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Benefits of Cannabis Terpenes: Ocimene, Terpinolene, and Guaiol

This article is sponsored by Tilray, one of the largest and most sophisticated producers of premium medical cannabis in the world. Tilray is dedicated to providing safe, consistent, and reliable products to patients and furthering clinical research.


Terpenes are a group of fragrant essential oils – secreted alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD – that contribute to the complex aroma of cannabis. They are also generally responsible for many of the distinguishing characteristics of different strains, and this discovery has led to a sharp increase in interest among researchers, producers, and consumers alike.

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Though cannabis contains up to 200 different terpenes, there are about 10 primary terpenes and 20 secondary terpenes that occur in significant concentrations. We’d like to introduce you to the potential health benefits of three of those terpenes: ocimene, terpinolene, and guaiol.

What is Ocimene and What are its Potential Benefits?

Benefits of Cannabis Terpenes – ocimene, occurring in cannabis and mint

Ocimene is an isomeric hydrocarbon found in a wide variety of fruits and plants. It is recognized by its sweet, fragrant, herbaceous, and woodsy aromas, which feature prominently in several perfumes, and which help plants defend themselves in their natural environment. Ocimene occurs naturally in botanicals as diverse as mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, kumquats, and of course cannabis.

Ocimene’s potential medical benefits include:

  • Antiviral
  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Decongestant
  • Antibacterial

Cannabis strains that can test high in ocimene include Golden Goat, Strawberry Cough, Chernobyl, and Space Queen. At Tilray, strains currently displaying high concentrations of ocimene include OG Kush, Elwyn, and Lemon Sour Diesel.

What is Terpinolene and What are its Potential Benefits?

Benefits of Cannabis Terpenes – terpinolene, occuring in cannabis and lilacs

Terpinolene is another isomeric hydrocarbon, characterized by a fresh, piney, floral, herbal, and occasionally citrusy aroma and flavor. It is found in a variety of other pleasantly fragrant plants including nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin, and lilacs, and is sometimes used in soaps, perfumes, and lotions.

Terpinolene’s potential medical benefits include:

  • Anticancer
  • Antioxidant
  • Sedative
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal

Terpinolene is found most commonly in sativa-dominant strains; a few that frequently exhibit high concentrations of this terpene include Jack Herer and its derivatives, such as Pineapple Jack, J1, and Super Jack. At Tilray, strains currently possessing higher than average concentrations of terpinolene include Lemon Sour Diesel, Afghani, and Jean Guy.

What is Guaiol and What are its Potential Benefits?

Benefits of Cannabis Terpenes – guaiol, occurring in cannabis and guaiacum

Guaiol is not an oil but a sesquiterpenoid alcohol, and is also found in cypress pine and guaiacum. It has been used for centuries as a treatment for diverse ailments ranging from coughs to constipation to arthritis. It is also an effective insect repellent and insecticide.

Guaiol’s potential medical properties include:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-inflammatory

Strains that can test high in guaiol include Chocolope, Liberty Haze, and Blue Kush. At Tilray, strains currently exhibiting relatively high concentrations of guaiol include Barbara Bud, Jean Guy, and White Widow.

To view all strains currently offered by Tilray, visit Tilray's website.

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References:

Tilray; Ocimene: A Versatile Floral Ingredient (via ResearchGate); SC Labs: Terpenes; Fundación Canna: Variations in Terpene Profiles of Different Strains of Cannabis Sativa; Essential Oils from Cannabis Sativa (via ResearchGate); Steep Hill Labs: Understanding Terpenoids – Terpinolene; Inyo: Know Your Terpenes; PubChem Open Chemistry Database: Compound Summary for CID 11463; Sensi Seeds: Medicinal Properties of Terpenes & Terpenoids