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What is Farnesene? The Lesser Known Cannabis Terpene

Farnesene terpene cannabis

The Farnesene terpene is not the most prevalent terpene discovered in cannabis strain profiles, but it is present in a significant proportion of them. It has a tremendous synergistic impact with other terpenes and flavonoids, making all positive benefits of the chemicals in the cannabis strain more intense. Also, some new hybrid weed seeds have substantially larger quantities of this chemical.

What are cannabis terpenes?

Terpenes are the most numerous naturally occurring compounds, with approximately 30,000 found in nature so far. They are responsible for the distinct aromas of particular plants since they are volatile aromatic chemicals. They support the distinct aromas of oranges, pine trees, hops, rosemary, and, of course, cannabis. Terpenes are classified as secondary metabolites since they do not participate in plant development or reproduction, but they serve critical defense tasks. These compounds help repel pests, insects, and herbivores while protecting plants from UV radiation. Some terpenes also function as plant-to-plant signaling molecules, assisting in the stimulation of neighboring kin’s immune systems.

There are over 150 terpenes in cannabis. Terpenes and terpenoids are the two primary categories of these compounds. Terpenes are pure hydrocarbons (consisting simply of hydrogen and carbon), whereas terpenoids contain different functional groups. Terpenoids are all terpenes; however, terpenes are not all terpenoids. Terpenes are built up of isoprene units, which are subunits. The quantity of isoprene units in a terpene influences its chemical classification. Hemiterpenes are single isoprene units that contain five carbon atoms; monoterpenes are two isoprene units that include ten carbon atoms; diterpenes are four isoprene units that contain twenty carbon atoms, and so on.

An overview of farnesene

Farnesene, like other terpenes found in cannabis, comes in a variety of forms. The word encompasses six unique chemical entities, including α-farnesene and β-farnesene. These molecules have the same number of atoms of each element as isomers, but they are organized differently. In this instance, the only difference between α-farnesene and β-farnesene is the placement of one double carbon link. These compounds are both sesquiterpenes, which means they have three isoprene units and 15 carbon atoms.

Cannabis Farnesene

According to research, farnesene protects against some insects, notably aphids. These tiny creatures create and employ terpenes as a warning signal to warn each other about approaching predators. Farnesene’s aroma not only repels aphids but also attracts predatory insects attracted to this aroma. Here are the two common types of farnesene terpene in cannabis plants:

Alpha-farnesene terpene

Despite the familiarity of the terms and the fact that this isomer belongs to the farnesene group, they must be considered the same since slight differences in a compound’s name and chemical bonds can greatly impact its properties. In the same way, each of farnesene’s isomers and stereoisomers arises differently. Alpha-farnesene is most typically associated with the aroma and cosmetics industries, and it is generally generated industrially and synthetically.

Beta-farnesene terpene

The kind of farnesene most usually associated with cannabis enthusiasts is beta-farnesene or trans-beta-farnesene. It may be found in the skin of a green apple and a variety of plants. It is a feature of some cannabis strains to which it transfers all of its qualities.

How does farnesene smell?

Farnesene is found in high concentrations in the skin of green apples and contributes to the fresh, fruity aroma that permeates the air after biting into one. Farnesene-rich cannabis strains generate mild but perceptible aromas of apples and other fruits. Also, farnesene contributes to the diverse aromas of various plants such as turmeric, hops, ginger, cedarwood, sandalwood, and grapefruit.

Benefits of farnesene in cannabis plants

One of the most notable advantages of farnesene is that it functions as a natural insect repellant for the plant. Farnesene also has the following advantages:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory: Turmeric has been utilized for centuries in various cultures as a natural anti-inflammatory. Recent studies have shown that such anti-inflammatory characteristics of this root are usually because of its high content of farnesene.
  2. Prevents tooth decay: Farnesene can help combat the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is cariogenic and responsible for tooth decay. Scientists have also proven this terpene to fight carcinogenic bacteria.
  3. Antibacterial and anti-fungal: Farnesene appears to be comparable to other terpenes found more often in cannabis strains like pinene, limonene, or myrcene. Despite not being as typically present in cannabis, farnesene has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial characteristics of its own, to the point that some insects react to it as if it were a pheromone.
  4. Improves digestion: Farnesene controls bacterial levels in the digestive system by preventing bacteria development and assisting the body in returning to equilibrium by destroying unwanted bacteria such as Candida Albicans. Farnesene has been demonstrated in recent research to have helpful carminative qualities in combating intestinal spasms and cramps that cause flatulence and other digestive disorders.
  5. Antispasmodic and anxiety relieving: The calming and muscle-relaxing actions of this terpene have proven to be quite beneficial for those suffering from anxiety, stress, or depression. Farnesene’s muscle-relaxing actions can also assist in managing spasmodic events like seizures. Farnesene has been discovered in various Indica strains with anticonvulsant qualities that may help cure epilepsy.
  6. Neuroprotection: A report published in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 2021 describes a study that examined farnesene in an Alzheimer’s disease cell culture. The researchers sought proof of neuroprotection against β-amyloid toxicity, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s pathophysiology.

Cannabis strains that contain the most farnesene

Farnesene is found in only a few strains, and even then, the quantity is minimal in comparison to other prevalent terpenes. Here are some cultivars to consider if you’re seeking cannabis strains high in farnesene:

  1. Titan F1: Farnesene, ocimene, and myrcene are abundant in this novel F1 hybrid.
  2. Milky Way F1: Experience the fruity aromas of farnesene in this new F1 hybrid.
  3. White Rhino: This offspring of White Widow and North American Indica packs adequate farnesene.
  4. Cherry Punch: This Sativa-dominant strain descends from Cherry AK-47 and Purple Punch F2. Its dense purple buds offer plenty of farnesene.
  5. Suver Haze: Suver Haze is a well-known cannabis strain that contains farnesene, which you may anticipate based on the aroma of the strain: a touch fruity or sour with floral overtones.
  6. Jack Herer: This is another good choice, but it depends on the genetics of the cannabis and who produced the Jack Herer strain.

Common applications of farnesene

Farnesene is one of the less well-known and understudied terpenes. However, researchers have discovered enough data to support a variety of uses and applications for this excellent organic chemical. Farnesene can be used in a variety of applications, including as a feedstock for the chemical transformation of various substances in the industrial manufacturing of a wide range of goods.

This is mostly because farnesene is a renewable building component for the market you wish to establish. Its molecular structure distinguishes it as a scaffold for specialized chemical applications. Farnesene can also be used as a performance material, adhesive, surfactant, stabilizer, emulsifier, cosmetic oil, polymer, and crop protection.

At what temperature should Farnesene be vaped?

Modern vaporizers include adjustable temperature settings, with many permitting modifications in 1°C increments. This allows users to target the boiling points of certain phytochemicals, such as cannabinoids and terpenes. The flexibility to modify each shot delivers a more personalized experience than hitting joints or bongs (although many cannabis lovers still prefer these older methods). When it comes to farnesene, you must set your device to at least 124°C. At this temperature, beta-caryophyllene will also be vaporized.

The connection between farnesene and the entourage effect

The entourage effect is well-known among cannabis enthusiasts. This idea proposes that numerous components of cannabis, not simply cannabinoids, interact together to generate the distinct effects of each cultivar. No studies have been done to evaluate the synergistic effects of farnesene with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and cannabis phytochemicals. Several terpenes and cannabinoids exhibit an entourage effect. As additional study is conducted, it may be discovered that farnesene helps to enhance the qualities of other cannabis components.

The connection between endocannabinoid system and farnesene

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system consisting of a complex network of endocannabinoid receptors that send signals to cells. While much remains unknown about the ECS, experts say that it is always active and may interact with phytocannabinoids found in plants. Farnesene is not a cannabinoid, and so it is not known to operate directly on ECS receptors. Farnesene, like other terpenes, may support the viability and utility of cannabinoids when introduced into the ECS.

Is Farnesen used in the production of biofuel?

Farnesene is a long-chain, branching hydrocarbon molecule that scientists have discovered can be utilized as a component in biofuel manufacturing. Lubricants, bio-polymers, and resins are also made from this sesquiterpene. Nonetheless, the actual bio-jet generation needs to be stated, and according to the SGAB standards, it still needs to be deemed an advanced biofuel.Farnesene, like many other sesquiterpenes, is valued in both nature and the human body. While this terpene isn’t the most common, the farnesene impacts are worth learning about. Farnesene receives little attention right now, but you may anticipate hearing more about it in the future. High concentrations of this chemical are found in newly popular F1 hybrid strains, and new studies on its potential clinical application are attracting cannabis users looking for a more comprehensive experience.

Picture of Janice Bernstein

Janice Bernstein

Janice has been on the cannabis scene for many years now, though she tends to keep to herself and might fly under the radar for many, even those well-versed in cannabis growing. Her writings on different methods of watering cannabis helped bring the use of reverse osmosis water to the forefront of cannabis gardening. About this Author

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