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What is α-OCIMENE?

What is α-OCIMENE?

Ocimene is a terpene that has a sweet, herbaceous, and sometimes citrusy odor. In addition to cannabis plants, it can be found in a variety of fruits and herbs including mangoes, kumquats, mint, parsley, tarragon and orchids. Ocimene is also commonly found in perfumes due to its sweet and floral aromatic profile.

For countries and states that have legalized cannabis, Ocimene can be consumed through cannabis varieties such as Harle-Tsu, OG Kush, Juicy Fruit, Strawberry Cough, Clementine, Green Crack, and Sour Diesel.

Ocimene may offer various antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties which we will explore in this article – although further research is needed on each.

Ocimene Potential Uses

Terpenes are fragrant oils found in many plants throughout nature, and in cannabis they are secreted by the frosty-looking trichomes alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Terpenes not only determine the smell of a cannabis strain, they may also modify its effects either through aromatherapy, directly interacting with our endocannabinoid system, or both. Cannabinoids combined with high levels of Ocimene in strains such as Juicy Fruit and Clementine produce a more potent “entourage effect” for consumers.

Outside of cannabis, Ocimene has some other interesting uses, both industrial and in nature:

  • In food, Ocimene plays a big part in giving many fruits their sweet taste, but even some non-sweet, citric fruits have high levels of Ocimenes as well. (Hence the high Ocimene levels in the strain Juicy Fruit!)
  • Like many terpenes, Ocimene is used by many plants in nature as a defense mechanism again intruders such as wasps, mosquitoes and flies, mainly due to the smell.

Ocimene Potential Benefits

Benefits of Cannabis
Benefits of Cannabis

While further research is needed, Ocimene is known for its antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory capabilities – similar to the other terpenes we have recently profiled. Therefore, it is often found in cannabis-based therapeutic oils and treatments. While it can be found in many different strains, ocimene is usually not the dominant terp except for the strain Clementine.

While further research is needed, Ocimene is known for its antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory capabilities – similar to the other terpenes we have recently profiled. Therefore, it is often found in cannabis-based therapeutic oils and treatments. While it can be found in many different strains, ocimene is usually not the dominant terp except for the strain Clementine.

  • Antifungal: A 2015 study published in The Journal of Natural Medicines determined that ocimene, in combination with other components, could fight yeasts and molds. The researchers believed that it could be useful in fighting fungal species in humans such as ringworm.
  • Anti-inflammatory: In a 2013 study published by the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal, researchers noted strong anti-inflammatory activity, as well as antioxidant and anti-fungal properties, from an essential oil high in ocimene. This study corroborated findings about ringworm as well.
  • Antiviral: In a 2008 Chemistry & Biodiversity report, the essential oils of seven Lebanese species of trees were studied and analyzed for antiviral effects. The results showed that Laurus nobilis oil, which is high in ocimene, demonstrated an antiviral effect against the respiratory syndrome SARS-CoV, but research beyond the in vitro stage is needed. 

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