Super-Class Terpenes: Alpha-pinene

 

The eight super-class terpenes include alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene (BCP), humulene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, ocimene, and terpinolene. 


Alpha-pinene holds the distinction of being the most common terpene on earth. It is produced by hundreds of botanical species beyond cannabis (more than 400), including basil, big sagebrush, camphorweed, conifers, dill, eucalyptus, frankincense, juniper, orange peels, parsley, pine nuts, rosemary, sage, and spruce.


This distinctive terpene delivers an aroma that is fragrant and raw, with a fresh and musky body. As its name suggests, alpha-pinene produces a piney fragrance—with notes of turpentine. Its flavor has been described as "woody, dry, and resinous."


Alpha-pinene's potential medicinal benefits include antibacterial, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antibiotic efficacy. It is commonly used to treat pain, inflammation, and anxiety and may offer efficacy for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.


A study entitled "Potential Antibacterial Action of α-Pinene" that was published in the journal Medical Sciences Forum investigated "the antibacterial activity of α-pinene." The study's authors claimed that their data "points out that α-pinene has wide potential in antimicrobial therapy in order to inhibit the growth of bacteria as an isolated result or as a synergist of antibiotics."


"The present study demonstrates that α-pinene has antibacterial properties when applied to certain microorganisms," concluded the scientific investigation. The researchers reported that the  antimicrobial effectiveness of alpha-pinene "is directly linked to its concentration."


A study entitled "α-Pinene: A Never-ending Story" published in the journal Phytochemistry explored the biochemical characteristics of alpha-pinene. It stated that the "synergistic interaction of α-pinene offers a great potential in different therapeutic areas."


The study reported that α-Pinene is "volatile and hydrophobic properties" (does not mix with water; mixes with oil or fat) with a "fresh pine scent and woody flavor." It noted that alpha-pinene features a "low production cost, high natural abundance, and various biological properties" that make it a valuable player in the discovery and formulation of novel drugs and therapies.   


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