Science Terpene Thursday

Terpene Thursday: alpha-Terpineol C10H18O

terpene profile
Cara Wietstock
Written by Cara Wietstock

Alpha-Terpineol is the terpene responsible for the antifungal activity in Melaluca alternifolia, commonly called tea tree.

This week in Terpene Thursday we will explore alpha-Terpineol. This aromatic phenol is reminiscent of the forest. It mixes the common aromas of pine and clove. Because of its delightful scent, it is often used in the perfume and soap industries. α-Terpineol is responsible for the familiar pine aromatics in a well grown batch of Jack Herer flowers. This terpene is also found in White Widow, OG Kush, and Girl Scout Cookies.
The moniker terpineol can be found labelling any combination of four monoterpene alcohol isomers. It occurs naturally in more than 150 plants alongside cannabis. Oftentimes, terpineol occurs as α-Terpineol. It also generally shows up alongside pinene, which has a very pungent aroma. This is why it is harder to detect this terpene in a strain of cannabis flower using the senses alone. 


α-Terpineol is often found in:

  • Tea tree
  • Clary sage
  • Coriander
  • Lilac
  • Lime blossoms
  • Lemon
  • Star anise
  • Mandarin orange
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Juniper
  • Eucalyptus

Since it is so popular in the perfume industry, Terpineol has been studied regarding many of its believed benefits. Some studies also suggest that terpineol is an immune system stimulant. This is why it is considered a part of a good general tonic. When used in simple aromatherapy it can be a handy tool used to clear clogged sinuses. While it can be a valuable symptom reliever for the common cold.

terpeneThis terpene is currently being studied as a(n):

  • Antibiotic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-tumor
  • Sedative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimalarial
  • Anxiolytic


About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

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