Valencene Terpene: Benefits, Strains, And More
What do Valencia oranges and cannabis have in common? Valencene!
Besides having a characteristically sweet, citrusy taste, valencene also makes a powerful insecticide and may work to elevate mood.
This terpene is common in hemp, oranges, grapefruits, and the bark of various trees. It has a host of unique ways it may benefit your health.
What Is Valencene?
Valencene is a lesser-known terpene added to everything from food to pest control products, cleaning supplies, cosmetic products, weed, and Spanish oranges.
It’s a precursor to nootkatone, a natural ketone that is an environmentally friendly insecticide and repellent. It can last for hours — much longer than other natural repellants like citronella.
Valencene is also considered a powerful insecticide and is often found in tick and mosquito repellent.
What Does Valencene Smell Like?
Valencene’s aroma is sweet and citrusy with herbal undertones and a hint of fresh wood.
Limonene also has a citrusy scent but isn’t quite as sweet.
What Are the Effects of Valencene?
While there’s no evidence valencene is directly mood-boosting, it’s hard to deny the uplifting qualities of this sweet citrus aroma. The aroma is reminiscent of tropical Spanish islands and tropical fruit.
Aromatherapists use valencene for its alleged ability to clear the mind and uplift the mood. It’s mildly euphoric and calming.
Plants That Contain Valencene
Many plants and herbs — and some tree bark — have valencene in smaller amounts, but the most obvious are oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines.
Nootkatone, the ketone that comes from valencene, is found in cedar and grapefruit skins.
How Common Is Valencene In Cannabis?
Sativas and THC-rich strains tend to be high in valencene. Look for strains with citrus-like characteristics.
It’s rare to find hemp strains with notable concentrations of valencene — this terpene appears to be a marijuana-dominant terpene.
List of strains that contain valencene:
- Agent Orange
- Mother of Dragons
- Aliens on Moonshine
- Where’s My Bike
Most terpenes are in the beginning phase of research, so there’s not much information regarding their therapeutic aspects.
The following studies all have promising findings — but more research is needed to elucidate the true effects of this terpene further.
1. Anti-Bacterial & Anti-Fungal Traits
Valencene, like many other terpenes, shows possibility as a way to reduce inflammatory disease.
When used topically, valencene worked better than regular treatment, lessened the severity, and sped up the recovery of a common nail fungus.
2. Neuroprotective Activity
One study showed valencene, and other terpenes from oranges have neuroprotective activity and can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, though it’s unclear how effective it is.
3. Immune Activity
Valencene seems to affect ORAI1 currents; the ORAI1 is a protein-coding gene associated with immunodeficiency and myopathy.
More research is needed to elucidate these effects further. This research was done using cell cultures, which have a little basis when extrapolating these effects to humans.
4. Skin Health
Valencene from Cyprus Rotundus has antiallergic properties and has been shown to reduce symptoms of eczema.
Valencene-containing herbs have a long history of use in managing skin disorders.
Chemical Structure of Valencene
- IUPAC Name: (3R,4aS,5R)-4a,5-dimethyl-3-prop-1-en-2-yl-2,3,4,5,6,7-hexahydro-1H-naphthalene
- Molecular Formula: C15H24
- Molecular Weight: 204.35
- Solubility: Insoluble in water; soluble in oils
- Boiling Point: 123℃/ 253℉
Does Valencene Get You High?
Most terpenes, including valencene, are non-psychoactive.
While terpenes certainly can help you feel a range of things — relaxed, calm, focused, energized, sleepy, and comfortable — most benefits seem to be aimed at overall health and might even help bodily systems function better.
Terpenes might also add to cannabinoids’ effects; terpenes and cannabinoids seem to work better together, causing an “entourage effect.” You can use them individually, but combining them is better.
Summary: What Makes Valencene Special?
We could focus on toenail fungus, but valencene’s orange-like aroma and energizing benefits are more pleasant.
Valencene can be added to food for a kick of sweet citrus, but the aroma alone can be energizing and give a mental boost. We love using this particular terpene for our focus and mood vape pens.
Until more research is available, we won’t know the full extent of its benefits, but the future looks bright for valencene and other terpenes, and we’ll likely see them implemented into medical treatments in the future.
- Marques, F. M., Figueira, M. M., Schmitt, E. F. P., Kondratyuk, T. P., Endringer, D. C., Scherer, R., & Fronza, M. (2019). In vitro anti-inflammatory activity of terpenes via suppression of superoxide and nitric oxide generation and the NF-κB signaling pathway. Inflammopharmacology, 27(2), 281-289. 
- Hoda, Q., Aqil, M., Ahad, A., Imam, S. S., Praveen, A., Qadir, A., & Iqbal, Z. (2021). Optimization of valencene containing lipid vesicles for boosting the transungual delivery of itraconazole. 3 Biotech, 11(3), 1-13. 
- Sánchez-Martínez, J. D., Bueno, M., Alvarez-Rivera, G., Tudela, J., Ibañez, E., & Cifuentes, A. (2021). In vitro neuroprotective potential of terpenes from industrial orange juice by-products. Food & Function, 12(1), 302-314. 
- Nam, J. H., Nam, D. Y., & Lee, D. U. (2016). Valencene from the rhizomes of cyperus rotundus inhibits skin photoaging-related ion channels and UV-induced melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells. Journal of natural products, 79(4), 1091-1096. 
- Yang, I. J., Lee, D. U., & Shin, H. M. (2016). Inhibitory effect of valencene on the development of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016.