The smells of the season truly enhance an experience. Whether it’s the charred bouquet of seared brats cooking on the grill ushering in summer or the warm spices of baking pie at Thanksgiving, aromas complete our memories and maximize the enjoyment of life’s pleasures.
Did you know that many unique scents come from terpenes? These molecules (sometimes referred to as terps) are responsible for the unique flavors and aromas in herbs and plants. In cannabis, terpenes also drive the effects you know and love.
In this edition of terpene spotlight, let’s explore nature’s most abundant terp: pinene. Conjuring images of a verdant forest or the winter holidays, this terpene definitely evokes the fragrance of nature.
What is Pinene?
Most often found in pine trees, the aptly named pinene smells exactly like it sounds: evergreen and fresh. The terp is also present in rosemary, dill, and even orange peel. Pinene is often used commercially in cleaning products and insecticides as the aroma is a natural deterrent to most bugs.
There are two types of pinene: alpha and beta. They are nearly identical except for how they perform when exposed to liquid: alpha-pinene is slightly water-soluble while beta-pinene is not. Alpha-pinene is far more common in cannabis so when you see pinene on a label at the dispensary, it’s the alpha!
Which Cannabis Strains Contain Pinene?
Pinene is found in several cannabis strains (aka cultivars) but it’s rarely the dominant terp. However, its strong aroma usually stands out above the others. Strains rich in pinene include Big Smooth, Jack Herer, Dutch Treat, Snoop’s Dream, and Critical Mass.
If you’re hoping to find a cannabis product rich in pinene, make sure to consult with your friendly neighborhood budtender. Dispensary staff is always eager to help customers find exactly what they need.
Protecting Pinene Terpenes in Cannabis
Pinene may stand out in cannabis thanks to its strong essence, but it turns out the terp is actually at risk when left unprotected. The headspace air in the bag or jar can lead to bud overdrying. When this happens, terpenes like pinene evaporate never to return, taking with them the aromas, flavors and potent effects you’re seeking.
The best way to prevent this problem is by using a terpene shield from Boveda. The all-natural saturated saltwater solution within Boveda forms a monolayer of water molecules around the cannabis trichome (the crystals where active ingredients like cannabinoids and terpenes live). The monolayer preserves the trichomes, locking in terpenes until it’s time to grind the flower and consume.
Budtenders in adult-use markets are completing advanced terpene training to learn how to use Boveda to protect these compounds in cannabis. By always storing flower with Boveda, you too can protect terps by creating a terpene shield around the trichome. And when you save the terps, you’ll enhance your cannabis experience and preserve the scents of the season, no matter what time of year it is.