Pine, Lemon, Camphor
This is the 23rd installment in our weekly series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes,” published every Monday. For more information, read the introduction to this series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes: A Guide For Medical Marijuana Patients.”
Today we’ll be highlighting fenchol (also known as fenchyl alcohol), one of the obscure monoterpenoids found in the cannabis plant. The distinctive aroma of basil can be attributed to this terpene. In addition, it comprises up to 16% of the oils of some species of Aster. 
Fenchol exhibits aromas of lemon, pine, and camphor and is abundant in strains such as Banana Kush and OG Kush. Understanding individual terpene characteristics can play a key factor in selecting the ideal strain. Whether inhaled or used aromatically or topically, fenchol can be a key component in the broad spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids that maximize the therapeutic effects cannabis may provide.
Recent analysis of its therapeutic and medicinal benefits is limited, yet promising, as with most research regarding cannabis terpenes, and cannabis in general. When it comes to fenchol, research has shown the terpene’s effectiveness as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant agent. A 2007 Turkish study showed the efficacy of fenchol against an extensive amount of bacteria. In the study, scientists measured fenchol’s potency (as well as several other terpenes) against that of penicillin in combating 63 bacterial strains. Although the study showed that penicillin was more effective, fenchol and many other terpenes were found to impede the growth of the strains.  A 2013 study, published in The Scientific World Journal, tested the potency of the essential oil derived from the leaves of the winged prickly ash plant. The oil was mostly composed of linalool (30.58%), but also contained a considerable amount of fenchol (9.43%). The results indicated that the essential oil exhibits antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. A study completed in 2014 by Japanese researchers proposed that fenchol may have analgesic properties, aiding in pain relief. The study showed that fenchol hinders an essential protein in the body’s pain signaling system, the TRPA1 receptor.  Fenchol is also rich in antioxidants, which are suspected to aid in fending off cancer, as well as boosting the immune system. 
As the stigma against medical cannabis continues to fade, hopefully, research and analysis of the plant and the beneficial compounds that comprise it, including terpenes like fenchol, continues to intensify. It’s important to educate yourself and talk with your doctors, pharmacists, and others at dispensaries regarding the terpene profiles in available cannabis strains. Feel free to email us to assist with any questions you may have.