Article written by
Ruth LemonVP of Operations
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Sabinene is a terpene found in holm oak trees, spruce trees, juniper bushes, clove plants, and spices like black pepper and nutmeg. Sabinene has a spicy, pine-like scent with notes of citrus, and it brings this scent to the plants where it is found. It’s also found in certain cannabis strains, where it contributes to both the taste and aroma of the bud.
With its distinctive warm and peppery scent, it’s no surprise that this terpene is often used in aromatherapy. Sabinene’s pine and woody undertones can help evoke being in the woods, surrounded by fragrant trees.
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Health Benefits of Sabinene
One benefit that you may experience from consuming sabinene is reducing inflammation. A 2013 study investigated the effects of the essential oils in the water-hemlock plant and found that abilene (one of the compounds present in the plant’s essential oil), in particular, demonstrated strong anti-inflammatory activity. It’s thought that this anti-inflammatory activity likely occurs by inhibiting the production of certain inflammatory compounds.
The potential anti-inflammatory properties of sabinene could offer hope for those dealing with the pain, heat, and reduced movement that occurs when our inflammatory response becomes problematic.
Thanks to its potential as an antioxidant, sabinene may help keep your cells in healthier condition. Antioxidants are essential to the health and protection of your cells, and free radicals are a type of molecule that can damage our cells. Free radicals lack an electron pair and can damage cell health as they bounce around looking for a match. Antioxidants contain an electron that can donate to free radicals and neutralize them, stopping them from damaging your cells.
A 2015 study investigated the properties of sabinene, among other terpenes, and found that sabinene provided significant protection from oxidative deterioration, indicating that this terpene may exert antioxidant effects.
It turns out that sabinene may also help fight off fungal infections. One study found that sabinene (along with other compounds found in the essential oil of water hemlock) was particularly effective against dermatophytes and Cryptococcus neoformans, two types of fungus.
This means that sabinene consumption could help protect you from the conditions of these fungal infections, such as skin rashes and meningitis.
As well as protection from fungal infection, sabinene may also be able to help protect you from microbes that could make you ill. One study investigated the antimicrobial properties of the essential oils from the Cupressaceae plant. One essential oil high in sabinene demonstrated a moderate ability against Streptococcus, Influenzae, Campylobacter, and E. Coli bacteria.
While more research is needed to understand the therapeutic potential of sabinene fully, this article highlights the potential of sabinene to help protect you from illness.
Improve Oral Health
Another benefit you may experience from sabinene use is protection from tooth decay. A 2019 study into the effects of sabinene against Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria associated with dental cavities, found that sabinene managed to reduce the growth and adherence of the bacteria and reduce acid production and biofilm formation. These two factors can lead to tooth damage.
Overall, the study’s authors concluded that sabinene might prove useful as an ingredient in future oral healthcare products.
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Potential Risks and Side Effects
Sabinene is a minor terpene, and research into its effects is still mainly in the early stages. Because of this, we currently aren’t aware of any specific side effects from sabinene use. While more research is needed to reach any definitive understanding of sabinene safety, current research does indicate that sabinene has a relatively high safety profile.
Cannabis Strains High in Sabinene
Sabinene is not a significant cannabis compound, so it tends to be present in small amounts. But there are some strains that you can find that contain the terpene. Cannabis strains that contain sabinene include:
- Super Lemon Haze
- Super Silver Haze
- Orange Bud
- Northern Lights
- Lemon Haze
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is sabinene used for?
Sabinene is often used in aromatherapy to make the most of its piney citrus scent. Sabinene may also hold some impressive medical benefits and is often used for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties in particular.
What does sabinene taste like?
Sabinene has a piney, peppery, and citrus flavor that can even contain hints of mint.