FEB 08, 2022 8:01 AM PST

Meet the Terpene Humulene

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

Although the more dominant and well-known terpenes like limonene and myrcene receive more research attention, several past and current research studies highlight the potential therapeutic applications of humulene. Also known as alpha-humulene and alpha-caryophyllene, humulene is present in sage, basil, hops, cloves, and black pepper. It has an earthy and spicy aroma and taste which supposedly repels pests in the natural world. Some cultivars with higher amounts of humulene include Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, and White Widow. Humulene has versatile properties; it can act as appetite suppressant, an antibiotic, a pain reliever, or an anti-inflammatory solution comparable in strength to the steroid dexomethasone. It has rapid onset and can be used orally or topically. For centuries, people have used plants rich with humulene to make antibacterial poultices, and now contemporary researchers are exploring medical uses for humulene.

A 2020 study found alpha-humulene inhibited Staphylococcus aureus development responsible for canine dermatitis. Researchers assessed the effectiveness of essential oils obtained from verbena, lemongrass, cinnamon, and other plant sources for managing skin irritation. The study found that alpha-humulene generated an effective antimicrobial response to canine bacterial skin infections; it also concluded that humulene could be especially useful when medical conditions are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. 

Other research studies have highlighted humulene’s ability to act as anti-cancer and analgesic agents. A 2009 study published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology  evaluated humulene’s anti-inflammatory and antibiofilm activities against pathogens. The researchers found that humulene significantly reduced the growth of cancer cells after oral and aerosol administration of humulene. A 2016 study determined beta-caryophyllene and beta-caryophyllene oxide interfere with cancer cell development. When combined with phytocannabinoids and terpenes, humulene also effectively reduces pain. 

Although more research needs to determine humulene’s most effective uses, studies suggest topical and oral use of humulene is safe for humans and canines.  

Sources:

Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Cancer Medicine, Microorganisms

 

About the Author
BA and MA in English, MPS in Human Relations, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
SEP 22, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
Human Protein Crucial to Infection & Disease is Discovered
SEP 22, 2022
Human Protein Crucial to Infection & Disease is Discovered
The pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2 caused many scientists to begin studying infectious disease, in search of ways to stop the ...
SEP 23, 2022
Health & Medicine
Novel Approach Developed for Ear Replacement Surgery
SEP 23, 2022
Novel Approach Developed for Ear Replacement Surgery
In a recent study published in Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine, a team of researchers have developed a n ...
SEP 21, 2022
Neuroscience
What We Can Learn From Brain Asymmetry
SEP 21, 2022
What We Can Learn From Brain Asymmetry
A study published in eLife examined the subtle differences in functional organization between the left and right side of ...
SEP 24, 2022
Cardiology
Does Alcohol Cause QT Prolongation in Adolescents?
SEP 24, 2022
Does Alcohol Cause QT Prolongation in Adolescents?
For many years, moderate alcohol intake and its effect on health have been subject to much debate, particularly concerni ...
SEP 29, 2022
Cardiology
Hypertension in Children, Teens Linked to Unhealthy Lifestyle
SEP 29, 2022
Hypertension in Children, Teens Linked to Unhealthy Lifestyle
Inactivity, sugar, salt, and weight gain are causing hypertension in children and teens.
SEP 30, 2022
Health & Medicine
Glyphosate, Now Found in Humans, Can Cause Convulsions in Animals
SEP 30, 2022
Glyphosate, Now Found in Humans, Can Cause Convulsions in Animals
Glyphosate is the chemical in a product called Roundup that kills weeds, especially grasses and broadleaf weeds that com ...
Loading Comments...