Cannabis terpenes are loved for the unique odors and flavors they create in different strains. There are fifty cannabis terpenes that are common to cannabis in North America, but of these, myrcene, terpinolene, ocimene, limonene, alpha-pinene, humulene, linalool, and beta-caryophyllene are the most abundant . Terpinolene cannabis strains are most often energizing sativas with pine and citrus flavors. These strains are great choices for daytime use, socialization, and uplifting your mood.
What is Terpinolene?
Terpinolene is also known as isoterpinene, terpinolen, and alpha-terpinolene . It is a cyclic monoterpene compound found in some Labiatae herbs (mints, sage, cilantro) . Terpinolene can also be found in parsnip (the most abundant source), allspice, citrus, juniper, and nutmeg . In cannabis, and in herbs and spices, terpinolene contributes a sweet pine odor and a flavor that is a somewhat sweet mixture of pine and citrus .
In animal studies, terpinolene has demonstrated sedative effects . However, humans experience energizing effects from terpinolene . When it comes to cannabis, a scientific survey of stoners reported feeling energized after consuming cannabis with terpinolene as a dominant terpene . This is not surprising because terpinolene is typically found in sativa strains .
- Jack Herer
The Jack Herer cannabis strain (aka JH, The Jack, Premium Jack, Platinum Jack) takes its name from the author of the book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” It is a sativa-leaning hybrid cannabis strain that crosses the genetics of an unknown Haze hybrid with Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk. Jack Herer was bred by Sensi Seeds in the 1990s. There are a few different Jack Herer phenotypes, but overall the strain provides an uplifting cerebral high that has made it a staple in the medical cannabis community. The first thing you’ll notice about this strain is that its resinous green buds have a prominent pine odor. The flavors of Jack Herer are dominated by pine but also have notes of spice and wood. Terpinolene, caryophyllene, and pinene are the primary terpenes. Jack Herer is an energizing strain so it is best used during the day.
The sativa cannabis strain Amnesia is a cross of Jack Herer and Cinderella 99. Like Jack Herer, it is also a staple of the medical cannabis community since its euphoric and enlivening effects are said to benefit mood disorders. Non-medical cannabis users appreciate the Amnesia strain for its zingy energy. Amnesia’s effects can be intense, with THC levels reaching up to 24%, so users are cautioned to start slow. Ammonia, tobacco, and herbal spice flavors are typical for the Amnesia strain. The top three terpenes in Amnesia are terpinolene, caryophyllene, and ocimene.
- Space Candy
Space Candy is a modern classic cannabis strain. It is a hybrid of Cherry Space Queen and Cotton Candy Kush. The scent of Space Candy is sweet, dank, fruity, and a bit gassy. The flavor blends sweet fruit with earth and a spicy finish. Terpinolene is the main terpene, but the Space Candy terpene profile also features some myrcene and limonene. The Space Candy cannabis strain provides a high that is uplifting and slightly energizing. Effects tend to start slow and are not likely to overwhelm more novice cannabis users. The Space Candy strain is a great choice for daytime use, social gatherings, and creative endeavors.
- Super Lemon Haze
Looking for the perfect pick-me-up? The cannabis strain Super Lemon Haze (SLH) is a hybrid of Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze. As its name suggests, the Super Lemon Haze strain is a bounty of zesty lemon and citrus flavors with a hint of sweetness. This strain is a sativa with lively effects that make it ideal for daytime use. The Super Lemon Haze terpene profile is dominated by terpinolene, caryophyllene, and myrcene.
- Lilac Diesel
To create the cannabis strain Lilac Diesel, breeders at Ethos Genetics created two hybrids. They crossed Silver Lemon Haze with Forbidden Fruit, and NYC Cherry Pie with Citral Glue. Finally, those two hybrids were crossed to create the Lilac Diesel strain. Lilac Diesel is a sativa-dominant hybrid that has fast-acting effects such as brightening your mood and releasing stress. Of course, individual experiences will differ, but most users will have an energizing experience that is ideal for daytime cannabis use. Lilac Diesel has a wonderfully complex flavor profile that blends sweetness, floral flavors, and gassy diesel with notes of fruit and earth. The most abundant terpenes in Lilac Diesel are terpinolene, caryophyllene, and pinene.
- Golden Goat
Golden Goat is a cannabis strain that was created by accident when a male Hawaiian-Romulan hybrid pollinated a female Island Sweet Skunk. This happy accident has a rich flavor profile that is sweet, sour, and spicy with notes of tropical fruit. Golden Goat is sativa-dominant but provides full-body effects with a more subtle spike of energy. If you are a fan of strains like Durban Poison, Golden Goat is sure to please you. The Golden Goat terpene profile features terpinolene, caryophyllene, and myrcene.
- Golden Ticket
The balanced hybrid strain Golden Ticket provides invigorating cerebral effects with relaxation. Its genetics are a cross of Golden Goat and Face Off OG bred by Archive Seeds Bank. However, there is also a phenotype of the cannabis strain Chornobyl (by TGA Seeds) which also goes by “Golden Ticket” (be sure to ask your budtender for clarification if you are looking for this strain). The Golden Ticket strain will remind you of eating a lemonhead candy with its lemon, lime, and citrus flavors. These flavors come from the terpenes terpinolene, myrcene, and pinene, along with other minor terpenes. Golden Ticket is the ticket if you are looking for an uplifting, balanced, and euphoric cannabis experience.
Terpinolene Medical Benefits
In plants, terpenes play a natural role in defending against insects, herbivory, and infections, they also aid in healing plant injuries . Humans have also taken advantage of plant terpene benefits since ancient times. In addition to historical use in traditional medicine, modern research has also identified the medical benefits of terpenes. For example, terpinolene may be an anticancer agent due to its antioxidant properties . Research has also investigated terpinolene in combination with the terpene alpha-phellandrene for wound healing and anti-inflammatory effects , and it has demonstrated antifungal effects .
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- National Center for Biotechnology Information (2023). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 11463, Terpinolene.
- Russo, E. B., & Marcu, J. (2017). Cannabis pharmacology: the usual suspects and a few promising leads. Advances in pharmacology, 80, 67-134.
Sabine Downer is a scientist and cannabis writer with a passion for education. She has been writing for various clients in the cannabis space since 2015 and has worked in biotechnology since 2010. Along with content creation, she is also a knowledgeable resource on quality assurance, regulatory, and legal topics.