Sabinene is a terpene obtained from plants and trees and forms a main element of carrot seed oil. In addition, it is also present in tea tree oil, but in lower concentrations. Its scent is spicy and scientists have been studying sabinene for its potential use as antioxidant and anti-microbial agent.

From the scientific prospective, sabinene is a bicyclic monoterpene that is found naturally in several plants, especially black pepper, Norway spruce and Mysritica fragrans - a native evergreen plant found in Moluccas in the Spice Islands off Indonesia. In fact, Mysritica fragrans seeds are the main source of nutmeg globally. This bicyclic monoterpene is found as (+)- as well as (-)- enantiomers.

Sabinene (molecular formula C10H16) is a naturally occurring bicyclic monoterpene. This terpene is isolated from the essential oils of various plants, which include Norway spruce (Picea abies) and holm oak (Quercus ilex). Sabinene comprises a strained ring structure wherein the cyclopentane ring is joined with a cyclopropane ring.

Sabinene is among the chemical compounds that are responsible for the spicy flavour of black pepper and also the main element of the oil extracted from carrot seeds. In addition, sabinene is also found in nutmeg essential oil.

Sabinene has also exhibited very potent ability to scavenge free radicals. Moreover, sabinene is also used in the form of additives in perfumes.

In the cannabis plant, sabinene is thought to be a secondary terpene since its concentration is rather low in these plants. Nevertheless, even when sabinene is present in lower concentrations, it possesses the ability to change the attributes of different strains of cannabis. This is primarily because sabinene has a potent spicy punch. Together with caryophyllene (beta caryophyllene), sabinene is one of the two terpenes present in black pepper and it is responsible for the peppery flavour of this spice. In addition, sabinene is the main flavour as well as the aromatic component in nutmeg.

Sabinene also imparts marjoram its exceptional flavour as well as scent. In fact, in present times, marjoram is not very popular or well known as a spice, but in the Middle Ages people thought it to be among the best of flavours that was added to foods. When black pepper was a very expensive spice, people appreciated the spicy, pepper-like flavour of marjoram. Moreover, in those days, people used marjoram because it was very problematic to obtain black pepper. Aside from black pepper, sabinene also occurs naturally in other spices such as cloves and cardamom.

There was a time, especially in the Middle Ages, when the essential oil extracted from marjoram was widely used therapeutically, especially for its aptitude to enhance the functioning of the liver by detoxifying this organ as well as the entire body and promote digestion. At the same time, marjoram has the ability to stimulate production and secretion of various gastric juices and bile. At the same time, it provided relief from intestinal gas and helped peristalsis of the ingested foods. In fact, as far as sabinene's ability to promote digestion is concerned, it begins from the mouth itself as this terpene encourages production of additional saliva, which starts breaking down the food in the mouth even before it is swallowed. Sabinene is among the terpenes present in the cannabis plant and it has a vital role when CBD oil is used for promoting digestion.

Sabinene is among the several terpenes that occur naturally in cannabis and it works in synergy with cannabinoids to aid in getting relief from pain caused by arthritis as well as autoimmune conditions such as lupus. Moreover, it has been suggested that sabinene is also useful in providing respite from abdominal cramps, which also includes menstrual cramps, and muscle spasms. Some studies claim that sabinene has exhibited potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial actions and hence it helps to reduce the risks of infections taking place in the body. At the same time, sabinene has the ability to eliminate pathogenic viruses and bacteria from the body.

A number of people are of the belief that sabinene possesses anaphrodisiac (which is just the opposite of aphrodisiac) properties. In addition to detoxifying the liver, sabinene is also helpful in opening up the skin pores, thereby promoting sweating. In this way, sabinene naturally helps in detoxification of the body without using any prescription drugs.

It is worth mentioning here that sabinene is one of the main elements found in savin oil, which is extracted from the tops of Juniperus sabina. Juniperus Sabina is a shrub found growing very close to the ground and it spreads horizontally rather than vertically. There was a time when savin oil was widely used in folk medicine, especially for treating genital warts due to syphilis as well as a number of other diseases that are transmitted through sexual actions. In addition, savin oil was also employed for treating diseases related to the lungs and various problems in the air passages. Nevertheless, in present times, most people warn against using savin oil topically on the skin if not it is watered down much. Many people also recommend that sabinene should not be inhaled inside the lungs or it should be used for aromatherapy. This is because, in high concentrations, sabinene produces toxic fumes.

Many people consider sabinene to be "toxic". In fact, there have been reports of a number of deaths caused by sabinene overuse. Nevertheless, similar to pulegone, sabinene is also a terpene that can offer us several benefits provided it is used in very low concentrations. In this manner, sabinene is similar to the cannabis plant as well as the essential oil extracted from them. On the other hand, sabinene can prove to be harmful if it is used in high concentrations or used together with various other terpenes as well as cannabinoids like in full spectrum CBD oil. At the same time, when sabinene is used in very high concentrations, it can result in formation of blisters on the skin.

It is worth mentioning here that full spectrum CBD oil is obtained from cannabis plants that are cultivated for therapeutic uses. These cannabis cultivars are grown in immaculate conditions and enclose the appropriate amounts of sabinene that is useful for the human body and their sabinene content is nowhere close to the high concentrations that are deemed to be toxic. In fact, this is an example of how the cannabis plant contains the ideal combination of cannabinoids and terpenes that are beneficial for the health of humans and does not cause any adverse side effects.

Health benefits

Sabinene offers a number of health benefits and the major ones are described in brief below.

It has been found that sabinene shows anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory qualities. Findings of a study revealed that sabinene showed potent anti-inflammatory actions by slowing down the production of nitric oxide (NO) in interferon gamma-triggered macrophages as well as lipopolysaccharides.

Therefore, sabinene has a number of therapeutic uses, for instance, it is used for treating skin inflammation and also to treat dermatophytosis as well as a number of other inflammatory conditions.

According to some reports, sabinene is present in Oenanthe crocata essential oil and it lends the oil its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, sabinene found in this essential oil has shown very potent anti-inflammatory properties by holding back the cytokines that promote inflammation, such as interlukin and tumour necrosis factor-alpha.

In addition, sabinene also possesses potent anti-bacterial qualities and this was ascertained by a number of studies. Findings of one study said that sabinene exhibited very strong anti-bacterial activity, especially against Salmonella typhi, which is responsible for food poisoning.

It has been found that sabinene shows reasonable to potent anti-bacterial actions against gram positive bacteria. At the same time, it exhibits anti-fungal actions against all pathogenic fungi. Sabinene is also found in tea tree oil and is responsible for this oil's antiseptic and anti-bacterial as well as anti-helicobacter actions. Tea tree oil's anti-ulcer properties are also attributed to sabinene.

Aside from its medicinal uses, sabinene also has a number of uses in the perfumery industry. It is also used in the form of a flavoring agent.