Terpene Spotlight: Borneol

The first time I drove through Nevada I fell in love with the way the desert smells at night. I didn’t know it at the

Medicine Box // May 30, 2017

The first time I drove through Nevada I fell in love with the way the desert smells at night. I didn’t know it at the time, but that scent comes from sagebrush, the state flower. Sagebrush is high in borneol, which is part of the reason it smells so good.

Borneol is another terpene commonly found in cannabis, but we don’t know much about it yet. There are a few promising studies, but they’re all in the very early stages of research. It’s also difficult to find information on which strains are high in borneol; most sources mention K13 and “Haze” strains, but that’s it. Our own testing shows that our Sour Diesel contains .14% borneol and our Girls Scout Cookies is .107%.

Therapeutic Uses of Borneol

Other sources of Borneol

  • Artemesia
  • Camphor
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Mugwort
  • Nutmeg
  • Rosemary
  • Sagebrush
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Wormwood

Borneol as a Functional Ingredient

While we don’t know much about what borneol can do, it is showing promise as a powerful painkiller and anti-inflammatory. That pairs nicely with the painkilling properties of our Gold Country Afgoo and the anti-inflammatory effects of the goji berries. You can mix them in a truffle and get an extra boost of borneol some cinnamon, making it a delicious way to manage pain.

How to Eat More Borneol

Recipe from Carey Nershi at Food52: Smoky Cardamom Ginger Molasses Cookies


  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • 5 black cardamom pods
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for rolling).


  1. Crack open the cardamom pods and remove seeds. Grind seeds with a mortar and pestle and set aside.
  2. Combine the butter and empty cardamom pods in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low until the butter has completely melted and begins to foam slightly. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove and discard the cardamom pods and transfer the butter to a large mixing bowl. Cover and let the butter cool to room temperature.
  3. Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt, spices, black pepper, and reserved ground cardamom. Add the sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg. Gradually beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
  4. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment. Fill a small bowl with 1/2 cup of sugar.
  5. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter, form into balls, and roll in the sugar. Place on a baking sheet two inches apart.
  6. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (mine were done after 8). Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

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