What is Humulene?

Hops full of humulene

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Have you ever walked through an orange orchard, a pine forest, or maybe a sunflower field? If the answer is yes, then you might have smelled Humulene before without even knowing it. Behind every single aroma in nature, we find terpenes. There are over 20,000 known terpenes present in various animal species and plants on earth, including marijuana. These aromatic compounds are the fundamental base of every distinctive scent in our favorite strains. Moreover, they play a significant role in its therapeutic impact, empowering cannabinoid’s effects, which is exactly what α-Humulene does. It dances along with the other cannabinoids present in your cannabis in a chemical event known as “The Entourage Effect” to provide us with physical benefits to mental improvements. This charming terpene is known for its woodsy, earthy, and spicy notes. It is responsible for giving both hops-heavy beers and cannabis their characteristic taste and aroma. So if you’ve ever enjoyed a nice craft beer and inhaled the scent of hops (Humulus Lupulus), then you definitely are familiar with Humulene. Join us closely to discover how compounds like α-Humulene are changing the cannabis world.

What is Humulene?

Humulene or α-humulene is a terpene classified as a monocyclic sesquiterpene. It was first found in the essential oils of Humulus lupulus (hops), from which it derives its name. It’s formerly known as α-caryophyllene, an isomer of the well-known β-caryophyllene. Along with Caryophyllene, Limonene, and Myrcene, it is one of the most common terpenes in cannabis. Some cannabis-derived essential oils have high Humulene concentrations that can reach up to 40%. This terpene is a vital oil component from the hops plant flowering cone, marsh elders, and tobacco. Humulene is present in many other woody plants besides cannabis, such as basil, sage, ginseng, clove, and coriander. The terpene is currently under exploration for its prospects as an anti-inflammatory agent with a capacity to treat allergies.

Humulene Aroma

Alpha-Humulene is a fundamental element in the overall aromatic profile of cannabis. It has a distinctively woody, earthy, spicy-clove smell. Consumers assure that it has an oceanic-watery, herbaceous aroma, similar to both Myrcene and Pinene. When combined with this last one, it announces a pine forest in a summer breeze. Since antiquity, wood has been a popular scented material. Today is considered the “backbone” of perfumes. It’s something about this warm aroma that brings elegance, sophistication and a lot of character to their compositions. This attractive-smelling compound plays a crucial role in providing to the Cannabaceae family its distinctive, beloved scent. Hops and cannabis are both in this family’s taxonomy, which is why they have the same aromatic notes in both plant species.

Humulene Taste

Humulene is an all-in-one terpene that has been prevalent in Asian cuisine for ages. You can easily find it in various plants and spices, responsible for giving that flavorful, burning bite to culinary sage, black pepper, ginger, and ginseng. Moreover, it is what gives the refreshing and hoppy taste to beers. Without this delicious and spicy terpene, foods and drinks wouldn’t be the same.

Humulene Effects

This herbaceous terpene has been present for centuries, helping to distinguish fragrances, recreational effects, and overall therapeutic efficacy. Since ancient Chinese Apothecaries, it was commonly used in holistic eastern medicinal practices. Modern biomedical research has proved that alpha-Humulene is an effective anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and appetite suppressant. Results have been encouraging, but further research is needed to establish a stable relationship between humulene and beneficial health effects.


  • Anti-inflammatory: In 2007, a study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology reported that Humulene could be just as powerful as the steroidal anti-inflammatory called dexamethasone. It proved that it could be an effective anti-inflammatory when used both topically or systemically, representing an essential tool for managing and treating diseases that manifest chronic inflammation.
  • Analgesic: Humulene is a natural pain reliever. It reduces symptoms from fibromyalgia and arthritis, such as pain and swelling as well.
  • Anti-allergic: Researchers have been studying alpha-Humulene for its potential action in combating allergies. In 2008, a study posted in the journal Planta Medica concluded that this terpene could be a helpful anti-allergic administered topically, orally, or inhaled as an aerosol.
  • Anti-tumor: Balsam Fir Essential Oil, a high-humulene oil, has been tested for its efficacy in fighting several types of cancerous cells. Humulene kills them or suppresses the cell's oxidative stress, arresting tumor growth. However, we need more studies before dropping any conclusions.
  • Anti-bacterial: Researchers discovered in 2006 that alpha-Humulene has antibacterial and antibiofilm activities against pathogens, especially against the S.aureus bacteria when used in small quantities.
  • Insect Repellent: This natural insecticide can help reduce the spread of insect-borne diseases. Humulene is toxic to mosquito larvae, responsible for transmitting malaria, West Nile virus, yellow and dengue fever.

Humulene for Weight Loss

Although many cannabis strains promote hunger, the ones with high Humulene content can suppress appetite and encourage healthy weight loss. It also stops the activity in the compound’s satiety pathways, creating a less desire to eat. Chinese ginseng, which contains alpha-humulene, is well known for being an appetite suppressant and energy booster. Thanks to these properties, it could one day be incorporated into weight loss strategies or treatments.

High Humulene Strains

In cannabis, Humulene is a pretty common terpene and is present in modest quantities in several cannabis strains, especially caryophyllene-dominant varieties. If you’re up to experience its enticing aroma, taste, and benefits, then you’re lucky because we have gathered for you the following Humulene-rich strains:
  • Finola Hemp Strain: Considered the 9th wonder of the world, The Finola hemp strain is one of the fastest and shortest cannabis cultivars to grow. Many hemp inflorescences growers appreciated it for its diverse characteristics and aromatic terpene profile.
  • Citrus Fire Hemp Strain: Original from the heart of the country music scene, Nashville, Citrus Fire burns bright with its fresh hints of lemon and pine with hoppy undernotes. This premium, top-shelf Sativa-dominant strain will reduce your anxiety and stress to ashes with its great CBD content.
  • Lightsaber Strain: This Indica-dominant hybrid strain has blown the mind of many cannabis lovers because of its many wonderful properties and fantastic aroma profile. While some say that Lightsaber tastes like candy, herbal and fruity flavors, others say it tastes like apples and blueberry. Try it yourself and figure it out today.
  • Great Divide Strain: The Great Divide strain will leave you astonished with its complex flavor profile, reminiscent of its Kush lineage. This variety is a perfect Indica-dominant strain for those who seek relaxation and a stress-free night after a long, tiring day.
  • Berry Blossom Hemp Strain: The unique hybrid hemp strain inherited the best features of both parents, resulting in a perfect bouquet of aromas lead by sweet, candied wild berries notes with hints of gardenias. Berry Blossom’s range of effects will lift your stress away to clear out your thoughts for a night of restful sleep.
  • Azure Haze Strain: The Azure Haze strain is a tropical bud with great popularity among growers due to its average 18% THC level and a great mix of beneficial effects. This Indica strain will transport you to a place of serenity and relaxation.
  • Elektra Hemp Strain: Who doesn’t enjoy an electrifying clear-minded experience? The Elektra hemp strain will shock you with its delicious and relaxing smoke infused with aromas of wine and chocolate. Try this multiple award-winning Sativa-dominant hybrid hemp strain and feel its extra boost of energy.
  • Umpqua Hemp Strain: This 70/30 Indica dominant hybrid takes you on a walk through a pine forest with its strong pine smell with citrus and sweet peaches notes, framed by the hoppy hints of Humulene. Let Umpqua Hemp strain ease your mind into a peaceful state with an uplifted spirit and a clear mind.
  • Alien Cookies strain: No one can say no to a tasty cookie, especially if it makes you feel out of this world. The Alien Cookies strain is a well-balanced hybrid that will send you to space once you smoke it due to its high THC levels and intense effects.
As you can see, Humulene’s future is as bright as the sun. While researchers keep studying its multiple uses and health benefits, grab that hoppy beer, and let’s cheer for terpenes because they’re changing how the world sees cannabis.

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