Hemp, once again, provides us with an element with multiple properties
The beneficial properties of hemp have been used for human benefit since ancient times.
However, when prohibition began to spread in the United States, cannabis was classified as a narcotic substance. For a long time, its beneficial properties took second place in its ability to induce psychotropic effects.
Despite its widespread and deep-rooted prejudice, marijuana has never ceased to attract interest because of its scientifically proven therapeutic properties.
Recently, it has been attracting attention thanks to discovering a new component, also contained in several other plant species: pinene.
In particular, it also appears to have beneficial properties, helping elevate cannabis from a mere drug – as it is considered by many – to a medicinal plant with multiple practical applications.
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In this article, we delve into the topic of pinene and try to understand what its properties are.
We begin with a brief introduction to terpenes, the category to which it belongs.
Terpenes: what are they?
Terpenes are organic compounds mainly responsible for the characteristic aroma and smell of many plant species, such as cannabis.
In the specific case of marijuana, terpenes are found in the resin, which is produced by the trichomes, tiny filaments in the plant.
The terpenes contained in cannabis number over 200 and can be divided into two main macro-categories: primary terpenes and secondary terpenes.
The primary function of terpenes is to protect the plant from attacks by predators and pathogens, but that is not all. Terpenes are also bait for pollinators and other possible plant allies. They also give plants their distinctive scent and aroma.
What, then, is pinene?
Pinene: what is it? And where is it found?
Terpene, belonging to the primary terpene category of cannabis, is also contained in other plants with a characteristic balsamic aroma, such as rosemary, pine, and basil.
In addition to the aromatic aspect, pinene also defines the intensity of the drugging effect that a given type of cannabis can cause, just like cannabinoids.
Discerning consumers are also very attentive to this aspect when choosing which variety of marijuana to buy, regardless of the use they plan to make of it (therapeutic or recreational).
Pinene has unique properties that can make all the difference. Specifically, it appears that this terpene can counteract the rare side effects resulting from the immoderate use of cannabis, such as paranoid delusions.
In light of this, pinene becomes crucial in allowing the minority of individuals who struggle to manage and control the plant’s potential adverse effects to benefit from marijuana’s therapeutic properties.
In addition, this terpene appears to have the ability to counteract the short-term memory loss typically caused by the excessive intake of THC while at the same time increasing the attention threshold.
For this reason, pinene is also often referred to as the ‘memory terpene’.
Let us now take a closer look at its therapeutic potential.
What are the benefits attributed to pinene? What does the science say?
It is no secret that the balsamic effects of many plants can be beneficial to humans, and these depend on the presence of pinene.
Its main properties include a decisive bronchodilator action and anti-inflammatory, topical antiseptic and antioxidant.
In addition, pinene is also attributed to the ability to raise the attention threshold and improve short-term memory.
Let’s take a look below at the main studies conducted on the subject and what findings they led to.
The bronchodilator action mentioned above was primarily confirmed by a study conducted in 2002 and published in Inhalation Toxicology.
In addition, as demonstrated by Northeast Forestry University in China in a 2011 study, pinene has interesting antimicrobial properties that can be effectively exploited in treating respiratory tract infections, such as viral bronchitis, which is more challenging to treat than other more common bacterial infections.
But the scientific findings on the beneficial properties of pinene do not end there.
In fact, in a 2011 publication, the British Journal of Pharmacology also confirmed the anti-inflammatory effects of this exciting terpene. Specifically, the study suggested use in treating chronic conditions such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer and arthritis, with particular mention of the entourage effect.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the anti-cancer and inhibition of cancer cell growth and spread properties highlighted by two studies from 2013 and 2015.
In conclusion, what do we know about pinene?
Since ancient times, cannabis has demonstrated its many beneficial properties, which numerous scientific studies have confirmed.
Despite the well-established prejudices that have plagued marijuana for decades, there has never been a shortage of its staunch supporters, and, as we have seen, they are not wrong in their firm belief in its potential.
The relatively recent discovery of terpenes also confirms the thesis that there are good reasons to consider hemp a medicinal plant in its own right. Moreover, contraindications to its use are practically non-existent.
In particular, pinene and its therapeutic applications further consolidate the belief that cannabis can represent a breakthrough in treating numerous pathologies that are sometimes difficult to tackle with traditional pharmacological therapies.
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