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Pinene: The Anti-Inflammatory Terpene That Helps Respiratory Conditions

As well as providing various cannabis strains with delicious sensory profiles, pinene is also a proven player in the medical cannabis field.

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PINENE
PHOTO | Adobe Stock
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Of the 200 aromatic terpenes possible in an individual strain (or cultivar) of cannabis, pinene is the second most common behind myrcene, and the most frequently appearing in the plant world.

Like many other terpenes, pinene is available in two varieties, alpha and beta (the former being the most common in cannabis). This naturally occurring molecule conveys the highly recognizable aroma of a pine forest; its exact floral composition depends on the other terpenes present. Alpha-pinene smells light and fresh like pine, while beta-pinene smells a little spicier.

Also found in basil, orange peel, parsley, pine, and rosemary, pinene is an effective insect repellent (one of the primary evolutionary roles it and all terpenes play for the cannabis plant) and is a constituent component of turpentine. It is commonly used, in both naturally harvested form, and as synthesized industrially, in the fragrance industry. Cannabis strains traditionally rich in pinene include Bubba Kush, Chemdawg 91, and Trainwreck.

The Details of Pinene

Like other major terpenes, the medical efficacy of pinene is multifaceted, offering anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and even dermatological benefits. Pinene has even been found to be a valuable ingredient in topicals for the treatment of acne.

This important terpene has also been shown to improve energy levels and mental focus, making it popular among knowledge workers and hard-driving creative professionals. In addition, pinene works well as a bronchodilator, making this terpene valuable for those suffering asthma and related respiratory conditions.

Pinene is an excellent example of the effects of the entourage effect, a theory that terpenes and cannabinoids interact in special ways to amplify, buffer, and otherwise modify the efficacy of one another — including their overall aggregate effect.

For those who may have consumed too much of the infamous psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), pinene acts as a buffer, helping prevent panic attacks and other negative responses to becoming “too high” or “spun out.” This special terpene can accomplish this feat only because it is one of the few molecules permitted to cross the extremely selective blood/brain barrier, where it can modify the binding affinity and interaction of cannabinoids like THC with the CB1 receptors found in the brain and central nervous system.

As an anti-inflammatory, pinene offers gastrointestinal protective properties, making it a potential antiulcerative and a recommended terpene for those suffering from conditions such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease.

The Research

Multiple studies reveal pinene to be an effective and powerful anti-inflammatory agent and bronchodilator, giving it special efficacy for those with arthritis, gastrointestinal conditions, and even cancer.

A January 2015 study entitled “Gastroprotective Effect of Alpha-pinene and its Correlation with Antiulcerogenic Activity of Essential Oils” and published in the journal Pharmacognosy Magazine concluded that pinene is an excellent treatment therapy for sufferers of various types of ulcers and other digestive conditions. “Our data showed that α-pinene exhibited significant antiulcerogenic activity and a great correlation between concentration of α-pinene and gastroprotective effect,” reported the study’s researchers.

A May 2015 study published in the journal Scientific Reports and entitled “Hippocampal Memory Enhancing Activity of Pine Needle Extract Against Amnesia” concluded that “Pinene could be a potent neuropharmacological drug against amnesia” and other diseases related to memory, retention, and recall.

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Cannabis Classification System Announced for 2022 Emerald Cup Awards

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Cannabis Classification System

One of the factors that make the Emerald Cup so important to California’s cannabis market is its continued strive for excellence and innovation. For the 2022 awards, the judging process is undergoing a transformation and with it comes a new cannabis classification system that will classify entries based on terpenes, flavour, and effects for anybody — from customers to budtenders, dispensaries, judges, and cultivators.

Cannabis Is More Than Just THC

The days of just searching out the highest THC totals are rapidly receding as research has now proven that terpenes are at the base of the entourage effect that customers desire are rapidly fading.

Terpenes, on the other hand, have mostly added to the consumer confusion already caused by overly broad Indica/Sativa/Hybrid terminology, whimsical strain names, irrelevant THC/CBD percentages, and other ambiguous factors that make selecting the best or correct strain a less-than-satisfying ordeal for even the most experienced cannabis connoisseurs.

The Emerald Cup competition will serve as a testbed for a new classification system for cannabis flowers. The event organisers and their testing partners at SC Labs decided to further break down the flower categories based on the chemometrics of each cultivar (better known as “chemovar” — the evolution of the term “dominant terpene”) evolving beyond last year’s flower category sorting by primary terpene content, in order to level the playing field and eliminate as much bias as possible in the blind/anonymous sampling done by Emerald Cup judges each year.

This paradigm-shifting insight sparked months of additional research and discussion, culminating in the Emerald Cup Cannabis Classification System based on PhytoFacts® powered by SC Labs.

The all-new classification system builds on last year’s approach of sorting flower entries by primary terpene content, leveraging a decade of Cannabis phytochemistry research between PhytoFacts®, developed by Napro Research in 2013, and a powerful database of over 250,000 terpene tests aggregated by SC Labs, dating back to their launch of terpene testing on Cannabis in 2013. The key class names were chosen to represent current terminology, are widely used in the business and are familiar to dispensaries and consumers. Each class is further explained using taste notes, effects, and popular strains or cultivars to promote understanding and acceptance.

The New Cannabis Classification System

The classes of the Emerald Cup Cannabis Classification Based on PhytoFacts® powered by SC Labs include:

“Jacks + Haze” Class

  • Mostly ‘Sativa’-leaning varietals
  • Tasting notes – Fruity, Pinesol, Haze
  • Effects – Energizing, Cerebral, Artistically Inspiring
  • Common Cultivars – Classic Trainwreck, Jack Herer, Durban Poison, Super Lemon Haze
  • Terpenes Profile: Terpinolene, Caryophyllene, Myrcene

“Tropical + Floral” Class

  • Mostly ‘Indica’-leaning varietals
  • Tasting notes – Sweet, Floral, Tropical Fruit
  • Effects – Calming, Soothing, Relaxing
  • Common Cultivars – Super Skunk, Hawaiian, In the Pines, Dream Queen
  • Terpenes Profile: Ocimene, Myrcene

“Sweets + Dreams” Class

  • Mostly ‘Indica’-leaning varietals
  • Tasting Notes – Fruity, Sweet, Woody, Hoppy, Herbaceous
  • Effects – Relaxation, Couch Lock, Analgesic
  • Common Cultivars – Blue Dream, Tangie, Forbidden fruit, Grandaddy Purple, Purple Urkel, Grape Ape, Cherry AK, God’s Gift, Purple Punch
  • Terpenes Profile: Myrcene, Pinene, Caryophyllene

“OGs + Gas” Class

  • True ‘Hybrid’ varietals
  • Tasting Notes – Gas, Fuel, Sweet, Citrus, and Pepper
  • Effect – Uplifting, Stimulating, Analgesic, Relaxation
  • Common Cultivars – Classic OG Kush, ChemDawg, Sour Diesel, Gorilla Glue
  • Terpenes Profile: Any combination or shifting codominance of Caryophyllene, Limonene, Myrcene

‘”Desserts” Class

  • True ‘Hybrid’ varietals
  • Tasting Notes – Deserts, Doughs, Citrusy & Spicy
  • Effects – Stimulating, Racy, Uplifting, Comforting
  • Common Cultivars – Classic Bubba Kush, GSC, Gelatos, Cakes
  • Any shift in codominance of Caryophyllene & Limonene

“Exotics” (Rare Terpene Combinations) Class

  • True ‘Hybrid’ varietals
  • Tasting notes – varied based on chemistry of entry
  • Effect – varied based on chemistry of entry
  • Common Cultivars – rarest terpene profiles entered into the Emerald Cup Competition

This game-changing development in cannabis classification levels the playing ground for the 2022 Cup as well as market competitiveness amongst brands. The system seeks to become an open-source, globally recognised grading solution for Cannabis, with six simple classes/names/descriptions. In the same way that a Chardonnay would not be tested against a Merlot in the wine business, this new system permits strains with comparable profiles to be judged against each other. This new classification system will also be used at the California State Fair Cannabis Awards in July 2022.

The 2022 Emerald Cup Awards will be presented live on stage on May 14th at the Green Street Festival in Downtown Los Angeles, California.

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The Sativa Preservation Society Project Will Protect Rare Haze Genetics

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Sativa Preservation Society Project
PHOTO | SATIVA PRESERVATION SOCIETY PROJECT

Space Coyote, the totally cosmic cannabis company, has launched the Sativa Preservation Society Project — a movement that protects Haze genetics while paying homage to the custodians and cultivators who kept the seeds alive.

Celebrators of the cannabis culture’s stoner heritage, Space Coyote’s aesthetic and ethos embraces the vibes and psychedelic Seventies scene, where the creativity and community of cannabis intersect.

Co-founder and self-confessed ‘Sativa Diva’ Libby Cooper calls it the “ultimate passion project”. 

“We’re truly passionate about saving these genetics that are the actual grandmothers of every modern-day sativa strains that people love — all of these desert strains, all of the fruity strains,” Cooper tells me from the Space Coyote van en route to Hall of Flowers.

Founding the Sativa Preservation Society Project

The concept of the Sativa Preservation Society Project was years in incubation as the Space Coyote team deliberated over how to bring it to life. It was important for them to give back to the community while helping to educate about the history of cannabis culture.

The stars aligned earlier this year when the team met Bam Vachher-Gnanathurai, nursery and plant breeding manager from the Posibl Project in Salina. A mutual love of the unique effects of Haze genetics made for a truly cosmic outcome.

“Bam is super passionate about sativa,” said Cooper. “When we went and met up with Bam for the very first time, he rolled a blunt from Cuban Black. It was such an amazing experience to smoke that flower.” 

“The initial conversation of the Sativa Preservation Society coming to life happened during that smoke session. It was like, ‘holy shit, we could actually do this.’”

The Haze Experience

The Sativa Preservation Society Project is launching with three incredibly rare cultivars — Cuban Black Haze, Uptown Haze (also known as A5 Haze), and C5 Haze — all of which were originally cultivated in the 1980s by legendary grower Neville Schoenmaker. The flower will be available as bagged eighths and as infused prerolls.

Cooper likens the Haze experience to being “a bit like mushrooms” — colors are brighter, your smell is enhanced and your hearing is sharper.

“It’s really like a cup of coffee without any jitteriness or anxiety usually associated with sativas. This is pure energy without any sort of adverse effects,” explains Cooper. “You really feel as if your eyelids are getting peeled back — you’re awake, you’re uplifted. Basically, I smoke it and I immediately start stretching.”

“Many sativa genetics are dying out due to a number of reasons,” says Cooper. “Typically, they are more difficult to grow, have a longer curing time, and the fluffy buds are easily crushed in transit.” All of which makes sativas less cost-effective in California’s highly competitive legal market.

“This truly is the first time these original sativa strains are going to be commercially grown,” says Cooper. “It really wouldn’t have been possible, funnily enough, without this group named Posibl.”

Learn more about the Sativa Preservation Society Project in the video above. While you’re at it, find your nearest Space Coyote here.

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Peach Oz: This Sweet And Juicy Cultivar Will Stimulate Your Creativity

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PEACH FUZZ | PHOTO: WONDERBRETT

If you’re looking for a premium cultivar with legendary genetics and a euphoric high, look no further than Peach Oz, the latest addition to Wonderbrett’s stellar strain menu.

A cross of Peach Rings with OZ Kush and a descendent of Zkittlez, the sweet, stimulating citrus taste profile of Peach Oz will get your creative juices flowing.

While the cultivar may be new to the public, according to Wonderbrett Co-Founder and famed Breeder Brett Feldman, it’s five-years-old in the world of genetics.

“There’s only a small handful of heady smokers who follow these things,” says Feldman. “I wanted to bring it to the masses to share the experience with everybody. That’s where my passion comes from with this strain. Similar to an amazing dish at a restaurant, you want to share it with your friends.”

Grown in small-batches at scale from the company’s state-of-the-art Long Beach cultivation facility, the strain was first created by Dying Breed Seeds, then perfected by Cannabis By Corey, before making its way to Feldman.

Wonderbrett’s grow room | PHOTO: Courtesy Wonderbrett

Bursting with flavors and aromas that bring to mind the sweet ocean breeze and fragrant fruit orchards of the California sunshine state, Peach OZ’s four dominant terpenes: Caryophyllene, Linalool, Limonene and Humulene, create a distinct sweet taste of ripe peaches, citrus candy and cream.  

“When any strain has that unique, recognizable consistency in its flavor, whether that be peach, lemon or orange, that’s what myself and other breeders appreciate most and look for when bringing a genetic like this to market. It’s mind-blowing what Peach OZ can do that, translating a fruit flavor to a smoking experience,” explained Feldman.

Peach OZ is available at select dispensary and at Wonderbrett’s flagship dispensary in L.A.

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