Humulene is a naturally occurring terpene found in many plants, including hops, sage, and ginseng. It is known for its earthy, woody aroma and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. In recent years, humulene has gained attention for its potential therapeutic properties and has been the subject of numerous studies. While recreational cannabis users take an interest in terpene profiles for the flavors, medical cannabis users can benefit from paying attention to the therapeutic benefits that terpenes bring to a given cannabis strain.
Properties of Humulene
Humulene is a sesquiterpene that is also known as alpha-humulene or alpha-caryophyllene. It has a unique aroma that is often described as earthy, woody, and spicy. Humulene is a colorless liquid that is highly volatile, which means it can evaporate quickly and easily. It is often used as a flavoring and fragrance agent in the food and cosmetic industries.
Benefits of Humulene
Humulene has a range of potential health benefits, including:
- Anti-inflammatory: Humulene has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce inflammation in the body .
- Appetite-suppressant: Humulene may act as an appetite suppressant, which may be useful for individuals looking to lose weight or avoid the munchies .
- Antimicrobial: Humulene has antimicrobial properties and may help to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, making it useful in treating skin conditions .
- Analgesic: Humulene has been shown to have analgesic properties and may help to reduce pain and inflammation in the body .
- Cancer-fighting: Humulene has been shown to have anti-cancer properties and may help to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells .
Humulene Cannabis Strains
In cannabis, humulene typically occurs in minor amounts. It is not often a major constituent of a strain’s terpene profile, however, there are a few strains that contain significant amounts. However, if you are looking for high humulene cannabis strains, there are five popular 2023 cannabis strains to check out.
- Thin Mint
The Thin Mint cannabis strain (aka Thin Mint GSC, Thin Mints, Thin Mint Cookies, Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies) is a phenotype of Girl Scout Cookies (GCS) that was created by back-crossing GSC with its parent Durban Poison, that plant was then back-crossed again with the other GSC parent OG Kush. Like its half-sister strain, Thin Mint is known for its sweet flavor. While GSC has more fruit flavors, Thin Mint’s flavor profile is more minty and earthy with a hint of chocolate and citrus. Its dominant terpenes are caryophyllene, limonene, and humulene with lesser amounts of pinene and ocimene. The Thin Mint phenotype also differs in its effects, providing a heavier body high with small bursts of uplifting energy and mental focus.
- Animal Mints
The Animal Mints strain is a bit of a mystery when it comes to genetics. It may be a cross of Animal Cookies with SinMints Cookies or Girl Scout Cookies or a cross of Thin Mints with Fire OG. Despite the unconfirmed genetics, Animal Mints has become a popular hybrid strain for its balanced effects that are felt in both the body and mind. While some users do report that they feel a bit more “indica” in the high, this hybrid is not likely to produce overly sedative effects. This makes Animal Mints well-suited for both daytime and evening use. The Animal Mints strain is known for its herbal and minty flavor. Its terpene profile is dominated by myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene with lesser amounts of humulene, linalool, and bisabolol.
- Death Star
Death Star is a relaxing and euphoric indica strain that was bred by crossing Sensi Star with Sour Diesel. The Death Star strain has a powerful high with average THC levels of around 20% and a sedative kick. The most noticeable flavors are pungent notes of skunk and fuel with subtle sweet and earthy undertones. The Death Star strain’s terpene profile features caryophyllene, myrcene, limonene, and humulene with lesser amounts of pinene and linalool. Since this strain can hit hard and leave you glued to the couch, it is most suitable for evening use and experienced cannabis users.
- Apple Pie
The sativa-dominant (60/40) strain Apple Pie can average a whopping 24% THC. This cross of Acapulco Gold and Nepalese has a giggly, motivating, and energetic high that is best for experienced cannabis users and daytime use. Apple Pie, as the name suggests, has sweet apple flavors with hints of cheese, nuts, and earth. Its terpene profile is most abundant in caryophyllene, limonene, and pinene with lesser amounts of humulene, phellandrene, sabinene, and bisabolol.
- Pink Kush
Pink Kush is an indica-dominant hybrid cannabis strain with an unconfirmed heritage. It is likely a phenotype or hybrid of OG Kush. Pink Kush is known for its high potency and powerful body high. Users of this strain need to take some caution as it can give people paranoia and often leads to couch lock. With that in mind, the Pink Kush strain is also a great option for those looking to deeply relax in the evening. The most abundant terpenes in Pink Kush are myrcene, limonene, and caryophyllene with minor amounts of geraniol, humulene, linalool, and phellandrene. Altogether these terpenes impart a flavor profile that is sweet and floral.
Humulene is a terpene with a range of potential therapeutic properties. Its anti-inflammatory, appetite suppressant, antimicrobial, analgesic, and cancer-fighting properties make it a promising natural remedy for a variety of conditions. As research into humulene and other terpenes continues, we may discover even more uses for these fascinating compounds. If you are considering using humulene or any other natural remedy, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider first.
Ask your local dispensary if you want to try these out.
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Sabine Downer is a scientist and cannabis writer with a passion for education. She has been writing for various clients in the cannabis space since 2015 and has worked in biotechnology since 2010. Along with content creation, she is also a knowledgeable resource on quality assurance, regulatory, and legal topics.