Black Pepper, Nutmeg, Norway Spruce, Tea Tree Oil
Peppery, Spicy, Citrusy
This is the 17th installment in our weekly series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes,” published every Monday. For more information, read the introduction to this series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes: A Guide For Medical Marijuana Patients.”
Sabinene is a secondary bicyclic monoterpene. It is considered a secondary terpene due to the considerably low concentrations of the terpene in the cannabis plant. However, even at low concentrations, the terpene can alter the aromatic traits of various strains of cannabis due to its potent spicy punch. Its smell is evocative of pines, oaks, and oranges, with distinctive hints of black pepper. It is one of two terpenes, along with caryophyllene (beta-caryophyllene), that give black pepper its fiery zest. Cannabis strains that contain a high concentration of sabinene include Super Silver Haze and Arjan’s Ultra Haze #1.
While it’s likely that you’ve never heard of it before, sabinene is considered the most important ingredient in essential oils due to its antiseptic nature. While it is preferred by the industry for its scent and flavor, the medicinal qualities of this sabinene far outweigh those purposes.
It is said that simply inhaling the aroma of many of the monoterpenes, such as sabinene, can have a positive effect on the body, giving credit to aromatherapy models.
This is one of many terpenes that are typically found in forests. This offers a reason why people are regularly participating in ‘forest bathing’ rituals, where they peacefully spend time walking, meditating and doing breathing exercises in the woodlands.
Studies have shown that sabinene displays anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. It has been noted in other compounds that all have anti-inflammatory uses and it is hypothesized that sabinene is what they all have in common.
One of sabinene’s most lauded advantages is its cramp-relieving qualities. It has been speculated to help with muscle spasms and abdominal and menstrual cramps. The terpene works synergistically with other cannabinoids to reduce inflammation and arthritis pain.
Sabinene has profound hunting skills. It seeks and destroys free radicals roaming in the body and possibly plays a role as an anticancer agent. By destroying free radicals and boosting the immune system, sabinene has been shown effective in shrinking and reducing the number of cancer cells in tumors.
It also works as a powerful agent in treating fungi, specifically if used topically. Sabinene battles bacteria, fungus, and viruses by both preventing them from growing to begin with and helping the body eliminate them. This application is considered to be particularly useful against Salmonella which causes food poisoning.
Sabinene triggers the creation of saliva and hence helps digestion. Sabinene is responsible for this effect of CBD oil for digestion.
Furthermore, sabinene helps to open up the pores, triggering the process of perspiration which leads to sweating. There is mixed feedback regarding whether sweating truly helps remove toxins from the body in quantities that would be beneficial to one’s health. If medical science confirms this, the terpene would be an excellent natural alternative for detoxification.
When combined with tea tree oil, sabinene is responsible for the antibacterial qualities of the oil, making tea tree oil a popular soap and cleanser. It’s been noted to bathe pets with this shampoo if they have skin fungal infections because the sabinene within this mixture has a strong anti-fungal and antibacterial qualities.
Sabinene is also a dominant flavor and aromatic component in nutmeg. Due to the high concentration of the terpene in this spice, people often note that it smells “like the holidays” or “like pumpkin pie.” Sabinene, which can also be spelled as Sabinen or Sabenene, is available in a large variety of plants including black pepper, Norway spruce, and Holm oak, among others. It can also be naturally harvested from tea tree oil, although in small concentrations.
More research is very necessary to unlock all of the benefits of this terpene. It is also notable that, depending on the source of the terpene, the usefulness may vary. When extracted from pine, for example, it is a far better antibacterial than when extracted from other plants.
Understanding individual terpene characteristics can play a key factor in selecting the ideal strain. Whether inhaled or used aromatically or topically, sabinene can be a key component in the broad spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids that maximize the therapeutic effects cannabis may provide. Feel free to email us to assist with any questions you may have.