Terpenes are a major craze in cannabis these days. And that’s because research shows they do more than make your tokes smell and taste good. In fact, terpenes are present in a variety of plants beyond just cannabis, giving these plants their flavors and aromas. Although there are over 200 terpenes, in this post, we’ll be focusing on one of the ten most common: humulene.
What is Humulene?
Humulene takes its name from humulus lupulus, the scientific name for hops — commonly known as the active flavoring agent in beer! In fact, hops and cannabis belong to the same genus, which may explain why a particularly dank brew may give you the same aromatic impression as some pungent bud. Humulene has an earthy or woody profile combined with a familiar spiciness. Besides your favorite IPAs, you’ll find humulene in basil, sage, ginger, and cloves.
Humulene also has a long history in holistic medicine. Sometimes known as alpha-caryophyllene, it helps keep your body’s own endocannabinoid system well-oiled. Together with the terpene beta-caryophyllene (found in rosemary and black pepper), humulene binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS supports our immune system response, regulates brain signaling, assists in managing our digestive health, mood, and memory, and maintains functions such as breathing, heart rate, and body temperature. Our ECS has two main types of receptors that are present throughout the body: CB1 and CB2. When we consume cannabis, the cannabinoids within trigger changes in these receptors. And in some of the best ways!
Hundreds of cannabinoids exist in cannabis plants. The most well-known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Terpenes work in concert with these cannabinoids and can boost their medicinal and psychoactive properties. This creates a synergy known as the “entourage effect.”
Treating What Ails You
Humulene may provide the following benefits:
- Reduces inflammation, including an improvement of allergy symptoms by reducing airway inflammation
- Supports the immune system by fighting infections
- Suppresses tumor cells by depriving cancer cells of the oxygen that helps them grow and spread
- Fights bacterial and fungal infections like Staphylococcus; can be applied as a topical for skin infections
- Suppresses appetite: a possible option for weight loss treatment
- Works well as pharmacokinetic, helping move drugs within your body
More research is needed to determine how well humulene in cannabis actually does these things—and when it’s available, we’ll be the first to share it with you!
Cannabis Strains High in Humulene
With all these potential holistic options, though, what strains should you be looking for when you order from us?
Humulene tests high in White Widow, GSC (formerly known as “Girl Scout Cookies”), Headband, Bubba Kush and Super Lemon Haze. In some places, you can even purchase this terpene as a standalone extract to add to your favorite cannabis products.
If you’re interested in the medical or aromatherapeutic benefits of compounds beyond humulene, check our roundup of some of the better-known terpenes and their associated strains.
Looking for a strain with humulene or another terpene? Our budtenders can help! Find the right strain for your needs at your local Have a Heart location below.