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What is Terpinolene and Why is This Terpene So Popular?

Found in apples and pine along with cultivars like Durban Poison and Jack Herer, discover what’s driving the popularity of terpene isolate Terpinolene. 

Whether or not you can easily recreate the aroma of Terpinolene in your mind, you’ve likely enjoyed it a time or two. This monoterpene is commonly found in lilac, some conifer trees, apples, and even spices like cumin and nutmeg. Admittedly, these botanical aromas are wildly different, and they tend to have smaller amounts of Terpinolene. 

But what about cannabis cultivars like Durban Poison, Super Silver Haze, or even Jack Herer? While their aromas are distinct, these cultivars all have large amounts of Terpinolene. They’re also incredibly potent and energetic, which isn’t a coincidence.

Read on and discover more about this important terpene and what makes it so popular.

What is the Terpinolene Aroma?

Considering that botanical sources usually contain Terpinolene in small amounts, it’s not surprising that many people are unfamiliar with its aroma. In addition, it doesn’t have the sharp, individual aromatic notes that other terpenes tend to have.

While it tends to seamlessly weave itself into the tapestry of terpenes in any profile it’s part of, on its own, it’s curious and complex. Earthy elements of wood and pine get a lift with bright elements of citrus and sweet floral notes.

It’s unlikely you’d be able to pick up on it by sniffing the nearest apple or jar of nutmeg, but you might have come across it around your house in tea tree oil, body lotions, perfumes, and various cleaning products.

What Are the Effects of Terpinolene?

While cultivars dominant in Terpinolene tend to be energetic, this terpene still has some mild sedative effects. In one study, the Journal of Natural Medicines tested the sedative effects of terpinolene-dense essential oils on mice. Even with an olfactory impairment, the subjects still experienced sedative effects through nasal absorption, meaning that terpinolene could be a useful ingredient for products designed to promote relaxation.

There have also been studies that looked at the efficacy of Terpinolene as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent, as a potent antioxidant, and as an antimicrobial. A study focusing on the latter looked at a particular plant native to Iran. It stated, “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.”

Terpinolene and Cannabis

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to experience this terpene for yourself is through Terpinolene-dominant cultivars. You may already be familiar with the following cultivars, but if not, then prepare yourself for an intensely potent and stimulating experience alongside some seriously unforgettable aromas.

Durban Poison

For a jolt of cerebral stimulation, Durban Poison doesn’t disappoint. Its blend of sweet, spice, citrus, and wood has also led many to consider it one of the best-tasting buds. We believe this complexity is thanks, in large part, to the multifaceted aroma of Terpinolene.


With a name like Trainwreck, it’s no surprise that this adrenaline-fueled cultivar will leave you energized and inspired. With heavy amounts of Terpinolene, Trainwreck has an earthy flavor with pungent notes of pine, sour citrus, and a sweet floral finish.

Sojay Haze

Hailing from BC Big Bud and Grape FX, this cultivar delivers focused stimulation and energy. Alongside other terpenes beta-Myrcene and beta-Phellandrene, Terpinolene helps deliver a terpenic cloud of fruity citric pine.

Terpinolene and Jack Herer

We really can’t talk about Terpinolene without also talking about the famed cultivar Jack Herer. Considering we had the honor of working alongside the original cultivators, it makes sense that we’re a little obsessed.

Using 2-dimensional gas chromatography, GC×GC, we’ve been able to determine with great accuracy the majority of the aromatic compounds in Jack Herer. Turns out, Terpinolene accounts for over 30% of its total aroma content. 

Along with other dominant isolates d-Limonene, beta-Phellandrene, and trans-ß-Ocimene, Jack Herer is vibrant, bright, and has a citrus-wood aroma that’s distinct and entirely unforgettable.



Turn Heads with Terpinolene

Whether you want to harness its sensorial effects or its sophisticated aroma, Terpinolene is an isolate worth considering in your next product formulation. Contact us today, and let's discuss infusing your products with this head-turning terpene.

Terpene Isolate

This abundant terpene occurs in the tea tree, lilac, cumin, nutmeg, and apples. Terpinolene has woody overtones with a hint of citric sweetness. Usually the most prominent terpene in Hazes.

Terpinolene Dominant Profiles

The name may sound ominous, but Durban Poison is the dank wake-n-bake option you’ve been waiting for. The sweet pine and citrus provides a jolt of cerebral stimulation that heightens the senses and sharpens focus.

A staple in any arsenal, Trainwreck is favored by those seeking an embellishment to life. Its heavy but energizing mood orientation is carried directly to the brainstem on notes of pine interjected with the sour of lemon.

Analyzed from the highest quality sauce, Abstrax’s Sojay Haze delivers a terpenic cloud of fruity citric pine. You can't go wrong with parents like BC Big Bud and Grape FX. Perfect for those needing energy and focus.

Born from thousands of hours of research and development, the Signature Series represents a brand new age of authenticity in cannabis. Made in full collaboration with the cultivator themselves - this is the definitive Jack Herer.

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