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Terpineol is a terpene that smells similar to pine and sometimes lilacs, and is commonly used as a fragrance agent in beauty products. 

This terpene is found in more than 150 plant species other than hemp and cannabis, including clary sage, coriander, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, lemon, lilac, lime blossoms, mandarin orange, rosemary, star anise, and tea tree. 

Terpineol has been found to provide relaxation, reduce anxiety and is also believed to convey antibiotic, antioxidant, anti-tumor, sedative and anti-inflammatory efficacies. It is believed to strengthen the immune system and be effective in treating the symptoms of the common cold. It may also help fight ulcers, and reduce seizure activity. 

Interestingly, terpineol has been found to enhance the absorption of other cannabinoids and terpenes into the skin when used as a topical (making it a “permeation enhancer”). It may play a valuable role by delivering not only its own efficacy, but also by enhancing the beneficial properties of other cannabinoids and terpenes. 

A 2018 study entitled “α-Terpineol, A Natural Monoterpene: A Review of its Biological Properties” that was published in the journal Open Chemistry investigated the antioxidant, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antiulcer, antihypertensive, and anti-nociceptive (pain killing) properties of this molecule. 

This detailed study revealed that terpineol may play an important role in assisting terpenes and cannabinoids, to effectively permeate the skin when applied as a topical, delivering a higher bioavailability. 

A 2015 study entitled “Influence of α-Terpineol on the Growth and Morphogenesis of Penicillium Digitatum” that was published in the journal Botanical Studies investigated the antibacterial properties of this terpene. It found that “Mycelial [bacterial] growth of [the] P. digitatum [bacteria] was strongly inhibited by α-terpineol.” The study concluded, “These results suggested that α-terpineol treatment inhibited the growth of P. digitatum [bacteria].”