Terpene Spotlight: Valencene
Valencene is found in citrus fruit in abundant quantities, particularly Valencia oranges. Unsurprisingly, it has a sweet, fresh, citrusy scent that occasionally has notes of wood or fresh herbs. It contributes a rich, bitter scent to the cannabis strains it’s found in.
While it’s not as well-known or as well-studied as limonene, another terpene commonly found in citrus fruits, researchers are taking an active interest in this terpene. One aspect that seems particularly well-studied is its potential as an insecticide. It’s one of the building blocks of nootkatone, an insecticide that is so safe that it’s an approved food additive. On its own, it kills mosquitos and repels ticks at a rate that is actually slightly more effective than DEET.
Therapeutic Uses of Valencene
- Improves the effectiveness of doxorubicin, a chemotherapy drug.
- A potent anti-inflammatory that can actually increase survival rates in septic mice.
- An effective anticholinesterase.
- Shows potential for fighting sun damage to the skin.
- Shows anti-allergic activity.
Cannabis Strains High in Valencene
- Agent Orange
- Sour Diesel
Other Sources of Valencene
- Chinese bayberry
- Citrus fruits
- Olive oil
- Valencia oranges
Valencene as a Functional Ingredient
Unfortunately, we don’t know enough about this terpene to know how to use it as a functional ingredient. While researchers are studying this terpene, I was unable to find any studies out of the preliminary stage. Clearly, we still have a lot to learn and it’s exciting to see what science will reveal next.
Cannabis is in a weird limbo where we’re dependent on science to help us determine how to get the most out of the plant. However, the federal government is still making cannabis research unreasonably difficult. Fortunately, terpenes can be derived from a wide variety of plants, which makes it much easier for scientists to work without being subjected to the Byzantine bureaucracy of cannabis research.
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