Healthy basil plant with the text "Terpene Spotlight: Ocimene."

Hemp is a fascinating plant with a multitude of uses and benefits. Not only does hemp flower produce over 100 compounds called cannabinoids, but it also produces hundreds of different organic compounds called terpenes. Today, we’ll be focusing on one such terpene that contributes to the flavor of many delicious herbs: Ocimene.

In this post, we’ll explore:

  • What Ocimene is
  • Where you can find it in nature
  • Ocimene’s potential benefits
  • How ocimene is used in various products

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are a diverse group of organic compounds primarily responsible for the aroma of many plants. They play a crucial role in a plant’s self-defense by deterring pests and herbivores while simultaneously attracting pollinators. In hemp, terpenes give the flowers a bitter taste, deterring deer and other would-be crop eaters. This defense mechanism helps ensure the plant’s survival and reproduction.

The cosmetic and food industries covet terpenes for their aroma and taste. If you open your fridge right now, you’ll likely find something that contains some form of terpene. Common terpenes you might encounter include:

  • Limonene in citrus fruits, known for its fresh, zesty aroma.
  • Beta-caryophyllene in black pepper and rosemary, which has a spicy, woody scent.
  • Humulene in beer, contributing to its earthy and herbal notes.

Terpenes are not only important for the plants themselves but also for their applications in various industries. Their aromatic properties are harnessed in perfumes, essential oils, and flavorings, making them invaluable in both culinary and therapeutic contexts.

What is Ocimene?

Ocimene is a naturally occurring monoterpene found in a variety of plants. It derives its name from the Greek word “ṓkimon,” meaning basil. There are three different forms of ocimene found in nature: alpha-, cis-beta-, and trans-beta, all found at relatively similar levels. This terpene is characterized by its sweet, herbal, and woody aroma, making it a popular choice in perfumery and aromatherapy.

You’ll find ocimene in many different plants such as basil, parsley, mint, kumquats, and hemp. Its earthy and herbaceous aroma profile is essential to many Mediterranean dishes, enhancing their flavors and providing a unique sensory experience. In addition to its culinary uses, ocimene is also found in essential oils used for holistic healing and aromatherapy.

Fun Fact

The plant genus name Ocimum also derives its name from “ṓkimon.” Many plants within this genus contain some level of ocimene, contributing to their characteristic scents and therapeutic properties.

What is Ocimene Used For?

Ocimene has a wide range of uses both in and out of the kitchen. Here are some of its most notable applications:

Culinary Uses

In the culinary world, ocimene’s presence in herbs like basil and parsley makes it a staple in many recipes. Its sweet and herbaceous notes can elevate the flavors of dishes, particularly in Mediterranean cuisine. Chefs and home cooks alike prize ocimene-containing herbs for their ability to add complexity and depth to their creations.

Aromatic Agent in Cleaning Products

While ocimene doesn’t boast any cleaning abilities, it is often added to cleaning products as an aromatic agent due to its pleasant scent. You can find ocimene in deodorants, hard-surface cleaners, and laundry detergents. Its fresh and uplifting aroma makes cleaning a more enjoyable experience, leaving behind a lingering, pleasant fragrance.

Insect Repellent

Some studies suggest that ocimene may act as a natural insect repellent and, in some cases, an insect inhibitor, potentially stunting the development of insect aphids. If true, these findings could be a significant breakthrough for organic and no-spray farmers. By incorporating ocimene into their pest management strategies, farmers can reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides, promoting a healthier and more sustainable agricultural practice.

Therapeutic Uses

Ocimene is also used in aromatherapy and holistic healing practices. Its sweet and herbal aroma is believed to have calming and uplifting effects on the mind and body. Aromatherapists often include ocimene in their blends to help reduce stress, enhance mood, and promote overall well-being.

Ocimene’s Potential Benefits

Ocimene may have some fantastic benefits that we have yet to fully understand. Below is a non-exhaustive list of potential benefits that ongoing research is exploring:


A 2015 study published in the Journal of Natural Medicines found that when combined with alpha-pinene, ocimene was a powerful anti-yeast and anti-fungal agent. This combination showed promising results in inhibiting the growth of various fungal strains, suggesting that ocimene could be a valuable addition to antifungal treatments and formulations.


A 2013 study published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal noted that ocimene might have strong anti-inflammatory properties. This study observed ocimene as part of a larger blend of essential oils from the Water Hemlock plant. The anti-inflammatory effects were significant, indicating that ocimene could be beneficial in managing inflammatory conditions and supporting overall health.


A 2008 study published in a Chemistry & Biodiversity report analyzed several Lebanese tree species and their essential oils. Ocimene, working together with other terpenes, was found to have inhibitory effects against the herpes simplex virus and a SARS-CoV virus (not COVID-19). These findings suggest that ocimene might play a role in developing antiviral therapies and preventive measures.

Additional Health Benefits

Ongoing research continues to uncover more potential health benefits of ocimene. Preliminary studies indicate that it possesses antioxidant properties, helping to protect cells from oxidative stress and damage. Additionally, its potential as an antispasmodic agent is being explored, which could provide relief from muscle spasms and cramps.

In the Cannabis Industry

In the cannabis industry, ocimene is valued for its uplifting and energizing effects. Strains high in are often preferred by users seeking a boost in mood and creativity. The presence of ocimene contributes to the unique terpene profiles of various cannabis strains, enhancing their flavor, aroma, and therapeutic effects.

Sunset Lake CBD Cultivars Featuring Ocimene

At Sunset Lake CBD, we pride ourselves on our approach to sun-grown hemp. We believe that producing hemp flowers outdoors is better for the environment and increases terpene production in the flowers. This year, we’ve got a handful of cultivars that prominently feature ocimene, including:

  • Suver Haze – 0.0256% 
  • Lifter – 0.0229%
  • Sour Lifter – 0.0212%

We report terpene content based on the dry weight of the flowers. Our commitment to sustainable farming practices ensures that our hemp plants are grown in harmony with nature, resulting in high-quality products rich in beneficial terpenes like ocimene.


Ocimene is a versatile and valuable terpene with a wide range of applications and potential health benefits. From its culinary uses to its role in aromatherapy and pest management, it to captivate researchers and consumers alike. As more studies uncover its full potential, is poised to become an even more integral part of various industries.

At Sunset Lake CBD, we are proud to offer cultivars that highlight the unique properties of ocimene. Our commitment to sustainable farming and high-quality production ensures that you receive the best that nature has to offer.


What is ocimene?

  • Is a naturally occurring monoterpene found in various plants, known for its sweet, herbal, and woody aroma.

What are the benefits of ocimene?

  • Has potential benefits such as anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antioxidant properties.

Where can ocimene be found?

  • Can be found in plants like basil, parsley, mint, kumquats, and hemp.

How is ocimene used in products?

  • Is used as an aromatic agent in cleaning products, deodorants, hard-surface cleaners, and laundry detergents. It may also act as a natural insect repellent and is used in aromatherapy.

Which Sunset Lake CBD cultivars contain ocimene?

  • Sunset Lake CBD cultivars that feature ocimene include Suver Haze, Lifter, and Sour Lifter.