Terpene Tuesday: Bisabolol

Bisabolol terpene in chamomile flowers
Chamomile flowers contain high amounts of the terpene bisabolol.
Heady Vermont Staff 2 Aug 2022

Bisabolol (also known as levomenol and alpha-bisabolol) has a warm floral aroma with nutty or peppery undertones and can also be found in chamomile flowers and candeia trees. This terpene found its use primarily in the cosmetics industry, but it has more recently caught the attention of researchers for its medical benefits.

This terpene has been shown to be effective in treating bacterial infections and wounds, and is a great antioxidant with anti-irritation and analgesic properties. It can be found in strains like Harle-Tsu, Pink Kush, Headband, OG Shark, and ACDC .

Bisabolol in everyday life

Bisabolol is a sesquiterpene with a warm floral fragrance similar to honey, apples, and chamomile. It has been used commercially in derma cosmetics for its effects, and it is found abundantly in chamomile (which contains up to 50% Bisabolol), Candeia Tree, and sage.

Bisabolol has a fragrant warm floral aroma. Some also describe it as a nutty, fruity scent with herbal undertones and even peppery.

Strains rich in bisabolol

This terpene only exists in small quantities in most strains. Therefore, it does not have a significant impact on fragrance and flavor. However, those with a keen nose may be able to detect hints of bisabolol in some floral cannabis cultivars. It has a nutty, floral/fruity scent with herbal undertones and just a trace of coconut.

Cannabis strains that have higher amounts of the terpene bisabolol:

  • Harle-Tsu
  • Pink Kush
  • Headband
  • OG Shark
  • ACDC
  • Ice Cream Cake
  • Dolato
  • Lavender
  • Cotton Candy Kush
  • Moonshine Haze

Therapeutic properties

Bisabolol’s medicinal benefits include anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-anxiety, anti-depression, and analgesic properties according to numerous studies (see below). It can also enhance other molecules’ absorption by the skin’s dermal layers, making it ideal for topical formulations.

Studies suggest


Besides being praised as an age-defying ingredient by the cosmetics industry, Bisabolol has several potentially therapeutic properties, such as contributing to overall well-being, depression, and even insomnia.

According to a 2016 study, Bisabolol may have the ability to treat kidney injuries. The results showed that this terpene provided positive efficacy and protective benefits for conditions involving the kidneys, attributing these benefits mainly to its antioxidant properties.

Scientific studies have shown the role bisabolol may play as a pain reliever.

Bisabolol possesses anti-inflammatory properties and is well-known to reduce skin irritations. A 2014 study found that the terpene may reduce cytokines’ production, pro-inflammatory chemicals, and it inhibits skin inflammation without causing side effects.

A 2017 study for Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology found that bisabolol may also have anti-anxiety effects. The researchers tested the terpene’s behavioral effects on mice. They found that it reduced anxious behavior in several experiments.

The authors proposed that bisabolol may influence gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for slowing down nerve transmission and inducing relaxation.

Cannabis Terpene Bisabolol

Bisabolol terpene profile:

Aroma: Warm, Floral, Peppery

Found in: Chamomile, Candeia Tree, Sage

Vaporizes: 314°C/597°F (Disregard temp on chart below!)

Strains: Harle-Tsu, Pink Kush, Headband, OG Shark, ACDC, Ice Cream Cake, Dolato, Lavender, Cotton Candy Kush, Moonshine Haze

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-anxiety, anti-depression, and analgesic

Scientific studies

  • Russo, E.B. (2011). Taming THC: Potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid – terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology. 163: 1351
  • Muñoz-Pérez, V., Ortiz, M., Ponce-Monter, H., Monter-Pérez, V., & Barragán-Ramírez, G. (2018, July). Anti-inflammatory and utero-relaxant effect of α-bisabolol on the pregnant human uterus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019870/
  • Sampaio, T., Costa, M., Meneses, G., Arrieta, M., Filho, A., Morais, G., . . . Martins, A. (2016, November 11). Nephroprotective effects of (−)-α-bisabolol against ischemic-reperfusion acute kidney injury. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711316302124
  • MAB;, T. (2017, October). Evidence for the involvement of the GABAergic, but not serotonergic transmission in the anxiolytic-like effect of bisabolol in the mouse elevated plus maze. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28730280/
  • Pauli, A., De Lucca, A., Schilcher, H., Sien, T., Bhatnagar, D., & Walsh, T. J. (2011, December). Fungicidal and Bactericidal Properties of Bisabolol and Dragosantol. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2011.9700457
  • Merghache D;Boucherit-Otmani Z;Merghache S;Chikhi I;Selles C;Boucherit K;. (2014). Chemical composition, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant activities of Algerian Eryngium tricuspidatum L. essential oil. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24559136/
  • T;, F. (2013). The antimicrobial activity of alpha-bisabolol and tea tree oil against Solobacterium moorei, a Gram-positive bacterium associated with halitosis. from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22939370/
  • Rocha NF;Rios ER;Carvalho AM;Cerqueira GS;Lopes Ade A;Leal LK;Dias ML;de Sousa DP;de Sousa FC;. (2011, December). Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of (-)-α-bisabolol in rodents. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21870032/
  • E. Cavalieri, S., L. Costarelli, M., E. Darra, S., MS. Tallman, D., FR. Appelbaum, D., JE. Lancet, S., . . . E. Lugli, L. (2011, January 01). Pro-apoptotic activity of α-bisabolol in preclinical models of primary human acute leukemia cells. Retrieved November, from https://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5876-9-45
  • Ortiz MI;Cariño-Cortés R;Ponce-Monter HA;Castañeda-Hernández G;Chávez-Piña AE;, M. (2018). Pharmacological interaction of α-bisabolol and diclofenac on nociception, inflammation, and gastric integrity in rats. Retrieved November, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29243833/
  • Maurya AK;Singh M;Dubey V;Srivastava S;Luqman S;Bawankule DU;. (2014). α-(-)-bisabolol reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine production and ameliorates skin inflammation. Retrieved November, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24894548/

Bisabolol Cannabis Terpene

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