What is Ocimene and What Does this Terpene Do?

You may have heard of terpenes, which are aromatic oils that give any particular cannabis strain its distinctive, complex aroma. They are secreted from the same glands that produce THC and CBD cannabinoids. There are over 100 terpenes in Hemp, and they are thought to provide a wide range of health benefits and have therapeutic effects. 

One example is Ocimene, which is a complex terpene found in a variety of hemp strains. We’ll be examining its profile, strains that contain it, as well as the health benefits associated with this potent terpene. Find out more about the properties and benefits of this cannabis terpene in our helpful guide below!

What is Ocimene? 

Similar to borneol and guaiol, Ocimene gives certain cannabis strains an herby, sweet flavor. It’s an acyclic monoterpene with an aromatic profile, offering notes of citrus and floral. 

Researchers believe that it provides a variety of therapeutic effects and medicinal benefits, though there is still much to learn about the properties and potentialities of ocimene. 

Ocimene Profile

This terpene exists in three different forms: 

-α-Ocimene
-cis-β-Ocimene
-trans-β-ocimene

It is found naturally in a number of plants and herbs, and is thought to be part of the defense mechanisms of these plants. Aphids, which are common pests that can be detrimental to cannabis crops, tend to avoid strains that contain ocimene. 

Some of these fruits and herbs include:

-Basil
-Tarragon
-Parsley
-Mint
-Mangos
-Pepper 
-Orchids

Because this terpene is highly aromatic, it is also used in the perfume industry. It’s known for its herbaceous, sweet notes. 

How Does Ocimene Work?

In cannabis, terpenes work with other compounds like cannabinoids to produce their potent effects. This is known as the entourage effect.

Ocimene is usually found in sativa strains, and works well when it’s combined with a mixture of other terpenes, such as myrcene and alpha-pinene. It’s known to give an energetic effect, and has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral properties. 

Best effects from ocimene are usually obtained by combining it with other compounds. This means that people often choose whole-plant extract such as hemp flower rather than to isolate.

Cannabis Strains That Contain Ocimene

It’s rare for ocimene to be the most abundant terpene in any strain of cannabis, and concentrations differ greatly between strains. Some strains have a higher-than-average concentration, but for most cannabis varieties, it usually has the second or third highest concentration in the terpene profile. 

Some strains high in ocimene are: 

  • -Dutch Treat
  • -Purple Haze
  • -J1
  • -Golden Pineapple
  • -Dream Queen
  • -Green Jack
  • -Clementine
  • These strains all contain a relatively strong level of this terpene. It should be noted that of all these varieties, Clementine has the highest level of ocimene.

Benefits and Uses of Ocimene

There is currently a lot of ongoing research about the benefits and effects of hemp terpenes like ocimene. You can find a selection of studies that suggest it holds significant benefits for health and healing, but there is still much to be done in determining its full effects and potential. 

At current, researchers believe that this terpene promises antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. Here we take a look at some key uses and benefits of ocimene in more detail.  

Antimicrobial 

Studies have shown that this terpene has antimicrobial properties. This study in 2014looked into the antimicrobial features of terpenes like ocimene in Ferulago carduchorum essential oil. Researchers concluded that it is excellent efficiency at fighting fungal infections such as candida albicans, and even forms of malaria. 

Anti-fungal

Ocimene can have anti-fungal effects, as shown by studies of essential oils containing this terpene. The main components of the oil studied included trans-β-ocimene and cisβ-ocimene, and it was found that these could be powerful against dermatophytes (fungus that grows on skin).

Anti-Inflammatory

One of the most-researched benefits is the anti-inflammatory properties. One scientific study on the Citrus unshiu flower, which contains ocimene as a main compound, suggested it has benefits for human health as an anti-inflammatory agent. 

In addition, it was shown to  suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body. 

Antiviral 

In 2008, a study on terpenes highlighted the antiviral properties of terpenes such as ocimene, alpha-pinene and cineole. The researchers noted that these terpenes could prove effective in the fight against SARS, exhibiting antiviral effects against the SARS virus. 

Diabetes Treatment 

A study that took place in 2013 indicated that ocimene may be effective in helping treat the symptoms of diabetes. The research suggested that it does this through preventing the spread of key enzymes, using analysis of black pepper seed essential oils to demonstrate this. 

It is a key constituent of this oil, which was shown to inhibit they key enzymes that are connected to diabetes (type 2) as well as hypertension. 

How Should You Consume Ocimene? 

Ocimene can be consumed in a number of ways. One of the most popular methods is to use it in aromatherapy, diffusing it through essential oil. You can also consume it through vaping or smoking CBD flower, which will give you all the benefits of a range of terpenes and cannabinoids at once. 

It should be noted that this terpene can cause coughing when breathed directly into the lungs. If you are looking to avoid coughing, don’t use strains of cannabis that have high levels of ocimene. 

While it’s safe to apply some terpenes directly to the skin, you should avoid doing this with ocimene. This is because it is a potent terpene that can irritate the eyes and skin in high concentrations. 

What Else is Ocimene Used For? 

Ocimene has a number of uses thanks to its unique profile. Due to the fact that insects tend to avoid plants with high levels of this terpene, it’s frequently found in insecticides. The woody, herbaceous aroma means it’s a favorite ingredient in surface cleaners, fabric softeners, shampoos, soaps, and antiperspirants. 

This terpene also appears frequently in fragrances and perfumes at levels of up to 3 percent, as well as in aromatherapy and massage oils. 

Bottom Line On Ocimene Terpene Effects.

Ocimene is a naturally occurring terpene found in a variety of cannabis strains. It can be smoked or vaped as CBD flower, or it can be used in aromatherapy. Early research suggests that this herbal and woody terpene may offer a range of health benefits when consumed. 

While more studies are needed to confirm its benefits for human health, research is showing that this terpene is helping users live a more freeing life.

Resources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26114148/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278691513006297

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25026734/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18357554/