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Camphene Terpene: Benefits, Effects, Dosage, & More

Steven Cargyle
Finest Labs
September 23, 2021 | Blog

Camphene is a monoterpene found in camphor, pine, fir, cannabis, cypress, spruce, citronella, neroli, ginger, rosemary, cistus, sage, and valerian.

Monoterpenes are highly volatile and prone to oxidation, insoluble in water, and more common than you might think.

What is camphene, and does it possess any benefits?

What Is Camphene?

Summer wouldn’t be the same without the pungent smell of citronella candles. The familiar smell is both comforting and slightly unpleasant — comforting because it means no mosquitoes.

This colorless crystal is an effective substitute for camphor and is in many cannabis cultivars, perfumes, essential oils, and foods because of its waxy, musky, earthy, and slightly woody scent. It also adds texture to lacquers and resins.

Back in the 19th century, camphene was used for fuel in lamps as it was a more affordable choice than whale oil. It isn’t typically used as a lamp fuel anymore, as kerosene is the superior choice.

Camphene isn’t used just for its pungent earthy aroma — it also provides a host of benefits. When mixed with vitamin C, this terpene may support the immune system and can be a powerhouse of an antioxidant that helps the body’s cells.

What Are the Benefits of Camphene?

Cannabis Bud Focus Image

Camphene possesses some valuable health benefits, especially when used in conjunction with vitamin C. Some of the more common effects of camphene include:

Antibacterial Traits

In one study, camphene was combined with camphor and other compounds, effectively killing three different forms of bacteria. These results are promising, though no studies have involved humans.

Antifungal Benefits

Camphene and sage oil might help conditions like athlete’s foot. A paste made of holy basil or tulsi can be applied directly to the skin, but remember to be cautious when using essential oils and terpenes.

Antioxidant Effects

A blend of camphene and citrus oils might reduce oxidative stress that eventually leads to tissue damage.

Oxidative damage affects our entire body. While we have natural antioxidants to help protect us, food or supplement-derived antioxidants can go a long way in keeping us healthy as well.

Lung Support

Tulsi essential oil contains camphene and might help suppress persistent coughs and loosen congestion.

Many camphene-containing herbs have been used for this application in traditional medical systems.

Heart Health

Camphene was found to lower low-density lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins are tasked with carrying cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body (LDL cholesterol).

A key aspect of heart health is to keep LDL levels from going too high.

While the evidence for camphene is still too poor to make any serious claims, this research is promising.

Pain Management

Camphene combined with other terpenes can be especially effective at reducing swelling, a significant contributor to physical pain. Inflammation and pain are two of the leading causes of cannabis use.

What Does Camphene Smell Like?

Camphene gives off a pungent, strong aroma reminiscent of wet pine needles on a forest floor. The musky undertones give off a “wet-earth” kind of smell. The woodsy notes are unmistakable, as well as some more refreshing hints of pine or fir.

How Common Is Camphene In Cannabis?

Camphene is only one of the approximately 150 terpenes that you’ll find in different cannabis cultivars. This terpene is usually found in higher potency strains, featuring a THC level of 15-20%.

It also appears to be more common in hybrid strains, although there are instances where you can find camphene-rich indica or sativa strains too.

Cannabis Strains With Camphene

Camphene is relatively common in cannabis — but rarely the most abundant terpene. Most marijuana or hemp strains contain camphene in concentrations below 0.2%, but there are some exceptions.

The strains that contain the highest concentrations of camphene are those with a distinct woody aroma, contain high levels of THC, and are loosely related to kush genetics.

List of cannabis strains high in camphene: 

  • White Widow
  • Strawberry Kush
  • White Cookies
  • Sweet Tooth
  • Wonka Bars
  • Pink Kush
  • Bruce Banner
  • NYC Diesel
  • Banana Kush

Some strains will contain camphene as a primary terpene, but this is rare. Most contain camphene as a secondary or supportive terpene.

Other Sources of Camphene

Camphene can be found in lots of different things. It’s one of the more common terpenes in the plant kingdom.

List of plants that contain camphene:

  • Cannabis
  • Camphor
  • Pine
  • Fir
  • Cypress
  • Spruce
  • Citronella
  • Neroli
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Citrus
  • Nutmeg
  • Valerian

Camphene Research

One recent medical review stated that “investigations have proven the biological properties of camphene including antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and hypolipidemic activities. Moreover, camphene was also reported to exhibit anti-leishmanial, hepatoprotective, antiviral, and anti-acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities.”

One study found that high doses of camphene, when used as a pretreatment, significantly reduced nociception (pain transmission). Camphene also showed varying degrees of antioxidant activity against hydroxyl radicals and prevented lipid peroxidation (the oxidative degradation of lipids) induced by AAPH.

Camphene and geraniol decreased lipid peroxidation and inhibited NO release and ROS generation, giving these two terpenes the potential for managing certain inflammatory lung diseases.

Chemical Structure of Camphene

Chemical Structure of Camphene

Camphene is a colorless, crystalline monoterpene that is water-insoluble. It occurs in turpentine and various other essential oils.

Other Physical Features of Camphene

  • Molecular weight: 136.23 g/mol-1
  • Boiling point: 318°F, 159°C
  • Chemical formula: C10H16
  • Solubility level: Insoluble

Does Camphene Get You High?

While camphene is in a variety of cannabis cultivars, it’s not the compound that creates the intoxicating high that people are familiar with; delta-9 is what causes the “high.”

So no, camphene will not get you high.

However, camphene is reported to produce a comfortable, calming sensation by controlling pain and discomfort.

Is Camphene Safe For Use?

Camphene is generally safe when it comes to using it as an additive in products, either perfumes or food enhancing flavorings — though some hazardous qualities of camphene require a warning.

First of all, it’s flammable. Secondly, it can be irritating to the eyes, lungs, and skin if used excessively.

As with all terpenes, you’ll want to wear gloves and goggles when working with it in its pure form. Always aim to dilute camphene to 5% or less of the total volume of product you’re working with.

Ultra-high concentrations of any terpene can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, or lungs.

Learn More: Are Terpenes Safe To Consume?

How Can You Use Camphene?

Hemp Oil with Hemp Buds

You can find camphene in various products, many of them are in our everyday lives.

Perfume is a common addition for women worldwide, and if your perfume gives off some woody, earthy tones, camphene may just be at play. It can also be in food flavorings, so you may be ingesting camphene without knowing it.

Besides products that contain camphene that you have probably already used or tasted, you can also find camphene in tincture bottles (used to combine with CBD oil or some other carrier oil) or aromatherapy products.

Learn More: How to use Terpene?

What Makes Camphene Special?

Camphene is unique because of the wide spectrum of benefits it can provide.

Not only can it give a sense of relaxation, but it also supports your health in various ways.

This woodsy terpene is truly a gem in the world of terpenes and can be a valuable tool when implemented correctly.

References Cited

  1. Tiwari, M., & Kakkar, P. (2009). Plant-derived antioxidants–geraniol and camphene protect rat alveolar macrophages against t-BHP induced oxidative stress. Toxicology in vitro, 23(2), 295-301.
  2. Polatoglu, K., Demirci, F., Demirci, B., Gören, N., & Başer, K. H. (2010). Antibacterial activity and the variation of Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz Bip. Essential oils from Turkey. Journal of oleo science, 59(4), 177–184.
  3. Sampietro, D. A., Gomez, A. D. L. A., Jimenez, C. M., Lizarraga, E. F., Ibatayev, Z. A., Suleimen, Y. M., & Catalán, C. A. (2017). Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oils from medicinal plants of Kazakhstan. Natural product research, 31(12), 1464-1467. [3]
  4. Baek, S., Kim, J., Moon, B. S., Park, S. M., Jung, D. E., Kang, S. Y., … & Lee, K. P. (2020). Camphene Attenuates Skeletal Muscle Atrophy by Regulating Oxidative Stress and Lipid Metabolism in Rats. Nutrients, 12(12), 3731.Schäfer D, Schäfer W., 1981;31(1):82-6.
  5. Schäfer, D., & Schäfer, W. (1981). Pharmacological studies with an ointment containing menthol, camphene and essential oils for broncholytic and secretolytic effects. Arzneimittel-forschung, 31(1), 82-86.
  6. Vallianou, I., Peroulis, N., Pantazis, P., & Hadzopoulou-Cladaras, M. (2011). Camphene, a plant-derived monoterpene, reduces plasma cholesterol and triglycerides in hyperlipidemic rats independently of HMG-CoA reductase activity. PloS one, 6(11), e20516.
  7. Lima, D. K., Ballico, L. J., Lapa, F. R., Gonçalves, H. P., de Souza, L. M., Iacomini, M., … & Santos, A. R. S. (2012). Evaluation of the antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and gastric antiulcer activities of the essential oil from Piper aleyreanum C. DC in rodents. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 142(1), 274-282.
  8. Hachlafi, N. E., Aanniz, T., Menyiy, N. E., Baaboua, A. E., Omari, N. E., Balahbib, A., … & Bouyahya, A. (2021). In Vitro and in Vivo Biological Investigations of Camphene and Its Mechanism Insights: A Review. Food Reviews International, 1-28. [8]
  9. Quintans-Júnior, L., Moreira, J. C., Pasquali, M. A., Rabie, S., Pires, A. S., Schröder, R., … & Gelain, D. P. (2013). Antinociceptive activity and redox profile of the monoterpenes. International Scholarly Research Notices, 2013.