Terpenes are the aromatic essential oils produced in the glandular trichomes of cannabis flowers and associated leaves (Witheley, 2017). They determine the smell and taste of different cannabis strains and play a crucial role in the cannabis experience.
Previously, the benefits of marijuana were thought to be only related to cannabinoids; now, we know there are over four hundred chemical compounds that interact with each other to create an overall different, or "greater," outcome (Russo, 2011).
Around two hundred terpenes are identifiable in the cannabis plant, but only a few are in substantial amounts enough to be quickly determined by smelling them. Valencene, a terpene recognized for its name given by Valencia oranges, has a distinctively sweet, citrusy smell.
Research has shown that this terpene can work as an anti-inflammatory, a bronchodilator, and an anti-allergic. In this article, we will explore the latest evidence supporting Valencene uses and its benefits.
What is Valencene?
Valencene is a lesser-known sesquiterpene that produces aromatic sweet, citrus, herb, and woody notes. Like Limonene, it is found in citrus-scented strains and fruits like grapefruit, tangerine, orange, nectarines, mangoes, and Valencia oranges.
Strains high in Valencene produce euphoria, mood elevation, aids with alertness, and promotes cognitive functions.
Valencene is considered a powerful insecticide and is often found in tick and mosquito repellent. It is also utilized in pest control, cleaning products, personal care products, and cosmetics.
Valencene rich cannabis cultivars:
- Mother of Dragons
- Aliens on Moonshine
- Where’s My Bike
In addition to the properties mentioned already, Valencene is sometimes infused in olive oils to give an extra flavor that pairs well with salads or other food preparations.
Emerging research suggests that Valencene has therapeutic benefits as an anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and skin protectant. This terpene may improve the efficacy of Doxorubicin, drug use in chemotherapy.
Another source of Valencene is Chinese Bayberry, a valued edible fruit and a medicinal herb.
Another essential property of this terpene is that it is an adjuvant, which means it is an immunological agent that can improve the immune response. Adjuvants are commonly added to vaccines to promote the production of more antibodies and longer-lasting immunity.
Research has shown that the application of Valencene improves atopic dermatitis (AD) and itching behavior. Treatments involving the Essential Oil, high in this terpene, Cyperus rotundus (nutgrass), modulate the inflammatory responses and enhances the expression of involucrin, the skin barrier protein.
UV rays may cause pigment changes and inflammation due to skin penetration depth, leading to melanogenesis and skin wrinkling. Research that tested the effects of Valencene in melanoma cells showed skin-protection and therapeutic impact on UV- induced photoaging (Yang, Lee, & Shin, 2016)
Valencene has anti-inflammatory properties, according to a study published in 2011, which is a common characteristic in most terpenes.
This terpene packs a powerful punch when boosting the immune system and may aid in long-term health (Gallily, Yekhtin, & Hanuš, 2018).
The rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus (CRE) show anti-allergic activity displaying high inhibitory effects. In a 2011 study, Valencene administrated orally exerted anti-allergic activity in mice (Ho Jin, Lee, Shik Kim, Kim; 2011)
Efficacy of Chemotherapy Drug
Valencene has been found to improve the efficacy of Doxorubicin, drug use in chemotherapy. Other terpenes that can improve Doxorubicin are caryophyllene, humulene, and nerolidol. A recent study showed how Valencene is the most widely useful terpene tested in improving the therapeutic action of Doxorubicin in cancer cells that were partly resistant to the drug (Ambrož M; Matoušková P; Skarka A; Zajdlová M; Žáková K; Skálová L; 2017).
Like the majority of terpenes, Valencene is useful to keep insects away. This terpene can repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitos more effectively than DEET and without harmful chemicals (Asakawa, 2010).
Valencene in a Nutshell:
As with Limonene, Valencene's orange scent is found in different strains of cannabis. It has many potential medicinal benefits such as an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic, bronchodilator, and skin protectant. Besides, it enhances chemotherapy treatments, allowing drugs to work more efficiently, and can be an energy booster. As always, more research is needed to determine the full potential of terpenes and their interaction with other cannabinoids.
Yang, I., Lee, D., & Shin, H. (2016). Inhibitory Effect of Valencene on the Development of Atopic Dermatitis-Like Skin Lesions in NC/Nga Mice. from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5007308/
Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z., & Hanuš, L. (2018, December 26). The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Terpenoids from Cannabis. from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6308289/
HP;, J. (2011, February). Anti-allergic activity of sesquiterpenes from the rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21380805/
Ambrož M;Matoušková P;Skarka A;Zajdlová M;Žáková K;Skálová L;. (2017). The Effects of Selected Sesquiterpenes from Myrica rubra Essential Oil on the Efficacy of Doxorubicin in Sensitive and Resistant Cancer Cell Lines. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28632185/
Asakawa, Y., & Y. N. (2010). Valencene. from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/valencene