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Comprehensive Guide To Humulene Terpene

There is no denying that the cannabis aroma is one of the most distinctive in the world. Yet it’s fascinating to note that each strain has a unique scent and flavor profile. 

The tastes and smells of different cannabis strains are due to their terpenes. Terpenes are compounds found in a large number of herbs and spices and have many healing properties.

In this article, we explore one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis: humulene. 

What Is Humulene Terpene

Humulene terpene is the compound in many strains of cannabis that is responsible for the woody, earthy, and slightly spicy aroma. It is also called alpha humulene or α-humulene and is classified as α-caryophyllene. 

It is one of the lesser-known terpenes found in the cannabis plant. It might not boast the same fame as its counterparts like limonene or myrcene. They contribute to the citrus and peppery notes.

But humulene deserves its moment in the spotlight.

As with many other terpenes, humulene is not exclusive to cannabis. It’s also abundant in other plants like hops, sage, and ginseng. It’s what gives hops their distinctive aroma and contributes to the bitter and ‘hoppy’ flavor of many beers.

Humulene’s earthy, woody, and slightly spicy aroma reminds us of dense forests and freshly turned soil. 

But beyond its pleasing scent, humulene offers several potential health benefits that have stirred the interest of researchers and cannabis enthusiasts. Studies have shown that humulene possesses potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antitumor properties.

Humulene also exhibits antibacterial properties, which could prove valuable in the fight against harmful bacteria. Plus, there’s evidence to suggest that humulene may play a role in cancer treatment by hampering the growth of cancerous tumors.

Scientists must do more research to confirm these results. But the potential of this terpene could be great.

Humulene is found in varying concentrations in cannabis, depending on the strain. Sativa-dominant strains, in particular, tend to have higher levels of humulene. 

It’s important to note that terpene profiles can vary even within the same strain. So it’s always a good idea to check lab reports for specific terpene content.

Cannabis Strains High In Humulene Terpene

Humulene is one of the most common terpene among cannabis strains. However certain cultivars are known for their higher levels of humulene terpene.

Sativa-dominant strains often take the spotlight when it comes to humulene content. Varieties like Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, and Jack Herer are renowned for their uplifting effects and potent aromas. This is thanks in part to their significant humulene presence.

  • Sour Diesel is a popular sativa strain that is cherished for its energizing and mood-boosting properties. Its robust humulene profile gives this strain a diesel-like aroma with hints of citrus and earthiness.
  • Super Lemon Haze is celebrated for its zesty lemon flavor and uplifting effects. This is because of its rich terpene profile and generous amounts of humulene. This strain is often sought after by those who want a creative boost or a mood lift.
  • Jack Herer is named after the legendary cannabis activist. It is another popular strain known for its high humulene content. This strain offers an earthy, piney aroma and euphoric effects.
  • White Widow is a legendary hybrid strain with a pungent, earthy scent and subtle floral notes, likely due to the presence of humulene.
  • Green Crack is an energizing sativa strain characterized by a sharp, tangy citrus aroma and flavor. It has earthy undertones and a hint of spice, attributed to humulene.

Sativa strains tend to dominate the humulene game. But hybrid varieties can also contain significant quantities of this terpene. Strains like Girl Scout Cookies and Pineapple Express blend the best of both worlds. Their high humulene content offers a balanced mix of uplifting and relaxing effects.

Whether it’s sativa- or indica-dominance or hybrid strains that you’re after, there is enough humulene to go around for everyone!

Medicinal Potential Of Humulene Terpene

As we touched on before, the humulene terpene isn’t just about enhancing the aroma and flavor of cannabis. It also boasts an impressive number of potential medicinal benefits. So much so that it has captured the attention of researchers and healthcare professionals.

More extensive research into cannabis is essential to support the scientific findings and fully understand the potential therapeutic effects of its compounds.

We have a great foundation already but hopefully, with the shifting legal landscape, we’ll see more opportunities for the kind of studies that can give us clearer answers.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

A 2009 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology highlighted humulene’s potent anti-inflammatory properties. The study tested the effects of oral and inhaled humulene on mice with allergic airway inflammation. 

This research, along with other similar studies, suggests it has potential for managing inflammatory conditions. Because it can help to reduce inflammation in rodents, it may offer potential relief for humans. 

People suffering from conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease may find relief with this terpene.

Pain Management 

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, humulene may also play a role in pain management. By reducing inflammation, humulene may help alleviate pain associated with conditions like arthritis, migraines, and muscle soreness.

Antimicrobial Properties 

Humulene has also demonstrated antimicrobial properties. It is effective against various harmful bacteria. 

Phytotherapy Research published an article in 2006 that studied humulene’s effectiveness against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. When used together with alpha-pinene and beta-caryophyllene, this terpene proved successful in fighting the bacteria’s growth.

This could have significant implications for treating bacterial infections. It could also help to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant strains.

Effect On Cancerous Growths

Perhaps most intriguingly, research suggests that humulene may have the potential to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. 

A 2003 study in Planta Medica experimented with humulene’s effect against cancerous tumors. Because it was able to turn off the tumor’s antioxidant properties, this terpene could arrest its growth. More research is needed but this indicates that humulene could be a valuable ally in the fight against cancer.

Effect On Digestion And Appetite 

Research suggests that humulene may also act as an appetite suppressant. Studies conducted on animals have shown promising results indicating that humulene could play a role in reducing appetite and potentially aiding in weight loss. 

For example, one study found that humulene had a significant appetite-suppressing effects in mice, leading to lower food intake compared to a control group.

By helping to curb overeating and promoting healthy digestion, humulene could be a valuable ally for those striving to achieve weight loss goals naturally and holistically.

Does Humulene Get You High

Cannabis may seem like a simple plant but the closer you look, the more intricate it becomes. It can be confusing to know which compounds contribute to the high it is best known for. 

So does the humulene terpene have psychoactive effects? And can it induce a “high” like THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis?

The simple answer is no. Humulene is non-psychoactive. This means it doesn’t produce the intoxicating effects typically associated with cannabis consumption. 

Instead, it works synergistically, contributing to the entourage effect, with other compounds in the plant to enhance the overall experience. It contributes to the therapeutic effects of cannabis without causing a high. 

So, if you’re looking to enjoy the potential health benefits of humulene without the psychoactive effects, you’re in luck!


This often-overlooked compound holds tremendous potential in the world of cannabis and medicine. 

From its earthy aroma to its promising medicinal properties, humulene offers a wealth of benefits for both recreational and medicinal users alike. 

Whether you’re seeking relief from inflammation and pain, or trying to lose weight, humulene could be a valuable addition to your wellness routine. 

Ready to experience the power of humulene for yourself? Visit Embarc’s Dispensaries and ask any of our experienced budtenders for strains high in this terpene!