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Fenchol

A terpene with the smell of pine, lemon, and camphor, commonly found in basil and aster flowers, as well as some strains of cannabis. Fenchol has many known medicinal properties, most notably antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects. Due to its unique smell, fenchol is frequently used in perfumes.

“I can smell the fenchol in this OG Kush.” 

What is fenchol?

Fenchol is an isomer of borneol and is a monoterpene, the smallest and least complex type of terpene molecule. Fenchol is biosynthesized from geranyl pyrophosphate, which along with olivetolic acid, can combine to form CBGA, the starting point of cannabinoids CBG, CBD, CBC, and THC. 

Terpenes help give cannabis and other plants aromas, and fenchol is known to have an invigorating, uplifting aroma of lemon, pine, and camphor. It is one of the primary terpenes found in basil and aster flowers and is commonly used in perfumes. Fenchol is only found in high amounts in some cannabis strains, such as OG Kush and Banana Kush

fenchol has been found to have numerous medicinal properties, most notably antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects. A 2007 study from Turkey looked into fenchol’s efficacy as an antibacterial against more than 60 strains of bacteria and found that, while it was not as effective as penicillin, it did inhibit bacterial growth. 

Additionally, a 2013 study tested the antimicrobial benefits of an essential oil from the winged prickly ash plant which primarily contained linalool (over 30%) but also had a high amount of fenchol (almost 10%). Researchers found that the oil expressed both antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, but it is not clear to what extent those benefits were from fenchol, and not linalool, which is also known to possess both antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. 

More research is needed to properly understand fenchol’s medicinal effects and its contributions to the effects of cannabis strains that contain it.