Here are the key takeaways about pinene and its benefits:
- Pinene is a monoterpene with two isomers, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene.
- Beta-pinene has a distinct woody and piney smell and is found naturally in many plants, including basil, cedar, pine, and conifer trees, dill, eucalyptus, oranges, parsley, rosemary, and cannabis.
- Beta-pinene has significant therapeutic applications, including bronchodilation, pain relief, epilepsy and cancer treatment, and neuroprotection.
- Beta-pinene has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, and antioxidant benefits.
- Beta-pinene has been studied for its ability to increase mental alertness, clarity, and overall cognitive functions, as well as its potential to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
How is Alpha-Pinene Different From Beta-Pinene?
Beta-pinene (β-pinene) and alpha-pinene (α-pinene) are two isomers of pinene, a hydrocarbon compound with a distinct woody and piney smell. While alpha-pinene and beta-pinene share similar therapeutic qualities and characteristics, the main differentiator between the two is the smell, with β-pinene having a fresh, woody, and spicy aromatic quality. This makes β-pinene an important compound in many industries, from fragrance and essential oils to cooking as a flavoring additive, and as a preservative.
Characteristics of β-pinene
β-pinene is a monoterpene, a type of compound found in many plants, such as basil, cedar, pine, and conifer trees, dill, eucalyptus, oranges, parsley, rosemary, and cannabis. It is a colorless liquid with a strong, pungent odor, and is known for its woody and piney smell. It is slightly soluble in water and highly soluble in organic solvents. The boiling point of β-pinene is 155°C, and its melting point is -56°C.
Sources of β-pinene
β-pinene is found naturally in many plants, including basil, cedar, pine, and conifer trees, dill, eucalyptus, oranges, parsley, rosemary, and cannabis. It is also commercially produced from turpentine oil and is used in a variety of fragrances, essential oils, cooking, and as a preservative. Additionally, it is a major component of many essential oils, such as rosemary, eucalyptus, and pine.
Therapeutic uses of β-pinene
β-pinene has been researched for its significant applications in bronchodilation, pain relief, epilepsy and cancer treatment, and neuroprotection. It also improves mental clarity, alertness, and overall cognitive abilities. Additionally, it has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, and antioxidant benefits.
Uses of β-pinene in fragrances, essential oils, cooking, and preservatives
β-pinene is used in fragrances, essential oils, and cooking as a flavoring additive, and preservative. As a fragrance, β-pinene helps create a woody, piney scent, while as a flavoring additive, it adds a unique taste and smell to various culinary dishes. Additionally, it is used in many essential oils, such as rosemary, eucalyptus, and pine, for its refreshing aroma. Finally, β-pinene is used as a preservative in many foods and beverages as it helps to prolong shelf-life and maintain freshness.
Cognitive benefits of β-pinene
Beta-pinene is noted for its ability to increase mental alertness, clarity, and overall cognitive functions. It has been studied for its potential to improve focus and concentration, and reduce stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, β-pinene has been shown to display neuroprotective properties, which can help protect against neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline.
Possible anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, and antioxidant benefits of β-pinene
Beta-pinene has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, and antioxidant benefits. It is an effective anti-inflammatory agent, with potential applications in treating arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other inflammatory conditions.
Additionally, it has been studied for its potential antidepressant properties and ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Furthermore, β-pinene has been shown to possess antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which can be beneficial for fighting infections and promoting wound healing. Finally, β-pinene has been studied for its antioxidant properties, which can help protect against free radical damage and oxidative stress.
Cannabis plants containing β-pinene
Beta-pinene is present in many Sativa dominant cannabis plants, such as Jack Herer, Dutch Treat, Romulan, Blue Dream, Island Sweet Skunk, OG Kush, Bubba Kush, ChemDawg, God Bud, LA Confidential, Mango Haze, Strawberry Cough, Haze Berry, Royal Jack, and Trainwreck. It is believed to be responsible for some of the effects of these Sativa dominant strains, such as its energizing, uplifting, and creative properties. Additionally, β-pinene has also been studied for its potential to increase focus and concentration, and reduce stress and anxiety levels.
The Pharmacology Of Pinene (The Science)
Pinene is a monoterpene, which is a type of molecule made up of two isoprene units. Its chemical formula is C10H16. It comes in two different forms, which are called α-pinene and β-pinene. Alpha-pinene is the form that has an alkene (a type of molecule made up of carbon and hydrogen) inside a six-membered ring, while β-pinene is the form that has an alkene outside the ring. Both of these forms have different versions called enantiomers. Altogether, there are four types of pinene. Pinene can break down into other compounds found in nature, such as terpenes, acids, aldehydes, and alcohols.
The exact way pinene works in the body is still a mystery, but its low molecular weight and high lipophilicity (its ability to dissolve in fats) suggest it can pass through the blood brain barrier. In fact, a study found that alpha-pinene can be detected in the brain after just 30 minutes of exposure to the air. And when it was given as part of an oil blend, the amount of alpha-pinene was even higher. Another study found that alpha-pinene can be taken up into the lungs, and is quickly metabolized (broken down) by the body.
Pinene is generally safe for use in food and cosmetics. However, there have been reports of upper airway irritation after inhaling pinene. But this irritation went away within 6 hours and didn’t get worse with repeat exposures. Pinene has also been shown to be effective in treating mucosal inflammation (swelling of mucous membranes) in a mouse model of allergic rhinitis.
Pinene has effects on the brain, such as modulating (influencing) the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor, which is involved in sleep. Alpha-pinene has also been seen to target serotonin 5-HT1A and beta-adrenergic receptors, which are involved in regulating mood. Finally, pinene has been shown to be neuroprotective (protecting neurons), with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which could be useful in treating brain diseases.
Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, and Neuroprotective Properties
Studies have shown that α-pinene, a chemical found in certain plants, can help protect against oxidative stress, inflammation and neuronal damage in the laboratory (in-vitro). For example, when mouse macrophages were challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a type of molecule, α-pinene reduced markers of inflammation, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and nitric oxide (NO) by suppressing pathways in the cells that are involved in inflammation. In animal studies (in-vivo), α-pinene has been found to have neuroprotective properties, meaning it can help protect the brain from damage.
For example, when mice were exposed to ischemia (a lack of blood flow to the brain), α-pinene reduced the size of the damage and improved the animals’ behavior. In addition, a metabolite of α-pinene, (S)-cis-verbenol, was found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in models of ischemia and stroke. It was also found to protect against a type of convulsion called pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced convulsions, likely due to its ability to increase dopamine concentration in the brain. While the evidence is promising, more robust research is needed to confirm the protective benefits of pinene.
Pinene For Pain
Alpha-pinene has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in mice when given orally at 5-25 mg/kg. This pain relief lasted for 48 hours after irritants like carrageenan and Freund’s adjuvant were introduced. Pinene was also found to reduce pain from migraine, likely due to its ability to regulate inflammation and how it affects the blood vessels.
Additionally, when mice were given pinene after having a partial sciatic nerve ligation, they experienced similar pain relief to mice given existing anti-inflammatory drugs like indomethacin and gabapentin. Furthermore, pinene had a greater pain-reducing effect than morphine, and the effects lasted longer. The exact mechanisms behind this are unknown, but one study suggested that pinene may act on GABAA and μ-opioid receptors. Although there is evidence to support this, more research is needed.
Anti-depressant and Anxiolytic Effects of Pinene
Several studies on rodents have been done to look at the effectiveness of α-pinene and β-pinene in treating anxiety and depression. For example, β-pinene (100 mg/kg, which is injected into the body) improved depressive-like behavior in a forced swim test. This effect was blocked when the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor (a type of receptor in the brain) was blocked. Another study found that exposure to α-pinene (10 μg/L, which is inhaled through the air) for 60 or 90 minutes reduced anxiety-like behaviors in mice. The authors found that α-pinene was present in the brain and that levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and an enzyme that helps make dopamine (L-DOPA) increased in the midbrain.
A different study also found that α-pinene reduced anxiety-like behavior and increased α-pinene levels in the brain and liver. β-pinene (100 mg/kg, injected into the body) increased mobility in the forced swim test compared to an anti-depressant drug called imipramine, and it did not have any negative effects on motor coordination. Finally, two weeks of treatment with α-pinene improved depressive-like behavior in rats, which was associated with increased markers of oxidative phosphorylation (a process that helps create energy in cells) in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that the anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects of α-pinene and β-pinene may be due to changes in certain brain receptors, proteins, enzymes, and processes. However, more research is needed to better understand the therapeutic and negative effects of these compounds.
Effects of Pinene on Cognitive Impairment
α-Pinene (a type of terpene) has been shown to have positive effects on cognitive impairment in mice. In a study, a single dose of α-pinene (10 mg/kg, i.p.) was given to mice with memory impairment, and it increased their ability to make spontaneous changes in the Y maze, as well as improving their recognition skills in the Morris water maze and increasing their learning in the passive avoidance test. α-Pinene also increased the expression of an enzyme called Choline Acetyltransferase (ChAT) in the cortex of the mice, which helps to produce a chemical called Acetylcholine (ACh).
However, α-pinene had no effect on another enzyme called Acetylcholine Esterase (AChE), which breaks down ACh. This suggests that α-pinene helps to increase Acetylcholine production. This is important to consider when looking at the cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease, a condition where people have a decrease in the number of cholinergic neurons in the brain, as well as a decrease in ChAT transcription and activity. A study in Drosophila melanogaster (a type of fly) also showed that α-pinene and β-pinene reduced the effects of a protein called Beta Amyloid 42 (Aβ42) which is found in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Although these findings are promising, more research is needed to examine the effects of pinene on neuropathological and cognitive behaviors in rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease.
Pinene and Insomnia
α-pinene and β-pinene, two essential oils, have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to help people sleep. A study by Yang et al. (73) looked at the effects of α-pinene on the sleep-wake patterns of mice. They found that higher doses (50 and 100 mg/kg) of α-pinene increased the amount of non-REM sleep and reduced how long it took to fall asleep. α-pinene also seemed to increase the effect of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps control sleep.
Metabolites of pinene, like myrtenol and verbenol, have also been identified as substances that could help increase GABA activity. These results suggest that α-pinene could help improve sleep by increasing GABA activity in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is important for sleep. However, another study showed different results, reporting that pinene didn’t change REM sleep. More research needs to be done to better understand pinene’s effect on sleep.
In conclusion, pinene is an amazing substance that is a great addition to any cannabis product. Pinene is a monoterpene found in many plants, including cannabis. It comes in two forms, alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, which have different smells and therapeutic qualities.
Beta-pinene has a woody and piney smell, making it an important compound in many industries. It is used in fragrances, essential oils, cooking, and as a preservative. Additionally, it has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, and antioxidant benefits, as well as its ability to increase mental clarity, alertness, and overall cognitive abilities.
Pinene is also a major component found in many Sativa-dominant cannabis plants and is believed to be responsible for some of the effects of these strains. Finally, pinene has been studied for its potential to reduce pain and inflammation, treat depression and anxiety, improve cognitive impairment, and increase sleep.