BY MARIE LODI
In our Terpenes 411 column, we’ll be talking about terpenes, which are aromatic compounds found in every plant, including marijuana. Not only do they give our favorite strains their distinctive scents—they also play a major part in providing therapeutic effects. There are over 100 different terpenes in the cannabis plant, and while each has its own benefits, when they come together with THC, CBD, other terpenes, and our own biological makeup, they interact synergistically, resulting in what is known as The Entourage Effect. In this recurring feature, we’ll be delving into, and providing a full-fledged education, about this buzzword that you’ve likely been hearing about all over the place.
Much like the terpene myrcene, camphene is known for its earthy scent, emitting a woodsy-like aroma that's reminiscent of fir needles. As its name suggests, camphene has been found in camphor oil, as well as citronella, sage oil, ginger oil, neroli, and valerian. Before the Civil War, camphene was a popular fuel used for lamps. However, due to its highly explosive quality, it was replaced over time by kerosene. It was known to also emit a strong, irritating smoke at high temps. This is something to keep in mind when it comes to camphene’s presence in weed, though non-isolated, small amounts of camphene in a cannabis strain is considered safe.
Throughout history, camphene has been used as a food additive and fragrance component in skin care, but is also a commonly found cannabis terpene with a slew of medicinal benefits. One of these potential benefits has to do with heart health. A 2011 study found that camphene can lead to a significant decrease in plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats. While more studies still need to be done to rightfully evaluate its efficacy, camphene shows promise in the cardiovascular department. Heart health isn’t the only potential perk of this terpene: Camphene has also been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, and has antifungal properties, too. Aside from cannabis, camphene can be found in holy basil, nutmeg, and rosemary as well.
Curious about trying this heart-helping, anti-inflammatory, and pain-quelling terpene? Check out indica strains like OG Kush at your nearest MedMen cannabis retailer.