Testing and Terpenes

by | Apr 27, 2016

medicine box afgoo lab report

Here at Medicine Box we are huge believers in transparency: everyone deserves to know what they’re putting into their body. With that in mind, we wanted to share the lab report from the oil we’ve been putting into our chocolate truffles. (Full disclosure: I edited the image to remove some personal information. It now says “Tested for: Medicine Box” but everything else is untouched.)

What I find most interesting are the terpene results. The three most prominent terpenes in our Afgoo oil are bisabolol, caryophyllene oxide and beta caryophyllene, and alpha humulene. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in wide variety of plants; they contribute scent, flavor, and color, and some even have medicinal or therapeutic properties. Over 200 different varieties of terpenes have been found in cannabis and their unique profile can be used to identify individual cannabis strains.


Bisabolol is a terpene with a floral scent and flavor; it’s also found in chamomile. It’s known to have anti-microbial, anti-inflamatory, and anti-irritant effects and to help fight leukemia.

It pairs well with both dark and white chocolate, honey, lemon, and tea.

Beta Caryophyllene and Caryophyllene Oxide

Caryophyllene oxide is the oxidation product of beta-Caryophyllene. They have a hoppy, spicy flavor and can be found in hops, black pepper, cloves, basil, and oregano. That’s an interesting variety of potential flavor pairings, which makes cooking with these terpenes ridiculously fun.

Caryophyllenes show evidence of being anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory. There’s also evidence that low doses can help treat anxiety and depression.

Fun fact: it’s caryophyllene oxide that drug dogs recognize when searching for cannabis.

Alpha Humulene

Alpha humulene has a woody, earthy aroma, similar to hops; it’s also found in sage, ginger, and coriander. Humulene has been shown to have a host of medical benefits, including anti-cancer activity.

Terpenes are a fascinating subject and I still have a lot to learn. This infographic from Leafly is a helpful introduction to some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. What are your favorite terpene resources? Do terpenes matter to you when you buy cannabis products?

leafly terpene infographic