If there’s something excessively in nature, those are terpenes. These are the fragrant hydrocarbons that contribute greatly to the cannabis plant’s aromas and flavors, often better known as “essential oils ” as well. For example, more myrcene is present in strains with more of a mango smell, while those that smell more like citrus fruits are richer in limonene.
Cannabis comprises over 200 terpenes, and they contribute much more than distinctive and attractive scents as researchers are discovering. It now seems that the terpene content of a cannabis plant has a great deal to do with the medicinal properties of the strain, and according to its terpene profile, it can be predicted what kind of benefits they will have in your system.
The cannabis plant terpenes have their own advantages, they combine synergistically when they come together with THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and work with a particular part inside our bodies called the Endocannabinoid system, resulting in what is known as The Entourage Effect. One of those terpenes we will be exploring in-depth in the next article is eucalyptol.
Eucalyptol, also known as cineole, is one of the frequently investigated terpenes. It is most commonly found, as one would presume thanks to its name, in the eucalyptus tree. However, considerable amounts of eucalyptol are also found in rosemary, sage, sweet basil, bay leaves, tea tree, cardamom, and of course, cannabis.
In chemistry terms, eucalyptol is a cyclic ether and monoterpenoid with a spicy yet cooling taste and a fresh, minty smell. This compound is not as abundant as some other terpenes, such as myrcene or humulene, but it compensates for its relative scarcity with high analgesic and antibacterial qualities, completing only around 0.06% of the terpene profile of a given strain.
Although eucalyptol can be a low-dose culinary ingredient, the terpene is lethally poisonous in high dosages, negatively impacting the respiratory, nervous, and reproductive systems. Moreover, eucalyptol is sometimes part of the chemical composition for commercial insecticides, much like other terpenes, including cedrene. However, this terpene has proven to be attractive to male orchid bees, causing them to be more aggressive territorially. It is a compound that could be the answer for many health conditions, yet it is something to be careful with too.
This compound is introduced into cold and sinus medicines by several big brand industries since the terpene facilitates breathing. Tobacco companies have also made regular use of eucalyptol, incorporating it into flavor-enhancing cigarettes. In addition, it has a strong, soothing, minty fragrance, and is used in anything from cough drops to massage balms that relieve pain.
As eucalyptus is the main source of this terpene, it is the best way to feel the effects of this terpene directly. For infections, fever, sore stomach, and to help loosen coughs, eucalyptus leaf is frequently used. The leaf is also used to treat diseases of the respiratory tract, whooping cough, asthma, lung tuberculosis, osteoarthritis, joint pain (rheumatism), acne, ringworms, loss of appetite, and cancer according to RxList.
Additionally, there are wide-ranging uses of eucalyptol and you can find the terpene in your bathroom cabinet in your medicine, in a tasty minty treat, or even in the spa since its oil is used by spas in massages, facials, or body treatments. Also, in a bottle of cough drops or a bottle of mouthwash, you have likely found eucalyptol without having knowledge of this.
You may have experienced very low levels of this terpene in a bakery pastry, a soft drink, or a chewy candy as well. You possibly poured eucalyptol, maybe by using rosemary or bay leaves, into your dishes.
Eucalyptol can be used to treat a wide range of illnesses and conditions in medical cannabis patients. It is most effective for the treatment of pain and inflammation, but can also be used as an antifungal agent and as an insecticide as it was stated before. Fortunately, a 2014 study also found that by reducing neuroinflammation, the anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptol could help cure Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, scientists investigated the effects of eucalyptol in 2000 and concluded that it was capable of acting as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent. Two experiments reinforced these views many years later, showing that this terpene was effective specifically in the treatment of sinus inflammation and colonic inflammation.
For years, eucalyptol has been known to be a very useful asthma remedy, but a 1998 study proved this informal belief to be true. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 2003 reported that eucalyptol is a possible treatment for asthma and other inflammation of the upper airway. In addition, research from 2004 indicates a different formula as the source of the anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptol and proposes it as a treatment for both asthma and sinusitis.
Finally, a 2002 study examined the effects of eucalyptol on cancer and found that apoptosis, cell death, was caused in two different forms of leukemia, but not in one form of cancer of the stomach studied. The research was the first evidence that eucalyptol was shown to help combat the development of human cancer, and not mice or other species.
Strains High in Eucalyptol
There are not a lot of specimens with high levels of eucalyptol, but there are a handful of examples with considerable amounts of this great terpene. Take into account that any strain with a minty cool and spicy aroma is likely to have a decent quantity of it, too.
First, we have Super Silver Haze, a popular sativa strain rich in eucalyptol that has over the decades made its reputation in the cannabis world. Each Super Silver Haze puff brings with it a spectacular cerebral high able to cause hours of intense happiness.
Then, GSC is an indica-hybrid marijuana strain that causes euphoric effects accompanied by full-body relaxation, often known as Girl Scout Cookies. Next in the list, the smooth, creamy smoke of the Headband strain is accentuated by lemon and diesel flavors, while the long-lasting effects are perfect for pain control, helping you calm and fight increased levels of stress.
Last but not least, Bubba Kush is an Indica strain full of sweet hashish flavors, and subtle chocolate and coffee notes flow through on the inhalation and exhalation, delighting the palate as potent stimulation kicks in.
Is Eucalyptol an Alcohol?
It is not that eucalyptol is an alcohol, but this essential oil is present as a product that does have it. This 2014 investigation shows how mouthwash is used in establishments where alcohol ingestion is completely restricted such as prisons or the military, consumed by people who are probably alcohol dependent. 90% of the mouthwashes include eucalyptol in their formulas so by consequence it will include alcohol as well, along with other chemicals or compounds like menthol or benzoic acid in increased levels.