What is Ocimene?

Written by Jamal Barghouti January 26, 2019
The Plant

In last week’s article, we continued our series on terpenes with terpinolene, a terpene often used in cleaning products due to its fragrance and antimicrobial properties. Today, we’ll discuss ocimene, another smelly terpene found in mint, basil, orchids, and kumquats.

What are terpenes?

As we discussed in this article, terpenes are the aromatic chemical compounds that give cannabis its distinct smell and taste. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis and are found throughout nature; plants with strong fragrances like basil or eucalyptus are also full of terpenes.

Humans have been using terpenes in the form of essential oils for thousands of years. Research suggests that these chemicals interact with receptors in our endocrine, neuroendocrine, and endocannabinoid systems—the systems responsible for homeostasis within the body. Terpenes promote the natural production of chemicals in our bodies, and therefore our overall health, by activating receptors in each of these systems.

What is ocimene?

Ocimene is a terpene found in orchids, basil, mint, mangoes, and cannabis, among other things. It is known for its sweet and slightly herbaceous fragrance. It is described as smelling like damp cloth and is often used in perfumery for its unique fragrance.

Where can you find ocimene?

Ocimene can be found in both indicas and sativas, though it is more closely associated with an uplifting high attributed to a sativa. Popular strains with high levels of ocimene include Chernobyl, OG Kush, and Durban Poison; however, the concentration of ocimene may vary widely from grower to grower. If you’re interested in getting your hands on some ocimene, we suggest Black Jack from Kiff or G-13 from Green and Gold.

What are the medical benefits of ocimene?

While there is a long medical history of using terpenes in homeopathic treatments, the prohibition of cannabis severely limits the amount of information available for the combined effect of cannabis and ocimene. As always, this information is intended solely for educational purposes. If you have serious medical issues, you should reach out to a trusted medical professional.

The Entourage Effect and Total Plant Medicine

Research suggests that the use of pure extracts of any terpene or cannabinoid is not as effective as when they are paired with other terpenes or cannabinoids. These compounds have a synergistic effect, working in tandem to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Studies have shown that consistent use, as well as the use of a variety of terpenes at different potencies, shows better results in the treatment of various symptoms.

Think of it like taking a multivitamin—the increased and consistent levels of vitamins in your immune system promote the overall efficiency of your immune system and will show improvement over time. Similarly, research suggests that consistency of use of cannabinoids and terpenes promotes the overall effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system.


Disclaimer: Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.