Certain beers made with hops rich in humulene, especially IPA varieties, emit an aroma that is very similar to that of hemp and cannabis cultivars that also produce humulene.
Humulene offers wellness value via multiple pathways, including its role as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and—like myrcene, pinene, and ocimene—an anti-cancer agent.
A 2008 study entitled “Pharmacokinetics and Tissue Distribution of the Sesquiterpene Alpha-humulene in Mice” that was published in the journal Planta Medica found humulene to reduce inflammation when used as a topical. The study reported, “These findings…contribute to an explanation of the topical and systemic anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties…for the essential oil alpha-humulene.”
The study also found humulene to exhibit a good bioavailability and safety profile, concluding that “Alpha-humulene exhibited a rapid onset and relatively good absorption following oral and topical administration.”
A 2006 study entitled “Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Abies Balsamea Essential Oil” that was published in the journal Phytotherapy Research states, “Three constituents of the essential oil were active against S. aureus: alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene, and alpha-humulene, respectively.”