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Terpinolene (TPO is one of the least common—but most efficacious—terpenes produced by hemp. It delivers an aroma similar to pine that is sometimes reminiscent of citrus and often described as “fresh.” 

It is produced in many plant species other than hemp, including allspice, cumin, junipers, parsnip, rosemary and tea tree.

Terpinolene offers several wellness benefits, including its primary ability to act as a sedative and to kill cancer cells. Like other terpenes, it also offers antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties useful in the treatment of a variety of conditions. Its sedative effects may make it an effective treatment for anxiety and insomnia. Unlike many other terpenes and cannabinoids, terpinolene delivers no anti-inflammatory or analgesic benefits. 

A 2015 study entitled “Genotoxic and Oxidative Damage Potentials in Human Lymphocytes After Exposure to Terpinolene In Vitro” examined the antioxidant properties of terpinolene, with the purpose to “investigate the genetic, oxidative, and cytotoxic [cancer killing] effects of TPO in cultured human blood cells.” 

The study found terpinolene to be a powerful antioxidant and concluded, “TPO can be a new resource of therapeutics as recognized in this study with its non-genotoxic and antioxidant features.”

A 2013 study entitled “Anticancer and Antioxidant Properties of Terpinolene” that was published in the journal Arh Hig Rada Toksikol found terpinolene to be effective in combating brain tumor cells. Reported the researchers, “[terpinolene] may have potential as an anticancer agent.”