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What is Humulene?

Updated: Jan 4

a bunch of hop buds on a rustic wood tabletop

Humulene is another common terpene. It shares the same chemical composition as B-Caryophyllene, an isomer, but has a distinct structure. This isn't where similarities end. There was a time when scientists weren't aware of the distinctions between the two. In 2015 the distinction was made.

Where Does Humulene Come From?

Humulene is found in a wide variety of plants. It's is common in a variety of plants, including:


•Black Pepper







The Humulene Flavor Profile

The hoppy taste that gives beer its bite is due to the hop plant's Humulene content, and it is also the reason for the strong flavor of sage, ginger, and ginseng. The subtle earthy, woody and spicy notes that give hoppy beers their distinct taste and aroma are also partly responsible for giving cannabis its unique scent.

Common Uses

Humulene is found in a wide variety of plants and has been used for centuries in holistic Eastern medicinal practices. It's been known to help with:







•Alzheimer's Disease

What Are The Benefits of Humulene?

Studies are limited on the effects of Humulene on the human body. In mice, alpha humulene is a potent anti-inflammatory agent when applied topically and sprayed in the lungs. Its efficacy is comparable to dexamethasone, a common steroid used to treat arthritis and other forms of inflammation.

  • When in combination with other terpenes like caryophyllene (specifically beta-caryophyllene), alpha humulene inhibits the growth of cancer cells

  • In a study on the properties of the essential oil of balsam fir, alpha humulene was found to be active against the staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

  • Another study showed that alpha humulene promotes the activity of a protein that creates new blood vessels, which is a vital step in healing wounds in the body.

Further research is needed to see what if any of these beneficial attributes transition to us humans.

Drawbacks of Humulene

Having access to limited research materials, the negative effects of Humulene are still unclear. The one issue that consistently came up was the need for large doses of Humulene to achieve therapeutic effects.

How Much Humulene Should I Take?

Like most terpenes, there are no recognized dosage recommendations available at this time. It's recommended that you contact your doctor and start with small doses, working your way towards a larger dose.

Humulene and the Entourage Effect

Humulene is a tertiary actor as a member of the "entourage effect". This means it doesn't have a large impact on the body and doesn't actively affect the other bioactive compounds consumed in an average dose of cannabis. However, its benefits might make a note-worthy stand-alone terpene.

The Take-Away

When going by taste and smell alone it's easy to confuse Humulene with B-Caryophyllene. Its effects have not been thoroughly researched. Alone it has several potent therapeutic benefits in a high dose. As part of the "entourage effect", it has limited potential. Humulene by itself is worth considering.


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