Terpene of the Month: Carene
Each month we’ve highlighted one of the 200+ volatile aromatic compounds called terpenes that create the unique flavors and aromas of different cannabis strains. Terpenes generally enhance the health benefits of cannabis while reducing the intoxicating effects that can cause anxiety. Additionally, each terpene has unique therapeutic properties. In this final feature article on terpenes, we’ll discuss the secondary cannabis terpene carene.
Carene has a sweet, pungent earthy aroma with notes of pine.
Botanicals Containing Carene
Carene is abundant in nature and is commonly found in allspice, rosemary, basil, cedar, pine and turpentine, as well as cannabis. It has traditionally been used to make cosmetics and perfumes.
Carene is believed to promote memory retention and alertness.
While carene is believed to be responsible for the dry mouth and eye redness associated with smoking cannabis, it also offers several therapeutic benefits. For example, research indicates that carene can be effectively used to reduce acute inflammation. This is consistent with other findings that spices (which generally contain high concentrations of terpenes) can help to prevent the inflammation that leads to chronic illnesses.
Other research has found that juniper essential oil, which is rich in carene, can effectively combat fungal infections in clinical settings. The research also determined that the presence of carene was fundamental to the antifungal efficacy of juniper oil.
Perhaps most valuably, research shows that carene has the unique ability to stimulate bone growth. The study compared the effects of 89 different natural compounds on bone formation and found that low concentrations of carene can have dramatic effects on mineralization and calcium induction. These results indicate that carene may be an important component of prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other conditions that weaken bones.
Carene has a moderate boiling point of 170°C/338°F – so the best way to take advantage of its benefits is by using a customizable temperature vaporizer such as the Argo. (For more information, see WikiLeaf’s Customize Your High By Controlling Your Vaporizer Temperature).
Cannabis Families with Abundant Carene
To identify strains rich in carene, use your nose or select strains that are listed as having a sweet, pungent earthy aroma. Terpene levels vary from harvest to harvest, but some strains consistently produce high levels. According to the most recent tests of our concentrated terpene extracts, our strain with the highest level of carene is Cherry Pie, followed by Green Mountain.