Ocimene, a Sweet and Herbaceous Terpene and a Potent Anti-Inflammatory

If you enjoy the sweet and herbaceous aroma in your ganja, then you are likely a fan of the terpene ocimene. Found in mint, parsley, hops, kumquats, mangoes, basil, bergamot, lavender, and even orchids, ocimene provides an earthy, yet citrusy tang that is often used in perfumes. Like other terpenes, ocimene is part of a plant’s natural protective system to ward off would-be predators. However, in weed, it can provide many health benefits. 

In one study, essential oils from C. unshiu flower (CEO), which contains ocimene, researchers concluded that it had the capacity to “ suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1beta, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and IL-6” and therefore “may be considered a potential anti-inflammatory candidate with human health benefits.”

Given our knowledge about how COVID-19 is responsible for a cytokine overreaction of our immune system, perhaps this is a terpene worth exploring more deeply for its therapeutic value. Along these lines, researchers also found that ocimene might be able to combat the SARS-CoV pathogen, the virus responsible for COVID-19. 

Mint contains a fair amount of the terpene ocimene
Source: botanyfarms.com

In another study that analyzed the essential oil of black pepper, which contains ocimene, researchers found there was a “mechanism by which the essential oil could manage and/or prevent type-2 diabetes and hypertension.” Because diabetes affects 34.2 million people in the United States (10.5% of the US population), this could be a major discovery to combat this deadly chronic disease. 

Ocimene was also found to have “noticeable efficiency against Candida albicans,” meaning it has potent antifungal properties. When Candida albicans, which is an opportunistic pathogenic yeast found in the human gut, gets out of control, it can cause a host of medical issues. As the CDC reports, Candida albicans, “can cause infections if it grows out of control or if it enters deep into the body (for example, the bloodstream or internal organs like the kidney, heart, or brain).” 

The following strains contain Ocimene, according to getispire.com:

  • Strawberry Cough, a potent sativa with a sweet, citrusy flavor profile 
  • Chernobyl, a dreamy hybrid marijuana strain made by crossing Trainwreck with Jack the Ripper and Trinity
  • Sour Diesel, a high THC hybrid strain that is  a cross between Chemdawg and Super Skunk
  • Green Crack, a high-energy fusion of the old school 70’s Sativa strain Skunk #1 and a mysterious indica plant
  • Dream Queen,  a powerful, uplifting hybrid cannabis strain is a cross of Blue Dream with Space Queen
  • Dutch Treat, a potent energizing cannabis strain made by crossing two famous cannabis strains, Northern Lights and Haze. 

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