This is the eighth installment in our weekly series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes,” published every Monday. For more information, read the introduction to this series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes: A Guide For Medical Marijuana Patients.”

Camphene is a cannabis terpene that emanates a pungent earthy and musky scent with piney undertones. This terpene is sometimes mistaken for the terpene myrcene, which has a similar scent but is far more abundant in cannabis strains. Camphene is prevalent in strains such as Ghost OG, Strawberry Banana, Thunderstruck, and Mendocino Purps.

Camphene is a terpenoid that has powerful pain-relieving and antioxidative properties and provides a sense of alertness and elevated mood. Despite these tangible benefits, medical cannabis patients who vaporize or smoke their medication should be aware that this terpene is highly combustible and releases carcinogenic smoke when heated to high enough temperatures. Patients who prefer to medicate with tincture or topicals can benefit from the antioxidant and pain-relieving properties that camphene provides, without the toxicity it’s usually associated with.

SCIENCE FACT: In the mid-1900s, camphene was commonly used as a fuel for lamps before it was deemed too explosive to be safe. 

Scientists readily admit that this volatile terpene produces an acrid smoke that can irritate the lungs and throat but are still not ready to concede its medicinal importance for medical cannabis patients. Newer research proves that when kept at stable temperatures, camphene can be used to treat inflammatory lung diseases.

A study from March 2009 examined the antioxidant properties of camphene as a possible agent to battle pulmonary inflammation. Camphene shows great promise for regulating cardiovascular health based on a 2011 study, which observed notable reductions in cholesterol and triglycerides. In December 2012, camphene demonstrated potential as a potent antioxidant, pain reliever, and anti-inflammatory.

Camphene is commonly used in cannabis-based creams, salves, and lotions. Its ability to potentially treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis indicates camphene could hold anti-fungal and antibacterial efficacy. 

Camphene’s potential contributions to the overall medicinal spectrum of cannabis make this terpene one to look for, especially in the treatment of skin ailments.

Also naturally found in conifer, nutmeg, ginger, and rosemary, camphene is used as a major constituent in various fragrances, oils, foods, and topical creams. Camphene is often synthesized from pinene, another cannabis terpene.

Understanding individual terpene characteristics can play a key factor in selecting the ideal strain. Whether inhaled or used aromatically or topically, the many benefits of camphene prove promising in improving overall health and well-being. Feel free to email us to assist with any questions you may have.