Discovering Terpenes: ɑ-Humulene
My real discovery of terpenes came after getting my first test results of our cultivar, Oregon Wine,last year while starting our business in Nevada. I was new to the cannabis industry with no background in scientific studies, and when I held that 6 page analysis in my hands, I wanted to soak up what it all meant. I read through the main terpenes that existed in our cultivar, with ɑ-Humulene being one of the more substantial terpenes (I would later learn that it is substantial in That T.O.M. too!) I started down the path of herbalism, gaining all the knowledge I could about the natural healing effects of the terpenes that existed in the strain of medicine that we had discovered and made.
Humulene is the most common name in reference to the terpene, but is also regularly known as Alpha Humulene, or ɑ-Humulene. I was surprised to lean that ɑ-Humulene is the same terpene that gives distinctive aroma to hops, or beer, and is maybe why it struck as being a favorite in our house. This terpene is also found in black pepper, and has been used for centuries because of specific healing properties. One of the healing properties is being an anti-inflammatory, which we noticed in our cultivar. It helps relieve some of the mild aches and pains that we have throughout our bodies because of normal wear and tear of becoming aged. Another really cool effect of ɑ-Humulene is that it is also known to be an appetite suppressant. I had noticed when using Oregon Wine, the munchies were not apparent like other medicines I had used, but thought nothing of it. Little did I know that was actually ɑ-Humulene at work! It also gives us the pep in our step to get stuff done for the day, and is definitely not a cultivar that can be stereotyped as making us the lazy stoner!
Through my research, I learned that ɑ-Humulene is one of the more popular terpenes throughout different cultivars, and is present in a good amount of quantities in popular cultivars, such as Girl Scout Cookies, Sherbert, and Gelato. It is also one of the main terpenes in cannabis that contributes to giving aromas and scents to the plant, in general. Although ɑ-Humuleneis usually found in modest levels within testing, it usually plays second fiddle to another terpene to round out the nose.
There are also very similar ties between ɑ-Humulene and ɑ-Caryophyllene. In fact, at one point, they were thought to be the same terpene. They both share the same chemicals, but after further scientific research, were found to differ in structure. They found that ɑ-Humulene exists within ɑ-Caryophyllene, and are paired together within terpene profiles.
Back to the healing properties of ɑ-Humulene, it has been included in scientific cancer studies, and has been shown to possibly help terminate cancer cells when combined with other cancer-fighting terpenes. Most recently, it has been used in studies for possibilities of fighting tumors. ɑ-Humulene is present in many essential oils that have been used in healing for centuries. Another study shows that it may also aid in being active against Staphylococcus Aureus in small quantities. Scientists have also explored how ɑ-Humulene may possibly aid in dealing with those pesky seasonal allergies!
One of the more important aspects of ɑ-Humulene that we noticed working with our cultivars is the aid to harvesting. Prior to harvest, ɑ-Humulene activates in the trichomes to help deter pests and prevent fungal infestations. I have always been a firm believer that Oregon Wine’s terpene profile played a part in pest deterrent as we never had an issue with them, growing our cultivar in several different environments. It has always been a nice and hearty cultivar, that stayed healthy throughout its life cycle.
It looks like ɑ-Humulene can play a large part in being a beneficial terpene within the mix of several for a cultivar of cannabis. As we continue to discover the terpenes of Oregon Wine and That T.O.M., we can see the healing properties which exist in our home grown medicine. A cultivar that is good for inflammatory issues, along with making you feel revitalized and focused for the day. Let us know how our cultivars, within Wavy Flower Company, are working for you! We are excited to see many growers with our genetics, and cannot wait to see what is next!