Although pulegone is a terpene present in relatively low concentrations in cannabis, it packs a powerful pepperminty camphorous punch! If you’ve ever walked by a large rosemary bush and accidentally brushed your arm against it as you did so, then you’ve smelled pulegone in all its glory as it is a major component of this highly fragrant herb. While you may enjoy taking deep breaths of its pleasant aroma, insects are repelled by it. For this reason, pulegone (and rosemary bushes) are often used to deter biting insects in backyards and along decks and porches. Pulegone is also a powerful insecticide that naturally occurs in most mint species, including peppermint, spearmint, and catnip (Nepeta cataria).
Pulegone is a popular terpene addition to aromatherapy candles, especially those that promise that the effect will “linger” for a long time after the candle is put out. It has the ability to produce a calming and sedative effect on most people who inhale it. Therefore, it is often used by people with social anxiety and performance anxiety to prepare for an event. In cannabis strains that are a bit higher in pulegone (but never high in pulegone), this pleasant smelling terpene can make vaping their essential oils a more pleasant experience, especially since it also seems to combine in pleasant ways with other aromatic terpenes. Pulegone is often added to hard candy as well, not only for the taste, but for the strong aroma it gives off as one sucks on the candy contaning pulegone.