Image of Hops

Everything you need to know about the terpene Humulene

Like cannabinoids, Terpenes exist in the glandular trichomes on the exterior of cannabis flowers and associated leaves( Witheley, 2017). Over 200 terpenes are identified in the cannabis plant, contributing aroma and significantly impacting patients' cannabis treatment outcomes.  

Humulene is a terpene commonly found in many herbs and flowers apart from cannabis. Similar to Pinene and Myrcene, it is an essential element in the overall aromatic profile of cannabis. Recently, it has gained popularity for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and appetite suppressant properties.  

In this article, we'll dive into Humulene and its benefits; we've gathered everything you need to know to get you up to speed.  

What is Humulene? 

Humulene is a monocyclic sesquiterpene used for centuries in holistic Eastern medicinal practices. It is named after Humulus lupulus, and it is one of the most commonly occurring terpenes in the cannabis plant.  

Humulene, combined with pinene, provides the piney aroma of a summer breeze. The unmistakable hoppy taste that makes beer refreshing is due to the hop plant's Humulene, and it is also the reason for the burning bite of sage, ginger, and ginseng.  

Nowadays, Humulene is thought to promote appetite-suppressing effects. Significant focuses of study include; Humulene's potential to promote weight loss, as an anti-inflammatory, to treat allergies, and as a target to reduce tumor growth.  

Humulene Aroma 

Humulene is found in the flowering cone of the hops plant. It is also present in marsh elders and a wide array of herbs and spices, including; sage, basil, clove, black pepper, coriander, and balsam fir tree. 

As mentioned earlier, Humulene gives beer its distinctive profile. In combination with other terpenes, it is responsible for the aromas of several cannabis strains. Its smell can be easily distinguished in the spiciness of ginseng or ginger. Humulene aroma is subtle: earthy, woody, with spicy, herbal notes.  

Like other terpenes, Humulene is critical in cannabis's aromatic profile; however, it usually occurs in smaller quantities rather than a predominant fragrance. Some might describe it as an undertone that fills the palate with earthy nuances a few seconds after exhaling. 

Trulieve Strains with Humulene

Humulene rich cannabis cultivars 

Humulene can be found in the following cannabis strains: 

  • Stardawg 
  • Dogwalker OG 
  • Maui Wowie 
  • Red Eye OG 

Humulene Benefits and Studies:  

The medicinal and healing potential of Humulene is extensive and well-researched. However, like many things related to cannabis, further research is still needed to determine the beneficial effects on health.  

Also, in the life cycle of cannabis before harvest, Humulene plays a crucial function in aiding in the plant's defense capabilities by deterring pests and preventing fungal infestations. 

Antitumor: A 2003 study published in the journal "Planta Medica" indicated that humulene rich balsam fir oil might promote apoptosis (programmed death) in cancer cells, evidenced by its capacity to generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). 

A 2016 study showed it could help kill cancer cells when combined with other cannabinoids and terpenes. (Fidyt, Fiedorowicz, Strządała, & Szumny, 2016) 

Pain: In a 2008 study published in "Planta Medica," Humulene exhibits both anti-inflammatory activities and can result in a reduced perception of pain when taken orally, by aerosol or when it is applied topically.  


It posses antibacterial properties showing to be active against Staphylococcus aureus (a.k.a. golden staph) when administered in small quantities. S. aureus is a bacterium present in our bodies; however, it can play a role in a host of nasty infections and diseases when exposed. (Bennett, 2020) 

Weight loss:  

It is considered an appetite suppressant, and it works alongside other chemicals in cannabis to promote weight loss. 

Humulene in a Nutshell: 

Humulene is one of the most abundant terpenes found in cannabis cultivars and can be found in various everyday herbs, spices, and some kinds of beer. It exhibits promise in treating a plethora of ailments and medical conditions, including allergies, obesity/weight loss, Staph infections, and antitumor. 

**Note: As always, with medical conditions and symptoms, please consult with your doctor for personalized medical advice. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements made regarding these products. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  



Chaves, J.S., et al. Pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of the sesquiterpene alpha-humulene in mice. Planta Medica. 2008 Nov;74(14):1678-83   

Legault, J., et al. Antitumor activity of balsam fir oil: production of reactive oxygen species induced by alpha-humulene as a possible action mechanism. Planta Medica. 2003 May;69(5):402-7. 

Fidyt, K., Fiedorowicz, A., Strządała, L., & Szumny, A. (2016, October). β-caryophyllene and β-caryophyllene oxide-natural compounds of anticancer and analgesic properties.  

Bennett, P. (2020, July 28). What is Humulene, and what does this cannabis terpene do  

Russo, E., Marcu, J. Cannabinoid, Pharmacology. Advances in Pharmacology. June 5, 2017