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What do basil, cannabis have in common?
Fenchol is a monoterpenoid and isomer of borneol frequently used in perfume manufacturing, due to its a fresh, lemon-lime scent. Fenchol is also known for giving basil its signature scent. Found in fresh, citrus-scented perfumes and cosmetics, though they are also found in many shampoos, candles, laundry detergents and fabric softeners.
Most have experienced fenchol any time you sprinkle basil into a pot of tomato sauce or enjoy a salad containing fresh basil. Fenchol's aroma may have also drifted into your senses if you have held a bouquet of aster flowers. You may also have encountered fenchol when lathering your hair with an herbal shampoo or misting your wrists with citrus body spray. For these reasons, it's a memorable scent to many.
Most interesting is our understanding of Fenchol's benefits towards health, specifically brain health.
We are in the infancy stages of understanding the full potential of terpenes and their interactions. Fenchol has shown positive outcomes in several therapeutic areas, including its properties as an antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-microbial.
A preclinical study published on October 5th, 2021, details a discovery of a sensing mechanism associated with the gut microbiome that explains how fenchol reduces neurotoxicity in the Alzheimer's brain.
Essentially, fenchol inhibits a key receptor in the brain preventing a buildup of plaque in the brain. According to the study:
"One of the two hallmark pathologies of Alzheimer's disease is hardened deposits of Aβ that clump together between nerve cells to form amyloid protein plaques in the brain. The other is neurofibrillary tangles of tau protein inside brain cells. These pathologies contribute to the neuron loss and death that ultimately cause the onset of Alzheimer's, a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of memory, thinking skills and other cognitive abilities."
However it also states, "Before you start throwing lots of extra basil in your spaghetti sauce or anything else you eat to help stave off dementia, more research is needed -- including in humans."
Terpenes need to be studied much more comprehensively, as these natural compounds are shown to heal us. The amount of lives the medical application of terpenes will impact is unknown, but surely, will be substantial. There is still plenty to learn about these compounds and there are still many terpenes waiting to be discovered.
Fenchol has other proven medicinal benefits as well:
Antioxidant: A 2013 study, published in The Scientific World Journal, tested the potency of the essential oil derived from the leaves of the winged prickly ash plant, a shrub endemic to Asia. The oil was primarily composed of linalool (30.58%), but also contained a significant amount of fenchol (9.43%). The results demonstrated that the essential oil had both antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and that with further research, it could be a resource to the food and pesticide industries.
Antibacterial: A study published in 2017 showed the efficacy of the Fenchol terpene against a large number of bacteria. In the study, the potency of fenchol was measured against Penicillin in combating 63 different bacterial strains. Although Penicillin is still more effective, fenchol was found to impede bacterial growth.
Analgesic: According to a study held in 2014, fenchol could play a role in pain relief. The results showed how fenchol (fenchyl alcohol) might inhibit an influential protein in the body's pain signaling system (TRPA1 receptor). Besides, the study suggests that other monoterpenes possess pain relief properties (Takaishi, Uchida, Fujita, & Tominaga, 2014).
Fenchol is common to many cannabis strains but is rarely the most prominent isolate in a chemovar's profile. It can safely be eaten, drank, smoked, inhaled with a little bit of mixing and proper dilution. It can also be used to improve cannabis products like vapes and concentrates that may have lost cannabinoid potency or terpene content during extraction.
Add Fenchol to cannabis concentrates and hemp oils made from strains with higher citrus/floral terpene content, such as Myrcene or Borneol since Fenchol is often found alongside these primary terpenes and will accentuate these other isolates well.
Try it in products made from strains like Banana Kush and OG Kush. Fenchol terpenes can make them smell and taste better and boost the potency of THC/CBD effects.
Fenchol is found in considerable amount in the following strain blends:
Add Fenchol terpenes to essential oil diffusers and aromatherapy infusions to kill airborne bacteria, viruses, microbes, and fungal spores and help you breathe easier. The warm, herbaceous aroma is also great for promoting calm and relaxation or reducing symptoms of anxiety.
The full potential effects of Fenchol is being researched and studied. Without a doubt, the power of terpenes is just starting to be understood.
Fenchol scent is considered refreshing and earthy, the reason why it is common in the fragrance industry. It also has potential therapeutic applications as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and analgesic (pain reliever).
Understanding how terpenes work, both individually and in synergy with other terpenes and cannabinoids, holds great promise in maximizing overall health and wellbeing.
Terpene infused products are safer for us and for nature, as they are nature. We can use the gifts left for us on the planet in a miraculous amount of different applications, at the expense of no human or mammal. With terpene products there can be no more coral reef-destroying sunscreens, no more groundwater contaminating pesticides, no more endocrine disrupting products, and no more uncertainty.