Cheef Botanicals

Terpineol: A Look at the Most Diverse & Interesting Terpene


Terpineol: A Look at the Most Diverse & Interesting Terpene

Terpineol is one of the many tasty terpenes found in over 150 plant species. Terpineol, which is a chief ingredient in soothing CBD products, is also in hemp. It has been used over centuries for its delightful aroma and beneficial properties.

From lilac to essential oils, you’ve likely experienced this terpene’s fragrance without even realizing it.  There’s plenty to learn about the sweet-smelling terpineol, so let’s dive in

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are responsible for a plant’s aroma and flavor. They exist in nearly every plant species on Earth. Some believe that terpenes are plants’ defensive mechanism, repelling herbivores.

Plant predators may not enjoy the smell of terpenes, but humans certainly do. They are ingredients in many of our beauty, sanitary, aromatherapy, and essential oil products. Anyone looking for natural air fresheners and flavors typically come across products with terpenes.

Without terpenes, CBD strains would not each have their own distinctive aromas and flavors. These compounds not only carry unique fragrances—they can offer wellness benefits too. Some terpenes may be able to fight germs, calm swelling, improve mood, and even reduce tension

What is Terpineol?

Terpineol refers to any combination of a group of four mono-terpene alcohol isomers. If those terms sound complicated, don’t worry, you don’t need to know the nitty-gritty chemistry. Terpineol is responsible for the sweet, floral, or pine-like smell found in some hemp strains and a handful of other plants.

How is Terpineol Different From Other Terpenes?

Most terpenes are mono-terpenes (pinene or limonene terps, for example), meaning they are a single compound. Terpineol, on the other hand, refers to a group of four mono-terpene alcohol isomers. An isomer is a molecule that shares the same number of atoms as another molecule but has a different arrangement of those atoms. You can think of them as various forms of the same compound.

What is Alpha-terpineol?

Alpha-terpineol (α-terpineol) is the compound that accounts for much of terpineol’s chemical makeup. Current research is investigating alpha-terpineol and its potential wellness benefits. Experts are studying the terpene’s ability to reduce swelling, as well as its antioxidant properties

Where is Terpineol Found?

Terpineol occurs naturally in many plant species, including hemp. It can be isolated from various sources, including cajuput oil, pine oil, and petitgrain oil. Terpineol can also be synthetically manufactured. Through a series of chemical reactions, terpineol can be derived from other terpenes.

This terpene can also be found in chamomile. If you’ve ever had a cup of chamomile tea to help you go to sleep, alpha-terpineol and linalool (another terpene) are responsible for that relaxed feeling. Terpineol is also a common ingredient in everyday products.

chamomile flowers growing in field

You can find the sweet odor of terpineol in many fragrances and cosmetics. It is also used as a flavoring in food products for its citrusy, woody, and floral flavors. The aroma of terpineol is subject to change depending on which combination of isomers are present

Extracting Terpineol

Terpineol can be isolated from a variety of sources. One of the most common extraction methods involves distilling pine oils.

Steam Extraction

First, let’s take a look at the steam distillation process. Ground-up pine tree material is placed in a closed chamber, and steam passes through the mulch. This process evaporates the terpenes and separates them from the plant.

Once the steam is cooled, it condenses into terpene-rich water. The water is separated from the essential oil through a process called decanting. To decant a liquid is to repeatedly pour it slowly from one container to another until it isolates. Besides steam extraction from pine trees, manufacturers also extract this terpene from hemp by utilizing CO2.

CO2 Extraction

There are several ways to extract terpineol and other terpenes from hemp. Some processes use solvents such as butane, but this is a dangerous technique involving highly flammable chemicals. Moreover, when the solvent evaporates, it may leave behind toxic residue. One of the best processes uses natural, liquid CO2. Hemp plants get ground up, similar to the first step of the steam distillation process. However, instead of steam, liquid CO2 passes through the plant material.

As it moves through the hemp, the CO2 does an excellent job of stripping all the useful compounds from the plant. These compounds include cannabinoids (such as CBD), flavonoids (these affect a plant’s color), and terpenes. The CO2 then evaporates, leaving behind the incredible ingredients that go into CBD products. Unlike other extraction methods that potentially include toxic residues, natural CO2 evaporates nice and clean. Next time you’re on the hunt for CBD with terpineol, make sure the manufacturer uses safe CO2 extraction

What Do Terpineol Terpenes Smell & Taste Like?

Terpineol’s aroma and taste can change depending on which combination of isomers are present. The two most common scents are floral or woody. For α-terpineol, the odor is similar to lilac with lime and a hint of soap.

When multiple isomers make up terpineol, its flavor profile is usually closer to pine. However, the specific combination of isomers can cause terpineol to smell like anise, fruit, citrus, or mint. Some even compare certain forms of terpineol to the refreshing odor of toothpaste.

citrus slices and green leaves

Terpenes don’t often limit themselves to one specific smell. They can carry a floral fragrance with earthy undertones or a fruity flavor with hints of pine. Since α-terpineol is the major constituent in this terpene, you will likely smell and taste some lilac or lime in any CBD product containing it.

Some people may want to experience terpineol without any of the other flavors present in hemp. Fortunately, you can purchase it as an isolated essential oil.

What Are the Effects of Terpineol?

Many look to terpineol for its calming effects that are best while relaxing or before bedtime. The terpene is also a great way to start the day since it soothes the body and centers the mind and overall mood. You can experience these effects by taking terpineol on its own, but the benefits are amplified when paired with CBD.

Terpineol has also shown potential health benefits, though further investigation is necessary. One interesting study examined terpineol’s effects on malignant cell growth. Research is also determining terpineol’s effects on swelling, breathing, digestion, and many other areas of the body.

Other Benefits

Terpineol’s versatility is one of the largest reasons for its popularity. It also carries several distinct advantages as a terpene alcohol. Terpene alcohols improve skin absorption, making α-terpineol a common ingredient in both CBD and regular topicals.

Additionally, terpene alcohols have strong antimicrobial properties. Many essential oils that have these benefits also cause irritation to our bodies. Terpineol can provide antimicrobial advantages without such adverse effects. One study looked into terpineol’s antioxidant properties. Alpha-terpineol’s properties may be similar to those of commercial antioxidant products

Preserving Terpenes

To preserve terpineol and other terpenes, store your products away from sunlight, ultraviolet rays, humidity, and extreme temperatures. All of these conditions may degrade terpenes. Cool, dark spaces are the best storage places. Avoiding harsh conditions will also preserve other ingredients such as CBD.

Terpenes love to spread and without an airtight seal, they may escape. The ideal storage space for CBD products is the refrigerator, where terpenes can last indefinitely. If your product has a carrier oil (many CBD tinctures do), refrigeration may cause it to thicken. If you find it difficult to use the product after refrigeration, allow it to sit at room temperature before use. It may seem trivial, but good storage means plenty of terpenes

Popular Strains That Have Terpineol Terpenes

High levels of terpineol can be found in the White Widow CBD, OG Kush, Skywalker OG, Jack Herer, and Girl Scout Cookies strains.

If one of these strains sounds especially tasty, be sure to check out our extensive selection of CBD flower. We offer OG Kush, Skywalker OG, and many more delicious flavors. We also provide a 100% money-back policy if you’re not satisfied.

Everyone has their own preference, and the best part about CBD is experimenting until you find your favorite flavor. Let’s take a closer look at two of our terpineol-rich CBD strains: OG Kush and Skywalker OG.

OG Kush

OG Kush is one of the most iconic names in the world of cannabis. Demand for CBD rose, and so people wanted the same OG Kush flavor without the “high.” OG Kush was crossed with hemp to create a CBD-dominant flower. The crossbreeding resulted in a strain that carries the same great taste, odor, and similar effects as OG, without any form of intoxication.

OG Kush Flower CBD

Skywalker OG

Skywalker OG is a cross between Skywalker and OG Kush. As with all of our products, Cheef Botanicals’ Skywalker OG contains 0.3% or less THC, making it federally legal. Skywalker OG displays a fruity, piney, spicy, and citrusy odor and taste.

If you like dense, sticky buds, Skywalker OG is the strain for you. These buds are teeming with CBD that promotes tranquil effects and boosts our endocannabinoid system with the entourage effect. Skywalker OG has several other mouthwatering terpenes, including humulene, limonene, and pinene

Final Thoughts – Terpineol

Terpineol is an exciting terpene bursting with flavor and potential health benefits. It can be taken on its own, but the best way to experience terpineol is with ECS-boosting CBD. Try out a couple of flavors, experiment, and find the perfect strain for you.

For more information on all things CBD, reach out to us at You can also chat with our hemp experts on our website (that handy button in the bottom right corner) or give us a call. Our number is (818) 839-0516 and we’re open Monday through Friday, 6 am to 6 pm. We look forward to hearing from you!

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