Article By: Jennifer Walker Autumn is a time of reflection.  Nostalgia for years gone by, time passing, life evolving.  With this seasonal shift comes cooler weather and the promise of holiday memories both old and new- Halloween and festive blessings, abound.  Cooler weather also descends upon us in this sun-drenched desert, and with cooler temps […]

 In Education, Terpenes

Article By: Jennifer Walker

Autumn is a time of reflection.  Nostalgia for years gone by, time passing, life evolving.  With this seasonal shift comes cooler weather and the promise of holiday memories both old and new- Halloween and festive blessings, abound.  Cooler weather also descends upon us in this sun-drenched desert, and with cooler temps comes the smell of fall. Fireplaces burning, a subtle scent of rain in the distance, and if you’re lucky, the terpene-rich aromas radiating from your local dispensary.

Too much?  Thought so.  However, as long as we’re on the subject of scents, let’s talk about terpenes.  Terpenes are the goody goodness that aid in cannabis’ distinctive fragrance and flavor.  Some are citrusy, some earthy, a few even emulate a berry scent. Of the thousands of terpenes, a few are more commonly significant.  Humulene is a terpene that exists organically in basil, clove, cannabis sativa and hops. The woody, earthy scent of humulene is familiar and soothing and may be recognizable in some more popular strains.  The herbal scent has a hint of spice and acts as an anti-inflammatory, tumor fighting, anti-bacterial powerhouse. While humulene does have a reputation for appetite suppression (a great way to take off those turkey and pumpkin pie pounds) it is a remarkably useful terpene in treating cancer patients.  Due to its unique anti-proliferative properties, this terpene packs a powerful punch in the determent of cancer cell growth. Tests also show that humulene has been successful in depriving cancer cells of the oxygen they need in order to grow. This method of cell suppression slows tumor growth while encouraging the development of healthy cells.  

Popular strains such as Girl Scout Cookies, White Widow, Pink Kush, Sour Diesel and Skywalker OG rank high in levels of humulene.  Used for centuries in Chinese medicine, humulene falls under the classification of sesquiterpene. Without turning this into a science lesson, simply put, sesquiterpene is one of the more fragrant pheromone oils within the cannabis plant.  Due to a unique molecular makeup, sesquiterpenes are less erratic than other elements within the plant structure. For the palatable connoisseur, one of the most important things to note is that humulene makes beer smell like a refreshingly hoppy beer, it makes herbs more flavorful lending a distinctive bite to sage and ginseng, and it makes your cannabis all the more delicious.

Medicinally speaking, humulene is a depressant, making it a fantastic pain reliever.   Because humulene is so great at slowing down the production of bacteria, it is widely used for anti-fungal purposes.  Historically, ancient folk medicine tells us that essential oils containing extremely high levels of humulene (such as balsam fir) were successful in staving off dangerous infections like staph and streptococcus.  An as analgesic, this terpene works amazingly well to treat pain. Because of the prevalence of this terpene within the cannabis profile, and due to the number of healing effects it possesses, humulene can be used in a variety of ways.  Topically, humulene can be useful as an additive to balms, oils and salves. When consumed through cannabis usage, this therapeutic terpene strengthens the immune system and enhances the overall experience. This season, enjoy your humulene-rich strains with a seasonal beer and really embody the autumnal effects health, happiness and giving thanks.

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