Humulene is a secondary terpene found in low concentrations in the cannabis plant and its essential oil. However, humulene is the primary terpene found in the hops plants used to make beer and its aroma is what gives beer its “hoppy” smell. The scientific name for hops is Humulus lupulus and this is where humulene gets its common name. Other names for humulene used in scientific nomenclature include α-humulene and α-caryophyllene.
Humulene was one of the primary medicines used by the ancient Chinese. It has been widely thought for centuries to be a very strong anti-inflammatory agent, as well as a strong anti-bacterial agent. Thus, it can be useful in treating infections and their effect on the human body (inflammation, etc). For these reasons, humulene has been studied more than most secondary terpenes found in cannabis. Humulene is also often combined with β–caryophyllene as an alternative treatment for inflammation. However, full spectrum CBD oil contains both humulene and β–caryophyllene in ratios relative to one another that are naturally occuring in nature.