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Humulene is the characteristic terpene of hops, Humulus lupulus, but it is also found in cannabis, sage, and ginseng. Humulene, also known as α-caryophyllene, is a ring-opened isomer of β-caryophyllene, which is notably lacking in CB2 activity. Nonetheless, it also possesses powerful anti-inflammatory activity equal to dexamethasone in an animal model (Fernandes et al., 2007). Humulene possesses both topical and systemic anti-inflammatory properties (Chaves et al., 2008) and is an effective analgesic when taken topically, orally, or by aerosol (Rogerio et al., 2009). Humulene can produce ROS, leading to an antineoplastic effect by inducing apoptosis; although at moderate levels, ROS can increase tumor growth. β-Caryophyllene was synergistic with humulene in one study (Legault and Pichette, 2007). Interestingly, humulene was shown to increase secretion of IL-8, a chemokine with various functions, including promoting angiogenesis, helpful in wound healing but not typically associated with anticancer compounds

humulene hops