A picture of hops with text that reads "Terpene Spotlight: humulene"

Not only does hemp produce more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids, but it also produces a multitude of aromatic compounds called terpenes. Humulene, the topic of this post, is one of the key contributors to the flavor and aroma of one of the world’s most popular beverages: beer.

Table of Contents

  1. What are Terpenes?
  2. What is Humulene?
  3. Where Can You Find Humulene?
  4. What is Humulene Used For?
  5. Potential Benefits of Humulene
  6. Sunset Lake CBD Cultivars Featuring Humulene

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are a diverse group of organic compounds found in a wide variety of plants, fruits, flowers, herbs, and even some animals. They are primarily responsible for the aroma of many plants. For example, lavender contains a lot of linalool, a terpene thought to have relaxing properties. That’s also why you’ll find many “relaxing” products like lotion and bath bombs containing lavender scent.

Terpenes also play a crucial role in a plant’s self-defense by deterring pests and herbivores, while simultaneously attracting pollinators. Terpenes give hemp flowers an extremely bitter taste, deterring deer and other would-be consumers.

The cosmetic and food industries covet terpenes for their aroma and taste. If you go into your bathroom right now, you’ll likely find a skincare product or a scented cleaning product that contains some form of terpene. Common terpenes include:

  • Limonene: Found in citrus fruits, limonene is known for its uplifting and refreshing scent. It’s commonly used in cleaning products and cosmetics.
  • Terpinolene: Present in nutmeg and cumin, terpinolene has a warm, spicy aroma and is often used in perfumes and soaps.
  • Bisabolol: Found in chamomile, bisabolol has a sweet, floral scent and is used in a variety of skincare products due to its soothing properties.

While we’ve been using terpenes for some time, we are just now finding out about their potential health benefits, which we’ll touch on later in this post.

What is Humulene?

Humulene, also known as alpha-humulene (α-humulene), is a sesquiterpene commonly found in hops (Humulus lupulus). Humulene is known for its earthy, woody scent and its bitter flavor, contributing to the distinctive taste of many IPAs.

You can also find humulene in several other plants like sage, ginger, ginseng, and of course hemp. As a molecule, humulene is technically an isomer of beta-caryophyllene, and the two are very commonly found together in flowers and vegetation.

Fun Fact: Humulus lupulus (hops) are members of the Cannabaceae family, making them close cousins to hemp. Imagine trying a beer brewed with hemp instead of hops…hmmm.

Where Can You Find Humulene?

Humulene is prevalent in a variety of natural sources and products:

  • Hops: As the primary source of humulene, hops impart their unique flavor and aroma to many beers, especially IPAs.
  • Sage: This common herb not only adds flavor to culinary dishes but also contains significant amounts of humulene.
  • Ginger and Ginseng: Both of these roots are known for their medicinal properties and also contain humulene.
  • Hemp: Various strains of hemp are rich in humulene, contributing to their therapeutic profiles.

In addition to these natural sources, humulene is often used in the formulation of:

  • Hoppy Beer: Humulene’s presence in hops makes it a key component in many types of beer, particularly those with a strong, bitter flavor.
  • Cosmetics: Its aromatic properties make it a popular ingredient in perfumes and skincare products.
  • Herbal Teas: Some herbal teas contain humulene for its potential health benefits.

A green infographic about Humulene

What is Humulene Used For?

It is commonly found in a variety of products, each leveraging its unique properties:

  • Hoppy Beer: Humulene is a primary component in the hops used to brew many types of beer, giving them their distinct aroma and flavor.
  • Cosmetics: The earthy scent of humulene makes it a popular ingredient in perfumes and other scented products.
  • Herbal Teas: it is used in some herbal teas for its potential health benefits.

In addition to these applications, humulene is also a significant component in many therapeutic-grade essential oils used for aromatherapy. Traditional Chinese Medicine has utilized humulene for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects for centuries.

Potential Benefits of Humulene


Researchers in the UK sprayed humulene on and in mice, concluding that it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Its efficacy is near that of dexamethasone, a steroid used to treat arthritis and other forms of inflammation.


A study published in 2006 found that Balsam-fir essential oil, containing a high concentration of terpenes including humulene and pinene, was effective at fighting the staphylococcus aureus bacteria, also known as staph.

Immune System Support

A study out of Japan found that humulene promoted the secretion of the IL-8 protein, known for its role in recruiting the body’s immune cells to the site of an infection.

In addition to these findings, there is ongoing research into the broader health benefits of humulene and other terpenes. As scientists continue to explore these compounds, we may discover even more uses in promoting health and wellness.

Sunset Lake CBD Cultivars Featuring Humulene

At Sunset Lake CBD, we pride ourselves on our approach to sun-grown hemp. Not only do we think that producing hemp flowers outdoors is better for the environment, but it’s also been shown to increase terpene production in the flowers.

We then carefully cure and process our hemp flower to retain as many beneficial terpenes as possible. This year, we’ve got a handful of cultivars that prominently feature, including:

  • Sour Lifter – 0.34%
  • Lifter – 0.29%
  • Suver Haze – 0.26%

Comparing with Competitors

When comparing our humulene-rich hemp strains to those offered by our competitors, several key differences stand out:

  1. Cultivation Methods: At Sunset Lake CBD, we utilize organic, sustainable farming practices to grow our hemp. This not only benefits the environment but also enhances the quality and terpene content of our flowers.
  2. Processing Techniques: Our careful curing and processing methods ensure that we retain the maximum amount of beneficial terpenes, including humulene. Many competitors use more industrial methods that can degrade terpene content.
  3. Transparency and Testing: We provide detailed lab reports for all our products, showcasing their terpene profiles and ensuring their purity and potency. This level of transparency is unmatched by many competitors.
  4. Customer Feedback: Our customers consistently report higher satisfaction with the aroma, flavor, and effects of our hemp strains compared to those of our competitors. This feedback is a testament to the quality of our products and the efficacy of our cultivation practices.


Humulene is a fascinating and versatile terpene with a wide range of applications and potential health benefits. From its role in the brewing industry to its therapeutic uses in traditional medicine, continues to be a subject of interest for researchers and consumers alike.

At Sunset Lake CBD, we are committed to producing the highest quality hemp products, rich in beneficial terpenes like humulene. Our dedication to sustainable farming, careful processing, and transparency ensures that our customers receive the best possible products.


  1. What is humulene?
    • It is a sesquiterpene found in hops, hemp, and several other plants, known for its earthy, woody scent and bitter flavor.
  2. Where can I find humulene?
    • It is found in hops, sage, ginger, ginseng, and hemp, as well as in products like hoppy beer, cosmetics, and herbal teas.
  3. What are the potential benefits of humulene?
    • Has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and immune-supporting properties.
  4. How is humulene used in products?
    • It is used in aromatherapy essential oils, cosmetics, herbal teas, and hemp flower products.
  5. What Sunset Lake CBD products feature humulene?
    • Sunset Lake CBD cultivars featuring include Sour Lifter, Lifter, and Suver Haze.