Terpenes (general)

Terpenes: Ocimene

terpene profile
Written by Cara Wietstock

This episode of terpene education focuses on ocimene, a term that represents a group of isomeric hydrocarbons. 

Molecular Weight: 136.238 g/mol
Density: 800 kg/m³
Melting Point: 122°F (50°C)
Percent Composition: C 88.16%, H 11.84%
terpene education


terpene education


terpene education


There are three forms of ocimenes. α-Ocimene, cis-β-Ocimene, and trans-β-ocimene are found naturally as mixtures. The beta-Ocimenes differ in the position of the isolated double bond. Our terpene education led us to find that this bond is terminal in the alpha-Ocimene. Both mixed and separate, all ocimenes are oils that emit a pleasant, herbaceous aroma. Because of the pleasant scent of sweet herbs ocimene is used in many perfumes. Some say the smell resembles that of wet cloth.
Ocimene is unstable in air, insoluble in water, but soluble in common organic solvents. Some cannabis strains have shown to test high in the terpenoid. Strawberry Cough, Space Queen, Golden Goat, Chernobyl, OG Kush, Lemon Sour Diesel, and Elwyn have all come back from the testing lab showing high levels of this terpene.

Outside of cannabis, Ocimene is commonly found in:

  • Allspice
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Orchid
  • Mangoes
  • Kumquats
  • Ho leaf
  • Bergamot
  • Lavender
  • Petitgrain
  • Bigarde


There have been a couple of studies that show the benefits of ocimene oils and promote terpene education. One study showed that ocimene is effective in suppressing production of inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1beta, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and IL-6. In another study, the Ferulago carduchorum essential oil was used to study the reaction to Candida albicans. The study concluded that ocimene was toxic, proving that it had antifungal properties. In the last study, the essential oil of Laurus nobilis was studied in relation to the SARS virus. A major constituent of the oil was found to be ocimene. This study concluded that ocimene had antiviral properties.

Various studies have shown this terpene to be:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antifungal
  • Antiviral

This is a terpene that is found in many strains and many forms. But it is also a prominent oil in lots of natural plants.

About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

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