Rosemary, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Catnip
This is the 18th 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.”
Pulegone is a secondary monoterpene known for its sweet, minty aroma, comparable to menthol. This terpene is commonly found in the leaves and flowering tops of several members of the mint family – Rosemary, Pennyroyal, Creeping Charlie, Palo Santo, Peppermint Spearmint, and Catnip, and in low concentrations in cannabis strains such as OG Kush or Pink Kush.
Patients have described a sense of calm, stress relief or mild sedation after consuming cannabis that contains this terpene. Some also claim that pulegone stimulates the brain’s production of the neurotransmitter compound acetylcholine while inhibiting the production of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase – the result may indicate a decrease in short-term memory loss.
Aside from its many uses in the perfume and food industry, pulegone has an array of therapeutic and medicinal applications. Besides the more obvious use as an expectorant, this terpene has been used to treat conditions such as common colds, fevers, headaches, indigestion, convulsions, and menstrual conditions.
Although solid research involving humans is needed, a 2014 study published in Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that pulegone can be used to treat anxiety in mice. This study also revealed that the terpene may have a psychostimulant effect that can improve motor and mental function.
Pulegone is considered to be one of the top three most effective plants in the mint family to act as an insecticide.
This terpene’s potent aroma profile makes it a popular choice for a scent and flavor enhancer in the food and perfume industry. Perfumes and aromatherapy products, as well as foods and dental products with a cool, fresh scent, incorporate pulegone into their formulas. Pulegone is also used as a brew for tea and to flavor alcoholic beverages.
Understanding individual terpene characteristics can play a key factor in selecting the ideal strain. Whether inhaled or used aromatically or topically, pulegone can be a key component in the broad spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids that maximize the therapeutic effects cannabis may provide. Feel free to email us to assist with any questions you may have.