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What is Alpha-Pinene? Known For Its Neuroprotective Properties!

May 22, 2022
What is Alpha-Pinene Terpene

Pinene is one of the most abundant terpenes found in nature.[1] What are terpenes, you ask?

Terpenes are unique compounds naturally found in all living vegetation. They contribute to a plant’s distinct smell and taste. If you are a cannabis user, terpenes are the components that give different cannabis strains their individualized scents.

In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the terpene profile called Alpha-Pinene. Known by many as its predominant in many cannabis strains

Main Keypoints:

  • Found primarily in conifer trees, Pinene emits the highly recognizable aroma of pine with a woody, sharp, bright aroma and flavor profile
  • Pinene is one of the most prevalent terpenes in cannabis
  • Research suggests that Alpha-Pinene has positive medicinal benefits and may play a role in fighting inflammation, supporting a healthy mood, aid memory and brain health, and more.

What Is Alpha-Pinene Good For?

Alpha-Pinene has a vast number of applications. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pinene as a flavoring agent for food and for use in perfumes, household products, and insecticides.

But perhaps the greatest benefit of Alpha-Pinene is its favorable health benefits, especially when combined with cannabis.

As its name implies, Alpha-Pinene is a terpene found primarily in pine trees. Identified in various other plants, including cannabis, Alpha-Pinene is an essential oil that delivers a potent fresh pine forest scent and flavor.

When combined with cannabinoids, terpenes such as Alpha-Pinene play a vital role in the plant’s therapeutic effects. Although much of the research on Pinene is in its early stages, there are reasons to believe it has positive medicinal benefits.

Difference between Alpha-Pinene and Beta-Pinene

Before we begin to explore the wellness properties of Pinene, we should distinguish between Alpha-Pinene and Beta-Pinene.

Alpha-Pinene and Beta-Pinene are two isomers of the same monoterpene. They have the same molecular formula but some structural chemical differences.

 Alpha-Pinene is more prevalent in cannabis. Pinene is also the most studied form of this terpene and produces the majority of health advantages. Most research suggests that Beta-Pinene does not share all the same therapeutic properties. 

What Does Alpha-Pinene Smell Like?

As its name suggests, Alpha-Pinene is one of the plants abundant in pine and pine needles. So it is no wonder that this terpene creates a woody, sharp, bright aroma and flavor. It’s the same terpene that gives evergreen trees their scent, so you might say it smells like Christmas time.

What Does Alpha-Pinene Do? What Are The Benefits?

Modern research shows that terpenes contain several therapeutic benefits. Specifically, studies confirm that Alpha-Pinene possesses neuroprotective effects, anti-inflammatory properties, mood support, and more. [2]

What is Alpha-Pinene used for

What is Alpha-Pinene Used For? The Health Benefits of Alpha-Pinene

The list of potential therapeutic benefits from Alpha-Pinene is lengthy. These are some of the medicinal possibilities:

Neuroprotective properties

One of the most promising areas of research is on the antioxidant effects of Alpha-Pinene on the brain.

Researchers are studying how Alpha-Pinene can help with short-term memory impairment and brain health.

An often-cited study found that Alpha-Pinene improved cognitive function in mice.[3]  The authors wrote that the results “suggest the possible neuroprotective potentials of [alpha-pinene] for managing dementia with associated learning and memory loss.”


If you suffer from migraines, you know they can be debilitating. Pinene may offer some hope. It was confirmed in a published report to help reduce pain associated with migraine by regulating inflammation and blood flow.[4]


The benefits of Alpha-Pinene in this area are very promising. Investigators were extremely impressed by the support of Pinene in this area. They stated that the terpene “remarkably inhibited” the growth of various bacteria, including E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus, the bacteria that cause staph infections.[5]


Published data supports the anti-inflammatory characteristics of Alpha-Pinene. In animal studies, Alph-Pinenedelivered powerful anti-inflammatory effects for a variety of health concerns.[6]  For example, as an anti-inflammatory, Alpha-Pinene demonstrated gastrointestinal protective properties.[7]

Scientists also found clear evidence that Alpha-Pinene helps moderate inflammation, specifically for acute pancreatitis.[8]

Respiratory Health

Alpha-Pinene may help with breathing by acting as a bronchodilator. This means at low levels, it may help open the airflow to the lungs.[9] This suggests that Alpha-Pinene has the potential to support the health of people suffering from respiratory conditions.[10]

Mood Support

Several rodent studies have led to positive findings for α-pinene helping with anxiety and depressive actions. Scientists examining this benefit believe Alpha-Pinene may produce antidepressant-like effects.[11]

Does Pinene Make You High?

On their own, terpenes like Pinene do not have significant psychoactive properties. So, they will not get you high. However, when Pinene combines with cannabinoids, it can act to embellish your feeling of euphoria.

Potential Risks of Alpha-Pinene

The FDA has approved Alpha-Pinene as safe for use in human food and cosmetic applications. All the evidence confirms both α-pinene and β-pinene are non-toxic and do not produce adverse effects. One note of caution: some reports indicate a risk of upper airway irritation in animals if Pinene becomes inhaled at high levels.[12]

In general, all terpenes are legal on their own. However, when terpenes come from marijuana, they may be illegal under federal law and local regulations in certain areas.

As a result, cannabis-derived terpenes operate in a legal gray area. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, including hemp-derived CBD and terpenes. And some states have legalized the combination of cannabis terpenes. The same goes for other terpenes like Myrcene, Humulene, Eucalyptol, and Limonene.

You will always want to check carefully to understand your city and state regulations to assure you are using a legal substance.

What Plants Contain Alpha-Pinene?

This aromatic terpene appears throughout nature. In addition to pine trees, you will also find Alpha-Pinene in basil, rosemary, mint, and parsley.


How Does Alpha-Pinene Play a Role in the Cannabis Plant?

Alpha-Pinene influences the smells and tastes of different cannabis strains. More importantly, as a terpene, Pinene contributes to the beneficial health effects of THC and CBD.

It is well-documented that terpenes work hand in hand with cannabinoids to maximize the benefits of marijuana. This synergetic process is called the entourage effect. It occurs when terpenes and cannabinoids interact in particular ways to boost the effectiveness of one another and create more powerful therapeutic effects.

Final Thoughts

Alpha-pinene is abundant in pine trees and many other plant species, including cannabis.

Current scientific literature suggests that Alpha-Pinene possesses several health benefits. Its sweet pine aroma is easily recognizable, making products a woodsy, clean, and bright scent.

The potential of Pinene and its health benefits cannot be understated, especially when combined with cannabis and other terpenes. It appears to play a role in fighting inflammation, supporting a healthy mood,  boosting memory and brain health, and more.

At BioWellnessX, we are always on a mission to make legal, high-quality hemp-derived THC and CBD products more available for people all over the nation. With one goal in mind, our cutting-edge products provide natural relief!

We recognize that taking Alpha-Pinene may offer wellness benefits with medical applications. Visit our website to learn more about how our wide range of quality products can support your physical and mental health.



By reading this legal information, you agree to release the author of any liability related to or arising from your use of this data. This post contains no legal advice. The legal status surrounding Hemp-derived products is new and constantly changing. We continuously work hard to do our best to give you the most updated information. We recommend checking your current state’s laws or federal hemp laws before purchasing any industrial hemp-derived products (CBD, THC) in Mississippi. The data in this post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or give any medical advice. Do your due diligence and seek your doctor’s advice, especially if you are in doubt or are currently taking any prescription medications. Safer than sorry is always a great idea when consuming new products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Alpha-Pinene good for?

Modern research shows that terpenes contain several therapeutic uses. Specifically, studies confirm that Alpha-Pinene possesses neuroprotective effects, anti-inflammatory properties, mood support, and more.

How does Alpha-Pinene make you feel?

Combining Alpha-Pinene with cannabis and other terpenes can help increase focus and clarity, help reduce the anxiety that is often associated with THC, act as an anti-inflammatory, and boost mood.

What is the difference between Alpha and Beta-Pinene?

Alpha-Pinene and Beta-Pinene are two isomers of the same monoterpene. They have the same molecular formula, but they have chemical differences. Alpha-pinene is more prevalent in cannabis. Alpha-Pinene is also the most studied form of this terpene and produces the majority of health advantages. Most of the research suggests that Beta-Pinene does not share all the same therapeutic properties. 

What foods contain Alpha-Pinene?

Some of the most popular herbs used in your kitchen contain Alpha-Pinene. This includes rosemary, basil, and parsley.

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