The terpene delta 3 carene combats inflammation, repairs diseased and damaged bones, and is said to promote mental focus and concentration.
Of the 200 aromatic molecule varieties called terpenes that may manifest in a particular example of the cannabis herb, none is better at repairing bones and promoting their growth than delta 3 carene (also called alpha-carene or simply carene).
Beginning in the 1960s, researchers began to note the medicinal efficacy of phytochemicals from plants such as cannabis. Among these chemicals are cannabinoids(the most famous examples are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes (such as delta 3 carene, myrcene and pinene), and flavonoids.
Terpenes were first believed simply to convey a sometimes pungent aroma in plants like cannabis. From an evolutionary perspective, these molecules serve the purpose of protecting the cannabis plant from pests and predators, many of which find these chemicals offensive or toxic.
The Details of Delta 3 Carene
Delta 3 carene conveys a sweet, pungent scent composed of citrus, cypress, pine, and wood. It is produced by plants other than cannabis, including rosemary, pine trees, and cedar trees. Delta 3 carene is utilized by the cosmetics industry as a fragrance and is employed as an insect repellent at the industrial level (it is a natural constituent of turpentine).
Regarding medicinal efficacy, delta 3 carene provides significant qualities to combat systemic inflammation, repair diseased and damaged bones, and is said to promote mental focus and concentration. Strains of cannabis rich in the delta 3 carene have been found to benefit those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and even Alzheimer’s disease. This terpene is found most commonly in strains of cannabis, including AK-47, Arjan’s Ultra Haze, Jack Herer, OG Kush, and Super Lemon Haze, among others.
Beyond the repair of bones, delta 3 carene is unique among terpenes due to its power to draw out liquids (one of its chief applications within the cosmetics industry). This drying effect makes delta 3 carene a candidate for use as an antihistamine and in products targeting excessive menstruation or mucus production. This quality is also responsible for anecdotal reports of dry mouth (cotton mouth) and red eye among cannabis smokers and vapers.
Research has revealed the medicinal efficacy of terpenes such as delta 3 carene since the 1980s. A 1989 study entitled “Comparative Study of Different Essential Oils of Bupleurum Gibraltaricum Lamarck” that was published in the journal Europe PMC investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of delta 3 carene, concluding “the essential oil of the Cázulas Mountains population was most active against acute inflammation owing to its high delta 3-carene content.”
A 2007 study entitled “Low Concentration of 3‐carene Stimulates the Differentiation of Mouse Osteoblastic MC3T3‐E1 Subclone 4 Cells” published in the journal Phytotherapy Research tested 89 natural compounds for their ability to maintain bone repair, deal with bone disease, and promote overall healthy bones.
Concluded the study’s researchers, “Further studies are needed to determine the precise mechanism, but the anabolic activity of 3‐carene in bone metabolism suggested that the use of natural additives to the diet, including essential oils, could have a beneficial effect on bone health.”