Previously, the benefits of Cannabis were thought to be only related to cannabinoids. We now know that the combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids with other chemical compounds is more therapeutically effective than cannabinoids alone. The combined effect produced from the different compounds in Cannabis is commonly known as the entourage effect (Russo, 2011).
Cannabinoids and Terpenes are produced alongside the glandular trichomes of the cannabis flower. Terpenes determine the smell and taste of different strains and play a crucial role in the cannabis experience (Witheley, 2017).
The terpene Bisabolol is commonly found in chamomile and is known for its fresh floral fragrance with a sweet hint of spice or citrus. Discovered and first isolated in 1951, it is frequently used as an ingredient in dermatological and cosmetic products, including makeup and shaving cream.
This article will explore the latest evidence supporting the potential of the terpene Bisabolol, its uses, and its benefits within the Cannabis Plant.
What is Bisabolol?
Bisabolol, also known as Levomenol or alpha-Bisabolol, is a sesquiterpene with a warm floral fragrance similar to honey, apples, and chamomiles. It has been used commercially in derma cosmetics for its effects, and it is found abundantly in chamomile (which contains up to 50% Bisabolol), Candeia Tree, and sage.
Bisabolol's medicinal benefits include anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-anxiety, anti-depression, and analgesic properties. It can also enhance other molecules' absorption by the skin's dermal layers, making it ideal for topical formulations.
Bisabolol has a fragrant warm floral aroma. Some also describe it as a nutty, fruity scent with herbal undertones and even peppery.
Bisabolol rich cannabis cultivars
Strains with high levels of Bisabolol include:
● Mandarin Dream
● Super Sour D
● OG Kush
Besides being praised as a youth source by the cosmetics industry, Bisabolol has several other potentially therapeutic properties, such as contributing to overall well-being, depression, and even insomnia (Muñoz-Pérez, Ortiz, Ponce-Monter, Monter-Pérez, & Barragán-Ramírez, 2018). Some other potential benefits include:
According to a 2016 study, Bisabolol may have the ability to treat kidney injuries. The results showed that this terpene provided positive efficacy and protective benefits for conditions involving the kidneys, attributing these benefits mainly to its antioxidant properties. (Sampaio et al., 2016)
Scientific studies showed a potential bisabolol role as a pain reliever. A 2011 study suggested Bisabolol's ability to reduce inflammation and pain, suggesting that Bisabolol has analgesic outcomes (Rocha NF; Rios ER; Carvalho AM; Cerqueira GS; Lopes Ade A; Leal LK; Dias ML; de Sousa DP; de Sousa FC; 2011).
Bisabolol possesses anti-inflammatory properties and is well-known to reduce skin irritations. A 2014 study found that the terpene may reduce cytokines' production, pro-inflammatory chemicals, and it inhibits skin inflammation without causing side effects. (Maurya AK; Singh M; Dubey V; Srivastava S; Luqman S; Bawankule DU; 2014)
Bisabolol for Cancer treatment:
A medical study published in 2011 showed how Bisabolol might kill acute leukemia cells (E. Cavalieri et al., 2011). The findings support an earlier 2010 research that found the bisabolol inhibits skin, ovarian, breast, and prostate cancer cell growth (Srivastava, Shankar, & Gupta, 2010). These results promise potential therapy for cancer patients with this terpene.
Antibacterial and Antifungal:
Other known properties of Bisabolol have been studied, showing fungicidal and antibacterial actions against Staphylococcus aureus, as well as against common fungal infections. (Pauli et al., 2011). Other researches of Bisabolol showed effectiveness against two species of Candida. (Merghache D; Boucherit-Otmani Z; Merghache S; Chikhi I; Selles C; Boucherit K; 2014).
In a recent study, Bisabolol and tea tree oil had antimicrobial effects against halitosis bacteria. Positive results indicate that Bisabolol is beneficial in oral healthcare products (Forrer; Kulik; Filippi; Waltimo, 2013).
A study published in 2018 found that Bisabolol has gastro-protective effects, and it could protect the digestive system from damage. Researchers compared Bisabolol with diclofenac, which has gastric damage as a side effect. Bisabolol showed to protect against gastric injuries. In addition, the two could work synergistically to reduce inflammation, reducing potential side effects (Ortiz MI; Cariño-Cortés R; Ponce-Monter HA; Castañeda-Hernández G; Chávez-Piña AE; 2018)
A 2017 study published in Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology indicated Bisabolol might reduce anxious behavior in several experiments. The results suggest that this terpene may impact gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, which can induce relaxation (Tabari, Tehrani, MAB; 2017)
Bisabolol in a nutshell
Bisabolol has a wide-range of proven medicinal benefits for a variety of conditions. Among those, we can find liver disease, cancer, kidney, skin conditions, depression, anxiety, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Like other terpenes, Bisabolol is essential in aiding with inflammation, skin, and pain. As more research emerges, we unlock more benefits of Bisabolol in different treatments.
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- Muñoz-Pérez, V., Ortiz, M., Ponce-Monter, H., Monter-Pérez, V., & Barragán-Ramírez, G. (2018, July). Anti-inflammatory and utero-relaxant effect of α-bisabolol on the pregnant human uterus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019870/
- Sampaio, T., Costa, M., Meneses, G., Arrieta, M., Filho, A., Morais, G., . . . Martins, A. (2016, November 11). Nephroprotective effects of (−)-α-bisabolol against ischemic-reperfusion acute kidney injury. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711316302124
- MAB;, T. (2017, October). Evidence for the involvement of the GABAergic, but not serotonergic transmission in the anxiolytic-like effect of bisabolol in the mouse elevated plus maze. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28730280/
- Pauli, A., De Lucca, A., Schilcher, H., Sien, T., Bhatnagar, D., & Walsh, T. J. (2011, December). Fungicidal and Bactericidal Properties of Bisabolol and Dragosantol. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2011.9700457
- Merghache D;Boucherit-Otmani Z;Merghache S;Chikhi I;Selles C;Boucherit K;. (2014). Chemical composition, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant activities of Algerian Eryngium tricuspidatum L. essential oil. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24559136/
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- Rocha NF;Rios ER;Carvalho AM;Cerqueira GS;Lopes Ade A;Leal LK;Dias ML;de Sousa DP;de Sousa FC;. (2011, December). Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of (-)-α-bisabolol in rodents. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21870032/
- E. Cavalieri, S., L. Costarelli, M., E. Darra, S., MS. Tallman, D., FR. Appelbaum, D., JE. Lancet, S., . . . E. Lugli, L. (2011, January 01). Pro-apoptotic activity of α-bisabolol in preclinical models of primary human acute leukemia cells. Retrieved November, from https://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5876-9-45
- Ortiz MI;Cariño-Cortés R;Ponce-Monter HA;Castañeda-Hernández G;Chávez-Piña AE;, M. (2018). Pharmacological interaction of α-bisabolol and diclofenac on nociception, inflammation, and gastric integrity in rats. Retrieved November, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29243833/
- Maurya AK;Singh M;Dubey V;Srivastava S;Luqman S;Bawankule DU;. (2014). α-(-)-bisabolol reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine production and ameliorates skin inflammation. Retrieved November, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24894548/