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Super Class Terpenes: Humulene

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

This article is brought to you by the new Higher Learning LV Core Cannabis course.

 

Welcome to homework assignment 1.29 of the Core Cannabis Lite Track from Higher Learning LV. When you complete this assignment, simply click the link at the bottom of the article to return to the master page for this training track.

 

An October 2022 study entitled "Effects of Super-class Cannabis Terpenes Beta-caryophyllene and Alpha-pinene on Zebrafish Behavioral Biomarkers" that was published in the journal Scientific Reports suggested the existence of a special subclass of terpenes that it dubbed super class terpenes.

"There are more than fifty cannabis terpenes most commonly found in North American cannabis strains, eight of which predominate to form a 'Terpene Super Class,'" explained the study.


The eight super class terpenes identified by this pinnacle study include alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene (BCP), humulene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, ocimene, and terpinolene. Higher Learning LV investigates each of these important terpenes in our Super Class Terpenes series.

  • Read our exclusive summary of this peer-reviewed research study here.

  • Listen to the C3 Podcast episode regarding this study here.


"More than fifty cannabis terpenes are commonly found in North American cannabis strains, eight of which predominate to form a 'Terpene Super Class.'"

 

Humulene Overview

Humulene, also known as alpha-humulene (α-humulene) and alpha-caryophyllene (α-caryophyllene), is one of the most common terpenes in cannabis/hemp/marijuana. This popular phytomolecule delivers an aroma and flavor that is earthy, woody, and spicy.


"Humulene is produced by cannabis, basil, black pepper, cloves, sunflower, and tobacco."

Humulene can be found in the cannabis cultivars (strains) Candyland, Deathstar, Gelato, GSC (formerly Girl Scout Cookies), Headband, Pink Kush, Sherbert, Skywalker OG, Sour Diesel, and White Widow. It and the terpene BCP (another sesquiterpene) feature the same chemical formula, but have different molecular structures.


This terpene is produced by many botanical species beyond cannabis, including balsam fir trees, basil, black pepper, cloves, coriander (cilantro), elders, ginger, ginseng, oranges, sage, spearmint, sunflower, and tobacco (among others).

Basil is a top source of humulene


Like other terpenes and cannabinoids, humulene features multiple avenues of efficacy and may act as a positive therapeutic agent for a number of disease states, disorders, and conditions. Humulene's potential medicinal benefits include efficacy against systemic inflammation and the hundreds of diseases and disorders involving inflammation.


"Humulene's potential medicinal benefits include efficacy against systemic inflammation and the hundreds of diseases and disorders involving inflammation."

This terpene has also been found to convey anticancer and offers the relatively unique capability to suppress appetite. This simple characteristic may make this common molecule of use in the treatment of eating disorders, obesity, and diabetes. Like alpha-pinene, humulene can act as an insecticide (insect repellant).


Multiple research studies have revealed that humulene is one of three terpenes—along with BCP and myrcene—that are commonly found together in particular cultivars and chemotypes of cannabis and hemp.


To see the Fast Facts and Research Studies sections that have been removed from this no-cost training asset, enroll in Core Cannabis.

 

Return to the Core Cannabis Lite Track master page.


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