Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Guaiol Flavor, Fragrance, and Health Benefits
In this post:
Guaiol's history of use
Research and benefits of guaiol
Guaiol and the entourage effect
Cannabis strains with guaiol
Guaiol vaping temperature
If you've ever stepped off an airplane into a subtropical climate, you've smelled Guaiol’s scent–a slightly sweet, verdant pine aroma wafting through the warm air.
Guaiol is abundant in the Guaiacum plant, a genus of flowering, woody plants in the caltrop family mainly found in the Caribbean and South America.
Though Guaiol is primarily in the oily timber of the tropical guaiacum, these natural compounds also exist in nutmeg, cumin, lilacs, apples, tea trees, and coniferous trees of subtropical swamps like the cypress pine. Beyond plants and trees of the tropics, Guaiol also appears in cannabis plants, sometimes exhibiting a pine-like aroma.
So, what does the research say about Guaiol’s health benefits, and how can you get this terpene from your favorite cannabis strains? Here we explore.
What Has Guaiol been Used for Throughout History?
Over several centuries, Guaiol served as a remedy for coughs, congestion, and even insect repellent. Though modern research on Guaiol is minimal, we know that the guaiacum plant was used extensively as a natural remedy in both indigenous medicine and naturopathy or nature-based medicine.
In the 16th century, Spanish Conquistadors brought guaiacum back to Europe from Santo Domingo, modern-day Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. By the late 1700s, guaiacum gum extracted from the dense wood of the plant was used to treat diseases like syphilis and in women to regulate menstruation.
Guaiol Research and Benefits
Guaiol has a wide range of potential benefits for humans. Historically, people used this substance to treat coughs, congestion, gout, and PMS, but today we're able to take a closer look at Guaiol's benefits through empirical research.
A 2010 study performed in-vitro (in test tubes) revealed that Guaiol possesses many anti-inflammatory qualities.
In research published in 2016, Guaiol proved to be antimicrobial and anti-parasitic. Guaiol combated Staphylococcus aureus in test tubes, the virus responsible for Staph infections.
A study published in the Journal of Natural Products in 2007 found that Guaiol helps combat several bacterial strains.
In another 2010 study, researchers found that Guaiol works as an antioxidant agent.
A 2016 study in mice and test tubes showed that Guaiol fights cancer cells by reducing tumors and strengthening chemotherapy's effects.
Though scientists are making headway in better understanding the effects of terpenes, research is still needed to examine Guaiol as it interacts with the phytochemicals present in cannabis.
Guaiol Terpenes and the Entourage Effect
In cannabis, we know that Guaiol works alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD, in addition to other terpenes and flavonoids to enhance the plant’s overall effects. This concept is known as the entourage effect.
As a result of this synergy, Guaiol can potentially assist the body to regulate its processes and maintain balance, or homeostasis. This terpene may help support cannabis’ anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties based on Guaiol research.
What Cannabis Strains Have the Most Guaiol?
Guaiol is not a primary terpene, meaning that it is only present in small amounts within cannabis. However, it is still present in notable strains, especially strains with intense, pine aromatic profiles.
Examples of cannabis varieties that bear higher concentrations of Guaiol are:
What Temperature Should I Vape Cannabis to Get the Most Guaiol?
Guaiol is unique because it is a sesquiterpene. These terpenes have a liquid structure rather than the more common oil-structured terpenes.
Because Guaiol is liquid-based, it has a low boiling point of 197.6 degrees Fahrenheit (92 degrees Celsius). Therefore, those seeking the benefits of Guaiol through cannabis should vape their product at a very low-temperature setting.
The Bottom Line About Guaiol
Guaiol is a terpene that has shown promise in clinical studies for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Though more research is needed to understand Guaiol better, it's clear that there is potential for exciting human applications.
Fortunately, we don't have to travel to the tropics to experience the benefits of Guaiol; we can simply drive to our closest dispensary and ask the budtender for strains that contain this pine-scented terpene. Budtenders can check the strain’s Certificate of Analysis (COA) to verify this information.
The most trustworthy brands take the time to get a COA so their consumers can make the most informed decisions about their products. A comprehensive COA provides cannabinoid and terpene potency information and safety details that are critical for consumer trust.
ACS Terpene Testing
At ACS Laboratory, we test for a total of 38 terpenes, including Guaiol, myrcene, linalool, Pinene, and alpha humulene. Although terpene testing is not a mandatory protocol for cannabis or hemp, brands that test for terpenes make this vital information readily available for consumers, making it easier to differentiate products for those navigating the world of cannabis.