Fenchol – What Is It? All You Need To Know About Fenchol



fen-ˌchȯl | noun

Fenchol, also known as fenchyl alcohol, is a monoterpenoid found in hemp and plants like lime, nutmeg, sweet basil, and wild celery. Due to its aroma that resembles pine, lemon, and camphor, it’s a common ingredient in perfume manufacturing. This terpene has a fresh, lemon-lime taste and exhibits antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. 

“Fenchol is a terpene found both in hemp and basil.”

“This hemp strain offers a refreshing smoke, maybe from the fenchol in it.”    

What is it? 

It’s a secondary terpene found in hemp, valued for its fresh, earthy aroma that also naturally occurs in basil. This terpene makes up to 16% of the volatile oils of some species of Aster. The genus Aster is a genus of perennial flowering plants that encompasses around 180 species that produce starlike flowers. Fenchol possesses a piney, camphor-like flavor and a refreshing scent that makes it a perfect component of fabric softeners and liquid and powder detergents. It’s widely used in the fine-fragrance industry as a popular ingredient in perfume. 

Everyday uses of fenchol 

Regardless if you’ve used dry basil in your recipes or enjoyed a salad containing fresh basil, you’ve experienced fenchol. You might have come across the fresh aroma of this terpene if you’ve ever held a bouquet of aster flowers. It’s also present in herbal shampoos, body sprays, and other products.   

Therapeutic benefits of fenchol 

The most prominent therapeutic properties of fenchol are its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects. 

Pain-relieving agent 

One 2014 Japanese study revealed that fenchol might play a role in pain relief. The scientists discovered that fenchol (fenchyl alcohol) inhibits the TRPA1 receptor in the body an essential protein in the body’s pain signaling system. The results of the study suggested a potential role of this and other monoterpenes in pain-relief.   

Antibacterial effects

One 2007 Turkish study revealed the effectiveness of this terpene against a broad spectrum of bacteria. The study tested the antibacterial efficacy of fenchol along with 20 other terpenes. In this study, researchers compared the potency of terpenes to the potency of penicillin against 63 diverse bacteria strains. Along with a few others, fenchol inhibited the growth of the bacteria strains, but with lower activity than penicillin.    

Antimicrobial and antioxidant

One 2013 study published in The Scientific World Journal found that the essential oil derived from the leaves of the winged prickly ash plant that contains a significant amount of this terpene (up to 9.43%) had antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. This plant is a shrub endemic to Asia, and its oil is primarily composed of linalool (30.58%). The study suggests that the oil’s antimicrobial and antioxidant properties could serve as a resource to the food and pesticide industries. 

Where to find it in hemp

As a secondary terpene, it’s present in hemp in trace amounts. It can be found in cannabis in strains like Banana Kush and OG Kush and as an ingredient in some hemp CBD products. 

Final thoughts 

Fenchol is a hemp terpene that exhibits an intoxicating earthy and refreshing aroma widely used in the fragrance industry. Due to its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and analgesic qualities, it’s also beneficial for other applications.