Terpene Profiles: Humulene

Think back to the last time you enjoyed a delicious, ice-cold beer (if that’s your thing). You may not have been aware of it at the time, but part of that distinct aroma of hops you experienced came from humulene, one of the most common terpenes in the plant world.

You can find humulene in all kinds of pungent edibles — from sage and ginger to clove and basil. It’s also one of the most prominent terpenes in the cannabis plant, giving buds their unique scent, and a beneficial terpene to boot.

Humulene is in hops

What is Humulene?

Humulene got its name from the common hops plant Humulus lupulus, where it was first identified as a terpene in the essential oils of the flower.

When expressed in a cannabis strain, humulene plays a vital role in the distinctive fragrance and taste characteristics of the flower. Humulene is one of the 20 most prevalent types of terpenes found in cannabis and provides a subtle woody, earthy aroma with spicy undertones. Along with pinene and myrcene, humulene is one of the fundamental elements that gives marijuana its overall aromatic profile. It’s definitely a terpene worth getting to know!

While humulene often appears in smaller quantities than other terpenes, strains like Headband, Death Star, Thin Mint GSC, Candyland, and Original Glue have concentrations that are higher-than-average.

Humulene Benefits

Humulene- man with back pain

Even though research into cannabis compounds like terpenes is just starting to ramp up, the benefits of Humulene have been known in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Humulene was used in a variety of applications like managing pain, fighting infections, and suppressing appetites. It’s still used today for its anti-bacterial, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and pharmacokinetic effects. In fact, research shows that there are a number of potential health benefits of humulene.

One of the most promising benefits is its anti-cancer properties that were first discovered in a 2003 study. Researchers believe humulene can produce Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which plays a role in the death of cancer cells. Another study form 2016 showed that humulene was effective at destroying cancer cells when combined with other terpenes.

Humulene has long been used as a folk medicine for its antibacterial properties—and for good reason. It’s found in balsam fir tree oil and is one of the compounds that make this oil so effective at killing bacteria. According to a 2006 study, humulene’s antibacterial properties are even effective against dangerous bacteria like golden staph (though we still recommend seeking medical care for such an infection).

Humulene has also been shown to act as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Its ability to reduce inflammation is one of the reasons some strains of cannabis are effective for easing chronic pain from conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis. It may also be helpful in counteracting DOMS—delayed onset muscles soreness.

As an appetite suppressant, humulene may even have a positive effect on your waistline. While cannabis is usually associate with an increase in hunger—“the munchies”—strains with high amounts of humulene can act as appetite suppressants and help you better resist those snack foods you may crave when using other strains.

If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of humulene and other cannabis terpenes, stop by our Oakland Dispensary to explore different products featuring humulene and other terpenes! Our Experience Guides are ready to help you find the perfect strain for your goals!


Why Terpenes Matter When Picking a Strain

When you visit a dispensary, you’re generally provided with THC and CBD percentages for the available products. There’s also a tendency to classify strains by whether they’re indica or sativa-dominant. At ECO Cannabis, we believe there’s a better way to help people shop for cannabis products.

Cannabis flower is full of compounds beyond cannabinoids. In fact, terpenes (or terpenoids) can have an amazing effect. Let’s take a look at what terpenes really are and why they matter when choosing a strain.

What Are Terpenes and Why Are They Important?

Why Terpenes Matter When Picking a Strain: buds around cbd oil

Terpenes are the naturally occurring organic compounds that give plants their smell and flavor. They’re the reason you can tell the difference between a strawberry and pineapple without even looking. Just like how rosemary and lavender essential oils have their unique aromas and therapeutic values, the terpene profile of a strain will set the tone for how it will affect you. Understanding terpenes, then, can be a vital part of including cannabis in a wellness routine.

There are over 20,000 different terpenes with at least 100 that can be found in the cannabis plant. Before current cannabis research, people mostly chose cannabis strains based on the basic effects of sativas and indicas. We now understand that terpenes not only influence the smell and flavor of buds, but can also enhance, change, or reduce the duration and intensity of a strain’s effect. This synergistic relationship between terpenes and cannabinoids is known as the “entourage effect,” and plays a significant role in how cannabis makes you feel.

Lemon surrounded by cannabis buds with terpenes

Terpenes to Look for When Choosing a Strain

We’ll be covering individual terpenes in more detail soon. For now, here are a few the most common terpenes you will come across when shopping for cannabis:

Limonene – Found in citrus fruits and your favorite cleaning products, this high-energy terpene can boost mood, reduce stress, and help with digestion.

Caryophyllene – Known for its spicy and woody aroma, caryophyllene boasts strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help with ulcers, arthritis, GI problems, as well as anxiety and depression.

Myrcene – With its musky, earthy scent, myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis. It can help ease muscle pain and tension and promote sleep. Indica strains often have large amounts of myrcene, which contributes to the stoned, “couch-lock” feeling they produce.

Linalool – With its sweet, floral scent, linalool relieves stress and boosts mood. It can balance out the anxious feeling that THC sometimes produces.

Pinene – Perhaps unsurprisingly, pinene smells like pine as well as orange peels. It is the most common terpene in the plant world. It can help fight inflammation and reduce the memory loss associated with THC. It can also promote alertness and boost airflow to your lungs.

One of the best outcomes of cannabis legalization is that consumers now have such a large selection when it comes to choosing strains. Making selections based on terpene profiles rather than just the amount of THC or CBD can bring a whole new dimension to the way you use an enjoy cannabis. You’ll be able to utilize synergistic effects to enhance the benefits of cannabis for treating conditions like pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, infections, and more, or just for boosting your overall wellness.

Not sure where to start with terpenes? No problem! Visit our new Oakland dispensary. Our Experience Guides are highly trained and ready to help you find the perfect strains for the experience you desire.