Guaiol: An Ignored but Valuable Terpene

By July 11, 2019 No Comments
Guaiol an ignored but valuable terpene

Guaiol is a terpene that isn’t talked about much. It’s quite valuable, but in cannabis strains, it’s not abundant. There are other sources of this piney terpene. Perhaps one of the reasons it’s not seen much in CBD and cannabis formulas is its lack of abundance in cannabis. Its name, pronounced “g-why-ee-awl”, may also come across as sounding like a chemical. In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at this ignored terpene explaining where it comes from, its properties and what other terpenes it would work well with.

What is Guaiol?

Guaiol is a very unique terpene. It’s not an oil-based terpene like others used in CBD formulas. It is a liquid terpene. It’s a heat-sensitive terpene with a boiling point of 198 degrees Fahrenheit. This also makes it a little trickier to work with. This also means that this terpene may not be ideal for all applications related to CBD products.

Guaiol would be best suited for tinctures, topicals and vape products. This is because cooking or making solid concentrates with it may kill the properties that it has.

There isn’t much research on this terpene. Some data from a 2010 study indicates that it does carry anti-inflammatory properties. Another study, taking place in 2016, indicates that it may have anti-parasitic properties if it is combined with some essential oils. Another 2010 study’s results show that guaiol may also have antioxidant properties. Other science hints that there could also be antimicrobial properties present.

Throughout history guaiol has been used in the medical community for a variety of reasons. For centuries, it has been used for coughing. It’s also noted that partly due to its anti-inflammatory properties, that it may also possess analgesic properties. This is ideal for supporting pain reduction.

Some companies that include this terpene in their formulas may also list it as champacol. It’s a sesquiterpenoid alcohol that is a naturally-occurring, organic compound. Yes, it sounds like a chemical, but it’s absolutely natural.

Cypress trees lining a forest road

Where is Guaiol Found Naturally?

As we mentioned previously, guaiol is found in some cannabis strains. We’ll list those in just a moment. But, in non-cannabis plants it is present in guaiacum plants and some coniferous trees. Coniferous trees are also called pine trees. Cypress is one variety of pine tree that is known to be a source of this unique terpene.

The guaiacum plant is indigenous to the Caribbean and subtropical regions. It is part of the evergreen family.

Cannabis strains containing guaiol:

  • ACDC – high-CBD, low-THC strain
  • Agent Orange
  • Blackberry
  • Chernobyl
  • Cinex
  • Fruit Loops
  • Golden Pineapple
  • Jillybean
  • Pennywise
  • Plushberry

If you wish to obtain this terpene via cannabis flower, vaporizing the flower is the ideal way to ensure that you ingest some of the terpene. Placing the dry cannabis flower into a pipe, bong or making cannabutter with it may kill the terpene if its temperature exceeds 198 degrees Fahrenheit.

What does Guaiol Smell and Taste Like?

The flavor and aroma of this terpene is unique, complex and somewhat difficult to describe. It is quite similar to pinene, which has a pine flavor and aroma, due to its presence in conifer trees. So, you might notice that there is another aroma/flavor in there too – it’s rose. Yes, rose.

So, this piney terpene also has a slight hint of floral to help balance out the pungent, strong pine flavor.

close up image of cypress trees

Terpenes that May Pair well with Guaiol

As you might suspect, guaiol pairs very well with pinene and alpha-pinene. This is not only due to the aroma and flavor, but both possess some of the same properties.  Terpenes are blended together in CBD formulas to improve the flavor and aroma but also because they have therapeutic benefits that are accepted and recognized.  Terpenes can also aid in achieving the entourage effect.

Now we’ll take a look at a few of the most common terpenes and what they have in common with guaiol.

Alpha Pinene

Alpha pinene has the same piney flavor and aroma. It’s also found in coniferous trees, including in pine needles. This terpene is also described as having anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and synergistic effects. What this means is that it may help other terpenes work better together. Like guaiol, it also possesses antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Beta Caryophyllene

Beta caryophyllene is a terpene that gets a lot of attention. Depending on its source, its flavor can vary a little bit. It can be spicy/warm tasting when sourced from cloves, cinnamon and black pepper. It is also available in rosemary and hops, which is partly what also makes it a good pairing with guaiol. The flavors of these two terpenes would complement each other well. Beta caryophyllene possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Terpineol is also found in conifer trees and cannabis strains that possess pinene terpenes. It shares a couple of the same potential properties as guaiol such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. With there being similar sources and properties, these two terpenes would also work well together.

evergreen needles super close upLimonene

Limonene is also present in some conifer trees and bushes. It’s one of the most commonly used terpenes in CBD formulas. However, limonene may be able to help with reducing some of the pine flavor that guaiol has as it is abundant in citrus peels and pulp. It shares anti-inflammatory properties with guaiol. Limonene is one of those terpenes that works well with almost any other terpene.


Myrcene may not be present in any pine trees or shrubs, but it can be found in hops, mangoes, lemongrass and eucalyptus. When sourced from these plants, the flavor can lend a hand to reducing some of the strong pine flavor of guaiol.

Closing Thoughts

Guaiol may not be used much in the CBD and cannabis industry, but it is a valuable terpene that could gain recognition as more research can be conducted on it. Much of the research, due to restrictions, has been conducted on mice. Additional testing of this terpene with CBD, combinations of cannabinoids and other terpenes could bring insight into the true efficacy of this ignored terpene.


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