The Role of Minor Cannabis Terpenes: What is Borneol?
Borneol is a lesser-known cannabis terpene with a herbal balsam scent. Cannabis contains more than hundred terpenes and just a few of them are considered primary terpenes. Borneol is not found in high concentration and, therefore, it’s considered a secondary terpene.
This terpene has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine “as a messenger drug, which facilitates the transport of multiple drugs to specific sites and harmonizes the effects of those drugs”. In addition, borneol increases the brain distribution of nanoparticles. Furthermore, borneol has potential neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant and antioxidant properties. Moreover, several studies have demonstrated its efficacy in reducing lung inflammation, and anti-cancer properties.
As many other essential oils, borneol has pesticide properties and plants segregate it to protect against insects. In short, it’s also a natural pesticide.
There are many plants and spices where borneol naturally occurs. For example, rosemary, ginger, marjoram, thyme, or camphor produce borneol.
Cannabis and Borneol
Borneol is a secondary terpene or a minor terpene. In other words, it’s not found in high concentrations. According to some studies, borneol is very important in the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a theory that claims that the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids act synergistically.
This terpene, although it is a secondary terpene, has been found to reduce stress, fatigue and induce a relaxing and sedating effect. However, we still need more research to determine its role in changing the effects of cannabis.
In addition, it might be effective in the treatment of certain types of cancers. For example, according to a study natural borneol “significantly enhanced the cellular uptake of selenocystine and potentiates its antiproliferative activity on HepG2 cells (human liver cancer cell line) by induction of apoptosis (the process of programmed cell death).
Which Cannabis Strains Contain Borneol?
As mentioned above, you won’t find it in high concentrations as borneol is a minor terpene. However, some strains contain higher concentrations of this terpene than others. Some strains with borneol are famous strains such as OG Kush whereas other are lesser-know strains. The following list of strains contain it as a minor cannabinoid:
Perhaps one of the most famous cannabis strains. We have listed OG Kush in previous blog articles. This cannabis strain is 75% Indica and 25% Sativa. OG Kush is very rich in THC with some strains having levels as high as 25% of THC. OG Kush is rich in caryophyllene, myrcene and limonene and it has borneol as a minor cannabinoid.
This cannabis strain is also known as Uptown Piff. This Sativa dominant strain is rich in THC (22%) and a cross between Super Silver Haze and Amnesia Haze. This strain has an earthy, spicy, and fruity flavor. Golden haze contains borneol as a minor terpene. Golden Haze is a popular strain to treat chronic pain, depression, chronic stress, anxiety and mood swings.
This Sativa dominant strain (70% Sativa, 30% Indica) with a THC average of 16% to 18%, has a fruity flavor. K-13 is a cannabis strain with borneol as a secondary terpene.
Like many Haze cannabis strains, Easy Haze contains borneol as a minor cannabinoid. Easy Haze is high in THC (20%). This Sativa dominant strain is highly psychoactive and recommended for recreational use.