Think of how cannabis smells. Beyond “delicious” and “skunky,” there’s a whole world of words in our lexicon to describe its fragrance. Cannabis can smell piney like a tree, earthy like the ground, citrusy in general, like specific fruits in particular, or a whole olfactory world in between. This variety in smell and taste is created by oils called terpenes, which also affect the high and therapeutic benefits of a strain or plant. Ocimene, with it’s sweet, fragrant, herbaceous, and woodsy aromas is just one of many of these compounds. (It’s also beloved by perfumers for its sweet herbal scent, contributing to floral notes like lily and lilac.)
Terpenes Are Nature’s Aroma
Terpenes are also found throughout the plant world, giving us many of the smells known by our noses. At least 100 terpenes come from the cannabis plant, and there are actually more than 20,000 known terpenes in existence. Originally thought to deter predators, terpenes actually help a plant’s survival and evolution by attracting pollinating insects, which helps spread the species by spreading its pollen. Terpenes can also attract the predators of insect herbivores, who eat the bugs that would otherwise nosh the plant. Isn’t evolution neat?
Terpene Magic in Cannabis
In the case of cannabis, terpenes like Ocimene are secreted from the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD. It works with those cannabinoids to create the various effects that cannabis has on humans, both in relation to therapeutic and psychotropic experience. This teamwork is known as the ‘entourage effect’ and is a great argument for whole plant medicine.
Ocimene produces an energetic effect in cannabis and is usually found in sativa strains. It shouldn’t be too hard to find strains high in Ocimene if you have access to a good dispensary. Strains that are often high in Ocimene are White Fire OG, Chocolope, Dutch Treat, Super Lemon Haze, Purple Haze, Arjan’s Haze #3, Amnesia, Strawberry Cough, Golden Goat, Space Queen, or Himalayan Gold.
The Exciting Therapeutic Potentials of Ocimene
In addition to cannabis, Ocimene is found in mint, parsley, basil, orchids, oregano, mango, mint, lavender, as well as other plants. Not a whole lot of research has been done yet, but it’s already proving to have many therapeutic benefits. It’s been shown to be anti-microbial, fighting off trouble-makers like Candida; a gut flora that’s prone to overgrowth. It’s also got great promise as an anti-viral, helping ward off SARS. Another study showed that ocimene has potential as an anti-inflammatory.
It’s also an anti-congestant, helping the body expel excess mucus and phlegm; making it easier to breathe. While this is medically exciting, it also contributes to more coughing when smoking cannabis strains that are high in ocimene. Something else to note about ocimene is that it has a low boiling point, so use a low heat setting when vaping strains high in ocimene to preserve the terpene’s benefits. And, as previously noted, it’s likely to give you energy; great for daytime but not bedtime.
Terpenes are a big part of why the plant world smells like it does, and cannabis is full of a variety of these aromatic oils. But they do more than make strains smell awesome, they have effects on both the high and therapeutic effects of the plant. Ocimene is going to make your herb smell sweet yet woodsy, give you an energetic boost with its high, and several therapeutic properties have already been discovered with this terpene.
Looking for strains featuring ocimene? Stop by your favorite Have a Heart location!