Humulene, also known as α-humulene or alpha-humulene, is a naturally occurring monocyclic sesquiterpene that consists of a ring structure with three isoprene units. It is a prominent component in the essential oils of various plants and herbs, notably in hops (Humulus lupulus), from which it derives its name. The compound contributes to the distinct aromatic profile of hops and is responsible for some of the bittersweet flavor characteristics in beer. Humulene is also found in sage, ginseng, and cannabis, among other plants. It has been the subject of research due to its potential anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and appetite-suppressant properties. Studies suggest that humulene may have therapeutic applications, and its efficacy in traditional medicine has prompted scientific investigations into its pharmacological activities. As a volatile organic compound, humulene is also of interest in the field of biotechnology for its role in plant defense mechanisms and its potential in bioengineering applications to develop new aromatic products or to enhance crop resistance against pests.
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