Terpene Isolates 101: Camphor
If you're just getting started with terpenes, odds are you're wondering how each isolate can be used. Terpene isolates can be used in hemp, CBD, and cannabis products as well as concentrates, vapes, foods, beverages, and aromatherapy infusions. This week, we're diving deeper into the pungent, sour, menthol-like terpene isolate known as Camphor.
Camphor terpene isolate comes from the camphor tree. It’s a thick, white waxy substance that has a very strong aroma and has been used therapeutically in eastern medicine for hundreds of years. It’s also been used recreationally and ceremonially. For example, Camphor terpenes, being derived from turpentine, help make fireworks brighter. It burns well, but the smoke doesn’t burn the eyes and has beneficial applications, including improving circulation and clearing out airways to improve breathing. Insects also hate the pungent smell, making it a powerful insect repellant and killer.
Camphor helps to stimulate the metabolism of and has a similar effect as caffeine, causing alertness and energy. Like most terpenes, it’s antibacterial and antifungal in nature and works as a natural disinfectant. In fact, it was originally used to treat drinking water for infections like Giardia.
These days, you can find camphor terpenes working hard in natural breathing aids, like Vicks Vapor Rub. The menthol-like scent of Camphor has the ability to reduce congestion and clear airways. It’s safe to ingest in small amounts and can be found in a variety of herbs and trees, including laurel and pine, basil, lavender and saffron.
All in all, there are many therapeutic uses surrounding Camphor terpenes in small doses. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the benefits and uses of Camphor terpenes.
Benefits of Camphor Terpenes
Camphor terpenes are widely available and used in many healthcare products, holistic medicine, fragrances, cosmetics, and flavoring agents. They promote a plethora of whole-body benefits and mood-boosting effects. Like most terpenes, they are antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial in nature. However, Camphor terpenes take it a step further by reducing the ability of the virus that causes herpes to spread. Like most terpenes, Camphor is strongest when it works in synergy with other terpenes.
When applied topically in a salve, they can help treat minor aches and pains as well as boost circulation. Camphor has been used since ancient times in China where healers used camphor-rich tiger balm to treat joint pain and muscle aches. However, it works differently than one may expect. When applied topically, Camphor interacts with receptors in the sensory area of the brain, causing pain relief and a mild numbing effect. This interaction with the sensory receptors may also boost your sex drive by interfering with your pleasure receptors.
In the same vein, Camphor also offers potent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest that Camphor can help reduce inflammation in gum cells, indicating that it can help reduce inflammation caused by gingivitis or sore throats. Camphor was also able to reduce inflammation in both joint and tissue cells in rats.
Because of the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, Camphor is best absorbed through the skin. With potent pain relief and a gentle numbing effect, camphor also offers a cooling effect similar to menthol. This cooling sensation can help soothe burns as well as itchiness caused by rashes or bug bites. Camphor also showed to help the skin produce more collagen which helps skin to appear more smooth and youthful. In a lab study with mice, scientists exposed mice to UV radiation, similar to our skin in the sun, and found that Camphor was able to reduce UV-related wrinkle damage.
Scientific evidence also shows that Camphor may increase blood flow and improve circulation. Injecting camphor terpenes under the skin causes the skin to flush and increase circulation to the affected areas. In Chinese medicine, healers used Camphor to stimulate the heart and peripheral circulatory system ultimately increasing the general circulation in the body. The boost in circulation can also improve metabolic rates, which can help you sleep and wake regularly or lose weight.
In a similar fashion, Camphor terpenes can help improve breathing by clearing congestion from the sinuses and soothing inflamed airways, allowing for deeper, more fulfilling breaths and less congestion. That’s why you see camphor essential oils in many over the counter nasal decongestants.
Camphor also showed to help boost the immune system. One study found that Camphor boosted the presence of t cells and other immune cells. A second found that Camphor could reduce and break down carcinogens that cause cancer, effectively removing them from the body altogether in some cases. It can also increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to radiation therapy, making it easier to kill cancer cells.
Last but not least, Camphor is also a potent insecticide. During incubation, exposure to Camphor killed beetle eggs and even some mosquitos. This poses an option for an eco-friendly insecticide and repellant, as the pungent odor of Camphor terpenes repels many flying insects.
While there are many documented anecdotal cases of camphor terpene benefits, there isn’t a whole lot of verified scientific evidence. Always talk to your doctor before starting any type of health regimen or including camphor terpenes in your diet to rule out possible complications.
Natural Sources of Camphor Terpenes
Camphor is a secondary terpene generally synthesized from a-Pinene terpenes. However, it can also be extracted from turpentine, which is a refined pine-tree sap. While it doesn’t come in high concentrations in cannabis plants, you can find it in Camphor essential oil which is distilled from the fragrant camphortree where it gets its name. Camphor terpenes can be found in some strains that contain high levels of a-Pinene terpenes, like Bubba Kush, Strawberry Cough, and Blue Dream. However, you’re more likely to find them in fragrant herbs and spices like Rosemary, Turmeric, and Sage.
TLDR; Camphor Terpenes
Increases blood flow and improves circulation
Helps to open airways and make breathing easier
Helps soothe skin and prevent wrinkles
May help increase sex drive
Common Uses for Camphor Terpenes
Whether through your favorite fruits and herbs or through a diffuser, Camphor isolate smells and tastes great and works wonders within your body.
Camphor terpenes can be safely added to all sorts of products to encourage energy and unplug the sinuses as well as a host of other potential health benefits. It can safely be eaten, drank, infused, and inhaled with a little bit of mixing. It can also be used to improve cannabis products like vapes and concentrates that may have lost cannabinoid potency or terpene content during extraction.
Add Camphor terpenes to foods and beverages to enjoy the anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing and energizing properties within the whole body. A few drops of water-soluble Camphor terpenes in your favorite foods or beverages add a sour menthol flavor that can help you fight infections and improve blood flow.
Add Camphor terpenes to essential oil diffusers and aromatherapy infusions to enjoy a piquant scent reminiscent of Vicks vapor rub. It helps kill airborne bacteria, viruses, microbes, and fungal spores while helping improve your airways and clear your sinuses.
Add Camphor terpenes to concentrates and hemp oils made from strains with higher Camphor content like Romulan, Island Sweet Skunk, and Trainwreck. Camphor terpenes can make them smell and taste better and boost the potency of THC/CBD effects.
Just keep in mind that not all terpenes are created equal. Different terpenes will always have different effects, but they're not all made the same. We know you have a choice when it comes to terpene providers, but no other choice comes close to our level of quality.
At Peak Supply Co, our Camphor Terpene Isolates are extracted from all-natural food-grade fruit, flower, and nut oils in our state-of-the-art facility. With our proprietary extraction and refinement method, we remove plant materials and any leftover impurities, leaving behind the purest terpene isolates on the market. Best of all, we even offer sample packs so you can try them all.