Terpenes (general)

Terpenes: Terpinolene

terpene profile
Written by Cara Wietstock

This installment in our terpene profile series looks at terpinolene, or as it is sometimes known: δ-terpinene.

Molecular Weight: 136.238 g/mol

Boiling Point: 183-220 °C (361-428 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): >4,000 mg/kg (Compare to Nicotine: for rats – 50 mg/kg,  for humans – 0.5-1 mg/kg)

terpene profile

Like many other terpenes in our terpene profile series, terpinolene is often used as a perfume in the beauty industry. The scent is applied in many lotions, perfumes, and body washes. It is also sometimes used to make plastics and resins. The aroma emitted by this terpene has been said to be woody and sometimes smoky. Some even claim that their nostrils sense a citrus undertone. It is both less dense than and insoluble in water. Sometimes terpinolene is referred to as δ-terpinene.

Terpinolene, or δ-terpinene, comes in a group of isomeric hydrocarbons including α-terpinene, β-terpinene, γ-terpinene, and our focus: δ-terpinene. All terpenes consist of the same framework. They all have the same molecular formula but they differ in the placement of carbon-carbon double bonds.

Aside from cannabis, Terpinolene is often found in:

  • Citrus
  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Juniper
  • Parsnip
  • Cumin
  • Lilac
  • Apple
  • Tea Tree
  • Nutmeg
  • Conifers

Unlike most terpenes, Terpinolene is neither analgesic nor anti-inflammatory. But studies have shown the terpene to be anticancer, sedative, and anti-fungal. These properties tie it in with the other terpenes often found in the cannabis plant. Some studies have shown terpinolene to be synergistic with linalool and some other terpenes. This is only applicable when it comes to its sedative properties. When applied topically, the aroma of this terpene has been effective in repelling mosquitoes and weevils.

terpene profile

Studies have shown Terpinolene to be:

  • Anti-insomnia
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-proliferative
  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant

Current studies are attempting to show the terpene to be:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Anticancer
  • Reduce risk of heart disease


About the author

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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