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What is Terpinolene and What Are Its Benefits?

Explore the powerful benefits of the Terpinolene terpene isolate and how your brand can take advantage of them

While it’s usually found in small amounts, this terpene has some BIG effects. 

When it comes to the terpene profiles of various cannabis strains, terpinolene is pretty common...just not in large amounts. However, the few strains that DO have lots of this terpene are insanely powerful. Think Ghost Train Haze, XJ-13, and even the classic Jack Herer. Well, these strains have terpinolene to thank for their memorable cerebral, creative effects.

That’s right! While it may not have the notoriety of beta-caryophyllene or myrcene, terpinolene’s intense effects are sure to make it one of the most popular terpenes of 2021. Keep reading and discover the powerful benefits of terpinolene and why your brand needs to take advantage of it asap!

Reading Time - 7.5 min

Terpinolene is a terpene isolate with several powerful benefits - Abstrax Tech

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ll be covering today...

  • Terpinolene is a cyclic monoterpene present in small amounts in plants like lilac, some conifer trees, tea-tree, and even spices like cumin and nutmeg.
  • Its aroma is complex with an herbal scent that has citrus, pine, and floral notes woven throughout. 
  • Its antifungal and antimicrobial properties make it a phenomenal ingredient for topical and cleaning products.
  • Studies have shown that terpinolene’s sedative properties are effective when inhaled, even when subjects have olfactory impairments. 
  • Terpinolene has antioxidant properties that may make it harder for LDL to oxidize. That could mean lower cholesterol and better heart health.
  • Terpinolene may be antiproliferative for brain cell tumors. 
  • When strategically combined with low doses of certain NSAIDs, terpinolene could provide anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects without the unwanted side effects associated with most NSAIDs. 

What is Terpinolene?

This cyclic monoterpene can be found in a variety of flowers, herbs, spices, and even a few trees. From lilac and nutmeg to rosemary and tea trees, terpinolene is surprisingly common. It’s just not usually found in large quantities. 

Considering the wide variety of plants where you can find terpinolene, it should come as no surprise that its aroma is multifaceted. It has a unique herbal scent with citrus, floral, and pine notes. There’s also a subtle woody flavor that weaves itself through the other aromatic notes. It’s hard to imagine such a multidimensional flavor, but once you’ve experienced it, you won’t soon forget it. 

Terpinolene’s most memorable qualities, however, have to be its powerful effects. 

Terpinolene has a multifaceted flavor and aroma that can enhance a variety of products - Abstrax Tech

What Are the Benefits of Terpinolene?

Not only does terpinolene lend its aroma and flavor to heavy-hitting strains like Ghost Train Haze, Lemon Jack, and XJ-13, it’s also a big part of why their effects are so powerful. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the terpinolene benefits that make strains like these so spectacular. 

Terpinolene Has Antimicrobial and Antifungal Properties

Essential oils (like Tea Tree Oil) have been used for hundreds of years as a treatment for different types of fungal and bacterial infections. Turns out, some of that success is due to terpinolene. 

While tea tree oil has often been used as an antifungal for things like ringworm and toenail fungus, a 2015 study showed that the oil may be effective in combating botrytis cinerea. This particular fungus affects plants like wine grapes, making tea tree oil (and terpinolene) a potentially eco-friendly antifungal for certain crops. 

One study of a terpinolene-dense plant native to Iran even said, “The antimicrobial activity of the essential oil was tested against three different bacteria by disc diffusion method and showed maximum inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria, especially Bacillus subtilis.”

Shop Terpinolene - Abstrax Tech

Sedative Effects of Terpinolene May Help With Anxiety and Sleep Disorders

While the cannabis strains that have lots of terpinolene may be Sativa-dominant, this terpene still has some mild sedative effects. 

In a previous study, the Journal of Natural Medicines tested the sedative effects of terpinolene-dense essential oils on mice. After they isolated terpinolene as one of its active ingredients, they then attempted to determine the structural reason why this terpene has sedative effects. Their research found “Comparison of terpinolene analog activities showed that a double bond in the side-chain or pi bonds in the six-membered ring play important roles in the sedative effect.” 

To test this information, they had olfactory impaired mice inhale terpinolene. Even with an olfactory impairment, the rats still experienced sedative effects through nasal absorption. This means that terpinolene could be a beneficial ingredient for products designed to help reduce anxiety or promote a restful night’s sleep. Combined with other sedative terpenes like linalool, and terpinolene will become the go-to ingredient for calming products. 

The Antioxidant Properties of Terpinolene May Promote Heart Health

Antioxidants are incredibly important to your overall health, especially when it comes to your LDL (low-density lipoproteins). Commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol,” they transport cholesterol from your liver to various tissues in the body. Luckily, antioxidants like terpinolene, make it harder for LDL to oxidize. That means they may make it harder for fatty plaques to form in the arteries. 

The International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology published a study that tested this theory. To do so, a preparation of LDL from human blood plasma enriched in terpinolene was isolated. Not only were the lipids of LDL protected, but the proteins also didn’t experience oxidation, “This inhibition is due to a retarded oxidation of intrinsic carotenoids of LDL, and not, as in the case of some flavonoids, attributable to a protection of intrinsic alpha-tocopherol.” 

In addition to the potential heart health benefits, terpinolene’s antioxidant properties may also reduce cancer cells for certain types of tumors.

Terpinolene May Be An Antiproliferative for Certain Types of Tumors

Both the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of terpinolene may make it a potential anti-cancer compound. 

A 2013 study looked at the antiproliferative and cytotoxic properties of terpinolene. While its efficacy was dose-dependent, the researchers stated, “Our findings clearly demonstrate that TPO is a potent antiproliferative agent for brain tumor cells and may have potential as an anticancer agent, which needs to be further studied.”

Terpinolene can be found in lilacs and various other plants - Abstrax Tech

Terpinolene May Provide Analgesic Effects When Paired with NSAIDs

While the anti-inflammatory benefits of terpinolene are mild, when combined with other compounds, terpinolene has the potential to be a game-changer for those who suffer from chronic pain.

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are one of the most prescribed treatments for chronic pain. While they do provide relief, their use isn’t recommended for those with certain conditions and long-term use of NSAIDs can have unwanted side-effects. However, terpinolene may be able to reduce these risks.

The Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research published a study in 2016 that looked at the effects of terpinolene in combination with diclofenac (a popular NSAID). By using low doses of both terpinolene and diclofenac on rats with inflammation and pain in their hind paws, swelling and discomfort were both reduced. 

The authors of the study even stated, “These data suggest that the association of clinical drugs with natural products might be a pharmacological alternative in clinical use, avoiding expected adverse reactions.” That means it may be possible to create products with smaller amounts of NSAIDs (and less risk of unwanted side-effects) that still provide the same relief. 

How Can Your Brand Use Terpinolene?

Terpinolene’s wide range of effects makes it a useful ingredient for many products. Its aroma has already made it a popular ingredient in cosmetic products like perfumes, lotions, and soaps. However, it’s powerful effects can be harnessed to create truly spectacular products that customers won’t soon forget. 


We already mentioned cosmetic products, but there’s a big wide world of other topicals that can still benefit from this terpene. The scent would be an uplifting addition to muscle rubs and balms, but its other effects would make it perfect for antifungal or antimicrobial products.

Food & Beverage

Whether you’re looking for a way to enhance the flavor of your products or if you’re trying to promote certain effects, terpinolene can absolutely enhance food and beverage products. Maybe relaxing teas, hard candies, or even energy drinks! Terpinolene is incredibly versatile, and there’s no better way to showcase that versatility than with food and beverage products. 

Wellness Supplements

Drink mixes, smoothie blends, and capsules--oh, my! Health and wellness were on everyone’s mind last year, and 2021 will be no different. That’s why you should absolutely consider using terpinolene in your wellness products. 

Aromatherapy Products

Since the sedative benefits of terpinolene are so effective when nasally absorbed, this terpene would be the perfect addition to calming aromatherapy products. We’re thinking essential oils designed to be diffused, candles, and even…

Inhalable Products

You only have to look at the powerful effects of terpinolene-dense cannabis strains to understand why this terpene should be considered for products designed to be inhaled. Whether your vape products contain cannabis, hemp, or just a unique blend of botanicals, terpinolene will enhance the flavor, aroma, and effects of your products. 

Tea tree, and tea tree oil, are incredibly dense with terpinolene - Abstrax Tech

Don’t Miss Out On Terpinolene For Your Products

If you’ve been searching for an ingredient to take your products to the next level, terpinolene could be exactly what you’re looking for. From its complex flavor and aroma to its impressive list of benefits, terpinolene could very well end up being the go-to terpene of 2021.

Contact us today to talk about how you can start using this terpene in your products. Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media for all the latest updates.

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