Basil leaf on top of a pile of sliced mangoes

Ocimene Terpene: Smell, Taste, Effects, Strains, & More

There might be more than twenty thousand terpenes in nature, but there are a few that shine when it comes to cannabis. One of those terpenes is ocimene. In this guide, we’re going to share everything we know about ocimene, including: 

  • What is Ocimene?
  • What Does Ocimene Smell Like?
  • What Does Ocimene Taste Like?
  • What Are the Benefits of Ocimene?
  • What Strains Are High in Ocimene?
  • Ocimene FAQs

What is Ocimene?

Ocimene, or beta-ocimene, is a monoterpene found in fruits and plants, including cannabis. Ocimene has been the subject of a variety of research as scientists try to understand its effects in the body, but more research needs to be done before we can definitively answer that question. For now, ocimene is typically harvested for its scent and used in perfumes, antiperspirants, and even insecticides.

What Does Ocimene Smell Like?

Ocimene earned its name from the Greek word Ocimum, which means basil, but that doesn’t mean that it tastes or smells anything like that herb. Rather, ocimene’s most predominant aromas are woody, floral and citrus, giving it a complex scent profile that is preferred by manufacturers of a variety of household products. For instance, if you love an outdoorsy scent in your cleaning supplies, there’s a good chance you have ocimene to thank for it. 

What Does Ocimene Taste Like?

The flavor of ocimene is a lot less complex than its scent—ocimene tastes like fruit, including citrus and pineapple. To show how varied its flavor can be, just look at the plants and fruits it’s in: kumquat, mango, mint, and lavender. 

What Are the Benefits of Ocimene?

While ocimene might be used by manufacturers in a variety of products, one of its biggest benefits comes in its ability to ward off different types of bugs. Researchers are still studying why ocimene has this effect, but for now, we know its scent seems to be an insect repellent, and because of this, ocimene is being looked at as a sustainable solution for farmers fighting pests. 

Ocimene is also being researched for its potential as a therapeutic agent. Early animal studies show that it may have antifungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative properties, but more research is needed to know whether this is applicable in the human body.

What Strains Are Heavy in Ocimene?

Ocimene might not always be the star terpene in a strain like myrcene or caryophyllene, but it’s typically the second or third. Here are just a few strains where ocimene is one of the top three terpenes:

Dutch Treat

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

If you guessed Dutch Treat was from Amsterdam, you’re spot on. This indica-dominant hybrid (80% indica, 20% sativa) comes from a cross between Northern Lights and Haze—both equally popular strains in the States. You can likely smell and taste the contribution that ocimene makes to Dutch Treat’s terpene profile—it’s sweet and fruity and woody all at once. Because it ranges between a moderately high THC potency of 18% to a definitely high 25%, newcomers to this strain should take it slow when enjoying it for the first time.

Space Queen

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Space Queen is all about balance—a balance between indica and sativa (50/50) and a balance between flavors of earthiness and sweet citrus. Space Queen also packs average levels of THC at 15%, so it can be enjoyed by both new marijuana consumers and seasoned cannabis enthusiasts. Like its flavors, this strain smells sweet like pineapple—likely thanks in part to its ocimene content.

Strawberry Cough

Sativa-Dominant Hybrid

Like Dutch Treat, you can thank Haze for its influence in creating Strawberry Cough, a sativa-dominant hybrid. Its flavors and aromas, though, are strictly thanks to its other parent strain—Strawberry Fields. Earthy, fruity, and sweet (thanks, ocimene), Strawberry Cough is as delicious as Strawberry Fields, but it gets the Cough part of its name thanks to its spicy, peppery undertones. Strawberry Cough has relatively high THC levels, between 22-26%, so don’t get lulled into its flavors and accidentally dose too high.

Wondering about other terpenes and their strains? Check out our caryophyllene guide.

Answering FAQs About Ocimene

Given that it’s one of the most common terpenes found in nature, it doesn’t surprise us that we get a lot of questions about ocimene. Here are just a few of those questions and their answers:

Is ocimene an indica or sativa? 
Ocimene is not indica or sativa—rather, it is a terpene. This means that it can be present on any strain of marijuana regardless of if it’s indica, sativa, or a hybrid.

How does ocimene make you feel?
In general, when consuming premium marijuana, you’re likely not going to feel the effects of a single terpene. Rather, you’ll feel what’s called the entourage effect—when all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and additional compounds in cannabis work together within your body. This effect is why different people are affected in their own unique ways when consuming the same strain. 

Ocimene on its own, however, has been shown in a 2011 study to be a stimulant. More research needs to be done to truly understand the effects of ocimene in the human body. 

What does the terpene ocimene do?
Ocimene has been the subject of a number of studies which show it to have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal effects. This preliminary research needs to be further substantiated in human studies to understand how it truly affects our bodies. 

Purchasing Ocimene Terpene Strains

While we’ve listed a few of our favorite ocimene strains here, there are plenty of others available. If you’re looking for an ocimene-rich strain, head down to one of your local cannabis dispensaries and talk to one of our cannabis experts. They can point you to cannabis with ocimene, and they can help you find products you need to consume the cannabis you purchase. 

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.