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June 24, 2019
Terpenes 411: Ocimene

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.

What is Ocimene?

If you own a perfume with lavender or bergamot notes, odds are good that you’re already be acquainted with ocimene. This particular terpene can be identified in lots of different fragrances thanks to its florally, sweet, and somewhat woodsy aroma. Those who sip Earl Grey tea on the regular are familiar with ocimene, too, as bergamot is a signature component in the aromatic black tea flavor.  A far from elusive terpene, ocimene is present in a slew of plants. Aside from the aforementioned lavender and bergamot, it can be found in everything from mangoes to kumquats, basil, allspice, pepper, mint, orchids, hops and parsley.

When it comes to medicinal cannabis benefits, ocimene has antifungal and antiviral properties, characteristics it shares with such other terpenes as nerolidol and borneol. A 2008 study showed the terpene to be a main component of the essential oil of bay laurel, which was effective against the SARS virus, while a 2014 study proved ocimene to be efficient in fighting the fungus Candida. It is also shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Another interesting trait of ocimene is that it can help defend a plant against aphids and other pests.

Interested in smoking flower that has ocimene’s antiviral benefits? Ask your MedMen budtender about strains known to contain ocimene, such as OG Kush, Lemon Sour Diesel, and Strawberry Cough.

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