What Is Humulene? [Cannabis Terpenes Explained]
Cannabis terpenes have received significantly more attention in recent years. They are responsible for the unique flavors and effects of different strains. They also possess a variety of potential benefits for health and wellbeing.
Today we look at humulene, one of the most abundant cannabis terpenes. We’ll explain its effects and where to find it, including some of the best humulene-rich strains.
What Is Humulene?
Humulene is a terpene, more specifically, a sesquiterpene. In cannabis plants, these compounds play a role in protection against pests and disease. They are often highly aromatic and are part of the reason why different marijuana strains have varying tastes and effects.
Humulene has the chemical formula C₁₅H₂₄. Its atoms are arranged in an eleven-membered ring, and the molecule is an isomer of beta-caryophyllene.
This means the two terpenes have the same formula but a different structure and, therefore, different properties. For this reason, humulene is also sometimes known as alpha-caryophyllene.
People usually describe humulene’s aroma as woody and earthy with hints of spice.
Cannabis and Humulene Research
Research has highlighted several potential benefits of humulene. However, it is crucial to note that most of the existing studies utilized humulene extracts from plants other than cannabis.
Part of the reason for the lack of marijuana research is down to its illegal status. However, now that interest in cannabis terpenes is growing, it is likely that more studies will emerge soon.
Until then, we must rely on evidence relating to other plants to inform us of humulene’s benefits. Let’s look at some of the key studies on humulene’s effects to date.
It appears that humulene may have several beneficial effects, including the following:
Like many cannabis compounds, humulene seems to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. A 2007 study for the European Journal of Pharmacology found that humulene reduced certain types of inflammation in mice and rats. Amazingly, the anti-inflammatory effects of humulene were comparable to the potent corticosteroid, dexamethasone.
The authors concluded that this terpene might be an essential tool in managing and treating inflammatory disease.
A further 2008 study for Planta Medica supported these results. It found that alpha-humulene had anti-inflammatory activity following both oral and topical administration.
Finally, a 2009 study for the British Journal of Pharmacology looked at oral or inhaled humulene effects in mice with allergic airway inflammation. Once again, the compound displayed anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, aerosol administration of humulene decreased mucus production by as much as 51%.
A 2016 study for the Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal investigated the effects of alpha-humulene on diabetic rats. The results indicated that the terpene had antioxidant effects. It decreased levels of 8-OHdG, a marker of oxidative stress, and displayed potential anti-diabetic properties.
Since one of the primary roles of terpenes is protecting plants from disease, it is no surprise that many of them possess antibacterial properties.
A 2006 study for Phytotherapy Research found that balsam fir essential oil was effective against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The oil contained numerous terpenes, including alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene, and alpha-humulene.
Although these results are positive, further research is needed to confirm the clinical effects of humulene in humans. We hope to see more evidence emerging soon.
Does it really work? …
The Best Humulene Rich Strains
If you are a medical marijuana patient suffering from inflammation, you may want to try the humulene effects for yourself.
In this case, you will need to choose a strain that contains generous levels of this terpene. Here are some of the best humulene-rich strains on the market today.
- Girl Scout Cookies:This popular strain has some of the highest humulene levels around at approximately 2.45%. In addition to its fantastic terpene profile, Girl Scout Cookies contains an average of 17% THC and trace levels of CBD.
- Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies:As the name suggests, Thin Mint GSC is closely related to Girl Scout Cookies. However, it is a slightly more balanced hybrid with a 50/50 indica to sativa breakdown. It contains around 2.35% humulene and an average of 20% THC.
- Sour Diesel:Sour Diesel is the most sativa-leaning strain on our list at 90%. It contains approximately 1% humulene and a hefty dose of THC, often exceeding 20%. Its CBD content is unknown but is likely negligible.
- Candyland:If you prefer a strain that tastes a little sweeter, Candyland is a viable option. It is 70% sativa-dominant and contains around 0.75% humulene. The strain’s THC levels average at a moderate 14%, so novice cannabis users may find it useful. Its CBD content is typically less than 1%.
- Sherbet:Our final humulene rich strain is Sherbet, another good option for fans of sweet-tasting cannabis. It clocks in at around 0.48% humulene, 20% THC, and 1% CBD.
Other Sources of Humulene
In addition to cannabis, you can find humulene in a variety of other herbs and spices.
One of the richest sources of humulene is hops, a common ingredient in beer-brewing. Hops are, in fact, closely related to cannabis as both are members of the family Cannabaceae. Their Latin name is Humulus lupulus, giving some indication of just how much humulene they contain.
Some other familiar sources of humulene include:
- Black pepper
- Vietnamese coriander
To boost your humulene intake, consider adding more of these foods to your daily diet.
Final Thoughts on Humulene
Humulene is an important cannabis terpene. Its potential benefits include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects.
However, to date, most of the research on humulene has focused on animals rather than humans. Therefore, more studies are necessary to confirm the clinical usefulness of this compound.
You can find humulene in a range of everyday herbs and spices and some types of beer. It is also abundant in certain cannabis strains, especially those with Girl Scout Cookies genetics.
Therefore, anyone wishing to increase their humulene intake should consider these varieties next time they visit the dispensary.
We investigate one of the most common cannabis terpenes, humulene. Check out our complete guide, including benefits, best strains, and more.
What is Humulene and What Does it Do?
Humulene is a terpene that’s pretty popular already. You may not know this, but you’re tasting humulene whenever you drink a beer. This is because this amazing terpene is responsible for the earthy and spicy notes that make beers so delicious. All varieties of beer have this distinct “hoppy” fragrance that comes from the Hops plant.
Also found in a few spices including ginger and herbs like sage, humulene is a powerhouse filled with medicinal qualities. Thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, there’s a lot humulene can do. It’s also found in many cannabis strains. So, put your hands together for humulene – the wonderful terpene that makes your buds and beer taste wonderful.
Before we get to discussing humulene, you’ll understand everything better if you know more about terpenes.
1. What are terpenes?
Terpenes are organic aromatic compounds found in many plant species. To put it simply, they are like essential oils. Found in the resin glands of most plants, they are responsible to make plants smell or taste in a particular manner. Whether you love lemons for their citrusy fragrance or can’t get enough of pineapples for their taste, it’s because of the terpenes.
Although terpenes are found in many plants, some of them are unique to just cannabis strains. Some strains have more than 100-200 terpenes in them! Previously, one couldn’t talk about cannabis without mentioning cannabinoids, but the focus has certainly shifted a bit towards these magnificent terpenes now. And, rightly so.
Similarly, even researchers are a lot more interested in terpenes now. Not only will this help those in the medical field, but it will also remove the stigma attached to cannabis to a great extent. Terpenes enhance the healing powers of cannabis by interacting with other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Well, of course, they interact with other cannabinoids too but THC and CBD are the most famous ones.
This is why you’ll see many people choosing full-spectrum cannabis oils instead of CBD isolates. Full-spectrum oils contain cannabinoids and all the terpenes found in the particular strain. In other words, you get to consume the plant as a whole rather than singling out the cannabinoids. As a result, the effect produced by all the terpenes and cannabinoids working hand-in-hand is known as the entourage effect.
The entourage effect exerts its power on the endocannabinoid system or ECS present in the human body. This synergy is believed to be extremely healing since cannabis produces endocannabinoids that are similar to the ones produced naturally by humans.
Humulene, just like other terpenes, plays a major role in uplifting your senses. So, let’s get down to understanding humulene and its effects in detail.
2. What is Humulene?
Also recognized as α-caryophyllene, humulene is a terpene that produces spicy and woody notes. These earthy notes are very evident when you drink a glass of beer. Also present in basil, black pepper, ginseng, coriander, marsh elders, tobacco, clove, and many other herbs and spices, humulene is also used for its topical properties. For instance, ginseng is used for a variety of ailments, which means that humulene is used indirectly to treat several issues.
Thanks to ancient medicinal practices by the Chinese and scholars in India, the effects of humulene have been long recognized. It may be something new for you, but humulene’s healing powers have been a topic of discussion for many centuries. Present in most essential oils in small and large quantities depending on the plant species, humulene is used even in aromatherapy. These therapeutic essential oils are used to mainly reduce chronic pain.
Along with popular terpenes like myrcene and pinene, humulene is one of the most famous and common terpenes you’ll find. Chinese apothecaries used humulene in high dosages to treat problems. And, this is why you’ll see ginseng promoted so much by the Chinese. Used as a natural remedy to boost energy and remove fatigue, ginseng is also used to increase stamina. Most supplements sold to increase sexual stamina contains ginseng because it boosts your failing energy and works as an antibiotic.
3. What are the benefits of humulene?
Humulene does have a lot of benefits:
Humulene has many benefits, and patients relying on cannabis to help with their ailments understand this better. First off, it works to suppress appetite. What does that do? Well, it helps those with obesity resist food and lose weight. By suppressing any activity in the body’s satiety pathways, it reduces your desire to eat. Many natural supplements contain humulene as an active ingredient because it works to help you cut down on extra weight.
It works in a fashion that’s very similar to a cannabinoid known as THCV. THCV is mainly present in cannabis buds in their raw form. Once you introduce the buds to the process of decarboxylation by either lighting a joint or baking the buds in the oven to make edibles, it converts to THC. Humulene and THCV both work together to suppress your appetite.
Most people think that all types of cannabis strains make you hungry, but that’s not true. Some strains actually help you reduce your sudden urge to gulp everything in front of you.
Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
Humulene works actively to fight against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria according to this study 1 . Apart from this study, there are many more that depict the usefulness of humulene to treat many ailments. This is why humulene is used in aromatherapy now.
Sci e ntists have conducted quite a few studies to understand the importance of humulene as an anti-inflammatory agent. A study 2 published in 2007 found that caryophyllene along with humulene displayed properties that were considered anti-inflammatory. In 2008 3 , researchers found that humulene worked quite effectively to reduce inflammation. Additionally, they discovered that it worked to reduce pain and provide relief.
A year later in 2009 4 , they found that humulene possessed anti-inflammatory properties. Whether it was administered orally or topically, the effects were evident. The discovery was indeed important because the researchers realized that humulene reduced allergic inflammation by decreasing inflammatory mediators.
In fact, they found that the effects of humulene as an anti-inflammatory was so strong that it could be compared to dexamethasone – a drug used to treat asthma, allergies and even rheumatic problems.
In other words, humulene can be used as an anti-inflammatory agent. Of course, a lot more studies are needed from physicians to prescribe cannabis strains containing humulene, but such studies give us a lot of hope.
4. What cannabis strains contain humulene?
Humulene is usually found in large quantities in all Kush strains. Thus, they are present in OG Kush and all other Kush varieties. You can either choose to grow strains like West Coast OG auto or simply choose from our original line seeds containing OG Kush, White Widow and many other strains.
Humulene is present in Gelato as well, not to mention Girl Scout Cookies. Gorilla Glue and Cream Cookies also contain loads of humulene, and this is exactly why you feel so heavy and relaxed when you smoke strains with humulene.
Humulene is a terpene that’s pretty popular already. You may not know this, but you’re tasting humulene whenever you drink a beer. This is because t