effects of Limonene on the immune system. Studies have shown that Limonene possesses antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. These results are certainly promising in the combat against bacterial resistance, however additional studies are needed to better explain how this is achieved.

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of Limonene may attribute to its analgesic (pain relief) properties. This is why the common terpene can be found within some topical pain relievers.

There is further research still being conducted for Limonene’s beneficial effects on mental and mood disorders. A 2013 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found evidence that Limonene improved anxiety-like states by interacting with the brain’s serotonin system. MAC’s strains high in Limonene are reported to provide relief with stress and anxiety, creating an elevated mood.

Despite the research available, little is still known about how Limonene interacts in the brain and body, and what doses are required to achieve desired effects. Many studies use high doses, much higher than what’s naturally found within cannabis.

Macro shot of trichomes, where terpenes are stored.
Macro shot of cannabis plant showing trichomes isolated on black background.

MAC Strains High in Limonene

Many assume limonene is abundant in strains that smell like lemon or citrus, but this isn’t always the case. No matter how great your nose is, always refer to the test results on the container. MAC’s variety of small-batch cannabis offers high quality bud with full test results listed on the menu. The combination of terpenes found within a strain can create unique aromas making single terpenes difficult to distinguish, but not impossible to identify. Some of MAC’s favorite high Limonene strains are Crumbled Lime, Glue Zauce, Dosidos X Bully Kush, Wedding Crasher, Sour Power OG and Coughy Cake.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that dive deeper into each individual terpene found within MAC’s house strains or come spark up a conversation with any of our agents!

What are terpenes?

Macro detail of Cannabis flower (sour diesel strain) isolated over blac

An informational guide to the terpenes found naturally within Mass Alternative Care’s small-batch cannabis.

Macro detail of cannabis flower showing trichomes where terpenes are stored.
Macro detail of cannabis flower (Sour Diesel strain) isolated over black background.

One of the first things you hear around Mass Alternative Care (MAC) is, “It smells so good in here, I wish I could bottle the smell for myself!” And there’s a reason for that. Not only does MAC grow on site in its Chicopee, MA facility, MAC also harvests, dries, cures and processes it within these walls. One of the most fun things as a cannabis consumer is being able to smell the wide range of fragrances that each strain produces. From cheese to citrus – listen to your nose. So where does that smell come from exactly? And why does that matter? The answer is – terpenes.

Terpenes are naturally derived chemicals found in the essential oils of the cannabis plant.

Terpenes are naturally derived chemicals, hydrocarbons to be exact, found in the essential oils of the cannabis plant. Have you ever seen an extremely frosty bud, covered in those shiny, sticky mushroom-shaped crystals? Those are called trichomes. Trichomes can be found on the leaves and buds of the cannabis plant, where terpenes are made and stored.

Cannabis flower with visible trichomes.
Cannabis flower (White Critical strain) with visible trichomes.

Now you’re probably thinking, why does the cannabis plant make trichomes naturally, if they are used to elevate our perspective? Well, they do a lot more than that. Trichomes act as a defense mechanism in nature, protecting the plant from natural predators like insects and animals. Fragrant terpenes help repel these threats, keeping the plant alive.

Cannabis is an incredibly diverse plant, with diverse benefits. There are over 100 different identified terpenes in the cannabis plant, with much progress on their classification and effects. Terpenes can be broken down into broad categories, with each category further narrowing down by smell and effect that correlates with specific terpenes. So now you know a little bit of what terpenes are and why they are found on the plant, but WHY do they matter to the cannabis consumer?

They can affect both body and mind.

A strain high in Limonene will have a citrus aroma, most likely providing elevated mood and stress relief. Limonene is prevalent in zesty sativa strains, giving sativas their stereotypical uplifting or daytime effect.  In large amounts, limonene has shown medicinal properties by providing anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, pain relief and nausea relief. More can be said about Limonene – but we’ll go over that extensively in another post.

How can I learn more about terpenes?

Each product on MAC’s menu that has been tested for terpene content has their terpenes listed within the test results. Become familiar with your favorite strains to learn what you’re smelling, tasting and feeling.

Mass Alternative Care example menu showing terpenes and cannabinoid content.

Common terpenes found within Mass Alternative Care’s strains are: Beta Caryophyllene, Myrcene, Limonene, Alpha and Beta Pinene, Humulene, Linalool, Nerolidol, Ocimene and Terpinolene.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that dive deeper into each individual terpene found within MAC’s house strains or come spark up a conversation with any of our agents!