A lesser-known terpene found in cannabis, this aromatic compound emits an herbal balsam scent often likened to camphor or menthol. Borneol offers a number of therapeutic benefits, including enhancing the therapeutic effects of certain drugs. This minty-fresh terpene can be found in higher concentrations in cultivars such as OG Kush and Haze strains.

“Can you discern the woody, balsam scent of borneol in OG Kush?”

“Cannabis contains more than 100 terpenes, one of which is borneol.”

What is borneol?

Borneol is a terpene found in cannabis, and it also naturally occurs in ginger, rosemary, camphor, and thyme. Its unique and complex scent repels insects and parasites, but appeals to many people. There are more than 100 terpenes present in cannabis, each with their own odor and therapeutic profile.

What are the benefits of borneol?

The therapeutic benefits of borneol have been harnessed and utilized in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese particularly favored this invigorating terpene in the treatment of respiratory illnesses such as coughs and colds. Borneol continues to be used today for diverse therapeutic applications as an analgesic, a digestive aid, to improve blood circulation, and lower fevers. 

Scientists are now investigating many of the wide-ranging therapeutic applications of borneol, with research uncovering its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anesthetic, and antioxidant properties. 

Borneol is an effective topical pain reliever, acting as an analgesic when applied to the skin. This multi-tasking terpene has also proven successful as an anticoagulant for stroke patients. Scientists are currently learning more about its ability to enhance the absorption of certain medicines, including those that treat cancer. In one study, borneol was shown to boost the effects of a chemotherapy drug, increasing the death of cancer cells.

Borneol has also been shown to enhance the therapeutic effects of certain drugs.

How is borneol used?

Besides its multifaceted uses in traditional Chinese medicine, the scent of borneol can be harnessed for other purposes too. Borneol is also often incorporated into natural insect repellents, and utilized in the industrial manufacture of perfume and cologne.