Valencene is a sesquiterpene, a class of terpenes that are more complex and larger than monoterpene terpenes like limonene or pinene. This terpene is just one among the over a hundred terpenes that can be found in cannabis, and it serves as a precursor to a terpenoid known as nootkatone.
The name “Valencene” originates from Valencia oranges, where it is found in substantial amounts. Valencene is characterized by a sweet, citrusy aroma with hints of fresh herbs, and it’s present in minor concentrations in select cannabis strains.
Like many other essential oils, Valencene is recognized as a natural insect repellent and boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. It falls into the category of minor terpenes, akin to borneol or camphene, within the diverse terpene landscape of cannabis.
Valencene is classified as a sesquiterpene because it comprises three isoprene units, distinguishing it from monoterpenes, which consist of only two isoprene molecules. Its aroma is reminiscent of oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits, making it an appealing addition to various products.
Beyond its aromatic contributions, Valencene can elicit feelings of euphoria and alertness while potentially enhancing cognitive functions. This versatile terpene finds applications in cosmetics, cleaning products, and pest control, serving as a potent insecticide commonly used in tick and mosquito repellents. Additionally, it is incorporated into cleaning products, personal care items, and cosmetics.
Valencene’s utility extends to culinary experiences, where it is infused into olive oils to impart an additional citrusy flavor that complements salads and other food preparations.
Emerging research suggests that Valencene holds therapeutic potential as an anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic agent, and skin protectant. It may enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs like Doxorubicin. Furthermore, Valencene can be sourced from Chinese Bayberry, a valued edible fruit and medicinal herb.
An intriguing property of Valencene is its role as an adjuvant, enhancing the immune response. Adjuvants are often added to vaccines to boost antibody production and promote longer-lasting immunity.
Scientific investigations have demonstrated the positive impact of Valencene on conditions like atopic dermatitis and itching behavior. Essential oils rich in this terpene, such as those derived from Cyperus rotundus (nutgrass), modulate inflammatory responses and enhance the expression of involucrin, a critical skin barrier protein.
Valencene has shown promise in protecting the skin against the harmful effects of UV rays, potentially preventing pigment changes, inflammation, melanogenesis, and skin wrinkling.
Valencene is a multifaceted sesquiterpene with a citrusy aroma that contributes to a wide array of applications, from insect repellents to culinary delights, cosmetics, and even potential therapeutic benefits.