Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Camphene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

If you’ve ever walked through a pine forest, the strong aroma of fir needles wafting through the air is a product of the terpene camphene. Camphene is also responsible for the earthen, woodsy scents associated with herbs such as rosemary, nutmeg, and holy basil. 

Historically, camphor oil was used in perfumes, as a food additive, and for a short time around the Civil War, as fuel for lamps. Camphene’s many benefits are also available through topical infusions and select cannabis strains. Recent research suggests that camphene possesses anti-microbial and antiviral properties, provides coughing relief, and may even be able to prevent heart disease. 

What Do Terpenes like Camphene Do?

Terpenes are organic compounds found in the essential oils of most plants. Cannabis, in particular, possesses over 150 terpenes, one of which is camphene. Camphene is a minor terpene, meaning it’s less abundant than pinene or myrcene, terpenes that also exude earthy, evergreen aromas. However, camphene is still an important phytochemical for plant protection and human health.

Terpenes serve multiple purposes. They give plants flavor and aroma, deter predators like insects or foraging animals, and attract pollinators. Terpenes also support human health through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Camphene is most commonly used in topical analgesics today, in plant-based acne-fighting treatments, and even in the extremely well-known Vicks Vaporub.

Camphene and the Entourage Effect

Camphene is one of cannabis’s hundreds of compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, that contribute to each strain’s unique flavor, fragrance, benefits, and sensory experience. In a process known as the “entourage effect,” camphene synergizes with these compounds to amplify each cultivar’s therapeutic effects and psychoactive profile.  pronounced therapeutic effects. 

Several studies have demonstrated phytochemical synergy in cannabis and other plants. For example, a 2010 study examined the essential oils of multiple plants in conjunction with camphene. The researchers discovered that camphene could combat different types of bacteria when combined with these oils. When camphene is combined with sage oil, the terpene also shows the potential to combat fungi.

Camphene Research & Benefits

To date, various studies have explored the human and animal applications of camphene for many medical issues, garnering interesting results and displaying the need for further research on this terpene.

Anti-Inflammatory

Studies in rats found that when administered with other terpenes, camphene significantly reduces pain by combatting inflammation. Additionally, another study revealed that camphene shows gastroprotective properties by demonstrating anti-ulcer activity.

Cardiovascular

In a study conducted on rats, camphene reduced cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, warranting further research. An additional animal study showed that camphene might lower HDL lipoproteins, positioning it as a potential treatment for cardiovascular disease.

Respiratory

Research examining camphene’s impact on respiratory illnesses found that when administered in the form of tulsi essential oil, camphene shows promise of combatting bronchitis. Furthermore, when camphene is diluted and administered as vapor, it may suppress coughs and relieve congestion.

Anti-cancer

In melanoma cells, camphene promoted the shrinkage and death of cells, and was active against grafted tumors when injected in mice.

Antifungal

A study conducted in 2017 showed that when camphene was administered with sage oil, it exhibited potent antifungal properties to combat common fungal issues such as athlete’s foot and dermatological diseases like dermatitis.

Do Terpenes Like Camphene Get You High?

No. Unlike cannabinoids such as THC, terpenes are nonpsychoactive, meaning they don’t have mind-altering effects. However, terpenes contribute to the strain’s sensory experience, ranging from uplifting to relaxing or mildly sedative.

Strains with the Most Camphene

Camphene is less abundant than the similarly flavored myrcene terpene, but it is equally as interesting regarding medicinal benefits. Several well-known cannabis strains, or cultivars, reportedly contain camphene, including?

  • OG Kush
  • ACDC
  • Strawberry Banana
  • Banana Kush
  • Grandaddy Purple

The Bottom Line

Camphene is a pine-fresh minor terpene found in certain cannabis cultivars. However, it is most concentrated in evergreen trees, especially in the Douglas fir. When combined with other phytochemicals, camphene packs a punch of medicinal benefits against cardiovascular disease, fungal and viral infections, and apoptosis, or cell death, in cancer cells.  

Consumers looking for camphene cannabis strains should ask budtenders for products that have been terpene-tested by a third-party laboratory. These products should have Certificates of Analysis (COAs) from the laboratory indicating their precise terpene profiles. Consumers can find COAs from QR codes on product packaging and directly from manufacturers’ websites. 

At ACS Laboratory we test for 36 terpenes. Contact us today to request terpene profiling.

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