Delta 3-carene is a terpene with a sweet and pungent odor and can be described as caramel candy-like with notes of fir needles, musky earth and damp woodlands. 3-carene occurs naturally in many plant species including douglas fir, cypress, rosemary, bell pepper and citrus fruits.
There is a fascinating link between 3-carene and osteoporosis treatment and prevention. A study by Jeong et al (2007) showed that when used everyday for 15 days it started to dramatically promote the induction of calcium in a dose-dependent manner. They infer 3-carene has an ability to activate proteins which could be beneficial to bone health and potentially a treatment for metabolic bone disorders.
A study from Gil et al (1989) explores essential oil components and how they affect inflammation. What they found is that 3-carene was most active against acute inflammation. Acute inflammation is an immediate response caused by noxious stimuli, such as infection (i.e. common cold, flu, bronchitis, headache, hives, joint pain etc.) and/or tissue damage from injury. Another of our terpenes, Pinene was present in this study and it helped more with chronic inflammation (vs acute). Many terpenes exhibit anti-inflammatory qualities and 3-carene can also be placed in this group.
Another interesting quality of 3-carene is its ability to slow mucus production in the human body. This drying effect makes it a potential antihistamine and could be useful in products targeting excessive menstration or mucus production. This quality is also known to affect people who use cannabis with this terpene present, giving “dry eyes” & “dry mouth” to the user. Particular research (Falk et al, 1991) looked at if inhalation of high concentrations of 3-carene had any toxic effects in humans. What they found is that 3-carene is metabolized quickly and although can cause some short term irritation due to drying effect, the difference in airway resistance after exposure to different concentrations was not significant.
3-carene is a terpene which smells sweet & woody and induces a relaxed and creative state. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help with acute inflammation and bone health, while being an antihistamine may be helpful for menstruation issues and runny noses/eyes. A study on inhalation of essential oils suggests the immunity-boosting effects of this terpene can even be effective against covid-19.
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Falk et al (1991). Human exposure to 3-carene by inhalation: toxicokinetics, effects on pulmonary function and occurrence of irritative and CNS symptoms. Toxicology and applied pharmacology, doi: 10.1016/S0041-008X(05)80002-X.
Gil et al (1989). Comparative study of different essential oils of Bupleurum gibraltaricum Lamarck. Die Pharmazie 44(4): 284-287.
Jeong et al (2007). Low concentration of 3-carene stimulates the differentiation of mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 subclone 4 cells. Phytotherapy Research doi: 10.1002/ptr.2247.
Patne, Mahore and Tokmurke, 2021. Inhalation of Essential Oils: Could be Adjuvant Therapeutic Strategy for COVID-19. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, ISSN (Online): 0975-8232.
Robbins, Curt (2020). Delta 3 Carene: The Terpene That Promotes Healthy Bones (& Dry Mouth). Cannabis Aficionado dot com, Published September 2, 2020.