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These Pinene Rich Strains are Perfect for the Holiday Season

Now that Halloween is over and November has officially begun, the holiday season is starting to make its way across the country. For some, this may also be their first with medical marijuana and are curious as to which strains are best suited for this time of year. In this post, we will focus on pinene-rich strains and how they can help liven up your winter celebrations.

First off, an explanation of what pinene is and what it can do are in order. Pinene is what’s known as a terpene. Terpenes are a class of chemicals that are responsible for many distinctive smells and flavors produced by both plants and animals. For example, limonene is, unsurprisingly, found in citrus fruits and gives it an “orangey” smell. They are produced for a variety of reasons including protection, as some less pleasant odors can turn away potential herbivores, or even attract predators of the herbivore. Terpenes have gone on to find uses in perfume, biotechnology, and medicine. They are used in pesticides, certain therapies, and have recently been pushed into the public eye due to marijuana legalization.

It is important to know that terpenes are different from cannabinoids in marijuana in a number of ways, with the main differentiator being that cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors in the body while terpenes do not. This does not mean, however, that terpenes do not have any effect on the body. By themselves, terpenes can help you relax, fight inflammation, and even help improve memory. But, when combined with other compounds in marijuana, there arises the “entourage effect” [1]. The entourage effect is so called because it happens when the different compounds in marijuana work together to enhance existing or even produce new effects. This is why you may have heard some advocacy for “full flower” or “full spectrum” marijuana versus isolated CBD or THC use.

Pinene specifically is one of the most famous of the terpenes found in marijuana. Known for its distinctive smell, it can be found in pine trees, rosemary, and basil. Scientists have also started taking note of pinene, and research has increased nearly ten-fold in the past twenty years. Researchers have since found evidence of pinene having antifungal and antibacterial properties [2]. In 2016, studies found that alpha pinene (the more common form) was able to enhance non-rapid eye movement sleep in mice [3]. NREM sleep is important because this is when the body starts to repair itself, leading some people to link pinene and physical recovery. Another 2016 study found evidence of antioxidant properties [4].

What are Some Pinene-Rich Strains?

  • Haze Berry: Haze Berry is a combination of the Super Silver Haze and Blueberry strains, both known for high THC levels, and this does not disappoint. Generally low in CBD, Haze Berry is a potent sativa that produces a relaxed-yet-energetic high. Despite its pinene content, this strain smells strongly of its parent strain, Blueberry. As a sativa, it can help those with ADD focus and raise the mood of those suffering from depression.
  • God’s Gift: God’s Gift is a high-THC indica strain even more potent than Haze Berry. With an average THC content of nearly thirty percent and nearly no CBD, God’s Gift is a heavy hitter. Because of this, it is strongly recommended to carefully dose this strain, as it is very easy to reach your limit quickly. This strain is a hybrid of OG Kush and Granddaddy Purple, two very popular strains in their own right, and was a mainstay in the early 2000’s in California. Because of its strength, it can be used to help those with depression or anxiety relax after long days and can even help those with less-severe pain.
  • Harlequin: Now for something a little different. Harlequin is also a sativa-dominant hybrid but boasts a much higher concentration of CBD than our previous two entries. This means it will produce less of a high but will instead offer all of those benefits CBD is known for. This can mean a much more mellow answer for those with anxiety or chronic pain. It can also help put the uplift the user and has found popularity among those with everything from arthritis to stress disorders.
  • Remedy: Remedy is for those who are looking for absolutely minimal psychoactive effects. With a nearly non-existent THC content, this strain was bred particularly for its medicinal properties. Usually, you will find less than one percent of the cannabinoids in Remedy to be THC, while nearly twenty percent to be CBD. Users of Remedy report feeling much more relaxed, both physically and mentally, and often use it to either combat daily wear-and-tear or reduce stress.
  • Penelope: To round out our list we have Penelope, a hybrid strain with a 50/50 THC/CBD split. Because of this, it produces near-opposing effects, with users reporting feeling both uplifted and grounded. The even split also offers an interesting dynamic for those looking both for the relief that comes with CBD and the high from THC.

Pinene is a rising star in the medical marijuana world. Due to its inherent medical benefits and ability to work with other chemicals found in marijuana, strains high in pinene can offer a variety of effects for those willing to do the research. For those suffering from sleep problems, inflammation, and anxiety, strains high in CBD and pinene may offer some relief. As marijuana research continues to progress, it is very likely we will see more coverage on both pinene and terpenes at large.

These Pinene Rich Strains are Perfect for the Holiday Season Now that Halloween is over and November has officially begun, the holiday season is starting to make its way across the country. For

DISPENSING KNOWLEDGE

You’ve probably heard of terpenes as part of your research into medical cannabis, but many people are still unsure what, exactly, they are. Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of every plant and flower. They’re even found in some insects. They have a long history, first used by the Ancient Egyptians for religious reasons. It wasn’t until recent years that terpenes blew up in the medical community, with respect to a specific plant: cannabis.

A decade ago, growers and consumers judged cannabis strains only by their THC content. But something wasn’t adding up. How could one strain benefit a medical condition more than other strains with similar THC content? Now we know it’s because of the “entourage effect.” THC (and other cannabinoids, like CBD) don’t actually operate in isolation – they work best in synergy with other cannabis compounds such as terpenes.

Terpenes are well-known for giving each cannabis strain its unique smell and flavor profile. But they also have the power to enhance or even hinder the effects of the cannabinoids responsible for medical relief.

The thing is, there are hundreds of terpenes. Only a relative few offer significant medical benefits, but how do you know which offers what?

In the first of a six-part series on terpenes you should know, we’ll explore the most common: alpha-pinene.

What Is Alpha-Pinene?

Alpha-pinene (sometimes referred to just as pinene or written α-pinene) is a colorless, organic oil with a fresh, earthy scent reminiscent of – you guessed it – a pine forest. In fact, it’s the very same terpene that gives evergreen trees their smell. You’ll also find alpha-pinene in parsley, dill, basil, rosemary, and some varieties of citrus.

The most widely encountered terpene in nature, alpha-pinene is also one of the most common found in cannabis and by all accounts one of the most powerful.

What Does Alpha-Pinene Treat?

Like its sibling, beta-pinene, alpha-pinene is most famous for its anti-inflammatory benefits. These are helpful for diseases like arthritis, Crohn’s, and multiple sclerosis.

As far as other conditions go:

  • Working in synergy with THC, alpha-pinene acts as a bronchodilator, opening up airways at low exposure levels to help conditions like asthma.
  • Working with CBD and CBN, it has a broad spectrum of antibiotic properties, which work against diseases like MRSA.
  • Alpha-pinene can also counteract unwanted effects of THC, such as anxiety and short-term memory. It works by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain, which helps you retain memories more efficiently.
  • Other benefits include euphoria, increased alertness, reduced oil production in oily skin, and most excitingly, anti-cancer properties. Studies suggest alpha-pinene can stop tumor growth and supplement chemotherapy treatments.

With all its forces against inflammation, pain, memory and respiratory problems, bacteria, viruses, and tumors, there’s no doubt alpha-pinene packs a medical punch.

Popular Strains (and What You Should Know Before Buying)

Look out for pinene-rich strains like:

  • Jack Herer: One of the most prolific sources of alpha-pinene and known for boosting focus, mood, and appetite.
  • Blue Dream: For mellow euphoria and a dash of creative energy. Don’t be fooled by its pungent blueberry aroma; the pinene isn’t as easy to detect, but it’s there in abundance.
  • OG Kush: A hybrid with a distinctive lemon-pine aroma. This strain also includes terpenes like myrcene (relaxing) and limonene (mood-enhancing).

And flowers aren’t the only option. You can also consume alpha-pinene through many varieties of essential oils, which can be ingested, absorbed through the skin, or diffused and inhaled as part of aromatherapy.

Note that alpha-pinene’s effects are influenced by other terpenes as well as cannabinoids. OG Kush is a prime example. Combined with a sedating terpene like myrcene, alpha-pinene may not promote alertness as strongly as usual. It’s always important to consider the entire chemical composition of a strain when looking for specific effects – and the only way to know for sure is through lab-tested products.

As it happens, we’re covering myrcene in the next part of our series. Stay tuned!

Cannabis Terpenes, Part 1: What’s Alpha-Pinene and How Does It Work?