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Carene’s sweet and earthy aroma adds to a cannabis strain’s complex flavor and aromatic profile. While it’s an uncommonly found terpene, research suggests it may have potential therapeutic effects on inflammation, bone health, chronic pain, fungal activity, and more.

Carene terpene is just one of the hundreds of terpenes found in the cannabis plant. With our comprehensive terpene guide, learn everything you want to know about carene, including its aroma, effects, and side effects.

What Is the Carene Terpene?

Delta-3 carene, also known as carene, is a bicyclic monoterpene, a class of terpenes that includes camphene, eucalyptol, borneol, and sabinene. Carene is usually associated with turpentine from conifers, which can reach concentrations of up to 42 percent.

In cannabis, carene is found in low concentrations of under 1 percent. Carene is known for its sweet, earthy, and pungent aroma. While rare in the cannabis plant, research indicates that carene may provide several health benefits.

Further research is needed into the health benefits of carene, but studies suggest that this terpene may improve overall bone health, relieve acute inflammation, treat fungal infections, and improve mental focus and memory retention.

Carene Terpene Aroma

Carene’s aroma is sweet, pungent, and earthy, with citrus, cypress, and pine undertones. Its smell reminds users of a damp forest. Carene’s musky and woody aroma is commonly used in food, cosmetic, and aromatherapy products.

Natural Sources of Carene

tincture bottles next to herbs, carene terpene

Most cannabis strains usually have a low carene content. Carene extracts are mainly derived from pine trees. The carene terpene naturally occurs in the following plants, trees, herbs, and fruits:

  • Angelica root
  • Pine trees
  • Cedar trees
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Citrus
  • Mango
  • Cypress
  • White pepper
  • Fennel
  • Kumquat
  • Lime

Carene Terpene Effects and Health Benefits

Clinical research on carene’s medicinal efficacy on humans and health benefits is limited. Most studies on this terpene have been performed on animal or cell-culture models. Still, early research finds that carene has several potential benefits.

Carene’s effects vary between people. However, anecdotal reports suggest that carene may promote mental focus and memory retention, improve bone health, prevent fungal infections, and provide users with euphoric effects.


In a 1989 study, researchers tested the anti-inflammatory properties of essential oils derived from the fruiting apex of Bupleurum gibraltaricum Lamarck. Essential oils were collected from the Cázulas mountains, Quéntar Reservoir, and Balcón de Canales in the Granada province.

All essential oils were mainly composed of delta-3 carene and alpha-pinene. Essential oil from the Cázulas mountains “was most active against acute inflammation owing to its high delta-3 carene content.”

Bone Health

In a 2007 study, researchers studied the effects of 89 natural compounds on bone repair and bone disease in mice. Researchers found that essential oils that contained carene stimulated mineralization (adding calcium to bones) in cell-culture and animal models. Carene may play an important role in bone metabolism, developing osteoporosis treatment, and maintaining healthy bones. 


In a 2006 study, researchers evaluated the antifungal activity of different essential oils from juniper shrubs and trees (Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. oxycedrus, J. communis ssp. alpina, and J. turbinata). Essential oils from the J. oxycedrus ssp. oxycedrus had the most antifungal activity.

This oil had 65.5 percent alpha-pinene and 5.7 percent delta-3 carene. The results indicate that Juniperus essential oils may be used as therapeutic alternatives in antifungal treatment against dermatophyte strains. Dermatophytosis, also known as ringworm, is a contagious fungal infection affecting the skin or scalp.

Carene Side Effects

Most terpenes are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, studies have found that overexposure to carene may cause skin, eye, and lung irritation. Carene may play some part in the dry mouth and red eyes caused by cannabis.

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Strains High in Carene

Most cannabis strains have a low concentration of delta-3 carene. However, higher-than-average levels have been found in the following cannabis strains:

  • Super Silver Haze
  • Jack Herer
  • AK-47
  • Arjan’s Ultra Haze #2
  • Lemon Haze
  • OG Kush
  • Cherry Pie
  • White Runtz
  • Sunberry
  • Dragon Fruit

Become a Master of Cannabis with CTU

Interested in learning more about how cannabis works in the human body? Want to learn how to use cannabis to treat your inflammation, pain, anxiety, nausea, or other medical condition? CTU’s online-based education can help you uncover the power of cannabis.

Learn how cannabis compounds can produce a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Carene is just one of many terpene and compounds found in the cannabis plant. Enroll in CTU’s Master of Cannabis Certification Program to get a complete cannabis education today!

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