Cannabis Terpenes 101: What is Humulene?

Humulene is a common cannabis terpene but one of the few sesquiterpenes. Fondly referred to as the “anti-inflammatory, cancer killing terpene”, it is our spotlight terpene of the week!

Humulene is fondly referred to as the “anti-inflammatory, cancer killing terpene” and is our spotlight terpene of the week.

What is humulene

Lesson in Humulene

Humulene is one of the primary cannabis terpenes alongside myrcene, terpinolene, limonene, pinene and geraniol. Also common in nature, humulene is primarily found in the hops plant and gives beer its “hoppy” flavor and aroma. This terpene is also present in sage, ginger and ginseng. Humulene is unique in the fact that this particular terpene is a sesquiterpenes, meaning it travels well through the blood-brain barrier.

Benefits of Humulene

Humulene is most commonly known for its anti-cancer properties and is This was demonstrated by a 2003 study which found that humulene killed cancer cells, especially when combined with other terpenes and cannabinoids as with a full-spectrum experience. As humulene is a sesquiterpenes, it is also able to create an oxygenated environment where cancer cells cannot survive or reproduce. In addition, they can even erase cancerous cell information.

However, killing cancer cells is not the only benefit that humulene can provide! In fact, it has several other beneficial properties including:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic
  • Sedative
What is humulene

A 2007 study found that humulene has comparable anti-inflammatory properties to a steroid called dexamethasone. A study conducted one year later found the same results, proving that both oral and topical use of humulene can reduce inflammation and subsequently, pain. Studies conducted on essential oils containing humulene have found that they provide greater pain-relief than those without this potent terpene. Beyond destroying cancer cells and managing inflammation, humulene is also a powerful antibacterial agent as reported in many studies. It also has some anxiolytic and sedative effects.

As humulene easily travels through the blood-brain barrier (and given the anti-inflammatory benefits), it is particularly well-suited to managing conditions like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

What is humulene

Strains High In Humulene

With all the benefits this potent terpene has to offer, many users may be inclined to search for strains specifically high in humulene in order to reap the benefits. This terpene is common among both Indica and Sativa strains to provide potent pain relief and anti-cancer benefits.

White Widow

White Widow has been around since the early 90’s and is a near-balanced hybrid strain with a 60:40 Sativa/Indica ratio. Bred from a Brazilian Sativa and a South Indian Indica, White Widow produces a cerebrally driven high with a relaxing undertone. This strain gets its name from the white crystals that blanket the plant and is very potent. Ideal for individuals suffering from depression, stress, pain or PTSD, White Widow is a great evening or daytime medication.

Beginner Beware – White Widow starts out soft, but the smoke expands dramatically which can lead to heavy coughing; especially if you’re a novice smoker.

Platinum Kush

Platinum Kush (or Platinum OG) is an Indica-dominant strain with dense trichomes and heavy effects. This strain has moderate THC levels and some CBD making it a great option for individuals battling anxiety, depression, and pain. Platinum Kush produces a deep body high that is extremely relaxing and mellow. Typically shorter lasting, the effects are perfect for helping put you to sleep.

Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies aka GSC is a near even Indica-dominant hybrid with a 60:40 Indica/Sativa ratio. The blend of Indica and Sativa genetics provides a distinct cerebral and physical experience. The high is long-lasting starting with powerful, happy and euphoric cerebral effects that are accompanied by heavy physical relaxation and feelings of lethargy. As a result, Girl Scout Cookies is particularly effective at treating anxiety, stress, depression and appetite loss.

AK-47

AK-47 is a surprisingly mellow and relaxing strain, despite the deadly name. A fusion of Thai, Mexican, Afghani, and Colombian varieties has produced this Sativa-dominant strain. The 65:35 Sativa/Indica genetics won AK-47 many awards, including the Cannabis Cup. The resulting effects are long lasting and very heady resulting in a burst of creative, energizing and happy. In addition, this strain is effective at managing pain and inducing relaxation. As a result, it is excellent for individuals battling anxiety, stress, chronic pain and depression.

Durban Poison

As a pure Sativa strain, Durban Poison is sure to blow your mind! Originally brought from South Africa to the United States in the 1970s, this strain has been growing in popularity ever since. Due to the pure Sativa nature, the effects are purely cerebral resulting in a strong and happy head high that can boost creativity and energy making it great for getting things done! Durban Poison is also an excellent option for individuals managing ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, fatigue, migraines, nausea and depression. In smaller doses, it is ideal for managing anxiety but can produce paranoia when too much is consumed.  

Focusing on the above strains with humulene can help provide an extra boost of benefits for battling inflammation and pain, providing sedative and calming effects and even battling cancer!

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