Beer lovers may take a smell of their favorite brand and recognize the similar sensation between cannabis flowers and their favorite brand of hops. Out of the more than 200 aromatic terpenes that may be contained in a single strain of marijuana, humulene is one of note because many other plants in nature produce it, including different strains of hops used in the production and brewing of beer.
Terpenes can be defined as the molecules found in hemp plants that delivery a pungent arouma that been found by researchers to provide a signifant medical beneifit. The three primary benefits of terpenes are its role as a analgesic (pain-killer) its anti-cancer properties, and its ability to reduce systemic inflammation. There are more than 20,000 different terpines found in nature.
Alpha-caryophyllene also known as Humulene gets its name from the Latin word Humulus Lupulus, which in English means “hops” This particular terpene like others sometimes has the side effect of causing irritation when it comes into contact with the skin. Cannabis strains that are known to be rich in terpens include Skywlaker, Super Lemon Haze, White Widow, Girl Scout Cookies and Headband.
Cannabis strains that are rich in humulene produce a “hoppy” aroma that is similar to ginseng, basil clove, sage and hops. Just like other terpenes, this particular molecule is flammable and used in different types of industrial applications such as insecticide.
Humulene has many different medical applications including analgesic , anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and can even be used in helping maintain weight loss.
The terpene humulene serves as both a effective analgesic and an anti-inflammatory . Scientifical research has shown humulene to be effective in treating systemic inflammation, while also performing the delivery of targeted use to specific regions of the body.
In a 2008 study entitled “Pharmacokinetics and Tissue Distribution of the Sesquiterpene Alpha-humulene in Mice” and later distributed in the journal Planta Medica demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of the terpene when used as a topical. “These findings further help explain the topical and systemic antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties previously reported for the essential oil alpha-humulene.”
In a 2007 study entitled “ The Anti-inflammatory Effects of Compounds Alpha-humulene and Trans-caryophyllene” and then published in the European Journal of Pharmacology found that consistant treatment with alpha-humulene prevented tumor growth in mice. In this study the researches concluded , “These findings indicate that alpha-humulene and trans-caryophyllene, derived from the essential oil of C. verbenacea, could represent very important tools for the treatment and/or management of inflammatory diseases.”
In a 2006 research study it was demonstrated that the antibacterial properties of humulene. Entitled “Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Abies Balsamea Essential Oil” and printed in the plant journal Phytotherapy Research, the study’s authors found that some other major terpenes, delta-3-carene and beta-pinene , to be inactive against 2 bacteria strains. However, alpha-humulene , alpha-pinene, and beta-caryophyllene were found to be effective against the bacteria strains.
In a 2003 study published in the scientifical journal Planta Medica titled “Antitumor Activity of Balsam Fir Oil: Alpha-humulene as a Possible Mechanism of Action” found that balsam fir oil containing humulene produces antitumor effects when “evaluated against several different solid tumor cell lines.”