Terpenes are natural compounds in plants that hold distinctly significant aromas, flavors, and potential benefits. They work together with cannabinoids to influence the overall mental and physical effects created by cannabis and hemp. 

So far, there are over 100 different cannabinoids and 140 terpenes identified – each holding their own unique properties and influential elements. 

At Highgrade Labs, we come across a vast variety of interesting terpenoids in our terpene profiling testing  – and Farnesene has surely become a notable favorite! 

Continue reading to learn all about this terpene – often found in hemp and cannabis, and even in common household fruits.


Identifying Farnesene

Firstly, although not specific to just cannabis plants, research and exploration surrounding these natural compounds have spiked due to the result of major terpenes found within.

When it comes to farnesene, this compound holds a distinct chemical and aromatic structure that makes it simply one-of-a-kind: 

    • Farnesene’s Chemical Structure

This terpene belongs to a group of sesquiterpenes – such as alpha-farnesene, and beta-farnesene, which slightly vary in one double bond. Because of this, when used in essential oils, farnesene is often mixed with other isomers. 

    • Aroma & Essence

Farnesene has a distinctively sweet, woody, and fruity smell. Imagine the scent and taste of a crisp, green apple (this is precisely the terpene you’ll find in the skin of the fruit).

Additionally, you’ll find this terpene in plants and fruits such as: 

  • Cedarwood
  • Sandalwood
  • Myrrh
  • Patchouli
  • Hops
  • Ginger
  • Chamomile 
  • Grapefruit


Farnesene is often used in essential oils and in hoppy craft beers, considering its fruity-apple aromatic flavor profile. This terpene has been shown to offer smooth, calming effects that complement its fruity sweetness. 


Notable Potential Benefits of Farnesene 

Furthermore, Farnesene may not be the most dominantly found terpene in most cultivars, but it is notable for its calming effects. When found in plants or teas, farnesene has been found to provide effects that can ease the most stubborn insomniacs to sleep. 

Farnesene has also been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. This can help a wide variety of bodily issues many consumers face each day, including: 

  • Gut health & bacteria: Research has explored how farnesene can help to destroy bacterial cell membranes of food-borne bacteria. Not only does the terpene reduce harmful gut bacteria, but helps with cramps, spasms, and bowel inflammation. 
  • Tooth Decay: Farnesene has even shown recent signs of reducing cariogenic bacteria and preventing tooth disease, thanks to a 2013 study


For those growing their own cannabis and hemp plants, the terpene farnesene even works as an excellent natural insect repellant. 

One recent study explored how aphids release the terpene farnesene when they are dying, to warn others of danger (which is now leveraged by farmers to repel the pests from their crop). 

Farnesene may not be one of the more common terpenes you’ll find in most cannabis cultivars, but still it holds significantly beneficial properties and effects.


Farnesene-focused Cannabis & Hemp Lab Testing 

Finally, with the extensive studied benefits of Farnesene, in combination with its sweet and fruity flavor, this terpene is a rare gem and treasured terpene found in cannabis and hemp. 

At Highgrade labs, we believe analyzing the terpene content of cannabis is essential in understanding the aromatic flavorful profile behind each strain. 

We are proud to be one of the only labs in the country that can analyze 42 unique terpenes in flower and concentrate products, at each of our cannabis lab locations. 


Check back for more blogs regarding the science behind cannabis lab testing & analysis, plus stay up-to-date on the latest news in the industry on our Instagram page! 

*Always consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.