Bisabolol, also known as alpha-bisabolol or levomenol, is a terpene found in cannabis, famous for its sweet, floral aroma. It is a monocyclic sesquiterpene that also occurs naturally in chamomile and the Brazilian Candeia tree. Traditionally used in cosmetics for its skin-healing properties, Bisabolol is increasingly recognized for its role in the cannabis plant.
Bisabolol’s Role in Cannabis
Bisabolol serves as part of the plant’s defense mechanism against pests and predators, produced alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD in resinous glands called trichomes. While it exists in small quantities in most cannabis strains, it significantly influences their aroma, taste, and effects. This terpene is primarily known for its subtle floral fragrance with hints of nutty, fruity, herbal, and coconut undertones.
The Therapeutic Potential of Bisabolol
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Bisabolol exhibits notable anti-inflammatory effects, especially in reducing skin irritations. A 2014 study found that it decreased the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibited skin inflammation in mice without causing adverse effects.
- Antimicrobial and Analgesic Effects: Bisabolol’s antimicrobial properties contribute to its use in wound healing. It has shown effectiveness against bacterial and fungal growth. Additionally, its analgesic properties were observed in a 2011 study, where it reduced inflammation and pain in mice with paw edema.
- Gastro-Protective and Anti-Anxiety Effects: A 2018 study found gastro-protective effects, indicating Bisabolol’s potential to protect the digestive system from damage. It also displayed anti-anxiety effects in a 2017 study, where it reduced anxious behavior in mice, possibly by influencing GABA receptors in the brain.
- Bisabolol in Skincare: Due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties, Bisabolol is commonly used in skincare products. Its ability to penetrate deeper skin layers than many other compounds makes it a valuable ingredient in full-spectrum CBD topicals, potentially offering relief from inflammatory skin conditions.
Bisabolol in Medical Research
Alpha-bisabolol is one of the world’s most-used herbal constituents. Research from 2010 to 2021 shows its therapeutic potential in preventing oxidative stress, inflammatory disorders, infections, neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, and metabolic disorders. This research highlights the necessity for clinical trials to explore its full potential in human health.
Certain cannabis strains display high levels of Bisabolol, including Harle-Tsu and ACDC. Popular strains like Pink Kush, Headband, OG Shark, Rockstar, and Master Kush also exhibit significant quantities of this terpene, contributing to their therapeutic effects.
Bisabolol, with its sweet floral aroma and multiple health benefits, is a significant yet understated component of cannabis. As research continues to unfold its potential, understanding and appreciating Bisabolol’s role in cannabis strains becomes essential for both recreational and medical users.