Ocimene is one of more than 200 terpenes discovered to date in hemp and cannabis. Terpenes are aromatic molecules once thought to convey only aroma (as part of the evolutionary defense mechanisms of herbs and other plants). In recent years, however, much clinical research has revealed the medicinal efficacy of molecules such as ocimene.
This terpene features a sweet aroma that is floral and herbaceous in nature, sometimes with a hint of citrus. Ocimene is produced by a variety of plant species other than hemp and cannabis, including allspice, basil, bergamot, bigarde, ho leaf, kumquat, lavender (which also produces the terpene linalool), mango (also a source of myrcene), mint, orchid, parsley, pepper, and petitgrain.
Like other terpenes, ocimene has been found to provide a wide range of medicinal benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, and even decongestant properties (related to its ability to decrease systemic inflammation).
Through anecdotal evidence and formal research studies, ocimene has been shown to be a potential agent in the fight against a variety of diseases and conditions, including type-2 diabetes, malaria, hypertension, and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus.
It’s relatively powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties mean that ocimene may play a role as a support therapy, in conjunction with other treatments, for a variety of viral infections and conditions based in inflammation (such as arthritis and fibromyalgia).
A 2014 research study entitled “Chemical Composition and Anti-inflammation Activity of Essential Oils from Citrus Unshiu Flower” that was published in the journal Natural Product Communications investigated the ability of a range of terpenes, including terpinene, alpha- and beta-pinene, limonene, and ocimene to provide “medicinal functions.”