Isopulegol is a terpene, or aromatic compound, present in cannabis. As the chemical precursor to menthol, isopulegol has a distinctively fresh, minty odor. Isopulegol is a secondary terpene, with concentration levels that often fly under the radar. Kosher Tangie, Headband, and OG Kush are cannabis cultivars with more significant isopulegol levels.

“You can’t beat the minty hit from a joint of Kosher Tangie flower.”

“In addition to its fresh aroma, isopulegol boasts a range of therapeutic properties.”

What is isopulegol?

Isopulegol is a minor terpene found in cannabis, lending a minty, menthol fragrance to the plant. This lesser-known terpene is also found in plants such as mint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, lemon balm, geranium, and parsley. 

Like many aromatic terpenes in cannabis, isopulegol can act as a natural defence against pests, while attracting beneficial pollinators. The scent of isopulegol contributes to the complex and sometimes heady odor profile of cannabis.

What are the benefits of isopulegol?

Researchers are still uncovering the therapeutic benefits of this secondary terpene, however,  there’s growing evidence that it holds a range of medicinal properties. An animal study showed that it acts as an antidepressant, and helps to reduce anxiety. Clinical studies in the future will confirm whether these findings can be translated to humans.

Isopulegol has also been shown to effectively inhibit convulsions, suggesting a potential therapeutic application in reducing seizures. The terpene additionally acts as a gastrointestinal protectant. In a study with mice, isopulegol exerted a gastroprotective effect against a lesion in a stomach ulcer. The researchers concluded that this effect was due in part to its antioxidative properties.

Other research suggests that isopulegol also boasts anti-inflammatory qualities. In an animal study, an oil containing 22% isopulegol helped to reduce swelling dramatically, indicating its ability to fight inflammation.

What is isopulegol used for? 

Isopulegol is commonly used in cosmetics, soaps, and personal care products, imbuing them with a minty, cooling aroma and sensation. As the chemical precursor to menthol, isopulegol is often used commercially to supplement natural sources of menthol.